Morti and Me – Part 2                                                                            
Slice Of Life
By – Sheri de Grom

Morti was a California cat through and through. He dreamed of sunshine and endless saucers of cream. Unlike everyone else in the beach community near Los Angeles where we lived, Morti had no desire to get in a car. Cars, to Morti, meant a trip to the veterinarian.

Imagine, if you will, his total lack of enthusiasm when I told him we were moving to Germany but were stopping in Kansas first. After all, we lived at the beach. Why move? Each morning all we had to do was open the drapes and the sliding glass door and there was that warm enticing white sand.

Morti was a house cat but he certainly must have had many a fantasy of wallowing on that warm beach.

Morti’s ears did perk up when I started practicing German language skills around the house but he still didn’t understand why we needed to go to Kansas. And why did we need to drive there?

I planned to spend a month with my parents before moving to Germany for three years. There was one problem: my mother had never allowed an animal in the house. Her philosophy: there’s plenty of room for them outside!

I’d grown up on a working cattle ranch and more than once we’d had a baby calf in the house to warm. Dad would find calves in the deep snow when he rode pastures checking on herds. He’d pick up stragglers, put them behind him on his saddle and bring them to the house.

For mother, having a rescue calf in the house wrapped in an old quilt and nursing from a bottle was different from having an indoor pet. The calf was simply a part of ranch life. Every calf that didn’t make it through the winter was one less calf going to market the following fall.

I knew exceptions would have to be made for Morti when we arrived at my parents’ home. There would be no litter box in my mother’s house. Neither would Morti have freedom to meander about the house or be allowed to check out new crevices and other exotic places. Morti would be checked at the door like a pair of muddy boots.

I’d had numerous conversations with my father in advance of Morti’s and my arrival. He assured me he’d have a workable solution.

Morti had reservations. I had reservations.

Dad had never let me down. He was my John Wayne and always had been. Yet I also knew Mom would never allow a cat in her house.

Don’t get me wrong, my mother wasn’t one of those uppity women who read movie magazines and had everything done for her. She was just the opposite. Our home would have passed the white glove test any day of the week and she was the one who kept it that way.

Dad met me at the door when I arrived. There was that mischievous twinkle in his eye and he said, “Allow me to show you his Lordship’s kingdom!”

We walked to a quiet grove of oak trees where Dad had parked the recreational vehicle (RV). He normally kept the RV parked in a protected building along with the cattle trucks and other vehicles essential to a large ranching operation. The grove of oak trees provided a perfect location for Morti. He’d get sun streaming through the RV windows along with hearing water splashing over a small waterfall nearby. He’d have lots of birds, squirrels and other wildlife to watch as they scurried around the camper.

Dad had gone out of his way for Morti but he also understood how attached I was to Morti and how he’d helped me cope with not one, but two of the greatest sorrows of my life.

We settled Morti into his new living arrangements or, rather, I should say I did. Dad and Morti had decided to make themselves comfy watching the evening news on the TV while I put out Morti’s dinner and fresh water.

I’d also brought along Morti’s favorite toys but Dad had purchased several new toys and I was sure Morti would have much to explore. Morti was one worn out cat as Dad and I prepared to leave the RV and Dad insisted he should leave the TV on so Morti would have company. We’d put music on for him later in the evening.

I was sure my mother wasn’t going to be overly thrilled with my cat in their recreational vehicle, but I wasn’t going to question Dad on how he had accomplished what he had.

It was good to be home for a visit with my parents. I always made sure I saw them twice a year. Often it turned out that I came home to see all of the extended family for a week or so and then my parents would come to wherever I was working and spend time with me. It made for a great relationship between an adult daughter and her parents to have this special bonding time.

I’d been spending large chunks of time with Morti in the RV and it was a great place to entertain extended family and friends who dropped by for a visit. I was uneasy about leaving my parents for three years. I’d never been away for that long before.

The time flew by all too fast and suddenly it was time for me to leave for Germany but Morti couldn’t go. I stressed. I pleaded. I prayed and still Morti couldn’t go. It was November and too cold. I was flying via military aircraft carrier and Morti couldn’t fly until warmer weather.

Morti and I had never been apart. How could Morti be alone on Christmas? We wouldn’t even be together for Thanksgiving. Morti didn’t belong on a Kansas cattle ranch. The two of us belonged together, forever. I didn’t know how to say good-bye. Not to Morti, he’d saved me from myself so many times before.

Please join Morti and me on Thursday while I wait for the weather to warm and Morti can join me in Germany.

If you missed how Morti and I met, you may read about it here.

About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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65 Responses to MORTI AND ME – PART 2

  1. mihrank says:

    Hello Sherie – Hope all is well with you and in good health – This story is unique, deep and special meaning. I deeply say thank you!

  2. I love this delightful story about Morti. Are there only three parts? 🙂
    I’m waiting to hear if I’ll be adopting an orange cat (a pal for Lady G.). My son-in-law told me the parents are looking for a new home for this cat as their son, for whom they got it, happens to be allergic.

  3. Say Hello to Morti from me, Pallina, Chusky, Nobita …and my others 8 cats:) (7 adults and 4 kitties…)…my son named them with the names of his favourite Cartoon “stars”…

    • Hi Ken – Thanks for stopping by to visit Morti. It sounds as though you have a house full of felines at the present time. I love the fact that your son gave the cats names from his favorite cartoon stars.

  4. i need to thank you for liking my poems the other day, because the email notification of your likes lead the way to this tender story of yours, and oh how much of it resonated deeply with me. the devotion, the love and constant companionship of our pet friends, the importance of family, tradition, and the celebration of the details in our lives, the fabric that binds us. just wonderful.

    a story so well written and so tugged on my heart this morning, thank you for this.

