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The Day I knew I loved Cats

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My Mother got me a black & white Tuxedo cat when I was about 10 that I named "Mittens"
He was a great cat for a boy, in the mornings, he'd bat at my hair and wake me up so instead of Mom having to force me out of bed, there I'd be with Mittens, heaping affection on each other.
I hated school but I couldn't wait to get home and see him again.
He disappeared for a few days and I was beside myself with worry, I searched for him everywhere and we didn't find him for three days untill he came back home.
This was at a time when you put the cat out for the night as a matter of course.

I remember once, I threw a frisbee across the yard and it happened to land right at Mittens feet and I'll never forget the sight of that cat going straight up from all fours about three feet in the air. We laughed at that sight for hours!

Then my brother brought home a gray-striped tabby he called "Alex"
This cat had the biggest blue eyes I ever remember seeing on a cat and he and Mittens got along great. Alex could jump like no other cat I'd ever seen up to that point and he was everything a warm, 4 month old kitten should be.
But he too, got put out for the night with Mittens.
How could we have been so stupid?!

Alex and Mittens didn't come home in the morning and my friend Stanley and I began a search for both cats at my brothers behest.
He suggested that we do a "grid search" of the area with Stanley working back to our house from the east and I from the west.

After several hours, the search was proving fruitless as Stanley and I were converging on my house.
That's when I saw Alex laying in the road on his side, he raised his left front paw in what appeared to be a plea for help.
"Oh God, no.
I raced towards him on my bike and was horrified by what I saw. Being only 10, I did all I could think to do at that age, stand in the middle of the street and scream for my Dad.
I guess they heard me because the next thing I knew, My Mom, my Dad and my brother were all rushing out to find me on my knees, crying over this poor, dying animal in the middle of the street.
Mom led me away and Dad picked up poor Alex as he took his last breath.
Dad buried him in our back yard.
Soon thereafter, Mittens disappeared and was never seen again.

I wouldn't have a cat again untill some 25 years later when I could make sure that I didnt' have to "put the cat out for the night" at the behest of a parent or older sibiling.
I refused to care for another cat until I could make certain that I was the one who was solely and only responsible for making sure that my cats could live all the years that they could without having to face the danger of cars, dogs or pathalogical cat-haters.

When my time finally comes, I look forward to seeing Alex and Mittens again-to give them the apology that I owe them.
post #2 of 6
Uncle Fester, I know exactly what you mean. I also lost my first two childhood cats, Chester and Boots, because they were indoor/outdoor cats who were put out for the night. Chester was run over, and Boots died because he was accidently locked inside a neighor's garage and was beyond any possible help by the time he was discovered. Neither cat ever reached it's first birthday.

All the cats I have owned since becoming an adult have been strictly indoor cats and I know they are safe.
post #3 of 6
My cats as a child were indoor/outdoor as well. Both came to bad ends. I also waited until I became and adult to get another cat. Now I have two that I spoil to a ridiculous degree. (Both are totally indoor, of course.) One of the worst nights in recent memory is when my then boyfriend let my Simon out by accident.
I thought I would have a heart attack. Luckily we found him in pretty short order. (I even forgave my boyfriend. He's now my husband!)

Mittens and Alex know that you loved them and only wanted the best for them. Taking wonderful care of your cats now makes them happy.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, thanks for your kind words.
Taking care of the cats I have now is my duty, getting involved with Cat Rescue and saving as many of them as I'm reasonably able is my pennance.
post #5 of 6
All mine have been indoor/outdoor cats but they have NEVER been out at night in their lives, even by accident. But it was the 'done thing' a few years ago.
I am glad you have happy memories of Alex and Mittens.
post #6 of 6
I'm sorry for your loss, it speaks volumes that you are here years later telling us about Alex and Mittens, they know you love them and are waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.
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