(June 4, 1996 – June 23, 2014)
“At 17 years old, I still love to sleep in a cardboard box lid!”
“My fellow Americans . . . ”
Or was that furrage?
“When I concentrate, I really concentrate.”
“When I relax, I really relax.”
“How do you like my spa?”
“Make the world go away!”
“Are you sure there is catnip in here?”
“I could've sworn this thing used to be bigger!"
“They say every leader must learn to compartmentalize.”
“Did I hear somebody say something?”
“I'm going to have to teach this child about breath fresheners!”
“I know I didn't act this way when I was a toddler!”
“When I agreed to be uncle to these kids, I didn't say I'd be their mommy!”
“Is four years old too old to be a kitten again?”
“Sarah knows how I like my salads.”
“White is such a handsome color.”
“OK, I expect quality work from you guys!”
“David Mitchell is absolutely my best friend. He feeds me."
“Hey, Mom, do you still have that Brunswick Stew recipe?”
. . . And the livin' is easy!
“With tech savvy, I figure I can write my own ticket.”
“You can learn a lot from a big brother.”
Marsh meets his new 16-year-old big brother, “Honeysucker.”
“ . . . A place to call home!”
Little Marsh arrives at the Mitchell house.
Marshmellow first appeared on Whittle Street in Chatham on Christmas Eve night, 1996. We saw the little cat on Christmas Day, and assumed it was a Christmas present for lucky kids in the neighborhood. Over the next few days, we spotted it several more times, and noted its similarity in appearance to two other cats we had previously owned, Snow Puff (an Angora) and Sugar Whiskers (a mixed longhair). On New Year's Eve, Marshmellow approached us, seeming to beg in a squeaky little voice for affection and food. At that point we began investigating to find the cat's owners.
After calling or visiting every house up and down the street, it was determined that nobody knew whose cat this was. Two neighbor families had been feeding it from time to time, but both agreed that it needed a home, and soon. It seemed like such a delicate little cat, we all assumed it to be a small female. On New Year's Day the cat came running to us and practically leaped into our arms, and we found its nose had been ripped, apparently in a fight. Quickly consulting one more time with the family in front of whose home we were standing at the time, we took the cat home.
The first chore was to bathe the cat thoroughly and remove external vermin. We were quite surprised to find we were dealing with not a small female, but a very immature little male kitten! (Another interesting fact was that he was actually genetically a gray tabby, but with a white “mask” trait. The mask quickly erased all the tabby markings. The last trace of striped marking to disappear was the classic “M” above/between his eyes.) The next day after we picked him up, we took him to the vet for a checkup and immunizations, then brought him back home for first introduction to our 16-year-old cameo Persian “Honeysucker” (“Boy” for short). The introduction went well, but the new cat (now well-fed and with a home of his own) turned out to be very rambunctious rather than the shy and retiring kitty seen on the street. We named him “Marshmellow” in honor of his appearance, and with the hope that he would in time “mellow” (yes, we know the proper spelling would otherwise be “mallow”).
Marshmellow proved quite a challenge as an indoor cat, growing rapidly from five to fourteen pounds and quickly surpassing Boy's moderate eight-pound size (but Marsh never outgrew that tiny, squeaky, seldom-used voice!). As a restless adolescent, he constantly challenged Boy by surprise-attacking and rolling him. Never cowed, Boy always stood and powerfully slapped Marsh across the face with an impact that reverberated through the house. Marsh, literally stunned, would restrain himself for hours or days until he “forgot” again, but Boy's insistent discipline finally brought him into line.
Between their little bouts, and over time, they became fast friends and companions, sitting in windows together, pulling hijinks (opening latched doors, for example), and generally just being handsome. Finally, at age 20, Boy passed away due to rapid kidney failure at Easter 2000. Marsh was extremely distraught for a few days, but settled into a comfortable new role as “only child,” a situation that only lasted three months, at which time little Dandy and Sassy became his charges. He immediately accepted his new assignment with grace and finesse.
Because of Marsh's mysterious Christmas arrival, and his remarkable resemblance to Norwegian and Siberian forest cats, our family myth is that he must have been Santa's own kitten, and he fell out of the sleigh when it touched down on Whittle Street. We suspect that the truth may be that he was tossed out in Whittletown in hopes that kids in the neighborhood would adopt him (it worked!). We also suspect that the rules infraction which got him expelled from his earlier home may have been his tendency to dissect Christmas trees and eat the angels, a trait which he displayed during his first three Christmases in the Mitchell household!
After a long, happy, interactive life, and without a final illness, Marshmellow passed away peacefully in his sleep during the early morning hours of June 23, 2014, not long after turning eighteen years old. (We did not know his exact birthdate, but had estimated his age when he first arrived at our house as a kitten, and later celebrated his birthday each year on June 4, the known birthday of his longtime companions Dandy and Sassy.)
This webpage is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.
Copyright © 2001–2014 Patricia B. Mitchell.