He literally came out of nowhere. I’ll get to that later. This is the story of our cat, Tiger, and how he came to be our pet, but the story is mostly about a different cat, a much-beloved tough kitty named Simon. When I met my husband, I fell head over heels in love. I think he felt the same way, because after a semi-chaste three month courtship punctuated by serious make-out sessions, we finally had our first “sleep-over” date and we were inseparable. About three weeks after this seminal occasion, he came over after work, and mentioned that he needed to go home to feed his cat. “Cat?!?! You have a cat?” was my startled response. “Yeah, didn’t I tell you?” he tentatively questioned. “His name is Simon.” I think he was a little afraid of what I would think about a six-foot two big lug of a guy owning a cat. If it was even humanly possible, I fell more in love with him at that minute than at any other time in my life. “Why didn’t you tell me? Let’s bring him here!!” I insisted on going to his place with him that very instant to pick up the cat and bring him to my place to live.

We picked up Simon and took him back to my apartment, along with his bowl and litter box. He was a big cat, black with white paws and chest, and according to John, a mainly outdoor cat, coming and going at will through a pet-door in his kitchen. John told me about how Simon was a hunter and very independent, which maybe was why it never came up that he owned a pet. Upon further inquiry, I discovered that John retained custody of Simon after a break-up, it being decided it was best for the cat to stay in its original home. I thought that was sweet. Many men would have gotten rid of the cat or insisted the departing partner take him. It seemed that they co-existed nicely, with little need for John’s ministrations beyond the cleaning of a little-used litter box and the refilling of a water/food bowl.

Needless to say, my idea of owning a cat was a little different than John’s, his less hands-on approach seeming a little too neglectful for my tastes, hence the decision for a change of venue for Simon. John was spending almost every night at my place, and it just seemed like the right thing to do. Well, Simon was not having any of it. Used to being able to go out at will, he howled and yowled and complained at being an indoor cat. John wanted to let him out, and I of course told him absolutely not, at least not until he got used to the move. Three days later, we made the mistake of leaving the door open for a second longer than usual, and he bolted. We spent the next two hours driving down the streets in Ocean Beach, calling “Simon, Simon, here kitty, kitty!” I was beside myself, and I could tell John was clearly upset over losing his cat, who I realized by his red-rimmed eyes was far more important to him than I originally thought. We finally went home, hoping beyond hope that he was just hiding. My neighbor was out front, and I asked him to keep a look out for our lost cat. He asked me “is he black and white?” and my heart leapt. “Yes, have you seen him?” I cried. “Yeah, he’s right over there, chilling in the bushes”. Sure enough, right then we heard a tentative “meow” and there he was. John cradled him in his arms and his relief was evident by the huge smile on his face. We made a pact to keep the door shut until we were absolutely sure Simon would not get lost and was comfortable in his new digs.

Life went on swimmingly, with John eventually moving in with me and us renting out his condo. I adored Simon. He was such a charming guy, who one minute would be climbing the walls to be let out and the next be lounging in the windowsill soaking in the sunlight. One day my landlord knocked on my door and asked “Lorie, do you have a cat? I saw one in the window.” I hemmed and hawed that it was John’s cat and asked “what could we do? We couldn’t just get rid of him!!” My landlord was a sweet guy who really liked me as a tenant. A little back story – when I went to look at that apartment, I was in a suit, with a filled-out application, a credit report, and a cashier’s check for first, last and deposit. He was holding it open and there were a bunch of kids there, obviously roommate situations. I took him aside and told him “you don’t want to rent to these kids. You want to rent to me.” Upon recovering from this proclamation of superiority over the less-desirable youngsters, he simply said “okay”, and that was that. The apartment was a large, ground floor unit with a roof-top deck that overlooked the ocean, and it was $600.00 a month back then. You can understand my preparedness when I went to see it – I had already done a drive-by and knew it had to be mine. Anyway, back to Simon. My landlord told me “I understand, but if I let you have a cat, I have to let everyone have a cat. You have one month to find him a home or you have to move.”

