This is Tom:

Tom was born under my bed in the spring of 2006. We had a cold snap that evening and I woke up in the middle of the night to hear the kittens miaowing pitifully. They were chilled, which is really dangerous for kittens. 

Foggy with sleep, I stumbled downstairs to organise a hot waterbottle for the babies. Except I couldn’t find one, so I used a microwaveable soft toy instead. I placed the little stuffed bear with its warmed-up tummy under the bed and arranged the kittens around it. Afraid of disturbing the hubby and Jenna (who was about 20 months old at the time), I crawled back in the bed and fell asleep.

I awoke early the next morning to find all the kittens dead, except for one lone fuzzy black one that was curled up underneath Jenna’s stuffed toy – Tom.

Tom is a strange kitty. We sometimes joke and say he is stupid. (I come to his rescue and say that he was the only kitten that was smart enough to stay where it was warm.) I don’t think the boys will ever forget the time Tom saw his reflection in the mirror next to my son’s bunk bed and decided to visit the kitty on the other side. He jumped straight into the mirror and tumbled down all the way to the ground, exiting the room in a mad rush as soon as he found his feet.

We also called him stupid for always being so…well…so calmly tolerant of Jenna’s ‘loving’ attention. We thought that no self-respecting, intelligent cat would put up with what Tom endured in Jenna’s hands. As a two-year old, her ‘lovin’ was often far from gentle. But I don’t think Tom ever realised that life could be any different than what it was. He had no siblings, and Jenna was his company. They were inseperable.  

He would always curl up next to her when she watched ‘Little Bear’ downstairs, much like he curls up next to me still, when I watch tv these days. Before he became too big for her to carry around, he allowed her to cart him around everywhere. When he became too heavy and I would have to lift him onto the bed for her, he would immediately settle down and let her put a blanket over him and fuss over him. He even lay patiently while she practised her scissor-handling skills on him one day, emerging from the experience with a lopsided make-over that included chopped-off whiskers, and funky patterns along his tummy and tail.

Tom and Jenna hanging out together:



He still likes to ‘hang out ‘ with Jenna sometimes:



I was sitting here at my computer earlier when my feet connected with something furry and warm underneath the desk. As I sank down on the carpet next to him and stroked his purring body, I felt such gratefulness for this silly, fat, exasperating, darling cat. Thank you Tom, that you loved Jenna so much. Thank you that I can always hug you and picture Jenna hugging you too. Thank you for making my girly’s life, and mine, sweeter.

I posted this before, but it seems appropriate to post what Jenna had to say about Tom. This was recorded by her cousin on the farm in South Africa, so excuse the poor sound quality: record003


18 responses to “Tom

  1. Oh Sumi. This makes my heart smile. My little girls love our big fat cat, too. And we often take him for granted, too. Thank you mostly for letting me catch new glimpses of your beautiful girl and for letting me hear her precious voice again, but also for reminding me to cherish what we’ve been given. I’m praying for you today.

  2. I remember this recording. Is adds so much more now that there is this added memory to it!

  3. I loved reading about Tom and Jenna. Our cat is an outside cat who is extremely independent. You might or might not see him. He won’t let us hold him, but he will let our grandson. Thank you for writing about Jenna, I love to hear all about her.

  4. It was good to hear her voice. How could something break your heart and make your day at the same time? I miss Jenna.

  5. oh, Sumi! That voice is so precious. I love this story about Tom and Jenna. The picture of him resting next to her pictures is truly priceless.

  6. Oh how bittersweet! It is touching to see Tom laying by her pictures!
    How awesome that you have so many recordings of her cute and sweet voice!
    I’m always praying for you and your family!

    Cynthia Y.

  7. sumi, i am always amazed at jenna’s beauty. i am equally amazed by your ability to continue to share her with us. i know it is hard for you but joyful as well. much, much love and continued prayers, jan

  8. i loved hearing jenna’s sweet voice. thank you for sharing these precious memories with us.

  9. What a cute little muffin. She reminds me of my Laurensita. Don’t be afraid to retell stories of her, I retell stories of my kids all the time without even knowing it =)

  10. I loved this post. I visit your blog often, but have never commented before. Jenna’s voice is so pure and sweet. Please know that even though I don’t know you–you and your family are in my prayers. May God richly bless you this holiday season and every day.

    Kristy in SC, USA

  11. Oh that was just so precious! I just loved getting to hear her voice. What a sweet girl. And bless Tom for being such a great cat for Jenna. That is one special cat, no matter what his intelligence level! 🙂

  12. Sumi,

    I woke up praying for you in the night last night. Hope you are doing okay, considering.


  13. What a sweet and tolerant kitty.

    Those photos of Jenna are beautiful. You are right, Lily does remind me of her.

    I pray all is going well for you, friend. Many Hugs!

  14. What wonderful memories you have of Jenna, Sumi. I haven’t been over to visit your blog lately….just been busy with other things. I pray for you and your family often. (((HUGS)))

  15. I have a fondness for my cats as well, and of one who is also named Tom. I clicked over from Kimberly’s blog. I’m glad I did. I have enjoyed reading your post. Blessings.

  16. I agree with the other comment…Jenna is such a are blessed to have such beauty captured in the moment to share with us who need that beauty drop in our day…thank you…blessings,

  17. Tom sounds like a special kitty. He must’ve loved Jenna.

  18. Isn’t it funny when a cat takes to a little girl like that? This is our second one that we affectionately admit is a little …slow. They must be to allow that kind of “love” from a less-than-gentle kid. Missing our sweet girls, Deanna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s