Bloodline by Angela B. Chrysler
published May 2009 in Kritter Kronickles Magazine
Sleeping beside me is my *ten-year-old cat, Peach. Peach is as ordinary as any short haired, white cat can be. But for me, Peach is special. At night, she crawls up against my chest and I hug her as if she were a living, purring teddy bear. In the mornings, I wake to find her so comfortably perched on my shoulder—a location so common to her that I’ve named it “Peach Point.” I’m so used to her weight that I only notice it when she isn’t perched proudly from her summit—but the most intriguing thing about Peach is that Peach is the fifth generation of a blood line I have known since I was eleven.
Peach descended from a bloodline my mother adopted as a Christmas gift, eighteen years ago. She opened the small box and out popped a tiny, white kitten with a smudge of black splashed upon her head. The large, yellow eyes told us the feral kitten had some misgivings about humans.
My mother named her Guess and over the next eight years, I watched as Guess bore litter after litter. The feral streak in her never vanished, but her kin came into the world as eager to love humans as they were loved by my family. Guess bore Midnight who bore Isis who then bore Kali who mothered Peach. Through five generations, I discovered the amazing laws of genetics. The traits that passed on and defined that bloodline became second nature to me and I grew to know this family of felines as well as my own family. In every litter, one white cat was born with the black smudge and yellow eyes. At one year, the black smudge fades to a gray reminder of the mark. And by two, the cat is pure white and has gained a proper, portly belly one of which Guess would be proud of.
She is the last of the eight-teen year genetics study I began when I was eleven. I had her spayed in 2000, a feat I don’t regret in the least, but still a part of me mourns the end of this line. Through her, I still see Guess and through her, every one of my beloved cats still lives. And at the time that death closes around my Peach, it will be more than just a feline friends I bury. It will be a legacy and one of the fondest experiences of my life.
*At the time I wrote this article in 2009, Peach was ten-years-old. In 2015, Peach is now 18 and is the last of the bloodline still alive.