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A cat adopted from the streets, Howard was in poor shape. One ear had
been destroyed by mites, he had a raging infection on his neck which
threatened his life. His former owners cast him out for spraying, not
realizing that neutering would help.
Dying, but still willing to admit the help of humans, he showed up at
our door. I set out food, and he became a fixture. When we first let
him into our home via the bedroom, he purred and beamed gratitude. A
very competent vet mended his most serious wounds, and Howard took up
residence on our porch. He healed.
One night, a cat wandered by outside, and in confusion Howard mauled
our kitten Tiger, and me. I still bear two little fang-marks as scars.
Tiger healed, and Howard learned he was safe inside. He entered our
He lived with three other cats, in various stages of their lives, and
kept the peace.. sleeping with us and taking care of us.
Howard would cuddle on my chest in bed and fall asleep. He brushed my
face to let me know he was grateful.
As an alley-cat, he was driven one night to eat the twine-net encasing
a pork roast we'd prepared. He had surgery to remove it, but was slow
to recover. He was going blind, and weakening by the day. He had
developed a strange cat illness, similar to
Feline-Immuno-Deficienct-Virus, though he tested negative for it.
The last night he was with us, he climbed on my chest and purred,
drooling on me as he fell asleep. The next day we let him sleep
Howard was the ideal cat. His death only demonstrates that though
these animals are powerful in their influence, they are nonetheless
quite delicate creatures, whose lives are brief and intense.
If you have a problematical cat, I hope you appreciate them. If your
cat is soon to join the feline host abroad, I feel for you, but
encourage you to find another stray to join your life.
Brian Link wrote:
If you have a problematical cat, I hope you appreciate them.
Jasper wasn't stray...we kinda inherited him. But the fact that he is
blind and deaf definitely makes him special. I wouldn't call it
problematic though. And after his most recent illness, I realize just
how much I love and appreciate him. He rules. Big time.
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