Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Shadow July 4, 1995-January 15, 2008
Today, we put Shadow to sleep. He suddenly grew old, just within a week, and let us know he was ready to die.
I've known Shadow since the week he was born. His mother, a stray calico, had a litter of four male kittens in the ditch behind our house in Florida. She trusted me enough to let me see her new kittens. And, then she brought them up to our rose garden, taught them to play and take care of themselves, and left them there. My father-in-law, Harry, had one of those small sheep made of wood and covered with material to look like wool. It stood in the middle of the rose garden, but by the time the kittens learned to attack it, it no longer stood. We always said the four boys killed that sheep.
Shadow was the one we adopted, a plush kitten with the softest black fur in the world. He was scared to death of thunder and fireworks, probably from being born around the 4th of July, and listening to summer thunder in Florida. He might have been a scaredy cat, but he was the gentlest cat in the world. As he grew older, he adopted our younger cats, and we always called him Uncle Shadow.
When we moved from Florida to Arizona, we put Shadow in the cage with Dickens. Dickens hated car travel, and cried all of the time. Shadow took care of him on the trip across country, and we didn't have to worry about a crying cat. Our biggest problem coming to Arizona? Shadow got out of the cage in a hotel parking lot in Texas, and for an hour we searched for him. He almost ended up living in Texas, but Jim & I were not going to give up, and leave him there.
Shadow had a wonderful retirement in Arizona. Very little thunder. No weekly fireworks from a baseball stadium behind the house. He would lay on the back of the couch, watch out the window, and flirt with the children and women who went to the swimming pool behind our apartment. He enjoyed his last years with Dickens, Stormy Roy Ann Weatherly and Nikki, our other cats.
And, me? I never had a cat who sat in my lap and looked at me with that much love and adoration in his eyes. He had the loudest purr in the world, and would stare at Jim in bed at night until Jim would pet him.
Thank you, Shadow, for all the love you gave us. Rest in Peace.