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Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

In tribute to my beloved Lexie Lee, here is one of my favorite columns published in 2010. She had lots of personality as you will see from her views on a housekeeper in her space!

Every other Monday there is commotion at the house—and not because of me. Mom Linda has a housekeeper. She tells me how fortunate she is to have found this person and how she’s a godsend. Well, I have a thing or two to say about this. I don’t like Monday mornings because I have to hide under the bed—almost before I have eaten. I scare easily by people I don’t know. Last Monday I sat in the picture window and watched her car drive in. I knew it was the Monday morning intruder (also known as Jennifer) because I have seen this funny looking car many times. I hesitated a few seconds. Should I go or should I stay today? Mom Linda tried to talk me into staying. But I thought it best to scurry upstairs.

For several months, I have gone to the bedroom. Mom Linda brings up my food and water, so it is not too bad. Every hour or so she comes in the room, peeks under the bed, and tells me what time it is. Like I really care! She says things like Jennifer will leave in one more hour, or hang in there just another half-hour sweetie.

A month ago I crawled out from under the bed and got on top of it. Jennifer surprised me when she walked into the room, and I did not have time to run. She petted me, and told me I was a pretty kitty. Well, tell me something I don’t already know! But I did not bite her. She went about her business, and I thought it was best to get back under the bed. Just in case, you know.

But I am getting braver. Recently I ventured out from under the bed again. Jennifer was cleaning the bedroom and making too much noise. I can’t understand why it’s so noisy to sweep up my fur. I went to find Mom Linda and she was eating breakfast. I timed that just right and got a couple licks of milk. But the next thing I knew Jennifer was cleaning the living room. Well, I have another name for it—she was messing with my favorite stuff. So I went back upstairs where it was quieter.

Jennifer likes to move Mom Linda’s things around, redecorating I think it is called. Well, I like things the way they are. I have special tables that I sleep on. She put knickknacks on a table that I use to catapult (isn’t that a cool word—I looked it up in the dictionary!) up into a windowsill. The nerve of her! Of course Mom Linda loves the changes and wonders why she didn’t think of them. But she promised to clear the table soon.

Jennifer finally replaced a tablecloth on coffee table where I hide and jump out and scare Mom Linda. She decided one day that it needed washing (too much of my beautiful fur on it) and the cloth disappeared for a long time. I didn’t think I would ever see it again! What I really need stopped is Jennifer moving my toys around. I know where everything is. There are good reasons why the gray mouse is under the couch and why the black spider is on my perch. Some days I am just not in the mood to play hide-and- seek after she leaves.

Mom Linda says I am doing fine around Jennifer. I just need to see her more. I am going to try harder because she is so happy to have a clean house! And a happy Mom Linda makes for a happy household which includes me!

Five Paws Up!

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

Today is the day I start my new journey. Mom Linda found me in the kitchen before daylight. I sure wish I could eat. I went to the highest lookout which is her office. I stretched out on the windowsill that had been made just for me many years ago. The two of us have spent thousands of hours here. Mom Linda joined me and read her favorite Psalms to me.

“He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” She said we would be safe today. I always feel safe with Mom Linda.

Then she surprised me with a poem that she wrote just for me.

Intertwined Lives, Intertwined Love

Stretched out on sunny windowsill
Curled up in my comfy lap
Nestled against warm keyboard
My muse, my beloved fur friend
Always a permanent presence
Gracing my home office for ten years.

Helping me create blogs, stories, and poems
Motivating me to finish Tatianna’s cat memoir
Leaving your legacy with Lexie Lee’s Meowlogue
You have journeyed on to the spirit world
What missions God has planned for you
I can only imagine ones of love, hope, and joy.

Some glorious day I will float to meet you
We will embrace nose to nose
You will give me your signature kiss
I will whisper the familiar Linda loves Lexie Lee
Reunited at last, our hearts whole again
And all will be as it should be for eternity.

