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where I will promote the karat gold and sterling silver genuine gem stone jewelry that I lovingly design and fashion as well as muse over the daily doings of my American family struggling to keep our heads above water in 2010.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Tangent...A Tribute to Layla

I absolutely adore cats...and have all of my life.

I have also learned to love dogs in my adult life...but that will be for another day.

While dropping Entrecards today, I linked into Beaded Tail 's blog where she was featuring her beauty Isabella who is a Tortoiseshell cat (Torti).  I've seen Isabella on this blog...along with Sharla's other cat and dog before, but today I felt the need to comment.

Because Isabella looks just like my cat Layla who I haven't seen in more than a year but will never forget.

Back in 2000 we had a female adult brindle boxer/pitbull mix named Jaya and a gorgeous calico cat named Cali.  Daughter Annie begged for a kitten and we gave in.  Well her choice was the scrawniest and homeliest kitten that I think I had ever seen.  She was SO skinny with a tiny face, huge ears and a long skinny tail.  Her name was Layla.  Poor thing, she must have been taken from her mom way before she was ready because she starving, wild and made poor spayed Cali be her surrogate mom. I called her the rat cat.

Anyway, I never thought that she and I would become such good friends, but we did.  Do your cats talk to you? Well, most of mine do, and Layla was extremely expressive.  We "meowed" together every day and always understood each other.

Layla was an indoor cat until we moved in December of 2002.  We have woods adjoining our backyard and soooo many species of birds, that it was making Layla crazy looking out the windows of the sunroom.  Hubby started letting her out (against my will) and she started a routine of going out for a couple of hours every day and exploring. Layla was a great hunter and routinely brought home mice and birds to show me. (yuck)

Now let me tell you how the trouble started.

Layla was the boss of Cali and Jaya...no problem. And then, Panther, an injured stray kitten showed up in our driveway and my son begged and begged for us to keep him.  OK...well Layla was none too pleased but decided to put up with him just to make me happy.  She kept him in line and soon there was calm in the house again.

In mid 2006 daughter Annie who has moved on her own and back and then on her own again through the years now had another favor to ask.  She had another kitten...Lola...and can we keep her for awhile while she transitions from house to house... OK, Annie but just temporarily.  Now here is another skinny scrawny kitten that is starved for attention but is not pleasant at all.  Lola was just flat out mean. 

Layla was pissed...

Not at me... but I could tell that she wasn't happy having to put up with Lola at all. 

I've got to give Layla credit - because she tried.

So, in the early fall of 2006 Layla came into my office where I was working.  She was affectionate and chatty.  I knew she wanted to go out and it was early evening so I figured it was OK....she would come in when I called between 9-10pm for the night.

I picked her up to give her some love.  It was the way she looked at me that I just knew.  I knew as I let her out the door that she wouldn't come back.  When she got out the door she turned to look at me watching her.  We both knew.

I called her before bed as I always did.  No answer.  I got up again in a couple of hours to see if she was outside the door waiting for me to let her in.  No Layla.  In the morning, again no Layla.

It hurt so bad.

I went through the woods....all over the neighborhood...called her in the morning and at night.

Three weeks to the day, on a sunny afternoon I saw Layla sunning herself on the covered pool deck.  My heart was pounding so hard.  I threw open the sunroom window and called out to her "Layla" with pain in my voice.  She looked at me...we just kept looking at each other... I could see she had a decision to make. Layla got up took one look back at me and jumped over the stone wall back into the woods.

Layla had made her choice.

Well - it's been a little more than three years now.  We had Layla sightings for the first couple.  She could be seen peeking into the family room windows, or passing through the back yard.  Never close enough to come back, but just close enough to make sure I was OK.

I think.

Seeing Isabella on Torti Tuesday brought the memories back today.  I left a comment on Beaded Tails blog about Layla and felt the need for closure.

With tears in my eyes....


  1. I'm very sorry that you lost your cat in that way, Janae. I wish I had some words to help you feel better,.. I am sure that Layla did not choose between you, and remaining away, but that it was something else.

  2. I'm sorry for Layla leaving in that way. I have tears in my eyes too and I hope that she decides to come home again someday. Hugs to you!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story about Layla. It's sad that she left you like that, but it may not have had so much to do with you. Maybe she had "commitments" elsewhere.

    When all of our cat Cajsa's kittens were spoken for, I tried to help a woman get her own cat by driving her to a horse farm where there were an abundance of cats for sell. There was one skruffy tabby tom that hopped up on my shoulders as if he had known me all his life.

    The daughter of the people who owned the horse farm called him "Kurre" because his purring was so loud. Kurre was something of a dare-devil, a flyer. He would leap from the second storey of the shed where he and the other cats lived and spread out his legs like wings and look like he was flying!

    She decided to buy the fying tom plus a girl-cousin that could be his pal. Took the two cats home and he had no fear of meeting our cats. Little Sara seemed to like him. Kurre's cousin growled as if she were jealous.

    After a short time, she called to say that she could not keep the cats. Her boy friend turned out to be allergic to cats. Could she have a ride back to the farm to return them? So I drove her back and said good-bye to Kurre and his cousin. My husband would not let me keep them. We had just sold five cats and kept three. But to this day I think of Kurre and wish that he would hopp up on my shoulders.


  4. What a sad story and gave me a couple of tears. It made me think of the little stray cat I took care of for 2 years and then it left for good and I felt very sad and now I feel sad for you.

  5. Torties are special kitties. I don't know what it is about them. I do know that Binga (the tortie on my blog that Sparkle always seems to have issues with) is probably the only being I've ever felt unconditional love for in my life (she was a pound rescue and we weren't even planning on keeping her). But torties are free spirits who always seem to live by their own rules, even moreso than other cats. Does any of this make you feel any better? I imagine not. But Layla did what she felt she needed to do, and I have a feeling that she knew she was hurting you too. Kitties are wiser than we realize, I think.

  6. That is so sad! I guess she preferred the rough life rather than sharing a house with other cats. Wow, tough choice she made there. I hope she will be okay out there.


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