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Farewell precious friend

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Usually here in this column I write about the horrors endured by animals around the globe. But today, this is dedicated to a precious furry family member who has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. TC Kitty made her journey to the Bridge on December 11, 2013, after spending her entire 16 years on this earth as a blessing in our lives.

TC Kitty was one of a kind. Her mother, Miss Kitty, had been dumped at the PetSmart store my daughter managed in the middle of a hurricane when she was only about three weeks old. My daughter brought her home, and I bottle fed her, did all the things a mother cat should do, and Miss Kitty thrived. She got pregnant before I could get her spayed, and in that litter was TC Kitty. Sadly, Miss Kitty made her own journey to the Bridge far too soon, dying of rare cardiomyopathy after major surgery on her abdomen.

TC Kitty spent her life with us from the day she was born. She was gentle, sweet, and such an amazing little girl. She had a habit of never wanting to walk or lie down on the floor inside the house. She would jump from table to sofa and go all around a room that way, until she made her way to a lap or a cushy spot to take a nap. She loved being a lap cat. Her soft little motor would run, and she would look deeply into my eyes, as I gave her soft strokes and talked gently to her.

The day that her own babies were coming into the world, she crawled into my lap and would not budge. She was having contractions, and snuggled herself onto my chest. She wanted me to pet her and reassure her during this very frightening time. That is exactly what I did, too. I let her stay there, nestled against my chest, stroking her soft fur and talking to her gently, until it was time for her babies to be born. Then I sat and helped her deliver those precious little babies. She had four beautiful babies, and she was a perfect mother. She allowed me to come and pick them up, but no one else. It was as if we shared that special bond of motherhood.

When we lost our home to foreclosure and found a nice little house to rent, she fell in love with the back yard. The yard faces the salt marsh, and she would snuggle up under an azalea bush next to a tree out there, and just doze and spend lazy days there. She did not leave the yard, but instead made her way around to the side of the house and then back to her special place under that bush. That is where her little grave is now; under that bush, in the spot she loved so much.

She was very skilled at catching lizards, and had a never-ending supply of them at this house. But, she never hurt the lizards. I would know she had caught one by a unique and very loud meow that she would let out when she had one in her mouth. She knew I would come to the door to see the "prize" she brought to me. She would have a very proud look in her eyes as she held up her little head to show me her gift, and then promptly drop the lizard, who would scurry back to the safety of the bushes.

Recently, TC Kitty had been slowing down. There were times when she would not eat. We tempted her with special foods, and always made sure she was inside during rain storms or the cold, even when she protested about it. There came a morning when she did not come to breakfast, and I had the nagging sense that something was not right. She had had a few days where she was late for a meal, so I wrapped up her breakfast and waited for her to come running. She did not come, though. I had called and called for her, as had my husband. When suppertime came and she still did not come, we knew.

We found her lying in her favorite place to catch lizards. She was so peaceful. She did as most animals do, which is to find a quiet and secluded place to cross over to the Bridge. My husband laid her gently in her grave, marking it with the granite rocks she loved to nap behind.

That afternoon, it was as if the back yard creatures knew she was gone. Birds and squirrels were everywhere. Birds sat on the handles of the shovel and post digger my husband had used to make her grave. They sat all over and around her little grave, and sang beautiful songs. It was a little funeral taking place out there, as they said goodbye to an old friend who had spent so many hours with them. She never hurt any of them, and they seemed to know she was a special friend.

My lap feels so very empty now. I miss her warmth, her sweet little soft purr, and that amazing face with her huge green eyes. I miss smiling at her antics of trying to never walk across the floor, or watching her doze in the sun out back. Sometimes I think I catch a glimpse of her out there, but then I realize she is at the Bridge, and my heart aches from the loss.

Rest in peace my precious little friend. I will see you again one day. For now, just know that you were so loved and cherished as a part of our family. I will always miss you, my sweet TC Kitty.

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