Meet Lady Gray

unnamed (2)

Meet ‘Lady Gray’

           Our beloved Bengal cat, George, left us for animal heaven some months back after a twelve-year love affair. It was a sad and traumatic moment for Julie and me…we buried George under some trees on our property, and, each morning, we look out the kitchen window at his burial spot and say, “Hello, George, we love you.”

          As though George’s spirit reminds us of our time together in some peculiar ways, he finally put an exclamation point on it all…

          Before George passed away, a small gray and white kitten came several times to our house and looked through the windows. It seemed obvious to us that the two transferred some mutual affection. George was a declawed, neutered house cat and could not go outside so the two enjoyed and passed their furry feelings via empty space.

          After George died, the gray and white kitten came often to our kitchen door. Julie gave her some turkey bits, steak leftovers, and, finally included on her shopping list some cat food and treats. Julie left each food serving just outside the door.

          At some point, with soft coaxing, the kitten timidly entered the house, but left after a brief stay. Julie and I had different views on the kitten. Julie was sure the kitten had a home nearby, and we could not just arbitrarily adopt the cat…plus, Julie was still at an emotional level over George and did not think she wanted another animal pet. I took an opposite view: I didn’t think the kitten had a nearby home and genuinely felt she wanted our home as her home. Of course, we both were likely right – maybe she had a home but was cast aside…and, there were stray cats around 

          As days and weeks passed, the kitten continued her daily visits, and, with each visit, lingered around our property, came into the house on occasion and stayed a bit longer each time before Julie put her outside. Julie was also worried about the kitten having fleas or other ailments, likely having been abandoned either by her previous owners or simply had survived in the wild.

          The young cat was accompanied on occasion by a larger black and white male cat. It was apparent that the gray and white female held dominance over the bigger male, not sharing her food with him, and giving us reason to believe the female was in season.

          Julie and I had e-mailed and called neighbors to find out if they knew to whom the kitten belonged. We got no helpful information. In the meantime, there was concern that we were feeding ‘gray and white’ too much food because the cat was developing quite a girth…and, sure, we considered the fact she could be in a gestation period.

          Finally, there came the day when ‘gray and white’ entered the house and did not want to leave. It was during this time that Julie and I came together in our decision to keep the lovely feline. Her personality was so lovingly tender and timid. We would open the door for her to leave, and she would back away. In short, we fell in love with the little critter…bloated tummy and all – we felt the big tummy could be from all the food Julie was feeding her.

          We are picking her up today at 1:00 PM from the Vet Hospital, where she has been spayed, wormed, and inoculated to boost immunity. The Vet tells us ‘Lady Gray’ is likely one-year old or thereabouts.

          Julie and I are excited about having this little beauty in our lives…

          We consider ‘Lady Gray’ a gift from God…


Billy Ray Chitwood – March 30, 2017


Please visit my Website, preview my 14 books, read some book reviews and author comments.

Please follow me on Twitter:   




George has been gone now a few weeks, and I burden you with my grief… It just seems I must put the tears of remembrance down to let him know in his eternal sleep he will always be in my heart.

George was a lively kitten who often irritated me with his antics. Then, in my guilt, I would play with him and try to make up. Active and lively were hallmarks of George and his breed. I so wish he was here now to annoy me.

He was a Bengal cat, a breed that developed some fifty years ago when an Asian leopard cat was bred with a domestic cat. George’s grandmother was a true Asian leopard cat of the jungle.

George’s feral rating was two on the scale of five, and aside from lively, he was lovable, greeted guests at the door, and wanted to be part of all the action.

Most of all, the furry family member was full of love, and he depended on my wife for all his food and maintenance needs – me, I was his playmate… I wish now that I was more of a play pal to him. The kids played with him on their visits, and he was most animated to see them. George had a large group of toys and he wanted all the kids to see them.

In the end he became lethargic and would not eat…except for chicken broth Julie made for him. George died in Julie’s arms. As I came from a ‘tinkle break’ they were there on the floor, and the room became very silent. Julie and I gathered on the sofa, and I held his dead body for some time, rubbing his beautiful marble tummy.

We cried! Actually, we bawled! We sat there for some time, lost in our own memory vaults, remembering the incredible joy he brought us.

We buried George in a secluded garden area on our property and we say ‘Hi, love you, Georgie Boy’, each time we pass.

Years ago, I buried my golden retriever and had the same terrible sense of loss. We have now buried all the animals we’ve owned – a little cottontail rabbit we had for seven years, after Julie saved it from a coyote on a Christmas morning years ago (we named him ‘Christmas’ and he became an in-house family member, complete with food and maintenance service)

A ferret named ‘Bandit’ we had for eight years, another joy in our lives. One memory is still firmly fixed in my heart: living years ago on a spread we called ‘The Lazy Rabbit Ranch’ I was in bed with a severe gout attack. On the bed with me were Toby (my golden), Bandit (on a heating pad), and little Christmas. All seemed to sense my pain.

Bandit is buried on ‘The Lazy Rabbit Ranch’. Christmas is buried under a Tamarack tree in Arizona.

Guess there will be no more animals in our lives, but the memories of those we had still bring us joy in the remembering – and, tears.

Billy Ray Chitwood – July 12, 2016