#RecipeForMoments: Cherished Forever Merlin Moments

Nature's recipe moments

Merlin is my every day muse and blogging inspiration since 2008. Oh, and he’s my official alarm clock. i’ll take a cold nose over a loud alarm any day. According to him it’s always a good time for special moments.

Compared to humans, pets don’t live a long time but they stay in our hearts forever. If we’re really lucky we get to share a good, long life with a furry family member. I got lucky when an adolescent Siamese boy named Merlin came into my life a few months after my dad died and my boyfriend had dumped me. Other relationships came and went but the only constant for the past 19 years remains my devoted cat, Merlin.

He’s nursed me through heartbreaks and disappointments. I’ve nursed him through adventurous mishaps like jumping on a hot stove and a run in with a raccoon. He’s seen me through ups and down and several moves including one from Canada to New York a few weeks before 9/11. We moved for love. Merlin acted as cupid and rated all the men I dated with either an imperious stink-eye or a “you pass” sniff. Only one man passed with glorious colors. Moments after meeting, Merlin flew into his arms and gave him a kiss.


Nineteen years is a long time to share with a beloved pet and the rewards are endless cherished moments. None are sweeter than recent ones. They aren’t the bouncy energetic past moments of walking on a quiet, country road without a leash or bounding down stairs at the sound of a key in the front door. They aren’t the exasperated groans of what trouble did he find or what creature he dropped at my feet.

Merlin is blind and moves at tortoise speed now and our cherished moments revolve in the eternal now.  We’re both older but he never complains or judges. He doesn’t care if I’m having a bad hair day or whether I have a new wrinkle. It’s pure, mutual undiluted love 24/7. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing him eat with gusto. It signals his indomitable will to live despite chronic kidney disease. Every time he snuggles in my arms under the covers is bliss.

Every purr is magic. Every nose kiss is heaven. 

Long before “selfies” became all the rage, Merlin indulged me in special cat and cat mom moments of the artistic kind.

Layla Merlin art 9

Our story is a part of the #RecipeForMoments blog hop hosted by BlogPaws. Link up below to share your story of the bond you and your pet share. What do you think your pet feels in your special moments? Five random U.S. winners who link up their blog post will win a Nature’s Recipe® lightweight collar camera to capture special moments from their pet’s point of view. Visit BlogPaws for official rules and details.

Come see what special moments my fellow pet bloggers are sharing.

This post is sponsored by Nature’s Recipe® on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Nature’s Recipe For Moments on behalf of Nature’s Recipe, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Nature’s Recipe is not responsible for the content of this article

GIVEAWAY WINNER! The winner of our Advantage II giveaway is Raine. Congratulations. Please look for an email from info@catwisdom101 requesting your shipping address.

42 thoughts on “#RecipeForMoments: Cherished Forever Merlin Moments”

  1. I haven’t checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  2. The story of your love affair with Merlin is so beautiful! It’s so nice to know others feel the special connection with their pets as I do!

  3. A beautiful story…thank you for sharing. Merlin is a special cat who clearly chose the right home… you are lucky to be sharing a life together! You reminded me of the special relationship I had with my cat Rose who lived to almost 18 years old. xoxo

  4. Concats to Raine!
    Love me love my CAT(S)…….actually it really is my cats have to love you.
    This was a very touching post today. We love the Meezer man too.
    Luvs Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig and Peanut and Romeo >^..^<

  5. Wonderful post! I do have this connection, this special bond, with Austin and it has deepened over the years! I am in awe to be honest as I have never had it before in quite the same way, though have loved all my kitties with a passion! x

