In the summer of 1994, I was walking past an empty cage in a pet store when I somehow managed to catch my sleeve on it. When I turned to untangle myself, I found myself the victim of a pouncing from a small ball of fluff who apparently had been ghosting around the cage. It was love at first sight and since I had apparently been chosen, my mom and I both agreed I had to take this cute little guy home.
As soon as I got him settled I noticed what appeared to be a problem. He cried every time he used the litter. He came with a certificate to see a vet so the next day I took him down to find out what was wrong with my new little guy. I was surprised to find the vet had seen him already the week before. Apparently he was purchased and returned to the pet store because of this same issue. The vet assured me, as she had assured them, that he was healthy. He just wanted everyone to know he was taking care of his business and he'd either grow out of it, or not. So I took him back home and he's been with me ever since. (He did eventually grow out of the need to let everyone know he was taking care of his business).
My little man eventually grew into a big game hunter bringing me mice, lizards, frogs and birds - even a parrot once after we moved down to So Cal. He managed to survive countless cat brawls, mixing it up with a coyote - he almost died that time, and as many of you know last year after shattering his front leg, an amputation. And he did it all on his terms, while still ruling our house and being like most cats, part arrogant and part love.
Now, I believe everything happens for a reason. That this little kitten and I were meant to be. He's been with me for the last 18 years. And while he was MY pet and I took care of him, fed him, and kept him safe, I was HIS person and I can guarantee after divorcing, moving, remarrying, step-parenting, crazy bosses and a few kids, he saved me more than I ever saved him.
In the last few weeks he stopped eating completely and was having more and more trouble getting around our small house. After a lot of conversations, tears and soul searching I realized I couldn't make him better, but I could help him sleep, so I did.
So if there is a God and heaven and justice in the world, then my sweet old guy is sitting on my sister's lap about now and they'll keeping each other company for a while.