I first met, Miss Pooh, on a beautiful spring day in 2006. I was busy planting flowers when a lovely calico cat wandered into my garden, carefully maintaining her distance, but keeping me company for the rest of the afternoon. In the coming days she became a regular visitor, particularly after I began offering her delicious treats! After I had earned her trust she finally, and with great caution, allowed me to touch her soft hair, gently rubbing her forehead and neck. This dance continued in the coming weeks until she followed me into our home and began exploring the rooms and inspecting the quality and texture of rugs, furniture, and window treatments. Once we were approved as suitable members of her staff the deal was sealed and she never left the home she shared with my wife, Leslie Tishman, and I until her passing, at age 18, on Nov. 12, 2018. The twelve years we shared together were filled with joy, love, and thousands of Vogue poses, flirtations, snuggles by the fire, and wonderful afternoon naps together on weekends. Pooh became the structure of each day. Time was measured by her cadence, her needs, and her unending desire to explore and discover the wonders of life.
When Miss Pooh first entered our lives friends commented how wonderful it was that we had rescued an abandoned cat, but over the years I came to understand that it was truly the opposite. She had rescued me. She taught me to laugh and play on the floor when the stress of deadlines and demanding projects felt overwhelming. She made me feel strong and invincible by letting me know I was her hero, her champion. Most importantly she taught me the meaning of pure love. Consistent, non-judgmental, the kind of love that touches your heart and soul and never dissipates. I came to understand the bond between humans and their pets, and I felt my heart opening and bonding with her in a way that defied logic and reason.
The past few weeks have been filled with tears and a longing to hold her that is simply unbearable at times, but slowly we’re healing and remembering all the gifts she gave us over a dozen years and that is bringing us joy, even in despair. We know we’ll have other cats in our lives, but none will ever diminish the special place that Miss Pooh holds in our affections.