Mom Linda smiled through her tears, and I meowed. I helped her with some computer work, and she told me I had been her best muse ever. She has been my best mom ever. She left the room, and I pitter-pattered to the dining room and crawled under the table. Princess Grace was on a chair seat, and Prince Chauncey was in a box under the table. She took a picture of the three of us freezing “a never to be again moment.” Joe joined us, and Mom Linda sat down on the floor with me. She tried to eat breakfast. But just like me, she could not eat. We are so much alike. Then she had a great idea and got a bag of Greenies. Oh, how I use to love those treats! The two fur babies went crazy. She put one down for each of them, and I ate one out of her hand. It was so good. She gave us each two more morsels a piece. Some crumbs fell on the carpet, and I ate every last one. She said the Father, Son and Holy Ghost as we ate this heavenly meal.

The phone rang, and she spoke briefly. A few minutes later Joe ushered an unknown woman in the house. I usually run, but Mom Linda was still on the floor and talked me into staying. So I felt safe. The woman was Dr. Johnson from Lap of Love. She sat on the floor. She talked to me and called me a beautiful baby. Princess Grace checked her out, and Prince Chauncey disappeared. I stayed under the table. Mom Linda got closer to me, but I wiggled away as she tried to pick me up. Joe wrapped me up in my papoose towel and put me in a basket.

Up to the office we went. He sat me on the desk next to the computer. Mom Linda sat in a chair right beside me. Sunlight flooded the room and warmed my face. She kept rubbing my head and talking softly to me. I am going to float high above the house and trees. Then I felt a shot that I had not expected. I meowed and tried to crawl out of the basket. But Mom Linda calmed me down and kissed me on the top of my head. She said she wanted to read a poem to me. It was the same poem filled with love and hope she read to me earlier. I was so happy to hear it again. When she recited the title Intertwined Lives, Intertwined Love, she cried and stopped talking. But I knew she was brave. Joe rubbed her back, and she continued. As she read each line, she paused and looked at me. I really lit up when I heard “leaving your legacy with Lexie Lee’s Meowlogue.” By the end of the poem, everyone was crying.

Mom Linda raised me out of the basket and pressed me to her heart. I was relaxed and calm as she cradled me in her lap. It was so quiet and serene. I heard Mom Linda tell Dr. Johnson “we are ready.” Last I heard a familiar chanting:

Linda loves Lexie Lee
Linda loves Lexie Lee
Linda loves Lexie Lee
over and over and over again
until it was a faint whisper and then no more.

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

By the time you read this, I will be on Rainbow Bridge. I am not sure where this magical place is. But Mom Linda told me all about it. Now I want to tell you about my last days. My battle with cancer ended on week 18 of chemo treatment. The previous week my blood count was too low for treatment. We prayed to continue later. But as time went on, I had trouble using the litter box. I went back to Dr. Lechner. My kidneys were too big. I guess they were filled with cancer. Mom Linda was quiet driving home. She usually talked to me, but I knew she was sad. I was quiet too. Well, except when I threw up two minutes from the house!

She put down some soft bedding and my water dish in the upstairs hall. I wanted to go in the bedroom and crawl under the bed. But it was closed off. So, I found a hiding place behind the shower curtain in the bathroom. Mom Linda sat on the floor with me and read some of my Meowlogues to me. That was fun. I got up and rubbed along her side. She liked that. Part of the night she slept in the hall near me. Later she moved to the couch. But it was just six stair steps away, and she could see me. Once I went down the steps and jumped up on her chest. I surprised her. She thought I was Chauncey until she felt my stub tail!

The next morning I returned to the couch and cuddled with Mom Linda. Oh, how I love those moments. I wanted to eat breakfast. Several kinds of food were set out, but I could not take a bite. So I stretched out on the rug under the dining room table. It’s a good spot to people watch—especially for anyone trying to put me in a carrier or give me medicine. And don’t forget cat watching. I have to keep track of Princess Grace and Prince Chauncey. Sometimes, they need their ears boxed. This morning Mom Linda told me I did not have to take my medicine. She crawled under the table near me. I hoped this was not one of her tricks. She said we had to have a big talk. And boy did we ever!

