Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cuddles 1998 - 2010

She was my youngest son's 7th birthday present, a small gray feral kitten that one of our friends had tamed. My son picked her out and dubbed her "Cuddles". Like most kittens, she was indeed soft and cuddly, but as she matured she became an independent sort of cat. She was also the only pet we ever had that managed to escape before she could be spayed at six months. The results of her adventure were delivered in our den inside a lined cardboard box. My four kids duly named her four kittens: Hobbes, Flower, Butterfly, and Leo. Cuddles had her operation soon after the kittens were weaned and none of her progeny got to reproduce.

As she grew older she also grew more curmudgeonly, but there were still times when Cuddles asked to be held and stroked, her 'motor' purring in appreciation. She loved to curl up in the sun or to stalk around the grounds hunting mice. Every morning she loudly begged for her special breakfast of moist cat food to supplement her kibble. At night she liked to sleep in a cat house I had made.

Thursday morning I discovered that Cuddles had slept her last sleep within that house. Sometime during the night, while she was dreaming cat dreams, her heart stopped beating. She died in her sleep at twelve years of age. Her boy was far away at college, so I took one of his old cotton shirts, wrapped her body in it, and buried her in the old garden plot. Next spring we will plant flowers where she lies.

In the greater scheme of things, I'm sure Cuddles was simply a cat among many cats in this world. But she was our cat and we loved her.


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