Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cavinia-Marcie's Friend

Marcie's little friend Cavinia was a companion for her during the worst of times. She was discovered immediately following Marcie's assignment to recovery, and with it disability leave. Marcie enjoyed exploring Niormal Heights on foot while she convalesced.

I remember the day she told me about Cavinia. It was following one of Marcie's walks, and Marcie prcatically bounced into the house and took off her sunhat.

"Well, I have some exciting news," she said.

I looked at her and thought of many things regarding breasts and chemo and cancer and reconstruction and a number of things far off her mind.

I made a new friend!" she said. "Her name is Cavinia, and she lives on Mountain View."

This was flabbergasting in its own right, as Marcie was certainly not quick to meet someone, get on with them and declare them simpatico.

"Really?" I asked.

"Oh, honey," she said. "I did. She's just the sweetest little thing, and she's got long hair and green eyes, and I met her while I was walking. She just wandered out and stopped me on the sidewalk!"

I was completely baffled but I nodded and smiled as I worked on cleaning the fireplace. "That's cool, honey," I said.

"Her name's Cavinia, and she's a long-haired gray calico kitty," she said. "And we will have to go see her together soon."

"That sounds wonderful," I said.

Marcie was not doen, though. "But there is one pain in the ass. This dog with no vocal cords makes these horrible hoarse honks while you pet her and spins just inside the fence by her, which I just know gets her poor little kitty heart upset."

"Well, she's probably used to it, honey," I said.

"Oh, I know that, honey," she said. "But we can't commune in peace without it yapping and wheezing like he's going to die and it ruins it for me."

Marcie soon turned the yapping dervish, known as Charlie, into a feature, and turned its vehemence to her own advantage, admittedly with spite, though.

"I just pet her and pet her while I look right at him through the fence," she said. "He gets so mad and he spins so fast that sometimes he falls down. I think he must get dizzy." She laughed a little at her speculation.

I loved it. She was simply letting the dog know she was more stubborn than he was.

I eventually made it down to meet the sweet little kitty. She had to be a decade and a half old, so frail but so very friendly and relaxed. The dervish huffed and he chuffed, and he spun himself down while we pet her.

It was quite dramatic, and Cavinia was quite the love bug, as Marcie called her.

"Are you a little love bug?" she cooed. "Are you a love sponge?"

Marcie saw her every chance she took to walk for three years. When I shared my cat adventures with her and she was unable to, she was disappointed to see no Cavinia images. But I made it up to her.

"Honey, would you like to go see Cavinia," I asked on a day when she seemed happy and active, her chemo beginning to wear off and her glow returning.

"Oh, that would be lovely, honey," she said.

So off we went, with me holding Marcie's hand. We strolled to Cavinia's house and she was there, ready for us, sitting in her favorite place. It never changes:

Cavinia's usual spot: The middle of the driveway!

Marcie spent a full five minutes trying to coax Cavinia out of range of the barkign dervish dog, but to no avail, so she went and pet her.

She spent a lot of time with her, and she had a hard time getting up until I hlped her, taking the moment to steal a kiss and making Marcie "happy annoyed."

"What are you doing? Frank, stop," she said, then grabbed my jacket and pulled me in for a better kiss. "Take me home."

I did, carrying her for a little bit as we got close. She was very tired, and I swear she slept for a minute or two. I just remember thinking how light she was.

"Don't ever tell anyone about this," she said. "I don't want to be humiliated."

I don't think there was anything embarrassing for her in it, but she had such pride. I hope she understands me sharing it all now.

Marcie never went cat-visiting again. But I do. I still see Cavinia and all the rest, and they seem to like that pretty well. I really do it to replace her in their lives, though.

I feel we all know what it is to lose her, and that means we have a lot in common.