First, she told me I had been incredibly brave. But I don’t have to be brave anymore. She’s going to be brave for me and help me go on a long journey. I don’t want to go anywhere because I get carsick and I love where I live. She said I will float in the sky and be free from the carrier. I will go to a beautiful place with lots of food, water, and sunshine. I will feel great every moment and will not be stuck with needles anymore. The sad news Mom Linda cannot go with me. She said it is not her time yet. But five of her cats, Noelle, Taittinger, Marnie, Tatianna, and Katarina will be with me. I don’t know what they look like. But not to worry. They have been keeping their paws on Mom Linda’s home for over thirty-five years, and they know me. Imagine that! Tatianna will meet me on Rainbow Bridge.

Next, she told me it’s ok to let go and stop fighting cancer. I am not to worry about her or Joe or the two fur babies. Everyone will be fine. I do not need to be the great defender anymore. That’s what Lexie means! She knows me so well and how much I love her. I don’t want to leave her. But she said I am doing what I am destined to do. Everything is happening according to God’s loving plan.

Finally, she asked me to send her a sign later that I am ok. Maybe I’d walk on the bed or appear on her chest. She trusted me to figure it out. I wonder if a syringe filled with icky red medicine is a big enough clue for her!

After our chat, she went out to the patio and watered plants. I love to watch her from the front entrance of an all glass door. She always has to step over me when she comes in. What a great way for more attention! When she returned, she ate lunch. I sat on the windowsill behind her chair like I have done for years. Maybe I will get a nibble. She tried to hand feed me a piece of fish, but I could not eat. Joe arrived in the afternoon, and everyone was so glad to see him. Our household was complete. I spent the rest of the afternoon between the hall, living room, and dining room. I even went to the downstairs level. Mom Linda sat with me in the new bedroom she renovated. I love the high soft bed that I can jump on. She put me on the table by the window that overlooks the street. I love welcoming her home from this room. She wanted to carry me upstairs, but I wanted to dash upstairs. She laughed when I ran so fast. Once when I was in the upstairs hall, I heard Princess Grace and Prince Chauncey meowing. I ran down to check on them. They were just having a little tussle. I managed to eat a few licks of one of my favorite foods, Weruva paw lickin’ chicken. Dr. Lechner’s office called. Mom Linda reported we were having a good day doing our favorite things. She was right.

When it was time for bed, Joe wrapped me up in a towel like a papoose, and Mom Linda gave me a dose of morphine. Now that is not one of my favorite things. But I made it hard on her. I may be leaving, but I still have lots of spunk. I guess she succeeded because I slept through the night.

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

Some of my days are harder than others. Chemo Monday week 8 is one of those days. I don’t know how I know when it is chemo time, but I just do. I snuggle next to Mom Linda in the early morning. She whispers how much she loves me. I stay in bed after she gets up and watch her move around the closet, bedroom, and bathroom. She is not in a hurry to go downstairs to feed us. This is a little change from her routine. So I need to stay on high alert. I move to the foot of the bed and continue watching. She chats away to Chauncey and Grace that we’d have breakfast soon. I am skeptical about what will happen after breakfast and scurry under the bed. Mom Linda pretends to not notice I am gone. She moves around a little more, and then she goes down the stairs calling for all of us. No thank you, I am safer under this bed.

She is not gone for long. She flops on the bed extra hard. Yes, I know you are back. It’s hard to resist crawling back into bed, but I am not going to fall for that old trick. Then she jumps up and I hear music to my ears—cat food pinging into a bowl. Grace and Chauncey have no willpower, and I hear them crunching away. Oh, I am so hungry. Mom Linda leaves again, and I just stay put. Under the bed is a fun place to hang out. There are lots of boxes to hide between.

But this is not to be a day of peaceful purring. Mom Linda returns with Joe to deal with a serious situation—how to get a cat out from under the bed who does not want to be put in a carrier, or ride in a car, or go to the vet, or have chemo. Seriously, how many more reasons do I need to get to stay under the bed? Well, I won’t make it easy on them.

I hear the bedroom, closet, and bathroom doors close. I guess I am on lockdown. Joe starts pulling out boxes and disturbing my hideaway. He shines an obnoxious flashlight under the bed. I try to make myself smaller. Then I play my ace card. I crawl into the box springs. He lies flat on the floor and reaches in to try and get me out. How stupid is that! I scratch him. Meanwhile Mom Linda is standing on the other side of the bed being very quiet. After several loud hisses and lots of commotion, Joe crawls out and leaves the room. Mom Linda leaves too. Chauncey crawls under to check on me. I don’t like being in the box spring. So I crawl out and lie on one of the boxes under the bed. Have I really outsmarted them?

