Tom (Mr. Cat) May 1980 - March 1998

by Diane
(Corsica, PA)

We brought Tom home from the local shelter when he was just about 8 weeks old. From the very beginning, he was not a "normal" kitten. He loved to be with people. I taught him how to play fetch with foil balls that I would toss up the steps. He would catch them often then bring them back down for me throw again. I moved several times while I had Tom and each time he would try out every window sill for weeks before he would go outside. My neighbor had a very large shepherd/husky mix that he neglected, so we sort of adopted Cody as well. Tom and Cody spent their days visiting the neighborhood, socializing. They would even walk me to the bus stop in the morning when I went to work and sit in the grass together until I left. Tom was sad when we were separated from Cody. in 1991, Tom disappeared for five days. When he came back, he was covered in soot, dehydrated, could not put weight on his back legs and had bruises on his face. He was also missing a tooth. The vet wanted to put him down as he had a broken pelvis, but I refused. I borrowed a medium size dog crate and for 10 weeks nursed him back to health. We moved into a trailer park and Tom would visit all the neighbors who, I learned were all giving him treats, lunch meat and cat food. I fostered orphaned kittens frequently as well as bunnies, dogs and puppies. I even had a pet mouse that lived in a converted cooler. Tom NEVER once try to harm any of the other animals. He visited a friend with me who had a bird that was out if it's cage more often than in it and Tom never once tried to hurt the bird. Tom sat at the extra chair at the table and waited for his scraps from dinner - he LOVED mushrooms from pizzas, potato chips, sausage, mashed potatoes, and just about anything else we offered him. When my husband passed away in 1998, I was visiting family out of town. Long story short, my two dogs and four cats had been alone with my husband's body for three days. As my trailer home was covered literally from top to bottom in blood, I had to stay at my mother's with my 6 year old son until disaster services cleaned the place up. I would go several times a day to take care of the animals. My husband was buried on a Friday and that Sunday morning early when I got to the trailer, Tom was having seizures in the middle of the living room floor. He was on his side and going in circles, hissing, growling and spitting. I grabbed a blanket and managed to wrap him up, ran to my neighbor's with Tom in my arms and he rushed us to the local vet who lives upstairs and has his office downstairs. The vet asked me how old Tom was and I said "He's 18 years old". The vet said he was dying of old age. I told him to make it stop and I held Tom until he was quiet and still and calmly passed on. People who hated cats LOVED Mr. Cat - as the kids would call him. Tom was not afraid of dogs and loved everybody he ever met. I have his photo framed on my desk. Mr. Cat was my first kitten ever. He was truly special. Everyone was sad when they learned he had died. Truthfully, he will live forever in my heart.

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