  6. There have been 3 special animals In my life that have been connected primarily with me. Growing up we had family pets that always seemed to bond closest to my Mom, which made sense given that she was the one caring for us all. Now I look back and understand her reluctance to add another furry member to the crew. Human or hamster, it was she who was in charge of ensuring our survival. Then I met Shadow. Her mother was a pedigreed Samoyed, so beautiful with her fluffy, white coat and curling plume of a tail and her father, a rogue who jumped the fence and might have been part Shepard. My Shadow was all black except for her feet and the very tip of her tail which were as white as her mother. Shadow was the first being I was solely responsible for. She taught me how to put another person (or dog) first. Then there was Brady. My sweet cocker spaniel puppy, so quiet and mellow that my mother poked him during our first meeting to wake him and ensure he was okay. I didn’t want that cute puppy. My heart was broken from losing Shadow way too soon. There was no way I was willing to put my heart at risk again. But my mother and brother had decided I need him and there he was, so trusting and innocent. Brady taught me about recovery and risking my heart even when I know the outcome will bring at least some pain. He taught me that love is worth taking that risk and that it truly is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Brady was with me for 13 years. He saw met through so many major changes in the years between 28 and 41. With my sweet Brady I learn how to be an adult. He left me just days before his 13th birthday, laying down on the cool tile floor and never waking. Typical Brady, no muss, no fuss. And now I have my lovely lady, Mistletoe. The groom where Brady and my brother’s dog, Puck visited every 4 to 6 weeks fostered cats in the shop. Keeping them confined to a glass walled room during the day and giving them free reign after the shop closed. They probably fostered about 20 adult cats plus several litters of kittens. Mistletoe caught my mother’s eye as she was picking up Puck after his monthly appointment. Missy was so small that mom thought she was still a kitten. But it turned out she was there after being rescued, pregnant and alone in the world. She had been eating bread an elderly couple had thrown out for the birds and catching the occasional unlucky feathered visitor, which distressed the couple who already had a cat in residence. They began feeding her hoping to save their bird friends and soon realized Mistletoe was abandon and pregnant. They contacted the rescue, who trapped Mistletoe and cared for her and her 4 kittens, finding homes for the babies with ease. Mistletoe was very withdraw and I was unsure that we’d ever be able to bond. I was so temped to move towards the kittens playing in their pen, but something about Mistletoe pulled at me. She had been so brave, surviving alone and preparing for a family. So I brought her home after making sure I could take her back if it didn’t work out. She spent the first six months hiding under the bed. I knew she was eating and using the litter box but I rarely saw her. At night I would talk to her before I went to sleep…until one day she came in to the bathroom while I was using the facilities. After a meow she ran to her box and did her business, returning to me after, demanding I pet her. After a moment she scampered away, back under the bed. Slowly but surely she started to participate in our daily life…although there were frequent visitors who were unaware we had a cat,…seeing her became a regular thing for the rest of the family. Most often they would find her asleep on my chest. Any loud movement or noise would have her disappearing but eventually she always came back. December 10, 2013 was Mistletoe and my 10 year anniversary. The vet thought she was about a year old when she came home so she’s about 11 now. She has taught me patience and perseverance. I sometimes wonder if she ever considered giving up but then she’s there beside me, stabbing me progressively harder with one claw, until after prodding me vocally and physically she accomplishes her goal and I think, no she never considered giving up and I owe her a huge debt for teaching me that a great deal is accomplished by never giving up or giving in, even if you might need a sharp claw every now and again.

    I realize this is to long to be a comment and perhaps you will have to delete it, and that’s okay. I thank you for the nudge that had me walking down memory lane. Remembering the lessons in love, laughter and devotion my sweet Shadow and Brady taught me has brightened what started out as a dreary, difficult day. My Mistletoe is now waiting for me, hoping for some lap time and a cuddle or two. And, after my walk down memory lane, I’m more than ready to join her. Thank you.

    1. What a wonderful story about your pets and how they have shown you so much about love and life. Thank you for sharing.

    2. Thank you for sharing, having lost my senior special needs cat Phoebe last month this subject moves and brings up tender grief. For the ten years I was lucky to have Phoebe, she taught me more about unconditional love, acceptance, resilience, and strength than I’ve ever learned from anyone else. Even though her illness was a constant roller coaster ride her courageous and constant loving attitude never made me regret taking on a cat I knew was not going to live as long of life as a healthy one would. She made me want to fight to help her live longer, her determination inspired mine and it paid off in that she lived to be thirteen when doctors said she would be fortunate to live half as long.
      Merlin’s love and perseverance reminds me so of Phoebe and I am touched to see Layla gets to have these special times with him. I cherish the last few months of Phoebe’s life all the more now, for our bond was never stronger.

  7. Merlin is a treasure indeed. 19 years is a long time for any relationship. It is special for many reason your time with Merlin but he helped you for a specific time in your life reasons you may or may not know. But he is there to guide you through. I hope you make many more special memories. Merlin you are so extraordinary.

  8. dood…we loves yur storee N de best oh fishes two ewe N yur mom in thiz contest…think oh de stuff ewe can film if ya win de collar…ewe could even bee like a “spiez” !!! hay, hope everee one haza pound oh perch week oh end !!

  9. That`s such a sweet story. May Merlin live long. Longer than any expectations! He has such a strong will to live and I truly believe it`s due to the love and bond you share.

  10. Such a dear sweet post Layla……I had to share it on Facebook with my friends….your bond with Merlin is like mine with Sam – a forever kind of thing beyond description at times. But you did a GREAT job of telling it in words and photos.

    Hugs, Pam

  11. Such a special, special post.

    Cats really DO know who to choose. Emma Peel didn’t like guys. She
    sat on John’s lap when she first met him at our first date; then, when we went running, she slept on his regular clothes he’d folded on a chair. She chose him.

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