My victory is short-lived. They are back with Joe saying let’s try one more time. Let’s not! Joe asks Linda to pull out a box slowly. Imagine this—it’s the box I am on. As Mom Linda sees me emerge, she throws a big towel around me. I like being wrapped in towels, so it’s not too bad. Mom Linda calls out to Joe that she has me. Joe picks me up, and I am lowered into the cage. The prison door clicks shut. No, I did not outsmart Mom Linda and Joe. Maybe next week!

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

Mom Linda is at it again. Renovating that is. This is the fourth renovation I remember. So I know what to expect. I knew something was brewing the last few weeks as lots of special deliveries arrived. I saw that big brown truck stop in front of the house several times. I ran upstairs just to be safe. I taught Grace and Chauncey when they were babies to hide whenever we hear loud noises outside or whenever someone rings the doorbell. Mom Linda tells us not to run, but we don’t listen. She calls for us when the possible danger is gone, and we come out of hiding.

She gets excited when she opens the boxes. I get excited when the box is empty and I can sleep in it. This time the downstairs guest bedroom and bathroom are being redecorated. This concerns me because Chauncey, Grace and I have a routine of hanging out in the bedroom especially when Mom Linda is gone. Chauncey likes to stretch out on the bed on a velour burgundy robe. He thinks he really is Prince Chauncey. Well, I have to admit he is a handsome cat. I doze on a wicker table that is windowsill height, and I can see outside activity. Princess Grace sleeps on a box on top of a sewing machine cabinet and can also see outside. We can see and hear Mom Linda the minute she parks the car. That’s real important because we want to give her a proper welcome home. We miss her so much when she is gone. I perch on the back of a wingback chair and am positioned to give Mom Linda a kiss the instant the door opens. The chair is gone now. I think it is in that big white POD. In fact the bedroom is empty. We get to roam around in it after the workmen leave, but it is boring. I can’t see outside.

During renovation day, Mom Linda puts us in detention in her bedroom on the third level. We have to get up early for breakfast in the kitchen. We don’t mind that. Mom Linda is the one who lollygags in bed. After we eat, we get herded back upstairs. Who says cats can’t be herded? I run along and don’t cause any trouble. I never know when I may get stuffed in that carrier and taken to the vet for chemotherapy. Sometimes Mom Linda has to go hunt for Grace and Chauncey. We can still hear all the noisy hammers and drills in our hideaway. But I crawl under the bed between boxes and put my paws over my ears. She visits us every two hours and brings food. Since I have cancer I get to eat whenever I want. I guess that is one of the blessings. She wants to fatten me up. I think Grace and Chauncey are getting fat too. They try to eat my food.

Change is hard for me. Loud noises scare me. But I trust Mom Linda that the house will get put back to normal, and my daydreams will be quiet. One day soon the POD will be gone, and my favorite stuff will be returned to the bedroom. She always takes great care of me. Some things never change. I can count on that.

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

Mom Linda has been real sneaky this week. Monday morning I just did not want that icky old red medicine squirted in my mouth. So after a tussle, I won. But then I was put in my carrier and off we went for chemo week 2. Little did I know the red medicine bottle was traveling with us. Later a nurse at the clinic gave me the medicine. In the evening “never seen before” yummy chicken treats showed up in my bowl. Now things were looking up I thought. The next morning the treats were my appetizer to breakfast. I loved this new menu.

After breakfast my bird watching was interrupted by Mom Linda. She scooped me up, put a towel over my head and lowered me into my carrier. Again? We just did this. But she promised the drive would be short, and we would be back home soon. She was right. She took me to Dr. Scorteanu’s office for help in giving me a big chemo pill just like the one I had the day before.

The chicken treats continued to show up. But on Wednesday morning there was a shocking new development. I bit into the treat instead of swallowing whole. And let me tell you, this was a disguised treat. Some obnoxious white thing was in the middle of the treat. I cleverly ate the soft chicken treat. When I finished a lone white pill was exposed in the bowl. Mom Linda tried to coax me to eat it. I was done playing “Pill Pocket Caper”. Doesn’t she know there is a good reason why I ate around it? She tried again Wednesday night. But I am very strong-willed and very smart I might add. However, on Thursday I found myself on a little table and Mom Linda poked a pill down me. She danced around the kitchen chanting success, success! Could it be that she outsmarted me? Well, at least it wasn’t that red stuff!

