The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Eulogy for a Cat

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1990

Issue: March, 1990

She wasn't a beautiful cat, just an ordinary gray stripped short-hair, but she sure had spunk and personality. There were four kittens in the litter she was born in, and she was the first one to explore the world beyond the box. We named her Marco Polo for that reason, which was soon shortened to Marco.

Cats seem to fall into two categories - ones that are natural clowns, and those with regal bearings. Marco definitely had regal bearings. She had the upper hand on other cats and humans alike. And her tastes were certainly first class. She wouldn't even allow herself to sniff cheap cat food. Somehow she knew the difference before she even came close to it.

Marco was the first of our office cats. She was born eight and a half years ago, before The Mountain Laurel was started and was as much a part of the business as we are. Many was the time that she kept me company when I had to work all night to meet a deadline. I'd pull out a desk drawer and she would curl up in it beside me while I was working. Many of the stories in The Mountain Laurel were typed with her sitting in my lap.

On February first, after a bout with Feline Leukemia that left her blind and unable to balance enough to walk, and being told that she would never recover, we made the difficult decision to have her put to sleep. She had been such a part of our lives for the past eight and a half years that all three of us adult, middle aged people sat in the office, trying to concentrate on work, with tears in our eyes. You would never think that a four pound ball of constantly shedding fur could mean so much.

We still have two other cats with very different and distinct personalities of their own to love and enjoy, but there will always be a spot occupied in our hearts and memories by Marco.