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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

My Forever Amber

By Lyn Burnstine

Lyn and Amber

I took a long time to decide that I was ready for a forever cat. I’d had to give up my beloved Trillium 28 years ago when I sold my house and moved to a no-pets apartment. When I moved to senior housing where pets were allowed, I was still traveling and also couldn’t stomach the thought of a litterbox in my shoebox-sized apartment.

But I always yearned for the comfort of a lap cat. So when my closest friend died and I, myself, had a near brush with death all within a four-month period, I knew it was time – now or never. I needed comfort!

I searched to find the perfect companion. I found that some of the shelters posted photos on line so I could begin to fall in love with some of those little faces.

Molly, her shelter ID name, was not my first choice when I went to meet several that caught my eye at the Kingston SPCA but I found that this petite eight-and-a-half-pound female was the only one I could lift.

She was having a bad day because someone had lifted her by her neck scruff, so I had to take the volunteers’ word for her usually loving disposition. She was strangely colored, not the grey tiger that all my beloved past pets had been, with splotches of gold, brown and black on her sides and back, and a striped face.

I learned that she is a torbie, a mix of tabby and tortoise shell. She has a fourth birthday next July 27 that she shares with my second daughter, one day after my eldest daughter’s and one great-granddaughter’s birthday. What a party we’ll have to have!

She has been in the shelter her entire life except for a foster home stint while a kitten. I worried that she might miss her companions in the “cat room,” a wonderful space filled with round, fuzzy cat beds spaced all around with constant daytime attention from staff and volunteers who socialized the cats.

I picked her up after she had been checked over and vaccinated. I paid the reasonable fee – half that of other rescues sites – and signed the paperwork (permission from our building manager, and notice of dire consequences if I gave her away, abandoned her or mistreated her).

I put the carrier down on the floor and she walked right in. I held the carrier on my lap for the ride home to get her used to my voice and smell while my friend drove. She didn’t make one peep on the hour-long drive.

At home, I opened the carrier, she walked out, turned around and walked right back in. In a minute she came out, looked at the litter pan with disdain and walked to the bedroom doorway.

You could just see the wheels going in her head “Oh. My. God! There’s a pillow as big as the room and it’s all MINE!” She spends at least 22 hours a day on it, eight of them with me, happily cuddling and sleeping with an occasional foray into the living room to sleep on the couch or on my lap in the big chair, especially if I have the warm laptop there, too.

She is the perfect cat. She talks gently, only raising her voice slightly if she wants fresh food or is telling me she does NOT like ear drops or to be picked up. She now loves her big, shiny, covered litterbox and rubs against it to let me know she is happy that I keep it clean.

She eats daintily to maintain her slim figure. Since she has never seen a kitchen before, she doesn’t recognize the refrigerator or counter tops as sources of food so she doesn’t beg or climb. She just comes into the kitchen, eats quietly for a bit and leaves.

She has learned so much: when it’s dinnertime; to give kisses on command; her name; no; and the words that tell her it’s bedtime.

Play seemed to be a concept she just didn’t understand. She now has two toys that she loves but on her time-table only. A handsome new scratching post may save the carpets – her only sin.

As you can tell, I’m completely besotted, bewitched and smitten. Amber, so named because Burnstine (der Bernstein) means amber in German, because Lynamber has been my blogger name and because she’s the color of amber, is indeed my “forever Amber.” In fact, technically her name is Amber Amber (unless you prefer der Bernstein Burnstine).



[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Lyn, Amber is a beauty and you are both so lucky for share your lives with another gentle being.

You were meant to be together. Such a lovely litttle critter.

The only thing I look forward to about moving into a retirement home is that they allow cats. I too live in a no-pet co-op and how I miss cats. Yours is lovely, enjoy.

A perfect addition to your home.

Lyn, what a happy story to start my day with Zippy, big boy cat!
Your Amber sounds like a sweetie, lucky little girl to be
found by you.

Lucky you two...I had a brown tiger lookalike, an interesting stray that my oldest son, not yet two, called Beau...she lived on her own terms to be 22...thanks for sharing, cats are the best...

Loved reading about your sweet friend. I want one too! I have never had a cat but I do have a Grand-cat, and like to think of her as part mine, even though she is 3,000 miles away. So nice to have a pet like Amber.

How wonderful, she is so much like my Abby Tabby I wrote about recently. She was 14, and just disappeared, 2 months ago.Yesterday my neighbor brought me her collar, she crawled under his deck to die. He buried her under his big oak by the lake.
What a sweet neighbor and so good to know she died a natural death.

Lyn, I'm so pleased that you found your forever cat and she is such a joy. We had a tortoise shell and her fur was so incredibly soft. She loved to be held like a baby and have her tummy rubbed. Not the favorite position of many cats. Enjoy.

Lyn - Amber is terrific!

And she appears to be a photographer, too! - Sandy

Mine's a virtual cat. Named Coco. Purrs so nice. Doesn't eat much tho. And never poops!

She is beautiful and you are both very lucky.

A great story! Thanks, Lyn, for sharing it with us! Much love to you and your Amber Amber!

She has beautiful color! I really miss having a cat.

Thank you all so much for your votes of approval. A cat-owner friend gifted her today with a tiny felt mouse and a laser beam gadget and she is in cat heaven. Gotta' go play now!

Thanks for sharing, and I hope you have a long and wonderful friendship with your feline companion. I've always been more of a dog person, but I have a daughter-in-law who's a major cat person, and she and my son have a cat named Stanley Sherman.
So I guess he's my grandcat!

Love the story and photos. Wonder how Amber & Ollie would get along?

Dear Lyn, You and Amber look happy and contented together. I am so glad you found each other. Your story is a great testimony for acquiring a pet for company and to share one's love. May you both live "happily ever after!"
Luv, Jane

An everyday photo model. Aren't we lucky?

What a great decision you made to pursue a very great desire that you have had for a long time! She is lovely. Norma

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