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

Bravery…Mom Linda once said in an interview that she learned to be brave from me. A long time ago before I was adopted I clung to a big tree during a hurricane. I had to be brave when I lived outside without a home. One night I fell into Mom Linda’s swimming pool. I got out on my own. But she scooped me up in a big towel, took me inside and I never went outside again. I think that’s why I like those soft towels at the vet’s office. I guess that’s a good thing, because I am going to be spending lots of time wrapped up in a towel. I have cancer.

There are big words for what I have like soft tissue lymphoma. That word again! My large cell lymphoma is in the stomach of the gastrointestinal area. I have to be extra brave because my cancer is large cell not small cell. That means it is more aggressive.

I had my first chemo treatment this week. I got to see Dr. Lechner again. Most of the time the nurses Cami and Elaina tended to me. I did not have to be sedated even though I had a drip line in my right back leg. Mom Linda stayed at the clinic until I could go home in the early afternoon. We were really tired when we got home after being gone for six hours. Grace and Chauncey were so glad to see me. All four of us went straight to bed for a long afternoon nap. It felt so good to curl up next to all my buddies.

Mom Linda had a page of discharge instructions. She checked my leg several times to make sure it was not swollen or red and that I was not licking it. I have to take medicine twice a day. I spit most of it out if given a chance. But I just get another dose. Mom Linda wonders what red medicine will do for the tile floor. I get to eat as often as I want. This is the part I love! I have had a good week without any reactions.

Mom Linda had to be careful cleaning the litter box for the first 48 hours after chemo. She wore gloves and kept Grace and Chauncey isolated from me at night time. They did not like that and scratched and pawed at the bedroom door. I had the run of the house except for their room. But I liked it better to be together because it’s easier to be brave.

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

My purrfect life turned icky recently. I have always been a healthy fur baby and only get carted off to this vet once or twice a year. But I have been in three different clinics the past few weeks. First I got sick one weekend and Mom Linda had to take me to an emergency clinic. After lots of tests and strange people hovering around me, I got to go home a few hours later. Then last week I had to go to my regular vet to see how I was doing. I thought I was doing ok except for not liking my food a couple days before the appointment. Turns out Dr. Scorteanu felt something in my tummy that should not be there. I don’t know how it got there and Mom Linda cried when she heard this. Next I had to go to a specialist. I figured out what day I was to be placed in that dreadful carrier and I hid under the bed after breakfast. Mom Linda tried to coax me out with food but I did not fall for that old trick. While hiding under the middle of the king size bed (just out of arm’s reach!), the specialist’s office called to cancel. Mom Linda told me that it was not meant to be today and I was off the hook. The vet was sick.

The next two days were purrfect with hanging out next to Mom Linda and her computer and taking naps on the windowsill that was designed just for me. I should have known paradise would not last forever. I was fooled on Monday afternoon and found myself back in the carrier and seat belted in the car before I could meow in protest. Mom Linda was calm and talked to me. She told me we had a longer drive today. She asked for Tatianna fur baby and the angels to surround us and protect us as we drove on a busy highway in the rain. Once she said that it had stopped raining and traffic was light. She said we had to focus on every little blessing. I tried to throw up and made three loud hacking sounds. That’s been happening recently. It is awful, and I know it scares Mom Linda. It scares me too. My tummy feels funny, and I just can’t help it.

We got lost for a few minutes. I was left in the car while Mom Linda went in a building that had the address she was looking for. I did not like being alone. But she returned to me with another blessing and said a very nice woman gave her the directions. It used to be the vet clinic but had moved down the road. We found the right place and Mom Linda carried me and all my recent records and X-rays inside. She had her hands full even though I have lost weight. We were greeted and soon taken into a small room. It was just the two of us. I moved to the back of the carrier, just in case anyone had any ideas about pulling me out. But Mom Linda did not, and she just kept talking softly to me. “We are here to get you help Lexie Lee. Everything will be fine. I won’t let anyone hurt you.” Usually I shake real bad when I am at the vet’s office, but today I did not.

