I've seen an awful lot of FB friends grieving departed furry family lately - I assure you this one is alive and well!
But her story ties together with this weekend of Thanksgiving. We were thrilled to have our niece and her family here - our first house guests in 20 months, and our first family here for Thanksgiving in many years.
We had Michelle's entire family, including teenage Christina, at our old house in Mountville for Thanksgiving in 2006. This cat had mysteriously appeared several weeks before, and shown no interest in us or our doings, preferring to hunt in our woodpiles and the fields out back. It was dusk as I was taking the turkey pan out to the trash can when she confronted me on our porch meowing somewhat pitifully but forcefully. Long story short, she got fed (of course), and we took her to the animal shelter where she found that she was indeed chipped and spayed, and belonged to the family who had bought and undertaken months of renovations on the house and barn across the street. They had dropped their cats there to live in the barn while they shuttled back and forth between rental house and across the street.
This cat wanted no part of that, and they were happy to let us adopt her. At that time she was 4 or 5 and had at least one litter of kittens. She was/is a flighty calico, and most of our friends have rarely if ever seen her.
And here she still is, alive, well and still meowing about everything as loudly as ever. I'm pretty sure she's mostly deaf now, for she is at peace with the noise of kids downstairs, whereas even a year ago she'd have spent the entire weekend under our bed.
We don't know for sure how old La Gatita con Manchas is, but this is her 16th Thanksgiving with us - warm, safe, well-fed and still noisy. Counting her among our many blessings for as long as she is here.