The Quimper Hitty cupboard has acquired a couple of lost sheep and another Kitty!

My very elderly neighbour Kate was an interesting, generous, imperious and stoic lady.  We shared holiday feasts, walks around the neighbourhood and books. For a while, her favourite series was the Ellis Peters Cadfael Chronicles, because they fit her criteria of only one murder, (and it had to be the bad guy) two murders max, and injustices had to be solved as well as the crimes.  I once loaned her Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, and every so often after that I would get a politely couched demand to borrow the book again.

As a birthday present one year I gave her the very inexpertly carved tiny clothespin Hitty in the green dress, whereupon Kate pursed her lips and requested that next time I give her a proper sized Hitty doll. The next year I gave her the bigger Hitty  you see in this picture.  She was once a Hitty head and torso on a stick given to me as “Hitty dress form” by a friend in Ontario.  I always thought she would rather be a proper doll, so I added arms and legs, and dressed her as a chinese girl, because Kate was a scholar of Chinese Literature.

Kate went into a care home after her Alzheimers stole her memories, and she died earlier this week.  The executrix asked me to come to the facility to pick up some stuff of hers they thought I’d like…I never in a million years imagined these wee dolls and their kitty would find their way back to the Hitty cupboard, but here they are.

Thanks Kate, so much for all the memories.


The Living is a passing traveler; the dead, a soul come home.

One brief journey twixt heaven and earth,

Then alas we are the same old dust of ten thousand ages…

Li Po



I haven’t decided if I will re-do the arms and legs on poor dress-form Hitty… they really are appalling…





16 thoughts on “Memory

  1. Your friend Kate sounds like she was an interesting person. It’s very nice that you have the dolls to remember her by and the memories you made together. Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry that you have lost her at this time.

    • Kate was a great neighbour and friend and always treated our kids like humans. They decided she was a sort of third grandma (fourth grandma for our youngest adopted child!) and loved her accordingly. We’ll miss her.

    • Thanks, we loved Kate as a friend and neighbour! She could be a bit of a professor, but she made you feel intelligent, as though you knew things, but needed to work on explaining them properly!

  2. Kate sounds like she was a character. Your shared memories are appreciated. Loved the poem and the Hitty’s

    • She was definitely a character! I thought the poem fit, as Kate was an eminent scholar of Chinese Literature and storytelling. It is funny to see the Hittys again, I am trying to resist the temptation to meddle and “fix them up”.

  3. Sounds to me as tho you were a very good neighbor to your friend Kate. And how lovely that these little ones and their wee cat have come home to you.

    • It was completely unexpected to see the Hittys again. I had thought they were left behind, or lost or sold when she went into the care home…I was very touched that they were still keeping her company.

  4. How simply wonderful that you have this memory of your dear neighbour who was taken by such a cruel unremitting disease such as Alzheimers and that you were able to give her something she treasured. It is only right that these two Hittys come back to live with you.

    • Yes the last few years were very tough on us all, we are so glad Kate is not suffering now. My mother had a Hitty in the hospital with her when she died too (Hitty Linnea) – it is an eerie similarity.

    • Kate introduced me to Cadfael, and I am quite smitten. At one point at the beginning of her troubles she told me to get rid of all her Cadfael books, but sure enough, every so often she would insist I go out and find her one to read. Luckily I had kept all hers! Kate was a treasure, I hoard the memories!

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