He Blessed us with 18 of his 19-20 years. Back in 1995 I had rescued a frail kitten, named Mario, and nursing it back to health, while also tending our two older cats, Baby and Eastwood. We also had a couple of dogs and my girls were in grade school. Add the 2 kids I baby-sat, and a Hubby... I had a houseful!
On Halloween night, Rocky, whom had been a stray for a while in the neighborhood, was a target for some naughty boys that lived next door. My Hubby, decided he'd let Rocky stay...just for Halloween in our garage for safe keeping. Rocky was very grateful. His muscular build with large scarred jaws, curled up on a blanket, purring loudly, showing his thanks for the bowl of kitty chow & water.
I really did not think we would keep him. He was a big ole Tom Cat! Nothing like my "housecats". He had a little "cat house" shelter on the porch. We did not let him in. I had just sold our home and didn't need the ciaos of cats becoming territorial. However, during the home inspection, the new buyers let him in... where my dogs & existing cats had a hay-day destoring the house in an hours time!
Even so, the day we moved, I dropped Rocky & Mario off to be neutered and "spend the night" at the Vet while we got settled into the new home. The next day they joined us and found their niche and the peaking order fell into place.
|The Boys sharing a snooze|
He had a very protective side. When Hubby worked long hours, Rocky would perch himself by a window... growing (like a dog) at people that walked too close to our home. He was my Watch Cat. Always alerting the dogs BEFORE someone actually approached the door.
He never complained. Never tore anything up or missed the liter box. Even on his last days, he manage to find the liter box.
His vision failed almost a year ago, followed by loss of hearing and arthritis. He always just adapted... never fusing or complaining.
The past couple of weeks have been touchy. He started a strange cry that we have never heard. But as soon as we touched him, he'd give his sweet, "Murr". It was as if he got confused...lost. And as soon as we would get him, he'd murr and purr. He slept a lot. He ate a lot (spoiled with canned kitten chow as it was rich in protein and easy to eat). Yesterday, he had trouble eating... then couldn't get comfortable and rest. He throw up, hard. This either twisted his tummy, intestines, or my Veterinarian, suggest it may have triggered another stroke. Rocks struggled... He couldn't straighten or walk. He quickly grew labored, and showed pain or stress. We made that difficult drive to our Vet, holding and loving him to the end. My Dear Vet, is truly a man that loves animals. He spoke so softly to my old Kitty, reminding him of funner times and spoke of his dear Buddy Mario (whom past several years ago).
It is so awful to lose a pet. They are so generous and love us so unconditionally. They live such short but impacted lives. They touch us and can teach us so much.
Even my Lovies that are with me for the shortest time, I wouldn't trade those moments and memories for anything♥