But today when they left we also said "Goodbye," to our dear cat, Dickens.
Dickens showed up almost three years ago and adopted us. He was such a winsome cat, full of personality and very affectionate, that it became a mutual adoption. He was definitely the best cat we ever had, and we've had about 10 or 12 over the decades.
He's an excellent hunter and kept the house free of mice. He had lots of adventures in our landscape, which is fairly dense and covers about 5 acres, including the house and greenhouses. It offered lots of "jungle" to a cat who thought he was a big hunter.
All in all, the arrangement was wonderful for everyone involved.
Last winter we were gone for about eight weeks and Dickens stayed home alone. S. came every day to feed and water him and play with him for a while, but it really wasn't enough companionship for him.
We're thinking of going south for a good part of this winter also, so providing for Dickens in a responsible way became a problem. We realized that it was time to "adopt" him out.
I asked around whenever I was with friends, and when I mentioned it to DD#2 she right away felt positive about having him, but did have to talk it over with DSIL. He also right away said, "Sure, we'll take him."
The two grandkids are having birthdays soon and will be 10 and 14 this year. They have a dog, Daisy, who is quite shy, not agressive at all. I think the two pets will get along fine once they adjust to each other.
So this morning we got the cat carrier ready with a familiar "blankie" in the bottom and tried to lure Dickens into it.
He didn't go for the Greenie treat we put in there, but when I got his little catnip fish and teased him with it a little bit and then threw it in, Dickens followed and we were able to "box him up" without any fuss. He didn't complain when we closed the door and put the carrier in the back seat of their car.
I'm wondering how the trip is going. They plan to take two days to drive home and have a pet-friendly motel booked about half way. We also have a harness and leash for him that I've used when taking him to the vet for an appointment.
I will really miss Dickens. He loved to hunt all night, come in when we got up in the morning, and after a little snack of Whiskas, he would climb up on my lap and make himself very much at home, motor going a mile a minute, and eyes closed in the bliss of having his chin and ears stroked.
Goodbye, dear little cat! It's been a very good three years with you. Enjoy your new home, where we know you will get lots of affection and attention.