I adopted Stony in April of 1994 when he was six weeks old. Like me Stony was a native Texan and Houstonian. From a kitten he grew to a big healthy cat who weighed in at 21 pounds average. I always called him "my little one" although in reality everyone who saw him remarked they had never seen such a big cat! Stony came to me in a very special way. I am an attorney and at the time was a prosecutor for a local district attorney's office. One of my cases that I went to trial on involved the murder of a twenty year old woman and I persuaded the jury to return a guilty verdict and a life sentence. The victim's mother, an elderly lady now deceased,took a motherly interest in me since I had worked so hard on the case. She decided that since I lived alone I should have a pet to keep me company. She had found a litter of kittens at a local animal clinic and invited me to go look at them. I decided to go along to humor her since she had been so nice to me, but figured I wouldn't really adopt one since I had always thought of a cat as more of a woman's pet, and had heard the old refrain from people that "I hate cats". When we went to look at the kittens though, I knew then and there that I had to have the little gray one with the white feet and chest. The only problem was that he had been spoken for and the prospective new owner was supposedly on his way to pick him up. I looked at the litter mates but still wanted the gray one. After an hour the clinic director got tired of waiting and said I could have him. Since he was gray, and my great grandfather served in the Confederate Army from Alabama in the Civil War, I named him Stonewall, after the famous southern general Stonewall Jackson. That of course was shortened to Stony. I was 44 years old at the time, a bachelor (still am) and lived alone. Stony, or "Stone" for short became my inseparable companion. As a kitten he astounded me with what he could do. He would literally start at my feet as I was standing and climb up my clothes to my shoulder! I bought him the usual toys but he would tire of them after five minutes. He would much rather play in a paper bag or sit in a laundry basket!Remembering the early years, if I was sitting at the computer with bare feet he would bite playfully (though it did smart!). At times he would become what I called "fierce kitty". He would start a little growl, tense up and lunge for my arm and put his jaws around it. I know he was playing but darn it hurt! I still have the scars on my arm( happily now to remind me). My little pal jealously guarded his turf. Woe unto the cricket or June bug who came within his range! He'd pounce and jump after it and then eat it (yuck!) Stony was an inside cat and he followed me everywhere I went in the house, even to the bathroom. He always did aspire to be an outdoor cat though. One of his favorite tricks was to slip out the front door when I went out. We then had a real track meet with me chasing him from one end of the yard to the other, from under the car, and funniest of all, round and round an oak tree in the front yard until I could usually grab onto his tail, pull him back,pick him up and tote him inside. I would however accompany him on supervised visits to the front flower bed where he loved to munch on the wild grass that grew up. He finally gave up trying to outwit me in getting outside in his later years, although on one occasion in 2008 he managed to slip out as I came in without me seeing him one Friday night. When I woke up Saturday morning and couldn't find him anywhere I was frantic. My sister and I drove all around the neighborhood that day and couldn't find him. I was heartbroken that my Stony was gone for good. Then as I was up in bed reading about 10 p.m. I heard this little "reow" coming from outside. I raced down the stairs, opened the front door and there was Stony, who sauntered in as if nothing had happened! I gave him a little scolding and told him "Where have you been?? Your roaming days are over Stone!" From then on I came in and out always with my eyes toward the bottom of the door!|
As for his sleeping arrangements I finally gave up the struggle to keep him outside of my bedroom door and from then on my bed was his favorite place to sack out, though he could sleep anywhere anytime. I remember how his favorite spot to "perch" as I called it was the upstairs landing and he would run down the stairs when I came in the front door, and run down the stairs in front of me when I came down in the morning (heading for his food dish). I never could quite get him to use a scratching post so a couch and couple of chairs ended up pretty well shredded. Stony and I went through thick and thin together. In 1998 our vet removed a urinary tract blockage in the nick of time. Stony stayed pretty healthy until 2006 when he lost weight and was diagnosed with diabetes. After a couple of months of insulin shots it miraculously subsided and he was back to normal. The next year, 2007, we had a fire at my house that resulted in a lot of smoke damage. I lost track of him in the chaos and I'll never forget the sight of a big fireman carrying Stony out the front door unharmed. He shared the temporary apartment I rented while the house was repaired, where all the pictures here were taken. I regret now not taking more of them. In 2008 we rode out Hurricane Ike when the lights went out, while I slept on a downstairs couch with Stony snuggled up beside me through the night as the wind blew outside. Stony settled into the routine of a pampered senior citizen as he aged, totally spoiled by his doting Papa (I was never a "pet owner" as far as Stony was concerned). The last month, March of 2010 I noticed that he seemed to be getting thinner though it did not seem to effect him until the last two weeks when he seemed not to eat. I took him to our vet, we had blood tests, x-rays and ultra sound done. He had lost 1/3 of his original weight and an x-ray showed a possible tumor in his lung area and an infection. Since nothing could be done about any tumor in that area we tried to treat the infection with antibiotics. Unfortunately he also had a growing tumor just under the skin in his tummy area. With my vet we decided to give it one last shot and that tumor was removed by surgery on Friday morning. I brought him home the next morning on Saturday. He seemed to rally but Sunday he would not eat and seemed more lethargic than ever. Sunday night around 9 p.m. I managed to get him to eat a little baby food. He seemed to have trouble and then seemed to go into convulsions and could not walk. I picked him up and put him in his carrier and tried to rush him to the emergency vet clinic nearby but brave little Stony died in the car before we could get there. My gallant little friend lost his battle on Easter Sunday evening, April 4, 2010 at the age of 16 years. I'm not ashamed to admit that this grown man has been crying on and off since then. I returned to my Catholic faith two years ago after a 35 year absence and a long struggle to believe in God. I remember many years ago we were taught that animals don't have souls. But if God is indeed all powerful he can do anything. I just pray that someday he will allow me and my precious little Stony to meet again.
I take comfort in the fact that he passed away on Easter Sunday, a day that for we Christians signifies resurrection. So good bye for now Stony, until we meet at the Bridge. I've asked Mom, Dad, Uncle David and your cousins (Aunt Carol's kitties) Max, Magoo and Rusty to look after you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the sixteen years of joy, companionship and love you brought to my life. As I used to tell you every day, "you're the best little Stone, world's best cat"!!!!!!
April 11, 2010
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April 4, 2013