I must take a moment to talk about Dorrie, my beloved friend and companion for the past eighteen years. Today we lost her and though my heart is truly broken, I’d like to share with you all some of what made her so special.
I first met Dorrie when I was working as a waitress at a Mexican restaurant in New York’s financial district. Another waitress was looking for a home for a six month old kitten belonging to her little sister. The girl had stopped caring for the kitten and her mom was sick of dealing with it herself, so she planned to have the kitten put to sleep. Though I already had four cats and was not looking for another, I immediately said, “Bring me the cat!” The next day, she brought me a half-grown kitten named “Princess” in a cardboard box. I re-named her “Dorrie” (though she was occasionally referred to as “The Cat Formerly Known As Princess”), hopped on the subway, and brought her back to my apartment. Dorrie was named for a character in one of my favorite books, B.J. Chute’s Greenwillow. Greenwillow‘s Dorrie was a foundling, taken in and loved by two sisters who raised her as their own. I considered my Dorrie to be much the same.
Though Dorrie had clearly been abused in her former life and it took a lot of love and patience to get her through the trauma that had instilled in her, over the years she developed into the most friendly, loving, unique cat I have ever known. There has never been another like her.
According to legend (and by “legend” I mean “my husband”), Dorrie has been many things over the years, including (but not limited to) a film star, a pitcher for the Red Sox, leader of a nation, a licensed driver, reliable transportation (later upgraded), a presidential candidate, an express delivery service (man, I wish the Dorrie Express website was still up), a donkey, a hardened criminal, burger ingredients, meat pie, a superhero, an artist’s model (that’s actually real—thanks Ellen!), valid currency, an avid writer, omniscient, possibly evil, occasionally flabby, and… okay, I don’t actually remember what this was about, capable of mind-reading, speaking English, teleportation, writing fanfiction, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. She also kept my husband warm. She definitely loved the telephone and the Kitty Kat Komb, was creative about her seating choices, and occasionally felt hurt.
Most of all, though, she was our most dear, beloved cat. I will miss her more than I can possibly express, though I feel very lucky that she allowed me to share my life with her for eighteen wonderful years.
R.I.P. Dorrie 1991-2009
Sara K. says
She looks gorgeous, and it sounds like she had a very full life.
I loved her so much as well. She was a character.
And I wish there was a place where real life wasn’t considered off-topic. *hug* Miss you. Miss Dorrie. Many loves to you all.
Darla (aka eccentrici) says
I’m so sorry to read about her passing. My condolences. She was a wonderful cat and you gave her such a extraordinary life.
Michelle Smith says
What a wonderful post. It’s lovely to see her in happy and funny days, and I giggled at quite a few of those images.
Interestingly, right as I finished this post, one my own kitties came up to nudge me for some lovin’. I happily complied.
I’m so sorry. 🙁
Thank you for the beautiful post – as Betty would call it – a rusty key post, as tears are streaming as I read and write. Dorrie was such a people cat. Whereas other cats will leave the room when humans come in, Dorrie always came to join in. She often wanted the best chair. Thanks for posting a bit of her life story. Much I remember. Some I had forgotten.
Michelle Smith says
“She often wanted the best chair.”
Hee, that’s a great comment. I bet everyone let her have it, too!
Thanks for all of the links….. some of which I had never seen. They made me smile.
Sorry to hear about your loss, Melinda. My condolences. It sounds like Dorrie was a really awesome cat. But, wow, 18 years-that’s something dog owners hardly ever see.
My heart breaks for you. What a beautiful, beautiful kitty. She’s on the other side now, and I’m sure she knows how much you love and miss her.
Rudolph T. Maceyko says
I loved going back through those links. I’m sure I missed some. Very nice record of some of the times you had with Dorrie.
I am so sorry about dorrie. I have been through this before with my dog “crystal” of 21 years. Please know that dorrie was very “lucky” to have found YOU! You offered her a wonderful life of love , and from what it sounds like, many experiences. Rest assured, she will never forget you either! Much love, donna xo
Katherine Dacey says
It sounds as though you gave Dorrie the kind of full, happy life that she would never have known otherwise — and that’s the greatest gift anyone can give an animal companion. My condolences on losing her.
Danielle Leigh says
Thanks for sharing your love for Dorrie with us. We are wishing you all the best at this difficult time. *hugs*
I am so sorry to hear about your cat. I have 3 and it saddens me to hear this news. Your post was imbued with such emotion, I could not continue reading. I will be thinking about Dorrie today and how to treat my cats better because I can’t imagine feeling like you feel right now when it’s time for my cats.
It makes me feel better, however, that it sounds like she could not have had a better owner and I truly believe you are filled with so much love beyond any human to rescue such a beautiful cat. I, too, give you my utmost condolences.