On a crisp Fall morning in 1996 , I arrived at the office to be informed that an orange cat was hanging around the building in distress. Since lost animals are my department, I went out and saw this handsome orange tiger boy curled up on the air conditioning unit. He gave me a very sad meow so I picked him up and took him inside. He resided in the upstairs ladies room (the sign said: Caution keep door closed. Cat in sink) while I made some calls. In the course of a few days he was at the vet, looked over, his owners were contacted by virtue of a tattoo in his ear. Being primitive life forms-they didn’t want him. I suspect they had taken him for a ride since my office is miles from their house. My vet gave him shots and tests and I picked him up and brought him home. This healthy young foundling was about 18 months old and we were his fourth home. I called him Rory.
He was one of the most lovable, playful and energetic cats I ever had. I was forced to wire all my pictures (lots) to their holders as this wild-child would scale the furniture and bounce the frames against the wall…for the satisfying noise, no doubt. (Fwap-Fwap) He spent the first year confined to his room at night because he required supervision. It was all high spirits, though, the boy had no malice whatsoever, and you have never seen a more loving animal. He’d actually mug me for affection, chase me down, throw his paws around my neck, and rub his face against mine. He adored my sister and brother in law and was very respectful to other cats. He was so very easy to love.
Rory died last month. I tried to save him and failed miserably. He was a big personality and his absence is like an open wound. I have certainly lost animals I loved before and I’m here to say that with all I know, and as much as I firmly believe that their spirits, like ours, do continue… it still hurts like fire. I’m almost hoping I get struck by lightning so I don’t have to do this again…but that would be unspeakably selfish and childish and who’s going to know if I do?
Was it worth it? Oh yes. Would I do it again? In a second. So what’s the moral of this story? Love them while you have them (animals, people, all), cuz none of us is immortal and every day you spend together is a little bit of grace. God bless his sweet soul. There will never be another like my Rory.