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For someone who is convinced that she is a Princess, Pixie's beginnings were definitely humble. She and three siblings were born to a very young mother cat in the storage shed that was attached to my parent's house in Greencastle, Indiana. Momma cat got the kittens weaned and took off for parts unknown. My Mom fed the kittens and unbeknownst to me she was letting one inside the house. And that is how Pixie became a resident and twisted Mom around her little paw.  Mom not being a cat person didn't seem to realize that if you let the cat in, let her roam all over the house, feed her, and let her sleep on you lap the chances of ever getting said cat to leave are in the negative numbers. This Princess thing? Well you can blame Mom for that. She convinced the little scamp that she was little Princess. Me? I would have said Street Punk is a little more accurate.

One of the things Mom decided was that Pixie was to share her birthday. We aren't exactly sure what day she was born but it was close enough to July 6th to give her Mom's birthday.

Mom would have been 88 today. She passed away in 2010 in her sleep. I was caregiver for the last five years of her life. Talk about a stubborn patient. Mom never could come to grips with the fact that she had almost died from a heart attack and couldn't continue doing things the way she always did. I found a helper in Pixie, who dodged the bullet from being named Snickerdoodles when my brother and I vetoed it. Pixie suits her. She loved sitting on my Mom's lap which of course meant Mom couldn't get up and scrub the kitchen floor again even though she had already done it the day before.

I used Pixie to get my Mom to retire from the hospital. She was 82 when she finally quit because I told her that Pixie pinned for her when she was gone. Mom worked the evening shift and didn't get home until close to midnight. Pixie loved Mom and slept with her every night. She brightened the last years of her life. She was with her when Mom died and stayed with the body until my brother came home from work and found her twelve hours later.

Being a caregiver is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. I was lucky that Mom remained alert until the very end. She died in her own bed in the home she and Dad worked so hard on. I will never regret giving up everything to be with her for those last years of her life. It wasn't easy as Mom and I were never as close as Dad and I were. I was too independent. I was as stubborn as she was. We didn't agree on politics or much of anything else for that matter. It did prepare me to become caregiver to my brother who is now in a wheelchair. We have given up on the idea of him ever being in his own place. After almost dying nine times since September from sudden drops in blood sugar there is no way he can live alone. It is much too risky. We are going to try and find a house to rent. I am giving up the rest of my independent life to care for him and as with Mom I don't regret doing it.

I miss Mom but she is now with Dad. She is no longer a skeleton with skin. Part of her died when Dad died of a sudden heart attack in 1999. Until Pixie came along all she wanted to do was be with Dad. She was 17 when she eloped with Dad during World War II and he was the only man she ever loved. Pixie gave her a reason to live. It is amazing how a little black furry cat with big eyes could give a grieving widow a new lease on life.

Today is a bittersweet day for me. So happy birthday Mom. I miss you. Pixie misses you too in her own kitty way. I learned how to be a caregiver taking care of you. Reid says that he has felt your presence here. If so I hope you don't mind too much that I turned him into a liberal or that I encouraged him to embrace his gayness. I know you have no problems with the way your Pixie is being treated. The little scamp rules the roost. I'll be giving her a new hot pink bling collar for her eighth birthday. After all little Princesses do need their bling.

The last picture taken of Mom a couple years before her death. She is with sons Mike and Eric.
Princess Pixie

Originally posted to michelewln on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by CareGiving Kos and PWB Peeps.

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