We went to the Humane Society to pick out a cat. The room was filled with large cages stacked one on top of the other. We walked down the wall and peered into the cages to make eye contact with each cat. I was a few feet ahead when my husband called to me, “Look at this one!” I went back to where he stood. “Look at this poor kitten. There’s another cat on top of him.” He reached in and pushed away the bigger cat and pulled out a tiny gray kitten. He held the kitten up to examine him and that was the moment the two were bonded for life. A big man and his tiny kitten. Two days later, the kitten was available for adoption, and we returned to take our new kitten home. We saved him and he saved us. That was 17 years ago.
That tiny kitten grew into the handsome and beautiful cat that you see in the picture. We named him “George”. Even all these years later, he is still graceful and able to move freely. My husband still refers to him as “MY cat”. I don’t disagree with him, but George seems to cling to me just a little more, and I love that he does. He is my old buddy.
Despite his age, I have continued to live in my own little dream world that my cat will just go on living forever. After getting the results back from a routine blood, my veterinarian called. I could hear the results in his voice before he even told me that George is fighting kidney disease.
And so we wait for the “quality of life” to tell us when the time will come. I treasure the moments that we spend together. He has always been my friend. Some years ago, he began putting his front paws on my shoulder as if to say, “Pick me up”. He is now a shoulder cat. He purrs in my ear as I walk around with him. I cradle his back legs as they relax with contentment. He will nudge his nose against my face, as if to lovingly acknowledge our deep friendship. Yes George, we are buddies.
I’ve never had a pet live 17 years so I fear what my life will be without him. Everything will ultimately be alright. I’ll have a guardian angel shoulder cat to purr in my ear and protect me.
Via Daily Prompt: Lovingly