I was devastated. I loved Simon, and I loved my apartment. After a week of agony, a thought occurred to me. What if I bought my own place? I was gainfully employed, had good credit, and best of all, John’s mother was a realtor. The more I thought about it, the better it sounded. I asked John’s mom to begin looking for me in Ocean Beach. She tut-tutted, and said “I have the perfect place to show you in the village of Point Loma”. I was dismayed. I wanted to stay in Ocean Beach. I was fond of the area, its bohemian lifestyle the initial draw of why I lived there in the first place. Reluctantly, I went to see the condo she had in mind. The next day we had written an offer. The condo was smashing - very grown-up, with a wet bar and French doors on both patios. My old apartment was literally fading from my memory only to be replaced by my need to get this terrific condo no matter what. We finally made a full-price offer, it was accepted, and I was in escrow. I called my landlord to break the news that I was moving out and told him about my new place. He was very happy for me and we had a laugh about how a cat had pushed me into the realm of homeownership. I gave him a full one-month notice, which worked out perfectly because it would give me a week after escrow closed to move out and clean, and he in turn gave me back my entire deposit. We parted as friends, him wishing me luck and me thanking him for kicking me out and giving me the push I needed to start growing up. Although I knew he would miss me as a tenant, I think he was secretly pleased that his most responsible tenant was becoming more so.

We moved into the condo, and Simon got used to his new digs quickly, being able to come and go out the back patio. He never went far, mostly just out on the grass to sun himself or chase butterflies. If I called him, he would come bounding over the brick wall that separated the patio from the grassy yard and fly into the house. One night, right before sunset, I called him and he did not come. I stayed up all night, calling and waiting. By the next morning, he still had not come home. All day at work I was miserable, and because I did not work far from home, I kept going home to see if he was there. That night, going to bed, I told John “I am really worried something happened to him”. John, although clearly concerned, told me “he used to do this all the time. He’ll come back.” That night, after finally drifting off to sleep, I heard a meow at the patio door. I ran down the stairs, opened the door and he literally flew inside, covered head to toe with dirt. I screamed “Simon!!” and hugged him as hard as I could without squishing him. Hungry, he was squirming to be let down, but I hugged him for a good minute before letting him eat. John was standing beside us by then, grinning and saying “I knew he would come back”. But after that incident, we both agreed it was time for Simon to become an indoor cat.

Life went on, with us getting married after three and a half years together. Simon was about nine by then, and by all appearances seemed to be doing well. We had treated him for a urinary tract infection and also for worms most likely contracted during his tom-cat days, but for the most part he never seemed to have any health issues. One thing I noticed though was that he had started to dislike being held. I chalked it up to age. Other than that, he ate well, still liked being petted, and slept with us every night. During this time, after hearing our neighbors get into yet another fight, and the real estate market taking off, we decided that it was time to sell the condo and move into a house. We found a nifty three bedroom fixer on Catalina Blvd. that had not had anything done to it since it was built in the fifties. As a matter of fact, the owner was the original owner. She was elderly and very sweet. When we went to see the place, she peered at John and asked him “what’s your name again?” He told her his full name, and she said ‘I remember you when you were just a little boy. There was a little girl, too.” He responded “that was my brother and sister.” It just so happens that his mom and dad lived in the house one door down from her during the late fifties and early sixties. That was it. We were in. She told us she wanted us to have her house and we could not agree more that it was meant to be. She was sad to be leaving the house she raised her children in and shared with her now deceased husband, but she was going to be moving in with her daughter and their family and they were very happy to have her. We promised to take good care of the house.

