…Continued from “Dog Gone”
In my opinion, a farm is characterized by more than just the obvious symbols of cows, tractors, etc. Barn cats are an “ever-fixed mark” of a farm. On the Chalmers’ farm they were an enigma that lived off the land. We could barely catch a fleeting glimpse of them but were still aware of their omnipresence. To pursue these feline phantoms would have been futile, as their cleverness for remaining unseen to the human eye worked to their advantage.
Separate from the nameless barn cats were another cat-clique. There was my calico with the docked tail that I named Sarah. Lorie, the eldest of the seven Chalmers clan, chose the sophisticated name Marguerite for a female that was mostly white with patches of dark gray. Kelly, one of the twins, named a white and black feline Moo-Moo. The only other one I remember was the respected Frederica, also named by Lorie. Frederica was a white female with patches of gray, sandy brown, and a little black. She was a kitten when Katie and Kelly were babies and lived to be in her late teens.
Even now, it’s difficult to elaborate on the life of Frederica without getting teary-eyed. For me, she symbolizes permanence. Despite the other cats that came and went as they pleased, Frederica was always there. Unlike the barn cats, she was not an enigma. She could be seen crouched on the outside sill of a kitchen window.
Even though she’s gone, and has been for several years now, I can still see her crouched on that window sill as if it were yesterday. She’s forever etched on my mind, and I can’t help but feel that I really miss her constancy. Frederica was the epitome of loyalty and devotion.
Several years passed before I would experience feline loyalty again.
To be continued…