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Memories of Boots
February 5, 2011

Boots came to us one September morning. While running in the schoolyard for P.E., my daughter's class found a box of kittens deserted by a tree. We brought one into our home. He suited the name Boots. After a couple of weeks, when I thought he was 8 weeks old, we took him to his first vet appointment. It turned out he was only 5 weeks, so we adopted him at only 3 weeks. I warmed his food and nursed him into a healthy, hefty family member. And believe me, he WAS part of the family! He became my baby. He was a very bright, playful baby who loved to follow you around. He'd climb up onto my bed and felt that the pillow was there for him, lol. Luckily, he didn't argue too much when we decided that maybe he was a tad large to continue sleeping there after several months. He'd sleep at the foot of the bed, but most mornings, you would find him back up on the pillows. Oh, and your toes were open season to him!

He was an avid hunter and loved to bring home his prizes. The first Mother's Day he was with us, he was the first in the family to bring me a "present"! Yes, my little furbaby came into the house, up the stairs and jumped up on the bed with a bird for me! That was 15 years ago, and we still all get a laugh from it.

He was a joy to have. Being as he never really had his birth mother to teach him about life, it was up to me. He only had to be told or shown something once, and he knew what to do. It was as if he never considered himself a cat, but more a person. He loved it when the family all got together and watched tv. He made himself quite comfortable on a lap or between us on the couch.

Though quite the agile hunter outdoors, he NEVER attempted to harm any little pets in the house. Which, at times did present a slight problem, lol. Another cat we had brought in a live mouse which got loose, and we couldn't get Boots to go after it. Outside, he would have been on it in a heartbeat, but not inside. Since we had pet rats, rabbits and even a squirrel for a while, we were thrilled that he didn't want to harm his furry brothers... but damn, we wish he'd go after the wild mice that got in!

I wish I knew who to credit for the following poem that was left on my husband's message board...

Come with me my gentle love,
and let me hold you near.
I'll soothe you with my softest words
and never mind the tears.

I'll whisper words of love to you
so you will always know...
how much my heart is breaking now
as I gently let you go.

We've traveled years and miles, we two,
you've been my constant friend.
And now the kindest gift I give
brings us to this end.

Your legs grew weak, your eyes grew tired;
I watched time take its toll.
In my heart, you're still the kitten
I held so long ago.

I cannot watch you suffer now,
my love is much too deep.
So close your eyes my little love,
I'll hold you as you sleep.

I'll stroke your soft, soft, silken fur
and gently ease the pain.
And pray to all the gods I know
that we will meet again.

I knew this day would come, my love,
I knew it from the start.
I did not know the price would be
a large piece of my heart.

I'll grieve for you because I must
I'll shed hot, heavy tears.
But the sorrow of this day won't dim
the love we shared for years.

January 22, 2013

Here we are, almost 2 years later... My heart is finally ready to love again! We have decided to bring another kitten into our lives! We have been looking into several shelters in our area. I kind of hate to admit this, but I don't want an older cat, I want another kitten. I want to relive the joy of nurturing a tiny, helpless kitty again. We have seen lots of older "kittens", 6 months or so, but I am holding out for a baby and will give serious consideration to adopting 2 siblings. My birthday is the 28th of January, exactly 1 week before the anniversary of your passing. I would love to bring home the new baby or babies, on my birthday.

January 16, 2014

Well, we're coming up on 3 years... I still tear up thinking about my baby and how much I miss him. And to add insult to injury, my computer cacked a couple of days ago, taking all my photos of Boots with it. Luckily, I didn't delete any of my memory cards, but finding them will be a torturous treasure hunt, lol.

Now, back to Boots. We did not get another kitten/kittens last year. We didn't find any in the local shelters that called to me, plus, with our lifestyle, we didn't feel it was fair to bring a new baby into the home. We go away for overnighters, once or twice a month, and don't want to do that to a baby.

February 3, 2016

Wow... 5 years. Your presence is felt here all the time. Larry feels you rub his legs when he's at his desk, like you used to do, and hears you underneath mine, like you used to do. I "see" you walking around the apartment now and then, out of the corner of my eye. We have 2 new furbabies now, abandoned brothers from the OSPCA, that we adopted at 17 weeks. They'll be 2 on St. Patrick's Day. These poor little fellas took some time to open up to us, but they're getting there! We brought them home on July 4, 2014, and they weren't used to humans, and we think they'd been abused a little, so we do our very best to let them know that this is their safe place forever. We've stopped the overnighters because of them. We did one and "my" cat, Churchill, took a couple of days to get over it. Gizmo, "Larry's" cat, is a little more friendly and didn't take as long to get over it. Mind you, he yells more when he's bored! LOL. When we got them, they were named Harry and Larry! We had to change them, it would have been way too confusing around here, lol. Harry called to Larry as he walked by, and I called the store later that day and we went back the next day and adopted them. They were fixed and micro-chipped with all their shots. We love them to bits and are thrilled to have them in the family!

December 11, 2016
Well, Boots, it seems your new little brothers have a little bit of you in them! They too, love to sit under the Christmas tree, just like you did, lol. Mind you, I don't recall YOU trying to eat the tree, but Gizmo does! He's a tad... "off", lol. I miss you so much. Not a day goes by that I don't stop and think about you, and smile... and wipe a tear. I am constantly comparing the two "new" furbabies to you, and what you did and how you behaved. There really will never be another cat like you! So special. We still feel you brush up against us, and see you out of the corner of our eyes. We're pretty sure the cats see you too. Feel free to step in and teach them how to behave! We are so in love with them. They both try so hard to please... when they feel like it, lol. But seriously, they do try. I've come to the conclusion that they have an issue with males. Other than me, they've only been near other males since we got them - Larry, Erik, the Vet, people who live on our floor - until they other day, and a woman two doors down came out of her apartment, and Gizmo almost went INTO her apartment to meet the cat they'd been smelling behind the door! When "Maple" came out with her, Gizmo stayed a couple of yards away, but Churchill and Maple got to meet and sniffed each other and hung out, kinda, for a few minutes, while their mom and I watched and made sure they didn't get into a fight. Normally, the cats won't go near anybody else, but they were ok with her! Even when Erik comes, it takes a couple of days before he can pat them. So, they must have been abused to some degree by a male before the OSPCA took them in. And I'm fairly certain that they were feral and possibly even abandoned by their mother. Churchill has wonky front paws (almost 4 extra toes without the claws on each paw) and Gizmo could be extremely nearsighted, or something, but I've thought from day 1 that his eyesight was really bad. All we got for history when we adopted them was that they were abandoned. By whom and/or where, they don't tell you, which is really stupid. So, slowly but surely, I've tried to piece together what these poor babies went thru before we found them. And judging by the way they react to things, even to this day, 2 1/2 years later, it must have been pretty rough. So we do our best to be patient and loving, and they both have me wrapped around their paws... their untouched, paws, lol. I just wish they'd let me trim those damn claws more often!

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Boots's People Parent(s), Dee & Larry, would appreciate knowing you have visited their Boots's Memorial Residency.

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