Another move for Simon, but by now he was okay with moving. He loved the bigger house, having more room to roam around, and a big back yard for exploring. He rarely wanted to go out much anymore, other than to lie in the garden. We did lots of work on the house, pulling back old carpets to find pristine hardwood floors which we had sanded and finished to gorgeous results and rewiring the place to have light switches and overhead fixtures rather than plug-in lamps. Then one day, Simon vomited. I thought nothing of it, as cats are prone to do so. That night, he did not want to eat. The next morning he ate very little, and promptly vomited again. Now I was concerned. Always a voracious eater, it was unlike him to not have an appetite. I called the vet, and they checked him for any obstruction or foreign object that may have wrapped around the back of his throat (cats like string and sometimes it gets caught in their throats and causes retching). They decided to keep him and run a few tests, just to be safe. I went to work, confident that whatever it was, it was nothing serious.

The vet called me at work that afternoon. “I’m afraid I have some bad news”, she told me. I slowly sat down in my chair and asked “what’s wrong with Simon?”, my voice shaky. She went on to tell me that his kidneys were not functioning, one being completely atrophied, the other enlarged and shutting down due to over-compensatory use. “What does that mean for Simon?” I asked, although I had an idea that this was not good. She said “he most likely will not survive more than a month at best.” Tears streaming down my face, I left work and picked him up. They had given him fluids, which restored his appetite, and me instructions on how to administer subcutaneous fluids to him to keep him hydrated. They said to bring him back in a week and they would test him again to see if there were any changes in his kidney values and we would discuss what to do next. We diligently gave him his treatments, praying that somehow, someway, he would improve.

A week later I took Simon back to the vet, and when I picked him up, they told me his values had rallied for the better. They said it was a bit of a miracle, because kidney disease in felines rarely improved. I was beside myself with gratitude, because this tough kitty had become a cherished member of our little family. I was told to keep giving him the fluids and watch him, and to call them if I noticed any change in his condition. Weeks went by, with Simon seeming to be his old self, lying in the sun, eating, and actually still playing with his toys. I would pull a string around and he would chase after it, sometimes jumping several feet to pounce on it. Then, one day, he vomited again. My heart stopped. The vet had told me that vomiting is a sure sign that he is declining. I took him in, they tested him, and told me his kidney function was almost zero. When I asked what I should do, they told me to take him home and say goodbye. For the next three days, I came home every day from work at least twice a day to hold him and pet him, and every night I kept him in our bed. He was barely eating and had lost so much weight, but he still looked healthy and his spirit was still strong. Then, on the fourth day, I noticed his eyes were becoming dull, and he would not let me hold him. The vet had explained to me that this progressive disease most likely had started years ago, and his starting to not like being held was because it was painful. By now, he was most likely in terrible pain. I was in pain as well, the realization that maybe I could have helped Simon had I brought him in sooner becoming unbearable. I made the call, and they said to bring him in the next morning to determine where he was in terms of whether or not it was time.

How do you describe bringing your pet, that looks up at your face in the morning and meows “hello” to you, to the vet to most likely be euthanized? You can’t. It is difficult to even write about this, because it stills brings tears to my eyes. I let Simon out that morning, and he basked in the sun for the last time. I put him in his carrier, and he and I took our last car ride together, him crying like he always did when he was in the carrier, me sobbing uncontrollably at the thought of what was coming next. To hear Simon crying so loud, more so than ever, like he knew what was coming, almost made me turn the car around. I had to pull over because I could not see, and I reached into his carrier and stroked his fur until I was composed enough to drive. When I got to the vet’s office, I put my sunglasses on, went inside, and one of the employees met me in the lobby. As she took the carrier, I let out a sob so loud the entire office stopped what they were doing and tried to console me. The people waiting in the waiting room realized that I was experiencing the worst nightmare a pet owner confronts – the letting go of a beloved pet. I handed off the carrier and ran out, embarrassed and grief-stricken.

