Archive for May 29, 2014



From the moment we take our first breath we are terminal, that’s reality.   It is what we do between that first breath and the last that is important.  Life is a crapshoot.  I was reading the obituaries one morning, you do that as you age, when on the same page I found one for a four year old boy and one for a 103 year old woman.  If that doesn’t make one stop to ponder this gift we call life, nothing will.


Back to the subject of this article.  As I sit here writing I can hear the coughing and wheezing of our asthmatic cat, Sally.  I’ve never been a cat person.  I’m a dog person and love the companionship and love a canine returns.  I find cats to be aloof and wanting only your service.  You fulfill their needs and then you get that look, ‘You can leave now’.  But as with all generalities, there are the exceptions that prove you wrong.

My family has a history of owning cats, primarily due to my daughter, Lynn.  That history began with a pure white kitten name Stimpy.  He was found standing next to his dead mother, a recent victim of a run in with a car.  So young, he needed to be fed with a bottle.  The woman who found him, my wife’s coworker, discovered she was allergic to cats so we adopted him.

Perhaps due to his early association with humans, he was extremely sociable, wanting to be where the action was.  Our neighbor swore that Stimpy was unaware he was a feline and chose to be human.  As with most of our cats, Stimpy developed health issues, three years of injections for diabetes and finally succumbed to a mouth tumor.

Then there was Zosia, Polish for Sophie, the name of my beloved aunt, Auntie Zosia.  This mature cat walked up to my wife and Lynn while they stood in a schoolyard.  After many attempts to locate the owner with no results, she stayed but not for long.  Zosia developed a lung tumor and went downhill fast.  A prolonged stay with the veterinarian was little help.  I took Lynn with me to bring Zosia home and was presented with a bill for $450.  With a shaky hand I made out the check.  Lynn could tell I was more than surprised.  Sensing my shock, she looked up at me, she was about eight or nine at the time, and said, “Would you rather she died?”  Lynn could always, and still does, tell it like it is.  Zosia died, then our dog, Whitey, died and we were left pet less.

After a while, Lynn decided that condition needed to be remedied and one Sunday afternoon she and my wife visited the local SPCA.  There Lynn found ‘The Kitten’ and named her Lucy.  Due to a bureaucratic detail, Lucy could not come home until Monday.  Monday afternoon I took Lynn to pick up Lucy, but Lucy had been adopted.  There was supposed to be a hold on the kitten, but she was gone.  Lynn lost it there at the SPCA.  I suggested a look at the remaining kittens and, with a tearful Lynn, went to have a look.  That’s when Sally came into our life.

Lynn chose the names based on Charlie Brown characters and Lucy was gone and could not be replaced, hence Sally.  That was 14 years ago.  Sally is a grey tabby with a white-tipped tail.  Late last year she began losing weight; asthma has plagued her for years.  A trip to the vet diagnosed renal failure with the prognosis of not making it to the New Year, but Sally proved the vet wrong and continues to hang in there.  Due to her kidney problems she now resembles a holocaust survivor, skin covering bones, but is active and constantly hungry.

Whenever I sit in my recliner she will jump into my lap and look up with her big green eyes thanking me for the care and love.

I still don’t consider myself a ‘cat person’ but I’ve become a ‘Sally person’.  I’ll miss her when she’s gone, but I don’t think she’ll be going anywhere soon.

Then there’s Sammy. . .


Here’s Sally


May 29, 2014 at 8:55 pm Leave a comment


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