  5. gpcox says:

    This one is just too much! lol

  6. Love the Morti story, Sheri! I just read all three posts and can’t believe I have to wait until tomorrow to find out what happens next!! The upside down picture is great!!

  7. atempleton says:

    Great idea to have the RV set up for Morti!

  8. he’s definitely a character ! Loved it! wonderful memories !

  9. Denise Hisey says:

    Leaving a pet behind is heart-wrenching!

  10. I don’t want to burden you but you have received the received the Sunshine Blogger Award

  11. Oh, Sheri … How on earth did I get here so late??? I don’t know … but I am so loving Morti and this warm tale of grand friends. Isn’t it a miracle how those four-legged angels work their way into our hearts, change the way we look at the world and teach us so much about patience and tolerance???

    Thanks … I can’t wait for the next insatallment :):)

    • Florence: I’ve been late to your party more often than not. I was actually late in getting my Monday post up so let yourself off the hook, okay. This has been a tough week (is it only Tuesday) and I’m so glad I decided to have Morti here at the keyboard. I miss having a cat in our mix but Scooter would make its life miserable. Thank you for being such a loyal friend and stopping by.

  12. Renee – How nice to see you hear what with all you have going on. I do hope the rain has stopped in your area.

  13. I’m not sure which character is my favorite – Morti or your dad. What a fun summer read.

  14. I’m in love with Morti and your dad as well. How sweet of him to understand the importance of Morti in your life ♥

  15. A wonderful Morti segment leaving me hungry for more!

  16. Oh yes, more Mordecai stories for sure Sheri. We’ve talked about him often and, as a slave to three cats, I know how it feels to be attached. Looking forward to the next Morti installment! Oh, excuse me, Cleopatra (Cleo) is meowing beside me… must go…

    • Indeed, Mary. You do know many of my Morti stories. And, you also know he played a huge part in getting me into the world again after Don died in Vietnam and then my brothers were killed. If it hadn’t been for Morti, I think I would have given up all hope and simply caved in on myself. However, as with Cleo, Morti did know how to get my attention. He normally wanted food and would remind me that I needed something to eat as well.

  17. Mae Clair says:

    I’m riveted to this story and already anxious to see what happens in the next segment. You really left things hanging, Sheri! You have me in love with Morti and on the edge of my seat that you’re not separated. How wonderful what your dad did with the RV. He really took your bond with Morti to heart, buying him toys, and leaving the TV on so he’d have company. What a great tale! It was also interesting to get another glimpse of ranch life. I’m sure there are many stories you could tell about that.

    For now I will be patient and wait for the next Morti installment. More please!

    • Hello Mae – I know you are a cat lover and aren’t they just the best companions. I’d always said when I was ready for a pet as an adult on my own, I’d get a dog. Things change so fast while the universe revolves. Morti was so special in my life. We spent hundreds of thousands of hours together – him listening to me while I talked my heart out about things that had happened and neither one of could change. I’ve never found another cat that loved to ‘read’ with such intensity as Morti. With each turn of the page, he would move his head back and forth. It always tickled me.

  18. Jane Sadek says:

    During our six year sojourn in California, a Shih-tzu and a pound cat joined our family. The first couple of nights back to Texas we stayed with my Mom. She didn’t grow up on a farm, but as far as she was concerned, animals didn’t belong in the house. I knew she loved me when she allowed the pets in her perfectly spotless house.

  19. Oh Sheri! Your Morti adventures are great. I can’t believe you left us hanging like that. Poor Morti! Poor you! I’m looking forward to Thursday. The pictures are great, especially the one of Morti on the cat tree.

  20. I am an avid cat lover, I think Morti is the coolest name! I miss having a small pet, maybe next year I’ll feel up to it.

    • Yes, I like the name Morti also. His real name is Mortichi and later in life many names were tagged on as he became more or less famous in our inner circle for doing certain things. He loved to bushwhack certain people and then someone commented that he’d never be a cupcake and that took off for awhile. I had to laugh when a vet asked me one time if Morti was Jewish because of his name. I named him after a choregrapher with the name of Mortichi – unfortunately Morti never learned how to dance!

  21. Uzoma says:

    Sheri I had to read the first part–I’m not sure I have already and that’s why. On the after effect of reading this: my! It tugged at my heart’s string. I’m not so much into cats but I found a lot meaning and love and friendship in this. Pets teach me about real friendship at times. Love, love, love this.

    • Hello Uzoma my friend. Isn’t it nice to have something to write about that’s fun and uplifting for a change. Morti and I were together for twenty-seven years and our love was always there. He taught me so much about trusting and living life with gusto. I’d never had a cat until Morti and as you can see, we became life-time friends. Morti will return on Thursday. I hope you are doing well.

  22. Terry says:

    Oh this just tore at my heart. It was precious how your Dad helped out. Your Mom sounds like a wonderful woman, and not being able to take your best friend with you must be torture. Soon you two will be together again, I can feel it

  23. I missed your first Morti story so, like Patricia, went and read it now. How very sweet! Pets have always been a big part of my life and I miss having one (or two or three) now but travel interferes. Thanks for sharing these delightful memories with us.

    • Patricia – Yes, pets are so much of our lives. Morti became a world traveler and once we had the drill down, things ran smooth. When we get to ‘Morti Goes To Paris’ you might get a chuckle or two. And after his first trans-atlantic flight, he always flew first class. He always asked to have his passport stamped and never understood that he didn’t actually have a passport – his paperwork was far more complicated. Thanks for readiing with me.

  24. I love this story. Love, love, love it. I went back and read the first one, just to refresh my memory. Oh, this is such a great novella. Thanks, Sheri.

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