Back at work, I waited. There was still a small glimmer of hope, maybe Simon could live a little longer with more fluids or some other miracle. The phone rang, and the receptionist said ‘Lorie, it’s your vet.” I took the call, and they said he was barely alive, and would I give the authorization to put him down. I called John to tell him, and he said “Honey, he is suffering. Call them and tell them okay.” I called them back and gave them my permission. To this day, I wish I had been with him when they did it. One of my greatest regrets in life is that I was not there to hold him and tell him how much he meant to us. I cannot explain it, but at the time I could not do it. I was inconsolable, and I could not bring myself to watch him die. My only explanation for this is that I had not had a pet in so long, and Simon was like a little soul in our house that I had become dependent upon. Without his presence, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.

At work, I sat at my desk and felt only torment. “I should be there, I should be there” played over and over in my head. The guilt was crashing over me in waves, but I just sat there and cried. Finally, I went home. When I walked through the door, I half-expected Simon to come out of nowhere. It was awful to see his bowls and toys and litterbox sitting there, waiting for him to come home. A few minutes later, my husband came home, too. We hugged and cried, and decided to go for a walk. It was so sad for both of us, his birthday just being two days before, mine being the following day. It was the worst birthday week we ever had, but neither of us cared about our birthdays. We only wished that Simon could have lived longer.

The vet’s office had explained that Simon would be put to sleep around 1:30. Our walk was silent mostly, both of us thinking about this special cat and his place in our lives, and dreading going home to an empty house and having to dispose of Simon’s things, almost like he never existed. It was truly a death in the family to us, this cat who was so instrumental in orchestrating changes in our lives that were so wonderful. Would John and I have decided to live together and eventually get married if Simon had not tripped the strings of my animal loving heart? Would I have bought my first place, which lead to us owning our dream home that we live in now had Simon not been the catalyst? Who’s to say, but these thoughts had run through my head for years, and that cat had become in my mind something of a Godsend, because he only brought good into my life.

On our way back from our walk, we were three blocks from our old house when I heard it. A little meow, and then something rubbed against the back of my leg. I looked down, and to my astonishment there was this little orange cat. He was skinny, his hair was short and mangy, and he had fleas all around his face. He stared up at me as if he were trying to tell me something. Then he meowed again. I told John to run home and get some food. He did, and the little orange cat wolfed it down. I looked up at John with a pleading look in my eyes. He gently told me “it’s too soon.” We continued to walk home, and the little orange cat followed us. He walked straight through the side door, sniffed the litter box, nibbled on some more food, and hopped up on the sofa. I looked at the clock. It was 1:30.

He has been with us since. The vet said he was probably a little under a year old when he found us eight years ago. We named him Tiger. Photobucket Tiger now 

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Comments

nan shartel Feb. 2, 2011 @ 4:09 p.m.

i love u so much it just plain hurts Grantie!!

too verclempt to write more now ;-D

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MsGrant Feb. 2, 2011 @ 6:02 p.m.

I've been wanting to write about this cat for years, nan, but everytime I sat down to do it I was overcome with emotion. I was reading about that cat, Dewey, and I started formulating in my head the story of how Tiger came to us at what we believed (and later confirmed when I brought Tiger in for his first check-up) to be almost the exact time they put down Simon. About noon today I sat down and it just came out. I loved that cat, and I can't help but think that in some weird way he had a hand (paw, maybe?) in Tiger coming to be our pet. We love all our cats, and they each have their individual stories, but Tiger is special.

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J. Dean Feb. 3, 2011 @ 10:04 a.m.

Wow. Just read your touching story here. As a man, I guess crying is a sign of weakness to some, but sheesh, you got me. This just hit me in a weak spot. I was just viewing the Reader site as I often do and your story caught my eye. After reading just the first paragraph I was hooked. I can relate to John, as I too was left with a cat after a divorce. She has been a savior to me in some of my darkest moments, always there, always loving. Exactly what I needed. And, although my new girlfriend is a cat lover, my cat is a one person cat. Or so I thought. Her normal reaction to new people is to hide under my bed blanket and wait for the commotion to be over. Not so with this girl. Their first encounter was very unusual. Gretch came out and meowed at her and even gave her some gracious kitty kisses. She's never done that to anyone else except my ex-wife and me. It was almost as if she knew that this woman was going to be with me a while, and this was her way of approving of the union. Is it strange to desire approval of a new mate from your cat? Oh well, sue me. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Give Tiger a few pets for me. :)

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MsGrant Feb. 3, 2011 @ 10:22 a.m.

