We found Duke in our toolshed in May of 2000. He was about three weeks old and was nestled in a pile of hay. He was surrounded by several other cats that were part of a feral colony living on the property. He had an infection in his right eye which was practically closed. We knew he would not survive outside for long so we took him indoors. A few days later, we took him to the vet for treatment. His eyeball had sunk so deep in its socket that it was no longer visible. The vet did not think he would have sight in his right eye. But I during the next few months, his eye slowly shifted back to normal position. Right from the start, Duke was very playful, energetic and mischievous. He grew into a strong, friendly, lovable cat. He loved to play with his pink, plastic balls and chased them all over the kitchen and hallway. When he finished playing, he would hide all the plastic balls in a space between the refrigerator and cabinet. One morning, he jumped in my mother's bed and presented her with one of his pink balls. Even as an adult cat, Duke was very mischievous and would get into anything and everything. One time, he got his head stuck in an empty soup can. Another time, he hid inside the clothes dryer. He was accidentally locked in closets many times over the years. Duke loved to sleep in his hammock that was attached to the window sill. He loved to sleep on warm clothes that were just removed from the clothes dryer. Many times, he napped in the laundry basket. We catered to his hunting instincts with feathers and string. We tossed the feathers in the air and then pulled the string so that the feathers moved along the bed. Duke excitedly pounced on the feathers, wrestled with them, bit them and then clawed them with his rear paws. Duke adored my mother. My mother played an electronic keyboard. Duke would lay back on the couch and listen to her play all night long. Every night, after dinner, he waited for my mother by the entrance of the den. As my mother entered the den, Duke would hop up on the couch and roll over on his back so his belly was exposed. My mother rubbed his belly as she watched television. After some heavy purring, Duke drifted off to a deep sleep. We are certain that Duke is now running through sun-drenched meadows having a great time with his brother Dusty and friends Jake, Winnie, Billie and Cougar.|
3/17/2015 Hi little fellow, It's been one year since we said good-bye to you. Mommy misses you so much. You were my little buddy. Ali and Artie miss you too. I hope you are having fun playing with your brother Dusty and all your other friends. Ali used to sleep on you and now she sleeps on my lap when we watch tv. I always said that you were her little bed because you were so chubby and soft. I think of you playing in the grass and putting your paws in the goldfish pond. I hope you are happy. No more pain and illness. I hope you are also playing with Georgette. She came to be with you in December. Artie is sitting next to me as I write this. He wants you to know that he misses you. Dukey: Mommy thinks of you everyday. We will all be together again someday. So be a good boy until we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge, and we will be together again for ever and ever. We will run in the grass together and sit in the sun and wade in the cool water. I've asked Padre Pio to watch over you until I get there. Mommy loves you very, very much. You will always be my little buddy.