Mother's Day 2013

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.

Mom and Feebee

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.

37 Comments on Conscious Cat Sunday: Happy Mother’s Day

  1. Ingrid, I too have had a very complicated mother/daughter relationship. Even though the love is there, sometimes it appears to be missing. As mother has progressed to where she is now, I realize that the complication is that daughters are strong willed and the majority of mothers are also strong will which leads to complications. The good part of this is most of us unravel the complications in time to know we were loved, maybe not the way that mother/daughter realationships are portrayed by cards and tv, but in real live.

    Hope you had a great Mom’s day with the little ones. <3

  2. Happy belated Mother’s Day, Ingrid!!!!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories… Your Mom’s photo is so beautiful, I can see why you love it so dearly.

  3. That is a beautiful tribute to your Mom. We hope you had a peaceful Mother’s Day with the girls.

  4. Hi Ingrid, I hope you had a nice Mother’s Day with Ruby & Allergra. My Gabby slept all day in the window while I kicked back and read (and drank an almond chocolate banana smoothie). Memories are a wonderful thing, causing us to reflect on life and how we want to live our days ahead. Thanks for sharing your story. The picture of your mom and Feebee is touching. It’s really a great candid photograph. Sometimes it’s the simple moments that mean the most. Wishing you well; enjoy the rest of your day!

  5. Thanks for sharing the story of your early life and the photo of your Mom with FeeBee!
    I hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day with Ruby & Allegra.

    I don’t know where I got my love of cats from, but I’ve always loved them. I was visiting my best friend when I was in elementary school and she had cats that lived by their coal stove. She told me they weren’t pets, just mousers. I wanted to pick one up, they were both all white. One of them left me hold him for a while, when he wanted to get down he bit my hand, but I told her Aunt & my Mom that he had just scratched me, as I knew it was bad, if you got bit by a cat, but thankfully nothing happened to me. We adopted our first kitty, when I was in my 20’s, like you.

    Also, I love to read, which I got from my Mom and my son loves to read too! I remember loving to read Nancy Drew mysteries!

  6. HAPPY mothers day to you too Ingrid! Thank you for sharing your memories. I wasn’t raised by my mother. My parents split when I was 10 months old and my dad raised me. Every year I celebrated mothers and fathers day with him. Even though I had a step mother my father was always viewed as both father and mother in my eyes. He passed away way to early in 1988 at only 55. I miss him every day, including today, mother’s day. HAPPY mothers day dad!

  7. Different memories, different moms, one day. 🙂
    I cannot say the three feline boys that live with me consider me their mom, but for sure I’m theirs.
    May you have a bright day, a purr for the girls.

  8. What a lovely memory. Thanks for sharing – I loved reading and had the entire Enid blyton collection.

  9. Happy Mother’s Day Ingrid. Thnk you for sharing your story. I too had a complicated relationship too with my mother. Lost her when she was 54. Was just getting to have a wonderful relationship with her. Getting over my teenage years and learning to be a grown up. LOL. I still miss her so much. And my daughter never really got to know her grandma.

  10. “Complicated” is something it seems many of us can say about our relationships with our mothers, and I think your photo expresses both the love and the complications though it’s not the best photo. Happy Mother’s Day to you and the girls!

  11. Happy Moms Day, Ingrid. That’s a lovely picture. I also share my love of animals from my parents, and I wouldn’t be a writer today if Mom hadn’t said, “You should write those stories down.”

  12. Ingrid, a lovely tribute to your Mom. My Mom was an animal lover too and I guess my love of dogs comes from both her and my Dad. But my love of books definitely came from my Mom. Wishing you a wonderful and Happy Mother’s Day.

  13. Happy Mother’s Day, Ingrid! It’s a bittersweet day for me as well because my mother died the day before Mother’s Day, 1987. We were living in Ohio, and Mom was in Connecticut; I mailed her card late, so she never got to read it and that bothers me to this day.

    She was the sweetest person I’ve ever known, and never had a bad word to say about anyone, even if it was perfectly justified! Well, except for anyone who abused an animal – then she was fierce! I definitely got my love of animals from both parents – we always had a cat and a dog in the house, and they were always spoiled rotten. My parents never complained when I brought stray animals home, whether it be a small turtle or a puppy struggling in my arms as I said, “It followed me home!” My finding strays usually paid off in reuniting a pet with its family, but one time it paid off monetarily when my good friend, Emma, and I found a dog many miles from its home. Fortunately, it had tags and the owner was at our house as soon as was humanly possible after our call. The man gave us $100, which was a FORTUNE to two little girls living in row houses in South Philadelphia! I wish I could remember what we did with the money, but that was a looong time ago.

    It sounds like our parents were similar in another way: fostering my love of books. My bedroom was quite small, but there was room for a bookcase, and I cannot remember a time when it was not crammed with books, even when I was very young. I loved being read to! And when we went to the library for the first time, it was like discovering paradise . . . a large building, full of books . . . and I could borrow them, FREE! I think I wore a trench in the sidewalk between our house and the library, loaded down with as many books as I could carry, a big smile plastered on my face as I anticipated the reading pleasure that awaited me in my comfy lavender room with plaster bluebirds up by the ceiling. I haven’t thought of those days in years – decades, perhaps – so thank you for reminding me of my blissful childhood. Bless you, Ingrid . . .

    • Thank you for sharing your memories, Bobbi. And you had a lavender room as a kid – how lovely! I had to wait until I was an adult to get my lavender room – my office has pale lavender walls.

  14. Oh Ingrid! This was just beautiful! I am so deeply sorry that you lost your Mom way too soon, but the gifts that she gave to you will last the rest of your life. I am sure she sees the wonderful WOMAN that you have become. She must look down beaming with love and pride….EVERY DAY.
    Much love to you and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

  15. Happy Mother’s day Ingrid and we have told Ruby and Allegra to do some nice things for you today. That was such a lovely post about your mother. That was fun hearing about your earlier life. Hope you have a wonderful day.

  16. Happy Mother’s Day Ingrid…..that’s a great photo of your Mom and FeeBee. I too have mixed memories of my Mom and she was not a cat lover (which honestly I think made me love cats even more!). I think Sam would have won her over though if she’d known him. I hope you and your girls have a lovely Mother’s Day……….

    Hugs, Pam

    • I’m smiling at your comment of loving cats even more because your mom didn’t, Pam. When our relationships with our mothers are/were complicated, that does tend to happen, doesn’t it!

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