Thanks, everest :) I think our pets are sensitive to the people in our lives, and Gretch's approval meant something special to you. Sometimes after someone significant leaves our lives, our pets become more important - they keep us company and give us unconditional love. Thanks so much for sharing your story...and Tiger thanks you for the pets!!

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 3, 2011 @ 11:36 a.m.

Simon was a beautiful kitty, and he lived a good life, and it is true-when our animals die we die, because they are a part of us, I know this feeling all too well. You cannot forget the end, but you will also never forget all the good times you had together.......and the happy times you brought Simon and that Simon brought you.

I pulled a senior Pit Bull from an LA Shelter January 23, 10 y/o and partially blind. Teddy is his name, great guy, and he had kennel cough when he left the shelter-like all the animals there because it is a hell hole. Teddy was fine the first 6 days and then one week after I pulled him he got sick and would not eat, this lasted the entire day and by the next morning (4 days ago) he was near death-could not move, nor eat or drink, and had glazed over eyes.

I made an emergency appointment with my vet and off we went. Teddy had pneumonia and dog flu (swine flu for dogs) and he almost died. He is still in the vet hospital right now-4 full days, and is better but has not truned the corner. Here is a dog that has had an awfully hard life, but is the most gentle and loving dog you could imagine, and I was not going to let him die like that after just getting him pulled and ready for the good life ahead of him. I hope to bring him home in the next few days.....

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MsGrant Feb. 3, 2011 @ 1:10 p.m.

Surfpuppy, it is truly remarkable what you do. I see the older dogs at the shelter, languishing in their cages because no one wants to adopt an older animal. The reality is the older dogs make great pets, because they are calmer, better trained and just want your love and to give you theirs. I am sure that Teddy will make a full recovery. Just knowing someone cares about him will strengthen his will to live.

That is one of the hardest parts (not that any are easy) about having to make that heart-wrenching decision to put an animal to sleep. Even if they are sick, their will to live is very strong. I'll never forget Simon, and I was glad to write this tribute to one of the coolest cats I've had the fortune to share my home with.

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Duhbya Feb. 3, 2011 @ 3:22 p.m.

MsG, thank you so much for sharing this with us. The pain is unrelenting, and the platitudes can carry one just so far. I have been blessed with so many unique 4 legged mates, both feline and canine, and each holds their own special place in my heart. The most recent loss was our beloved Lucy, a rescue girl who adopted me, from the get-go. She too, knew inherently what was happening that dark Sunday morning last year when we went on our final ride together. She refused to leave the car and enter the vet's office, so we had to perform the task outside. I bawled like an infant as she slipped away. Such a sweet lady. Be well. You too, Surf puppy.....I'm proud of you!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbigrig/5413911003/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbigrig/5414520800/

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 3, 2011 @ 6:09 p.m.

. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbigrig/5413911003/ .

. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbigrig/5414520800/ .

Duhbya Lucy was a beautiful dog........beautiful eyes and coloring.......sorry for your loss.

It is like you said, the pain of loss can be so instense. These are family members, when they die part of us dies with them.

I only take in rescue dogs. My Teddy seems to be impoving and his x-rays tomorrow morning will show if his pneumonia is receding. Here a couple pics of Teddy;

. http://www.flickr.com/photos/57186704@N05/5414295223/ .

. http://www.flickr.com/photos/57186704@N05/5414925764/ .

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 3, 2011 @ 2:43 p.m.

