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You were just eight weeks old when Daddy brought you home.  We had already picked out your name and Daddy looked at all the kittens and said your name.  You were the one whose ears perked up.  So you chose us.  You were such a tiny little thing but so feisty.  I remember the time you were about to sharpen your claws on one of the speakers and Daddy spoke sternly to you.  You went running down the hall.  About halfway down the hall (Daddy didn’t see it but I did) you drew yourself up to your full 4” high, turned sideways, puffed up, and hissed at him. 

You took good care of Dunkin the dog.  If his food bowl was empty you meowed just as loud as if your own were empty.  Dunkin was always afraid of thunderstorms.  There was a particularly bad one and all of us were sitting in the living room.  Dunkin was doing his best to merge with my leg and whimpering.  You were about 8 months old and you came over and smacked him as if to say, “get a grip”. 

 In your younger years you were quite the acrobat.  You could swing around that cat tree like a monkey.  You played fetch with your fur mice.  They had to be fur mice.  I tried other toys through the years but the fur mice were always your favorite.  Those and your feather.  I remember I would walk around the kitchen with the feather trailing behind me and you would sneak up and try to grab it.  Once you grabbed it right out of my hand.

I remember how, just before you got sick for the last time, how I would shut Tank in the office so you and I could play with the feather.  You still could zip around and get all puffy. 

Every chair in the house you have sat in and I still see you laying there.  And my closet is filled with cat hair.  You always insisted on sleeping in the closet hiding behind my clothes and covering them with cat hair.   I tried once to keep you out of the closet.  I closed the door and put a chair against it so you couldn’t open it.  I came home to a very strategically placed poop in front of the closet.  I went out and got you a bed for the closet and moved all my good clothes up to the higher rack.  But your favorite place was on the foot rest of Daddy’s chair.    And at night you got in your tower and guarded the door.

 You protected us.  You growled every time someone rang the doorbell.  I’ve never known another cat to growl.  You meant business and you were protecting us.

 You were dignified.  You would never stoop to sleeping on the bed (unless it was very cold) and absolutely never in someone’s lap.  But you would come to a snap of the fingers and always loved being petted and scratched. 

 You were very adamant about your treats.  Anytime someone got up from the bed and went in the kitchen you had to have treats.  It didn’t matter if it was 2AM.  It was kind of like a toll to get through the kitchen.  And when you noticed that I was about to leave for work you went to the pantry door and meowed for your treat again. 

It was the treats where I first noticed you weren’t feeling well.  When you wouldn’t eat your treats something was very wrong.  It was one of the last things you ate and I know you tried to eat them because you knew how much I wanted you to, but you just couldn’t swallow them. 

There are so many memories that haven’t come to me yet.

 The scratches on my arm from giving you your medicine are healing now.  In a few weeks I will clean the cat hair out of my closet.  We got you a nice wooden box for your ashes and they will sit next to Dunkin’s box.  On top we will place a brand new fur mouse and some treats.  But you aren’t in that box.  You will live forever in our hearts.