She was worse on Sunday. She would not go outside at all, and wandered slowly around the house, looking at her old favorite spots--the middle of her dad's bed, under the desk in my office, the rug in front of the window on my side of the bed, the rug in the upstairs bathroom--but not finding any of them satisfactory for a place to rest. And occasionally she cried a short, pathetic, little peep. By chance the vet was in his office Sunday afternoon, so we packed her up in a comfortable old towel and her carrier, and drove to Guardamar to a different office that we had never been to, and we drove home two hours later without the towel and carrier, and without Goldie.
She was sixteen years old and had come to us when we lived in New Hampshire. Johannes went to the shelter and brought home Goldie, one of six kittens of a litter, then just six weeks old. He looked at several, all lined up in little cages on a shelf. But the shelf was full and there was no more room; one lone cage stood on the floor with a tiny creature in it, and that was Goldie. And there was no contest after seeing her.
Goldie loved the freedom of her house in New Hampshire and quickly learned to conquer, frighten, tolerate, or run faster than all the various types of wild life on our mountainside. She was truly queen of the mountain and she reigned there for six years. Though she loved New Hampshire, she also went on vacation every summer, to Denmark--her first overseas trip she was allowed to ride in the cabin and, since it was her first plane ride, she got the window seat. She survived getting "forgotten" by the airline once in New York and arrived by taxi 24 hours later at her destination, a tiny summer cottage outside Copenhagen. Goldie also roamed freely in the kolonihave garden community in Skovlunde. But she didn't know what was ahead of her.
For one year she commuted weekly between New Hampshire and Connecticut, being driven down and then up I-91 for four hours and bearing the frustration of actually being locked indoors on the Connecticut end of the commute. Then we sold the house in New Hampshire and moved to Indianapolis and Roquetas de Mar, Spain, moving back and forth across the Atlantic seasonally. Goldie moved with us each time, earning her frequent flyer miles and something her mom never got--a European Union passport. Sadly at both ends of these trips she had to stay indoors, because who could expect her to acclimate herself to a neighborhood so quickly for such a short time at each stretch?
Four years ago we moved to Montebello, and here she was finally able to get outside again practically whenever she wanted, as long as she stayed svelte enough to glide gracefully through the slats in the front grate. She loved it here, and while we only own one house, she owned three properties--one on the corner and one across the street that were both empty until recently. She also regularly visited the house next door, because it was only used from time to time as a vacation place by its owners, so why shouldn't she? She jumped the balustrade from our property and then sidled through their grates and would sometimes stay for hours. She was never bothered by the many dogs around her, and she learned to coexist with one neighborhood cat as long as it didn't come too close.
She woke us every morning at 6:00, she entertained us at lunchtime with her "catch the crunchie" game, and she came in most nights at 6:00 and enjoyed her happy hour crunchies as we sat through the evening news, and then at some point in the evening she would disappear to a bed or a rug and sleep until early the next morning.
She gave us many hours of enjoyment, and she made this house in Spain her home, and our home, and we will miss her for a very long time to come.
Thanks to our many friends who have sent understanding and comforting words to us in our sorrow.