co-author of The Meadow
Mike O'Hare
February - 9 - 2018 | 0 Comment

Holly was almost 20 years old when she finally passed away. The short article below describes how I came to meet up and share her life. I thought I’d leave it in the present tense as this gives a more emotional touch to a story that has, without doubt, touched the lives of my wife, Barbara and me. She will always rest in our hearts and her memory will never fade. Until we meet again, Holly.


         It’s strange how we sometimes first meet up with our beloved pets. When you look back, ask yourself did fate really take a hand in this? Holly is a three-year-old, black shorthaired female. I recently acquired her from a Cat Protection organisation.

Apparently, her previous owners gave her up on account of moving to a place where pets weren’t allowed. The organisation told me the other usual excuses involve either a new baby to the family or a parent taking on a new partner, which means the poor cat must go.

Call me old-fashioned, but shouldn’t we be treating domestic animals in the same way that we treat our children? Having said that, it isn’t everyone that treats his or her own in a loving and protective way. Regardless, I must express my horror in the way that some animals, including cats, are treated. We are all living creatures.

I blame the current law, as it seems to discriminate between the two. Isn’t it about time that some kind of protection was given to our pets? This may help to prevent some of the horrendous inhumane acts that are perpetrated. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let me tell you about this beautiful, but rather odd moggy.

It’s been more than 35 years since I had a cat, so I’m a little out of touch and, besides, I can only make comparisons with my previous pets. I’ll never forget that dark winter’s night when I went out to see her. It is said that we never pick the cat, but it picks us. How very true that is. 

Holly had obviously made up her mind, long before I had, that she was coming home with me. From that evening onwards, the situation has turned out to be what I can only describe as eventful. This is where I need the help of all you knowledgeable readers.

          Just some answers to a few of my questions regarding feline idiosyncrasies would help. For instance, do all cats insist on accompanying you on every walk that is taken from home? Do they treat vacuum cleaners with total contempt until they can no longer contain themselves and just jump on for the ride? Do they talk your head off until you are forced to understand what they are saying? How about playing chicken with you as you drive up to the house?

I could go on, but perhaps she is not so unusual after all. Whoever claims that cats are not loyal must have been reading the K9 weekly. Granted, dogs are very loyal and affectionate creatures (well, some of them are). However, the dedication offered to their owners can be likened to animal passive subservience. Holly has a lot more going for her.

To find out where the cat’s loyalty lies, we must look within it, beyond the physical ties that bind us. I have heard many stories of how it can seem to reach within us and manifest its reactions in the desire to protect us, thus reciprocating the love and affection we bestow. However, we have to look long and hard.    

What I really admire about the cat that is loved, and knows it, is the total independence it shows in all situations. It will leave your lap when it is ready to do so. If you scratch that wrong place it will show you in no uncertain terms and when it has had its fill, it will retire to sleep. In my opinion, this is good, intelligent communication. After all, it can’t tell you how it feels, so it displays it in the next best way.

That so-called “sly” exterior is nothing less than a calculating and reasoning behaviour. Its intelligence is confused for the predatory and selfish instincts that humans attach when they look at this beautiful animal. The cat is superior to us in many ways. Our physical senses are no match for it and it has the agility that we can only dream of possessing.

         Sometimes, I will just sit and return Holly’s gaze and wonder just what is turning over in that compact little mind. She has no ego to cloud judgement, or emotions to foul up decisions, and her memories are designed proportionately to her instincts. How I envy her.

It is my firm belief that these intelligent creatures can “see” in so many different ways compared with us. How many can recollect the occasion when its attention seems to have been caught when nothing out of the ordinary has occurred? What is it attuning to or interacting with?

The memories soon came flooding back on how to keep a cat amused – too late after having purchased numerous toys and then realising how a ball of string would have sufficed. She soon cottons on to the fact that I am the manipulator of this string, so I have to retreat to another room, out of sight to carry on. She is so clever.

This fickle human who thinks too much for his own good and lets emotion rule over logical thinking must now prepare for the day when she eats her last bowl of food. How sad is that? After all, she is only three years old and has a lifetime ahead of her.

By the way, I am allergic to cats, but who cares!!























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