I only work the seniors, because they are the ones who knew a good decent life at one time, if not their entire life, and are in the shelter through no fault of their own. I have no respect for anyone who would dump a defenseless animal in their senior years at a shelter to face nearly certain death.

Well, I have to go now, Teddy needs his 1 hour daily visit from me and the Vet closes at 4PM today. I hope is better, and I hope he can go home soon. He has a great adopter waiting for him to get better-in MN!

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MsGrant Feb. 3, 2011 @ 3:52 p.m.

Duhbya, it's amazing how our pets get into our hearts and become family. I too think animals find us, we don't find them. It always seems like the right pet comes into your life just when you need them the most. I am sorry for your loss of your sweet friend, Lucy. If it's any comfort, they know we loved them dearly.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 3, 2011 @ 6:15 p.m.

I too think animals find us, we don't find them.

Same here. It is fate. How my Dalamation came to me was pure fate, it was meant to be, same with my little Cocker and my first Pittie Nala. All of them.

They came for a reason-why, I don't know. But I do believe it was destiny.

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MsGrant Feb. 3, 2011 @ 6:21 p.m.

Thank you both for those amazing photos!! Now I am all choked up...:'') I cannot believe that anyone would hurt that beautiful dog, Duhbya, but I so glad she found you. And Surf, I am so glad Teddy is getting better. He is absolutely lovely. Your dogs...what can I say? That picture of them all lying together...:)

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Duhbya Feb. 4, 2011 @ 8:03 a.m.

And thanks, again, to you both. It's remarkable how the little cupids are such an integral part of strengthening the bonds between us. Surf P, when I click on the puppy links, I get:

This photo is private. Oops! You don't have permission to view this photo.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 6, 2011 @ 3:19 p.m.

Hmm..I don't know how to fix that, but Ms Grant saw the pics, but I will change try to change it-sorry.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 6, 2011 @ 3:20 p.m.

OK, I did make a change, hope it works.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 6, 2011 @ 6:52 p.m.

Teddy is MUCH IMPROVED. He was released from the Vet on Friday, after his pneumonia had cleared 90%. He still has a cough/congestion, but it is slowly going away-everyday he gets better. He is sleeping right now-he went out today for a 10 minute walk, not just a potty break around the backyard......he still wants to come visit all the others-but not yet, maybe in a few days-still contagious...I am still doing his chest "cupping" (chest compressions like clapping, but very hard) to dislodge any mucus that may be left-but I am sure it is mostly gone because he does not cough nearly as much when I do this. Thanks for asking about Teddy!

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Founder Feb. 6, 2011 @ 9:37 p.m.

SP - That's 3 Lucky Dogs...

Since you are so good to them, here is a little treat for both you and them:

Get a swimming mask and smear a little peanut butter on the outside of the glass faceplate. Lie on your back and let one (or more) of your dogs lick the peanut off and enjoy the action up close yet safe! If you have a video camera and record it, then win big on America's Funnest Videos, I'm sure you and your dogs will become famous.

=^..^= ...(♒)...

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Duhbya Feb. 8, 2011 @ 11:32 a.m.

Yessir, and well worth the wait. The picture(s) of contentment, in fact. Thanks, and nice work, SP!

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MsGrant Feb. 9, 2011 @ 10:41 a.m.

It's a dog's life!! Lucky puppies. And lucky Puppy!

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Founder Feb. 6, 2011 @ 12:28 p.m.

Here is a pet video treat for all pet lovers to enjoy: http://www.dogwork.com/ddsff4/

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MsGrant Feb. 6, 2011 @ 12:47 p.m.

Awww, Founder, that was so awesome! Thanks for that. We can learn a lot from animals. Anyone who says animals do not feel emotions are clueless jerks.

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nan shartel Feb. 7, 2011 @ 1:30 p.m.

oh founder that video was so wonderful!!!

now if we can just get diverse peoples to do the same ;-D

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Robert Johnston Feb. 7, 2011 @ 12:37 a.m.

