I found Whiskers while looking for one of my other cats. Actually, it would be more fitting to say that he found me. I was standing on my porch calling for Princess when I saw Whiskers strolling up the driveway, meowing like he lived there. I had never seen him before and he looked hungry, so I left some food out for him. He was back the next day, and the day after. By Saturday I’d had enough, so I walked the neighborhood with him (by this point he had taken to following me) and asked neighbors if they recognized him. And I got the same response over and over again—“No, but I’ve fed him before.” So, he became a member of the family.

            He was different from my other cats—extremely affectionate and friendly to everyone. He was a brown and gray tabby with perfect markings and long whiskers. But eventually the years he spent on the streets caught up with him and within three years he was diagnosed with kidney failure. Realizing that our time with him was short, we tried everything medically possible including daily fluid injections. Even at his sickest he was still the same sweet cat I had found that warm summer night.

            He passed on an early Tuesday morning. I knew he only had a few moments left, so I held him in my arms as he took his last breaths. We decided to have him cremated; as he was more than just a cat we had for a few years, but rather an extremely important member of the family. He sat with me at breakfast in the mornings and he slept beside my mom at night. When visitors came over he immediately jumped in their laps and made himself comfortable. Above all, he loved to be around people. And he is still with us now, sitting on the fireplace mantle, where he can observe whatever action is taking place around him. That’s how he would have liked it.

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