My sweet kitty passed away yesterday. My heart is broken, friends. Life just isn't the same without her. I wrote the following story about Lexie in 2010. It brings me comfort to remember her this way, so vibrant and full of life. I'm truly grateful for the many years we shared. Rest in peace, sweetie pie.
In loving memory of Lexie Rae McBride
August 8, 1997 ~ June 29, 2015
On an unseasonably warm and sunny afternoon in Seattle, Lexie sits in the open window of her 4th floor apartment, eyes wide and ears alert. She’s patiently waiting for pigeons to fly up and rest on the wires just outside.
When she finally sees one, she twitches her tail back-and-forth and begins to chatter. She reserves this tone of voice for anything that looks like prey – pigeons, crows, and the occasional squirrel. When she was younger, she might have tried something foolish, like climbing the window screen to scare off the birds. Now, she’s mellowed in her old age and it’s enough for her to just sit and observe.
Once the sun begins to set, she retreats to her favorite blanket and settles in for a bath. Grooming is of utmost importance to Lexie and she spends hours each day primping and preening. After all, she’s revered for her beauty, like Queen Nefertiti or Elizabeth Taylor.
It’s true that Lexie has an air of opulence about her, as if she were born into nobility. Her eyes are the color of jade with flecks of gold; the lion-like ruff around her neck is reminiscent of a fur stole.
Her coat is long and silky, a warm blend of brown, orange, black, white, and blonde. The veterinarian calls the color tortoiseshell; the fashion magazines call it ombré. Apparently, it’s a very chic trend this year.
Lexie’s most distinctive feature, however, is her tummy. When she’s happy to see someone, she greets them by rolling onto her back and revealing the soft golden curls underneath. It lures people in. Mesmerized, suitors are often tempted to touch the downy fluff of her belly. This is a big mistake. She has quick, sharp claws that are ready to enforce her “look, but don’t touch” policy.
Of course, she’ll probably give the perpetrator a verbal warning first.
Soft purrs, guttural howls, and everything in between, Lexie is known to be a very talkative cat. Some might even say she’s downright sassy.
Her feather duster tail, large feet, and tufted ears are tell-tale signs of her heritage. As a breed, Maine Coons are also known for being intelligent and affectionate. Lexie is no exception.
She’s a clever cat — opening cabinet doors, drinking from cupped paw, and finding new and innovative ways to hide toy mice.
Lexie also loves to cuddle. She’ll gladly drape herself over her mother’s shoulder while she’s making coffee; cozy up beside her boyfriend’s leg while he’s reading the newspaper; or climb on them when they’re trying to sleep.
When her humans aren’t around, she snuggles with an old stuffed animal, aptly named Mr. Love Bear.
This November evening, Lexie curls up beside her mother, who’s doing her homework. The tap-tap-tapping of the keyboard puts the cat right to sleep. Moments later, she begins to snore, happily dreaming of pigeons in flight.