This story reminds me of when I was married.

We had a tabby, turned out to be a Daddy's Lad. At first, we thought "he" was a "she." So, we named "her" Hayley, after my wife's favorite soap-opera character Haley from "All My Children."

Later, we found "she" was indeed a "he." So, we changed the name to "Komet,"to associate it with "Haley"

Then we had him neutered--and he became "Mr. Thang." He was a typical Daddy's Boy, who regarded my lap as his sanctuary.

We had him for a year--then he perished from insectcide poisoning from a flea collar. A few months later, we went to the Oceanside Transit Center to pick out a new kitty.

As we watched the kittens in action, one of them started climbed up the bars of the enclousure, as if to say "Pick Me! Pick Me!"

How could we resist?

My wife held the little one (a black American Domestic Shorthair), then it was my turn. At the time, I was wearing a moustache. Jett (her agreed-upon name) took onec look at it and started chewing on it!

Jett was a "Mommy's Girl" (found out later they imprint on whichever partner holds them first), but I do miss her even today.

Nothing can compare with a little four-legged friend that shares your life. --LPR

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David Dodd Feb. 7, 2011 @ 1:40 a.m.

Just a great story. Wonderfully circular and fulfilling, even for us non-cat-owners. Great job, Ms. Grant!

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MsGrant Feb. 7, 2011 @ 6:40 a.m.

Awe, that's sweet, LPR. I love animals. They're really like family and I think they bring people closer.

Thanks, RFG! Nice to see you back.

Surf, I am very glad to hear that Teddy is doing better. They really are big sweethearts, you know?

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Jay Allen Sanford Feb. 7, 2011 @ 8:43 a.m.

Simon was lucky to have such good people friends! Tiger too -- that's one happy looking cat! Great story -

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MsGrant Feb. 7, 2011 @ 9:20 a.m.

Thanks, Jay! They pretty much own me :)

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nan shartel Feb. 7, 2011 @ 1:31 p.m.

a big hello to Tiger and his homeys ;-D

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MsGrant Feb. 7, 2011 @ 2:27 p.m.

The cats of OB say "thanks, nan - oh, and thanks for the bikinis!!"

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nan shartel Feb. 7, 2011 @ 2:30 p.m.

Rdog and i knew they would need them with this warm spell this week ;-D

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antigeekess Feb. 7, 2011 @ 10:41 p.m.

Aw, this is sweet, Grantie. :)

I agree that pets -- especially cats -- tend to find us, rather than us finding them. Simba, my "white tiger," found me in a parking lot many years after I had envisioned him. Olivia had to put herself in my path twice on the opposite ends of town before I surrendered to fate and realized she was meant to be mine.

Here's another interesting phenom I've heard/read about more than once: That of a new/current pet suddenly putting on the habits of the deceased pet, seemingly developing their personality traits, etc.

So yes, I think Simon certainly could have put a bug in Tiger's ear and shown him your way. Stranger things have happened.

(=^..^=)~

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MsGrant Feb. 8, 2011 @ 6:53 a.m.

Thanks, anti!! Having had him grace us for all these years, I could not imagine our lives without him. Tiger is a lot like Simon, even though they did not know each other. But Tiger is a bit more of a pretty boy :) Having him enter our lives on that horrible day did not diminish the memory of Simon, but simply alleviated our suffering. And John's initial reluctance to Tiger coming into our lives? Tiger is partial to John, and lays next to him every night on the couch in the crook of his arm. John calls him "Tigey" :)

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MsGrant Feb. 9, 2011 @ 1:32 p.m.

Thanks, Opus!! Coming from you that's high praise indeed :)

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KaaSerpent Sept. 18, 2013 @ 2:32 p.m.

This was wonderful. I just had to go through the same thing about 4 months ago. It never gets any easier.

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