I don’t why I loved you so much and why Im hurting so bad since you left.
You weren’t exactly an attractive kitty, you were rather unassuming and plain. Just an old gray and white cat that most people wouldn’t take a second look at. You weren’t exactly a people person or even a cat person. In fact, you really didn’t like other cats at all. You struck me as a loner who just wanted to be left alone, but who also wanted to experience love. When your owner of 18 years abruptly moved away and abandoned you, you continued to make your home in front of the empty house.

Living directly across the street from you, I knew of your existence, but I never paid much attention to you. After all, you had a different family. Maybe not a loving family, but they did feed you for 18 years.

It wasn’t until I felt sorry for you sitting in front of that empty house, looking lonely that I wanted to offer my friendship. I would come over for a few minutes everyday to make sure you had fresh water, food and a soft blanket to lay on. One day you actually let me touch and pet you. My god, you were the softest kitty I ever touched. Your fur was like silk, especially your little stick tail.

As time went by, it almost seems like you were waiting for my daily visit. Like you were just waiting for me to sit with you, talk to you and pet you. Its as if you had never been touched gently or paid any attention to by a human before. You were curious to experience that.

As I watched you do your daily routine, a little more about your world was revealed. You obviously had crippling arthritis in your right shoulder and elbow which it made it difficult for you talk a straight line, but that wouldn’t stop you from following me around. We had somehow bonded. You were my feline friend and I was your human friend. You wouldn’t go near anyone else, but you’d come running to me.

Eventually your old home was remodeled and sold and there were no more remnants of your past live there. No scents, no special places to hide or sleep, no more food or water. It was time for you to move across the street with us. It took a while of testing the waters , but eventually you felt comfortable enough to make our side of the street your new side of the street.

And what a home it was. You had your own heated cat house to sleep in, your own tree to lounge under, a beautiful large deck with an awesome view, and all the food and clean water you could ever need. And while you didn’t care for the company of other cats, you took a liking to one of our females kitties who was constantly in your face, licking you and curling up to you on those cold nights. In retrospect I think she was, and is still is, your guardian angel. She watched out for you, she protected you, she plain loved you.

Finally after 18 of just existing, you now had a loving home where people cared for you, took you to the vet to keep you healthy and played with you so could experience playing like a cat. We thought things would only get better until that one morning when we came out to feed you and noticed you werent in your basket. You were on the side walk bleeding from your neck. Your face was swollen and your left eye was completely closed. Something had attacked you. A dog, another cat, a racoon? who knows. Of course we were terrified, you had been with us for a year and half and were part of the family. We thought for sure you would not survive your injuries . At the very least you would be blind. But we knew that you different than most 19 year cats, we knew you could survive just about anything, so we slowly and painstakingly nursed you back to health. We supplied the medications and treatments, but you did all the work. You had a tremendous desire to live.

Like the rest of us though, you were getting older, and we knew that even if you survived those horrific injuries, at 20 years old, your time was limited. So we spent every spare moment making you feel like a cat. Sure enough, within 4 months of that attack, you were like a new cat. Your eye opened up, you began to do normal cat things again. And all the while we are loving you more and more.

You lived a good happy life for another couple months, but unknown bad things were happening in your body. Things that aging usually brings to us. Last week I noticed that while you were still eating, drinking, going to the bathroom and lazing on the deck, something wasn’t right. When you slept you were breathing too hard and too fast. Were you in pain, was that causing the rapid breathing? Did you have a lung infection? Did you have some other old age ailment? I also noticed that you were still having difficulty swallowing food. This started right after you were attacked. Im wondering now if that’s what caused your swallowing problem.

Then yesterday as I was watching you breath, it hit me like a punch to the stomach…you were dying. You didn’t show it, I just knew it. You were very alert, still eating and pooping and able to walk, but I knew that you were suffering. I knew that I wouldn’t have you long.

This morning I came out to feed you and I knew deep in my heart that this would be last time I would see you, pet you ,kiss your forehead and smell you. You always smelled good. We had an appt to take you to the vet to check you checked out for your fast breathing, but I had a gut feeling they would find the worse and that we’d have to make that gut wrenching decision. Sure enough they did, you were full of tumors. You had a mass in your throat, no wonder it was hard for you to swallow and a huge one in your lungs. Even super kitty couldn’t survive this. No matter how much we love you, it would have been selfish to let you suffer just to have you around a few more weeks. I When the time came I wanted to rip my heart out, but your passing was as peaceful as could be. Before you giving you the lethal drug, they gave a dose of pain medicine to relax you . 30 minutes later you floated away.

Norman I loved you because you opened up to me. You let me and my family love you the way all creatures should be loved. I will remember you as the feisty and crotchety old kitty who saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself. You were strong and resilient beyond words. You went through hell back with your injuries and cancer, but you never showed a moment of weakness. You were faithful, a creature of habit, fiercely independent and had the strongest life force Ive ever witnessed in a feline friend. Norman, you gave us more love than we could ever give in return. We are so happy you let us in to your life. You are a remarkable creature and I will never forget you.
I just hope I can get past the heartbreak and be strong like you, cuz right now Im dying inside. I miss you terribly my friend and I can’t wait to see you again. I know youre just a cat, but you existed, you had a life, were loved deeply and had a huge impact on the lives of your furry and human friends.

Your friends, Steve & Douglas

My friend Norman

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