Best Blooming Blossom FOREVER

“It’s going to be a sad day when she goes.” 

After our family grieved my beloved poodle Crouton’s passing and soon thereafter, our beloved cat Cliff‘s passing, my now deceased son Marshall exclaimed these words repeatedly over the years about our beloved calico cat rescue.

My son’s words chimed through my head last Monday when at day’s end, we were forced to put our dear, sweet girl down. During this sad day, I wrote the somewhat cryptic post last week.

Today, as I write this post, dear fellow bloggers and friends, I am grateful for the response and support I received from so many of you at a time that pierced my womb of grief deeper. You see, even though I loved my daughter’s cat, Blossom’s death, the last of our nuclear family’s household pets, only underscored that our once happy “Maxwell House” of four adults, four pets, is now a mere memory.

Out of eight family members, there are only two of us left. Beyond the disbelief, regret, remorse and utter pain, I feel a sense of betrayal. For instance, when we were all vibrant and alive, my now ex-husband reinstated the idea of retiring and then renting an RV for us to undertake a year-long’s drive through the United States to Canada. I believed in the future to the point of RV window shopping!

During these years of wishful thinking, I thought this was it. IT was an arrival at the destination. IT was a place of permanence. IT was a tattoo. Blossom’s passing this past week made me realize that separation and death have fooled me, overtaken my home, heart, dreams and aspirations, and at the moment I feel like there is no place on earth I can find without fall’s shadow cast over it. IT is not to be.

Anyway, this past July, Blossom turned 19 years old. A couple of months ago, before her son Chervony died, her body, like summer turned to fall, faded. Her system slowly malfunctioned. Her purr, in fact, had ceased at least a year prior.

About five weeks ago, her son passed. Mind you, their dislike from the get-go was unmistakable. When they were younger, they wrestled fiercely. Fortunately, though Chervony championed the role of the alpha male cat, Blossom held her own, though mostly to manage to escape her son’s savage strength. Also, for a string of years, unbeknown to me, Chervony stole his mother’s breakfast. Once I caught him, I fed them separately.

In later years, “separate” is the word to describe their relationship. They simply did not acknowledge each other at all. Every once in a while, however, Blossom would break through the apathy and paw slap Chervony when he passed close by.   

I read that feline mom’s disfavor their sons. Who knows? But I figure it must be stressful to be a “teenage” mom. It all started in 2001 when my now ex-husband, along with the kids, rescued Chervony’s mom from the pound and brought home the surprise. Admittedly, I was unhappy about the extra responsibility in our household. Immediately, she turned out to be my daughter, Alexandra’s cat since my son Marshall had his own beloved cat Cliff, our only pet at the time. Alexandra named the calico kitten Blossom, after the main protagonist of the Powerpuff cartoon series.

Thankfully, she arrived with a free spay/neuter certificate. However, that was the week my 55-year-old brother suffered a stroke and suddenly died. During this time of chaos, “teenage” Blossom accidentally got pregnant by the neighborhood tomcat. A few months later, “little” Blossom delivered seven kittens in our kitchen with the assistance of my neighbor and Alexandra, who got a taste of what it meant to be a vet, her lifelong ambition.

Intent on smoothing the transition of the newly born babies, I strode into the nursery ready to make introductions, holding Cliff, Marshall’s cat. Well, “sweet, little” Blossom, the epitome of mama bear, perceived my action as a threat and attacked us from behind. Ouch! I can still remember the debilitating pain from her claws on my back. With Cliff still in my arms, I managed to break her grip and rocket out the kitchen. Over the course of the next few days, after three kittens died and four lived, everyone settled in.

Although it was a tough decision, we could only select one additional household member from the litter. Out of Chervony, Vanilla Sky, Cali, and Mr. Mike, Chervony it was. We subsequently secured good homes for the others. 

Anyway, fast forward: Chervony passed away this past August 28, and what I learned is that even when mom-offspring relations are strained or nil, an invisible bond remains. After her son’s passing, Blossom illustrated this when she continuously roamed his typical path through the house, from the kitchen, down the hall to the bathroom, an unfamiliar course for her. Amid her venture, she howled on occasion. In fact, on her last day on earth, she took one more painful trek on his behalf, howled and collapsed.

