The Many Lives of Lucy

emma, augie with baby lucy the catFirst Life

Lucy was abandoned by her mother at the age of two weeks.  She was found next to a big trash bin in an alley in Beverly Hills.

Second life.

Emma, my stepdaughter begged her father to let her keep the kitten at his house in Coldwater Canyon.  Lucy moves in to the Coldwater house and is helped by Emma to pee by rubbing low on her belly. Tiny circular strokes, the way a mother cat would lick a kitten to help teach their baby to pee.  She is bottle-fed.  After a few months she is fully realized kitten that can pee and eat on her own.  She does not however fit in all that well.  Lucy remains a feral.  Docile at times, she is starting to lose her audience.  Lucy is not a warm and cozy kitten that wants to be held.  Let me put it this way…she wants to, but she will have to bite you.

Augie with Lucy when she was a kitten

Augie with Lucy when she was a kitten

Third Life

Lucy is now living mostly outdoors.  She will go in and out, but she is not friends with the other cat Phoebe or any human in the house.  Lucy remains well fed.

Fourth Life

Lucy lives outdoors in a canyon with howling coyotes all night.  She does not succumb.

Fifth Life

Michael moves out of canyon house, into a house in Westwood.  Lucy stays behind.  We pick Lucy up weeks after the move.  I am scratched and bleeding from scooping her up.  We bring her to my house in the Palisades.  She lives both in and outdoors.

Sixth Life

Toxic mold is found all through my house (and bloodstream).  I am told to leave, take my kids and animals but leave everything behind.  I leave Lucy.  She lives alone during the removal and reconstruction of my house.  Domy (housekeeper and animal sitter) and I visit often.  She is well fed, but lonely.  It takes nearly two years until we are able to move back in.

Seventh Life

Lucy refuses to eat Iams food.  She associates it with the time she was left alone and the house was in construction.  I change to crap inexpensive food.  Lucy loves the new food.  Fear of not having enough food, she now demands food every three to four hours.

Eighth Life

We notice half of Lucy’s tail missing.  It was once a big bushy, normal length tail.  It is now half its size either having been run over by a car or eaten (in a fight for her survival) by a coyote or raccoon she escaped from.  We aren’t sure, we can only assume.

Ninth life

Each night I heat my pool up and get some exercise.  Lucy is my constant outdoor companion.  We talk about all kinds of things.  She licks my wet hands.  Then my body when I step out.  While I’m swimming, she rubs around and licks my tossed off clothes.  She especially loves my bra.  She will rub around it with her head until she is literally wearing my bra walking around until I release her from its straps.  Lucy also loves the taste and smell of new leather shoes.

Tenth life

A new very scary feral enters Lucy’s outdoor world.  It’s her territory but he is a big ass wild boy and he sprays everywhere, eating her food and in general tormenting her.  I am torn because I am the biggest cat freak and want us to be good hostesses.  I feed him his own crappy dry food.  The years go by and he grows and grows.  I name him Bin Laden and scream at him while I swim and he paces on the ledge of our wall, stalking Lucy—“ If I catch you, I will cut your balls off!”  I sound quite crazy to my next-door neighbors who think I’m yelling at my husband that I will cut his balls off if I catch him.  I never clear it up.

11th life

When we have guests over I do this bit where I pick Lucy up, put her in my lap, pet her and am sometimes rewarded by her purring.  I’m proud that I have tamed a wild beast.   I have to say “Don’t try this at home.”  She would scratch and bite anyone else trying this with her.  I toy with the idea (for years) of getting a sign in front of the house that reads BEWARE OF CAT.

Twelfth Life

I’m on deathwatch.  We bring Lucy inside.  She lies on the bathroom tile for days.  I’m thinking of calling in a vet to euthanize her.   She will eat and drink a bit.  Drink more than eat.  After a week or so she pulls through.  Several months go by.  Her fur gets more and more matted by the month, huge big Rastafarian clumps.   We realize Lucy is now fully deaf.  She screams very loudly now as she can’t hear herself.   A few different full days ( hours) go by where I can’t find Lucy.  I crawl into a fetal position and spend the day crying.  I’m elated when she’s found.  I’m not ready.  The past few months, each day was like playing Russian Roulette– as I approached her and she appeared dead, I had to closely examine to make sure I saw her breathing.

Today, January 19th  Lucy is ready.  She hasn’t eaten for a few days.  Two days in a row, I find her hiding in a corner; willing herself to die.   I’m ready.

I am so disorganized; I keep terrible records and can’t find the name of the woman vet who came to the house to put my beloved cat Alfie to sleep.  I search and search.   I find it under Kitty Kevorkian.

After life

At 2:30 Lucy took her last breath in both Augie and my arms. Lucy’s ancient, matted fur was wet with our teardrops.

RIP Lucy: You were loved.  You will be missed.

below enjoy a video I once made as a holiday card starring Lucy the ancient feral cat!!

Food for this story which is really more of an obit is simple.  Lucy’s favorite food was bacon.  In honor of our beloved cat, have yourself an order of bacon.  Lucy liked hers crisp/well done.

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8 Responses to “The Many Lives of Lucy”

  1. Augie Duke says:

    I will never forget her for as long as i live.. I love you Lucy….

  2. Chuck Smith says:

    What a beautiful tribute. I feel like I know her and miss her already. When my Toonces takes her last breath, I hope she does falling asleep on my chest. I hope she finds Lucy and they will both rule their afterlife together…Family Member Kitties Go To Heaven…

  3. Julie Phalen says:

    RIP Lucy. I have the same cat, fed her from a bottle, and rubbed her tummy to make her go poo etc. She hated me, ( maybe it was all that tummy rubbing). She would scream and bite me, sctatch me, when she got older. ( 6 months) that was when she got preggo. She was so amall that I never thought she was a ho. I got her an abortion, and she hated me more! Now a year later, she is my best cat. She hangs with the dogs, ( my dog carries her around in his mouth by the neck! She loves me and follows me around. She still hates to be picked up, however she no longer bites me in the face. I named her Tina. Best cat I ever owned, still feral, to others, she is all mine. She is missing part of her ear. I was in Mexico, and found her that way. Dead skin was hanging off, so I cut it with sissors! She didn’t mind a bit. Now she has a nice split ear. Don’t you just love cats? I just lost my little Cleo, don’t knoe what happened to her, but she hasn’t been home for a week. Her buddy, came home last week with a piece of ear missing too, I think an animal got her. So sad, I love my fur babies. I can so relate to your story. I am sorry for your loss, she sounded like a wonderful cat!

  4. Chuck Smith says:

    Julie Phalen

    Whatever you are trying to do…Please stop. You obviously haven’t had to deal with the loss of someone that meant the world to you from such a young age.

  5. robin says:

    Lucy, Cosmo, gen Rodriguez, igor, my own Gracie: they tame and housebreak us and teach us unconditional love. so sorry for your loss….xxxx

  6. Laura Plotkin says:

    RIP, Lucy! What a survivor! What a personality! What a cat! Loved this piece, Fredde–so sorry for your loss.

  7. Pauli says:

    The ode to Lucy speaks volumes on the kind hearts who raised her against all odds. I can’t help imagining what would result by feeding actual terrorists some Nueske’s bacon.
    Beautifully written!

  8. Fredde,
    I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to know Lucy through you story. You made me cry again. Make it stop. lotsa love.

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