This is my buddy, Carrie. Isn’t she lovely? She is one of those people who can make you feel better about yourself just because you know her.
This is a picture of Mr. Petey (short for Petruchio for any of you Shakespeare nerds out there). Petey was Carrie’s soulmate. They were our neighbors for about 3 years.
I love all animals, but if I had to choose a label, I am a self-proclaimed cat-person. That’s not to say that I don’t like dogs-it's just that if I had my pick, it would be cats every time…until I met Petey, that is. He was the purest soul I had ever met.
He was always happy and the embodiment of the words "social butterfly". He hated being confined to the house. As soon as Carrie would leave for work, Petey would go on a walkabout around the neighborhood. His first stop… my studio door. He would look in the window to see if Doodle was around. If the cat happened to be on the front porch, the boys would play a little while before Petey would come back to the door and patiently wait until I let him in. When the weather was nice, I would just leave the door open so he could come and go as he pleased. First, he would check to see if the kids were home. He checked each room of the house. If they happened to be on the couch or still in bed, he would cuddle with anyone that would let him.
If the kids weren’t home, he could check to see if there were any morsels left around the kitchen table or floor. Once his perusal of the house was done, he could come back in my studio and hang with me for a while, usually right under my sewing table by my feet, napping in the sun if possible. Once he decided that he had spent enough time with me, he would get up and stand next to wherever I was with the most adorable grin. He knew that I kept treats in my desk. He also knew I would only give him one. He got his treat, a few ear scratches and then went on about his business. I am not sure how many people he would visit but I can honestly say that our little routine was one of the highlights of my day. Many days he would return after the kids got home from school but his routine was different in the afternoons, and they didn’t involve our quiet exchanges. I miss those times.
How could you not give this face a treat?
Carrie was involved in a rather serious car accident late one evening while on her way to visit her sister in Ohio. She sustained only minor injuries but Petey was not so fortunate. He died at the scene of the accident. Carrie was devastated. It was also the first time that my kids had experienced the loss of a loved one. I know that he was a dog, and not even our dog, but my kids loved him and he loved them. We had a little memorial service for him. The kids all got to say goodbye in their own words and toss some of his favorite treats in his grave, under the shade of a beautiful crepe myrtle tree .
Before he was even in his final resting place, Carrie’s sister Angie and our friend Lisa asked me about making a quilt in memory of Petey, since Carrie was planning to bury him in his favorite quilt. I was happy to start planning something. I went through my stash of pictures that I had of him, which were surprisingly ample considering that, again, he was not my dog. The other two ladies also emailed me pictures that they had of him as well of Carrie and both of them together. There was a pattern in the Fons and Porter magazine that month for a quilt pattern that would be perfect for inserting pictures. It was therapeutic to edit and work with the pictures and see his sweet little face while I was making the quilt.
This was a labor of love, and the addition of photos added a more complex element to this piece. As luck would have it, right about the time that the quilt was ready, Carrie moved into a new house. It made a great housewarming gift.
While I miss having both of them as neighbors, I am overjoyed for Carrie as her life has progressed and changed since she lost Petey. I hope that this quilt brings her happy memories of her boy.