The Queen Mary’s whistles on her forward funnel.

We came home from a delightful two days and nights exploring the Queen Mary to several phone calls from Lenora.

It was just getting dark when we arrived. G put his most comfortable clothing on, and I poured myself into the tub to turn some of the road dust into slurry. Just as we settled in, Lenora called from the lot and told us what happened to Frazier. She had tried to put him in a box but he wouldn’t go. He wouldn’t eat. Could we help?

He had been fine Wednesday when I worked, but Thursday it was raining and he didn’t respond to our calls when we went up to feed him. We left food out for him and headed out to Long Beach. Lenora reported that Friday he was foaming at the mouth, had great difficulties walking, wouldn’t let her pet him, and couldn’t eat as his tongue was hanging out. Saturday she tried again, but he wouldn’t let her near him.

Getting back into warm clothing, we headed off into the dark. Our flashlights were easy to find as we had used them on the Queen’s black passages. The main yard flood light was on, but it didn’t illuminate the far reaches of the yard. When he didn’t come right away to our calls, G headed into the body shop area and I stepped out into the farthest corner of the lot.

“Where’s my kitty,” I called again and again. “Where’s my kitty.”


Then a faint sound. I kept on moving forward slowly calling then listening. G joined me carrying a kitty box we had picked up at the emergency vet. We had put Frazier’s favorite towel in it.

His white head appeared in the empty opening for the motor at the back of the boat. He paused for a moment. Judging his distance carefully, he jumped into the blackness. He let me pet him once then he moved away and sat sideways to me. Looking at me, he was.

“Let’s go!” I called him but he wouldn’t come. I couldn’t believe an animal could go so downhill in three days. He smelled, the cancer had spread, and it appeared he had had a second stroke. “Poor old man,” I told him.

“Where’s my kitty,” called G.

He turned and actually ran right into G’s arms. Up he was scooped and placed right into the box. We didn’t know he had such a voice, and he kept on telling us about the indignity of being in a box all the way down the hill and into the emergency vet’s offices. We had moments to say good by and he was gone.

For a white kitten who had been dumped into a tow yard, he had had an exceptionally long life. He had made many friends over the years. Drivers and managers alike will miss him. Of all who had known him, G was his special friend. And G was able to be there for him at the end.

We came home to our computers. Only then did I discover that I should have sent out a letter to an AA Steering Committee about an upcoming business meeting on Christmas day. Not me. I never even remembered to look at my calendar. I didn’t remember to look until this morning. I do pretty good with that calendar now days. Once I forgot a grandson’s birthday, and that fixed me but good. Perhaps having guests over or perhaps just the changes to our holiday rituals, those things may have been distractions to my already distracted brain.

What ever it was, I sent out a heartfelt apology the moment we got home from the vet’s. The wonderful and tactful Secretary of the List was beyond kind. She didn’t say a word about my grovels sort of bypassing them to mention that perhaps we should start later than I suggested….without saying why we were starting later. Oy!

I’ve been working on an album about the Queen Mary this morning. And sniveling between grovels while planning vegetarian dinners. I snivel afresh for my friend Ginger too. She replaced me as lot manager when I retired and died of lung cancer only a few years later. She replaced me in Fraziers heart too. I know the two of them are having a great reunion this morning. I miss them.

Thank you all for your notes and for caring.

On Review: John Bailey’s review of his year.

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December 28, 2003

This makes me so sad. But I’m really happy that you and G were there for him in the end. Guess it’s been a year for endings. I like the idea of him being with your friend. Sending a big hug to both you and G. xoxo

December 28, 2003

I’ve said it so many times. The trouble with pets is that they are with us for such a short time. Except parrots and tortoises. Because of you, many people will miss Frasier. I’m one of them. Still wish I could have been at the Queen Mary with you (not the QE2!).

December 28, 2003

He is whole and happy now – waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Damn, now I’m crying. Poor old guy, but lucky to, to have such great people in his life.

December 28, 2003

I’ve actually followed John Bailey’s journal a long time ago. WHat is the connection to you? 🙂

December 29, 2003

My deepest sympathies on the loss of your furry loved one.

this makes me tear up ….geez what a guy..