Bitzie & Blizzards: 17 Years


Bitzie’s kitten photo

Bitzie captured my heart during a brutal blizzard 17 years ago.  My hunch is that a “man” in her home was shooting her litter mates, and she escaped into the blizzard.  When she saw all the cats sitting in warm windows watching the snow fall, she knew she’d found a safe haven.  She let fly with a yowl about 10:30 PM, and we all knew a little kitten was in trouble.  We rushed out to rescue her but couldn’t see her.

The next morning she let it rip again, and we saw her wildly running in the snow.  She was clearly too terrified to allow anyone to get near.  One of my neighbors rented a trap and another put it on her patio.  I was the first to commit to adopting her.  We all agreed to name her Elizabeth.

Bitzie in 2009

She was so tiny that I decided to call her “Bitzie” as in Itsy Bitsy spider when I officially adopted her on February 4, 2002.  A year later, she carried a huge, live rat up three flights of stairs to present it to me as my Valentine’s gift.  When I started this blog seven years later, she became my muse.

Bitzie, 6-24-12

She rescued my first Byrd and brought it home.  She made friends with the squirrels in the woods and played with them every day.

Bitzie, 3-25-15

She rescued a baby duckling and brought it home so that I could return it to its frantic mother.  She taught herself how to monitor my blood pressure and intervene during PTSD episodes.

Bitzie, 1-23-18

We’ve grown old together, and she has been a blessing from God for 17 years.

Bitzie, 10-23-18

As you can see, her favorite spot is on a living room chair I bought as a young bride in 1970.  She loves to nestle into my afghans with her head on my needlepoint pillows.

Lake Michigan in Chicago, 1-31-19

Last week I was feeling ever so happy and quite smug that I was walking around outside in my shirt sleeves rather than freezing my butt off in Chicago’s frigid tundra.  It was so cold in Chicago that Lake Michigan froze.

Sun Dumas 2.04.19

The vista from my balcony after the sun emerged, 2-4-19.

Karma bit me in the butt this week.  It started snowing yesterday morning and didn’t quit for over 24 hours.  For the first time in almost 20 years in Seattle, I heard the words “wind chill” in our weather forecast.  By the time the snow stopped, we had about 13″ of the white stuff which shows no signs of melting anytime soon.

Towering evergreens outside my window, 2-4-19

Typically, our snow falls in the mountains where it belongs.  When it snows here, it lasts long enough for the kids to make a snowman and their parents to take photos before it melts like a gracious visitor.  Not today.  I’ve been blessed with a steady stream of birds at my feeders.  A red-headed woodpecker is here now.  Bitzie still hates the snow, but I’m left feeling nostalgic as we celebrate 17 marvelous years together.

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