Happy Mother’s Day
Allegra, Ruby and Ingrid
Mother’s Day is a bit of a bittersweet holiday for me. My mother passed away in 1994, but even after all these years, I still feel a pang when I see Mother’s Day cards appear in stores. My mom and I had a complicated relationship, but I always knew that she loved me.
I owe many things to my mom, but the two most important ones are my love of cats, and my love of books.
Even though we never had cats when I was growing up, my mom was a cat lover. The apartment building we lived in did not allow pets, but luckily, whenever we went on vacation, somehow, every bed-and-breakfasts or rented vacation condo we stayed at would always have a resident cat or two, or there would be a number of stray cats hanging around the property. My mom and I both loved spending time with those cats.
The only one of my cats my mom ever met was Feebee. While my parents were still healthy enough to travel, they would make the trip from Germany to the US once a year. The photo below was taken during their first visit, when Feebee was about a year old. You can see that it didn’t take him long to wrap my mom around his little paws. She adored him, and at the end of each visit, most of the photos she took were of Feebee rather than the many famous tourist sights around the Washington, DC area.
I have a lot of photos of my mom, and I’m not sure she’d be all that happy with me sharing this particular one, but of all the photos I have, this slightly blurry one, caught in a moment when she thought no one was paying attention, is one of my favorites.
My mom is also responsible for my love of books. Both she and my dad instilled a love of reading in me at a very early age. I remember both of my parents reading to me every day. I don’t remember exactly what age I was when I learned to read, but I know it was before I actually went to school. When I first told my mom that I could read, she didn’t believe me, and thought that I was just “reading” what I had memorized from when she and my dad read to me, but she quickly realized that I had, indeed, learned to read by simply paying attention. When I got older, my mom and I would read the same books and discuss them.
I also remember weekly trips to the library with my mom, and the excitement of getting to check out several new books each week. Some favorites that pop into my mind as I’m writing this are Enid Blyton’s books, especially the St. Clare’s series about a girls’ boarding school, and Karl May’s Winnetou, about a young German boy who finds excitement on the untamed American frontier (never let it be said that I didn’t have eclectic tastes, even back then!).
I’ll always treasure those memories.
Whether you’re the mom of human or feline children, enjoy your special day!
Conscious Cat Sunday will return next week.