Without food, drink or body strength, by two in the afternoon on October 5, I knew her time of sunset drew near.

Ironically, out of all my pets, it took the longest for me to get acclimated to her. I can’t put my finger on it, but I think after I stopped seeing her as another round of litter to clean, I started seeing her value and worth. My ex-husband phrased it best by saying, “When you look at her coloring, her design, her incredible artistic mastery, you cannot doubt the existence of God.”

She was God-like. Aesthetically, her beauty, grace and refinery was second to none. Looking back, too, whereas Chervony got into numerous neighborhood altercations during territorial battles, and both he and Cliff drove me nuts catching birds, squirrels and bunnies, Blossom was peaceful and gentle. She did, however, on one occasion catch a snake! It surprised her as much as it surprised me and she spit it out as if saying, “Oops, I thought it was an over-sized string, not something that was actually alive!”

Little wonder was it that over the years we called her “Lady.” More days than not, I sang one of the lyrics from the song “Lady” written by Lionel Richie and first recorded by Kenny Rogers to her.

Lady, for so many years
I thought I’d never find you
You have come into my life
And made me whole
Forever let me wake to see you each and every morning
Let me hear you whisper softly in my ear

After her son died, we shared an intimate womb of grief. As I mentioned earlier, her purr had stopped about a year ago. Amazingly, however, about a week prior to her passing, she gave me a final memorable machine-like purr as part of her legacy. Then, on October 5, vet appointment scheduled, in the same departure ritual that I performed with our beloved Cliff and poodle Crouton, and her son Chervony, we experienced our final earthly walk through the house and grounds. Before us rolled the silver screen of memories filled with children’s laughter, glee, dogs dancing and cats’ deafening purrs, I sang Lady, for so many years, I thought I’d never find you ….
One of the last stops on our final tour was viewing her children’s grave. That was when Mother Bear tried to muster the energy to escape my arms. This time, I won out and not her.

Together, just past four, my roomie and I, in the same way as with her son, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we met our vet in the parking lot and she took Blossom to sedate her and brought her back to us for one final good-bye. We nested in the car as our dear Lady faded into her personal sunset. How I had wished my son was alive to mourn, support and comfort me, my roomie and my daughter, who lives in another state. He was a rock presence, a sense of sunrise in dim times.  

“It’s going to be a sad day when she goes.” Over and over, I heard his deep, masculine voice. And so it was. This was IT.

Blossom, leader of the Powerpuff Girls

As it turned out, I finally read about the Powerpuff girls this week and I found that the character Blossom was named after is the “Everything nice” part of the trio. She “is the confident and courageous leader of the Powerpuff Girls. Dubbed ‘Commander and the Leader,’ she is best known for her level head and determination, as well as leading the girls to victory and saving the day.”

Blossom, Leader of the Powerpuff Girls

In the eye of another household death, it brought a sense of reprise to recall my younger days when faith was flawless like Blossom’s colors and design. So many images flashed by me: the beautiful feline sleeping with my daughter, perched on my daughter’s desk while she did homework or the memories of when she simply flattened the curve on the alpha male chaos in the house. She was our regulator and peacemaker and our Lady who offered us the welcomed perspective that a whisper can be far more powerful than a guttural battle cry. xo

Faith Muscle

7 thoughts on “Best Blooming Blossom FOREVER

  1. What a beautiful remembrance. I’m sorry for yet another loss. Seems to be a theme this week. I did manage to help someone in need out, like I mentioned on your “cryptic” post. A friend needed some maintenance help on his late-father’ house (also his late-brother’s house, my old bestie). Also my wife volunteered to go with him yesterday to have his old dog “Sadie” laid to rest. May we live up to their examples of selfless love. 💜

    • Awww! Thanks so much for sharing. It’s because of people like you that I somehow manage to put one foot in front of the other. Your comments really lifted my spirits this evening; evenings, btw, can be especially tough. PS: You’ve certainly experienced your share of trials, and I’m sorry to hear about your bestie. Again, thanks!

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