Our kitty, Louie, turned 16 on December 23rd ... a milestone age if you are a human, and a milestone age if you are a kitty, too. In "human years", she'd be about 80.
Louie was the first pet my husband (back then, we weren't married, so T was still a boyfriend) and I ever had as adults. She was an SPCA kitty that T brought home one day to "foster" ... a week later, we signed the adoption papers, and started the spoiling! We felt so grown up - our own cat!
When she was a young kitty, she would play fetch with small toys and lobster elastics (the best toy money can buy, according to Lou), loved to steal raffia when I was crafting, and if the jute was left out, would have a good chew and chase all over the house.
People have commented a lot about naming a girl kitty a boy's name, but she was a gangster's moll - Louie the Lip, named for her one white lip and one dark lip, and perfect tuxedo markings -- everything on her underside is white (and no petting of the white bits, please!) and the upper side is coal black... a really beautiful cat.
Over the years, Louie tolerated sharing her people first with one dog (Elvis and Louie are only 8 months apart in age, so they grew up together, and after a time the two came to really love each other ... up until a few years ago, Louie would lay at Elvis's feet and groom them for her after Elvis had been outside -- Louie has always been an indoor kitty, but she loved the smell of grass. We always thought that she got her "grass fix" from Elvis's adventures), then grew to tolerate the other pets that came into our lives - first Duffy, then Curly and most recently, Bruce.
But nighttime was Louie's time to commune with her people,uninterrupted by the other critters. She'd bounce up (sometimes rather ungracefully - almost if if she'd been unexpectedly thrown by invisible hands), settle in on the bed, demand some well deserved one-on-one time with T and I by butting our hands with her head to encourage petting), and turn into "putty kitty" once 4 hands were stroking her little head ... totally content and purring loudly and happily.
I could go on and on, but I can't, it is too difficult ... today, one week after her 16th birthday, I had to do the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Her illness came about very quickly, and the vet attributes it to old age.
Louie was my first pet, a dear sweet little kitty, and I miss her very, very much.
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