Friday, December 16, 2011
That smell is familiar.
As I was putting on my makeup this morning there was a whiff in the air that reminded me of my Aunt Kat. However, it was not that of her Prince Matchabelli Emeraude powder or her QT tanning lotion. Unfortunately it was that of fish oil or, in her case, cod liver oil. She was a firm believer that a dose of cod liver oil on top of her cats' canned food (as if the smell of the cat food was not disgusting enough) would make their coat shiny and help prevent hair balls.
So, as a child, I can clearly remember a teaspoon and medicine bottle of cod liver oil stashed with the stockpile of cans of cat food. Her cats were definitely well cared for. If one of them showed any sign of "peakedness" (her word) into the carrier it would go for a trip to her vet in Maxton, the next gown over. There is no doubt that she was on the vet's Christmas card list. I'm sure the vet loved to see Aunt Kat driving up.
Over the years there were many Persian cats - they were always Persians. I can remember Blue and Minky to name two. And, they were a odd bunch. There was one that never came out from under the couch. And one, who stayed permanently perched on the back of the sofa like the Cheshire Cat out of Alice in Wonderland. And, if my memory is correct, none of them were particularly friendly to us when we came to visit. Generally they just waited us out, knowing we would eventually leave.
As youngsters, my brother and I assumed that her name "Aunt Kat" referred to her love of felines. We were a little disappointed to learn that Kat was short for Katherine. All of her life, especially as she aged, the first thing she inquired about when I visited with her at the assisted living facility was the welfare of the current pet cat we had. When one of our cats met an early unfortunate demise, we just continued to tell Aunt Kat that Smoke (the deceased cat) was doing well.
That was until she was scheduled to visit us for Christmas and panic ensued. Even though she was legally blind and deaf as a door knob, Aunt Kat's mind was sharp as a tack and her focus on the well being of the cats as good as ever. She was going to expect to have a (live) purring cat in her lap the entire length of her visit. She was none too pleased with us when we fessed up.
But as always Santa came through. My Dad would never disappoint his sister and had arranged for us to have a new kitten at the house for Christmas. (He had "borrowed" it from a neighbor for the day.) It was a wonderful life until Aunt Kat told him that she was so happy that now she could "watch" this one grow up.
But I digress. Back to the present. Upon further examination, I find that a fish oil capsule had apparently melted on my dressing table and my makeup was sitting in a pool of disgusting smelly oil.