My cats and the maple tree

cat maple tree fall

There is a maple tree in front of my bedroom window. We planted it when we first moved into this house, almost thirty years ago. I’ve watched it grow into a beautiful, mature tree. This tree has been with me through a lot of life –  through both joyful and challenging times. Each fall, it’s one of the last trees to turn, and when it does, it turns the most incredibly bright, vibrant red.  When the light is just right, my entire bedroom is infused with a red glow from the tree.

The photo of Amber above was taken six years ago, when the tree was at its peak. This glory only lasts for a few days, then the leaves all fall off almost overnight. I look forward to the tree turning color each year – it’s such a constant in a life that is filled with so much change.

Nothing marks the passage of time more than the changes in nature. For me, fall, and my maple tree, have always been a dramatic manifestation of change. And as I watch the tree turn from its rich, summery green to a vibrant, glorious red, I also think about my cats, both past and present.

Buckley in front of the maple tree

Perhaps the link between the tree and my cats is so strong because of the photo of Buckley that my cover designer integrated into the cover of Buckley’s Story. It shows the tree in the background. It’s my favorite photo of her, and it’s become an almost iconic image. I still vividly remember the day I took it – it was a warm, sunny day, the window was open, and she was enjoying the breeze wafting in through the screen while she was relaxing on her favorite window perch.

Last year, I had a difficult time with the tree turning. It was the first year I wouldn’t see Amber on the window perch in front of the window that looks out on the tree.

Allegra cat in front of the maple tree

But last year, I also got my first photo of Allegra in front of the tree, and that provided great comfort. It gave me a reason to once again celebrate the turning of the tree, and the changes life brings.

This is Ruby’s first fall at our house, and when the tree turns in another couple of weeks, she will join the list of cats who have their picture taken each year with the tree as a backdrop.

15 Comments on My cats and the maple tree

  1. sally santiago
    September 18, 2014 at 6:54 pm (5 years ago)

    I have the cat hammock that your cat is sitting in. I am looking for replacement covers but cannot even find the product anymore. All they have is the window perch, not the hammock. Do you know where I can get replacement covers or even the window hammock?

    thanks.

    sally

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 19, 2014 at 6:28 am (5 years ago)

      Unfortunately, they no longer make this model, Sally. I’ve written to the manufacturer, but never got a response.

      Reply
  2. Kerry P
    October 1, 2011 at 12:33 am (8 years ago)

    What a lovely bitter-sweet story. My old boy is in the autumn of his life at 15, so it tugged at my heart. I agree, Ingrid, we ARE fortunate.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 1, 2011 at 7:09 am (8 years ago)

      Enjoy every day with your old boy, Kerry. Even though they never stay long enough, no matter how old they get, that’s all any of us can do.

      Reply
  3. Pam
    September 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm (8 years ago)

    Ingrid, today’s post makes me keenly aware that my cat has been with me for twelve years now, and has been my constant companion through many changes, happy and sad.

    I will go home and give him some extra “good stuff” this evening! I won’t say that I’ll give him hugs, because he’s not very fond of hugs!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 30, 2011 at 9:24 pm (8 years ago)

      We’re so fortunate to have these wonderful cats to share our lives with, aren’t we, Pam?

      Reply
  4. Tamara
    September 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm (8 years ago)

    Very touching and beautiful 🙂 May the tree remain to mark many happy moments!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Tamara!

      Reply
  5. caren gittleman
    September 30, 2011 at 10:00 am (8 years ago)

    it is almost like a rite of passage….simply beautiful…….

    (((hugs))))

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Caren – hugs to you!

      Reply
  6. Bernadette
    September 30, 2011 at 9:19 am (8 years ago)

    Often the most unexpected things evoke deep memories. And even though much has changed, including your feline household, not only the tree but the images of your cats at the window remain your constant.

    I have a silver maple that turns yellow outside my bedroom window, and it’s much older than me, having watched over this little house for many years, and I adore the yellow light it casts in the same way, and feeling that it’s my protector.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm (8 years ago)

      Your silver maple sounds gorgeous. I hope we get to see some pictures on your blog when it turns.

      Reply
  7. Stacey
    September 30, 2011 at 8:48 am (8 years ago)

    Such a touching story and I love the pictures. Fall is one of my favorites because the beauty it brings us.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Stacey.

      Reply

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