The cat on the left is Pocahontas. Champion Weysha Pocahontas was her full name because she actually was a champion before we adopted her. She was a show cat and a mother to many. We first met her at a huge ramshackle house in South Minneapolis, when we got Hodge. The owner/breeder introduced us to two Maine Coon kittens and commented that their mother was “somewhere around here. She’s a real sweetheart”. And she did pop up, giving that little brrrt brrrt that happy Maine Coons make. And make no mistake, Poca was often quite happy. So we bought Hodge but somehow in the conversation we were offered to buy his mother when she retired from breeding next year. There was another party that was also interested in her as well and I figured we’d never see her again.
Several months later, we were resting in the shade of a hedge at the Minnesota Valley Humane society. It was a warm day and we had been walking dogs. My cell phone rang and it was the breeder. The person that had wanted Poca had passed away and he wondered if we were still interested. She was ours for the cost of spaying. Despite already having three Maine Coons and an ancient Russian Blue, there was something special about this one and we said yes.
She came to us with thin coat of fur having just given birth to a litter a couple months ago. Our old Russian Blue, who was sick to death of the rough-housing young ones, seemed pleased at the idea of a mature female in the house. She was happy to turn the reins over to the pretty youngster.
Poca was probably the most sociable cat we have ever owned. There was not a lap she would not climb into, a plumber or electrician she would not greet like a long lost friend. She spent most nights on our bed, no matter what the season, no matter where we lived. As a former show girl, she never had any problem travelling and she loved being brushed and groomed. She adapted and bonded to us with frightening speed. My wife often said, “Poca has always lived in the castle” because as far as this cat was concerned, her entire life was with us.
Her former owner had said, “she’ll take over your pride” but it wasn’t that easy. Jonah, our alpha male, had a tenacious personality and ruled the house with an iron fist in a velvet glove. Hodge and Jasper were/are twenty pound behemoths that weren’t inclined to taking marching orders from a cat several pounds lighter. But as you can see in the photo above, they adjusted and complied. That’s Hodge nestled up against his mother, drinking in her radiance.
She had lived with us for a dozen years, making several moves. Each apartment and then finally this house were her castles. When we first moved to ND, the apartment cat was terrified of going outside. That didn’t last more than a season. The last two summers she loved sprawling on the deck, drinking in her beloved sunshine. Poca loved the sunlight, loved to be warm. She was one of those cats that could be depended on to find wherever light was shining brightest or the most comfortable spot next to a heat register. And of course her favorite spot was lying right next to or on top of, her humans. At night she would lay on the pillow above Carjo’s head, resting a paw on her or going off on a wild grooming tangent and licking my wife’s hair into a knot.
We noticed last fall a bit of a decline in her. She demanded more constant feedings, was losing body mass. And there was a little bit of senility. She would drag toys down the hallway, mroowing in triumph and we accused her of having a “second childhood”. And then came a huge change, dramatic weight loss and lack of appetite. I’ve gone into the details on another post and I won’t detail them again. I will say that the last couple weeks were painful to watch. On Sunday night, cuddled against Cajo on the bed, she breathed her last.
Today I will bury her next to Jonah on the south side of the garage. She will love being in the sun and she will be back with her king, ruling over the world in a castle she has always lived in. Rest in peace sweet girl.