A nice girl named Laura came in and asked lots of questions. “You are going to love Dr. Lechner,” she said. After she left, Mom Linda walked around the room and looked at pictures of animals. “Oh my gosh! The vet graduated from the University of Missouri vet school. Lexie, that is where I went to school. The appointment last week was with a different vet who got sick. That’s why! We are meant to see Dr. Lechner!”

Well, bring her in. I am tired of this carrier. A breath of fresh air breezes into the room in the form of my specialist vet of internal medicine. Dr. Lechner makes over me and who wouldn’t! I am still beautiful even if I am sick. She asks Mom Linda more questions. She had already looked at the records before coming in. I hear the word lymphoma that I heard Dr. Scorteanu use last week. I don’t like the sounds of it. I think that is what is in my tummy. I am going to have an ultrasound. I’ve never had that before. Before they take me to another room Mom Linda looks in the carrier at me and says words I love to hear: “Linda loves Lexie Lee.” I am going to try real hard to focus on that blessing and be a good kitty today.

And it all worked out. About an hour later I am reunited with Mom Linda. On the way home she tells me all the wonderful things Dr. Lechner said about me. I was so good that I did not have to sleep during the ultrasound. I was awake the whole time wrapped in a snuggly blanket and held by two girls. I liked the dark room. A funny noise ran over my tummy and later I found out I have less hair to groom. I even had a needle stuck inside me once, but it was out fast. Mom Linda told me the needle may tell us what is in my tummy. But we won’t know for a few days. For now, the blessing is that I am back home on the windowsill.

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

Mom Linda is ready for Halloween. I’ve got my eyes on a big bowl of candy, but I can’t have any. And to make matters worse, I have to stay in a safe room tonight when the little goblins come to visit. Mom Linda is afraid I’ll escape. But I’m not going anywhere. I just want a Snickers bar.

Five Paws Up!

Lexie Lee

Mom Linda tricked me into going to the vet, and I am ticked at her! Every so often I am put into a carrier. But this time I was on to Mom’s agenda. Oh, the morning started out nice with getting a bowl of my favorite crunchy food. I was nibbling away wondering how much better life could get. But I heard a familiar sound coming from downstairs—the sound of the cage being lifted out of the closet. Chauncey and Princess Grace heard the high alert too. We took off like rockets shooting for the bedroom and hid under the bed. All was quiet for a long time. Chauncey left to go check out the surroundings. But he did not return. So Princess Grace and I stayed under the bed just in case Mom Linda was waiting to grab each one us. She’s been known to do so. There’s this spot near the middle of the bed where we are untouchable. Sometimes Mom Linda lies on the floor and tries to reach us, but her arm is not long enough.

I was looking forward to a leisurely day eating and sleeping and hanging out with Mom Linda on her day off. I didn’t like being stuck under the bed. And I sure was hungry! But I decided she’s not going to get me today. Last time this happened she had to reschedule the vet appointment two times before she got me! I drifted off for a quick snooze and was disturbed by Mom Linda’s footsteps. She was talking to Chauncey and moving around in the bedroom and closet. Then she left the room, and it got quiet again. But not for long. She came back and I heard my favorite familiar sound—crunchy food dropping into my food bowl. Princess Grace and I crawled out from under the bed, and I chowed down. Mom Linda did not let my brother or sister eat any of the food. “That’s for Lexie Lee. She missed breakfast,” she said so sweetly. Finally she was on my side. Oh, the day was looking up!

But suddenly, without warning I am scooped up and taken downstairs. Before I can put up a tussle I am crammed into that dreaded cage. Cat curses—tricked with my favorite food! I must find a way to hide food under the bed, so I am never lured out again.

Well, the vet visit was not so bad after all. My ears looked great when this thing was stuck in me. But it did not hurt, and the vet told me how sweet I am. Mom Linda made over me all the way home and turned the air conditioner on extra cold. My favorite part of being in the cage was when she set me inside the house, and Chauncey came to greet me. I was freed and finally got to finish breakfast.

Five Paws Up!

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