Hi and welcome to the blog. I upgraded the server plan so hopefully the blog will run a little quicker. If not, the hosting company will get a call, for sure! I’m not sure why the comments and responses stopped appearing. I’ve put a patch in place and am investigating…
It’s been a really tough week. Kitty Duke, the beloved black tomcat, is dying from liver failure, but he’s doing it with his usual class. Nearly every day Duke has slept with me, sits with Daddy while I get dressed, and tries to purr. Most cats hide as their time approaches. This little guy and I are spending more time together than ever before.
The tortoise shell cat, Jenny, has stepped up and is more affectionate. She feels the loss as well. Those two have been very close.
But something happened this week that’s brightened this difficult time… a posthumous idea from a deceased great uncle. Uncle Earl a.k.a. “Pooch” was a wonderful man, a World War II vet, a great family man, and a person who loved everyone. I believe he was a machinist. As I think about life, I remember how he and Grandma’s German side of the family had just as much influence on this child’s life as did the fishermen in Grandad’s family. What a blessed childhood back in the 70s!
Decades ago Pooch made a beautiful cat castle, the plans for which date back to around the 1970s, perhaps even earlier. When Dad died 7 years ago, I found the documents and saved them. Yellowed from age, they still are completely usable and contain the information needed to construct another such royal structure… and that is going to happen very soon – a castle dedicated to Duke. It will sit on a 5 foot tall 4×4 post with a spiral set of stairs. I know Jenny and any future cats will love their elegant residence.
Pooch had given our family a cat castle that we enjoyed for many years… I’m guessing that was around 1978 – 1980ish… We no longer have it. In fact, I think I might have given the old castle away… but another will be started very soon. It’s a project that will help pass the time and keep the hands busy.
I was in Cedar Rapids earlier this week and purchased some items needed – high quality oak plywood, various boards and hardware, and things needed to start. Early this next week construction will begin. There will be some upgrades, perhaps some little “scroll saw” flourishes, and such.
The castle will go in the corner of the living room where Jenny often likes to hang out. Once completed, it will have a small plate with an inscription to Duke. On top I plan to put a stuffed black cat and an urn with his ashes. My best friend Brooke, who is my “cats guardian” (in case something should take me to Heaven), agreed to make sure someone would enjoy the castle if it every needs a new home.
So as much as profound sadness has descended, there is hope and a plan to do something positive. I will miss my little buddy dearly but fur babies won’t last forever. We have been so close and he loved me as much as I loved this little guy and gave him a good home.
That’s about all for now. I will probably post closer to Christmas. Of course, there will be progress posts as the castle project begins this week.
Take care and thanks for visiting today! Happy Holidays! Safe and happy travels!
Brad and Jenny and Duke
Jones County, Iowa
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