Can't really remember my parents' last years without thinking of Tootie2, a remarkable feline who led a remarkable life. She was our pal for 13 years.
(I'm told that Tootie2 had two previous homes, but was returned each time to Pets & Pals Animal Shelter -- clearly because she was destined for 2445 Gardena Avenue.)
Now my Mom had wanted in her waning weeks to get a second cat to keep Tootie2 company, worrying about what would happen when she passed. How would the cat and my Dad cope? They were sad, but coped just fine.
Tootie2 became Steve's pal, following him around like a dog and draping herself on his legs when he sat in his recliner. Did he ever figure out that she did not like to be over-petted, or did he think it was funny to bug her on purpose? In any case, he would occasionally shriek, "She bit me!" And if I was in Stockton, he would add (for effect) "I'm going to send you to Miami with your aunt!" Fat chance.
I have had three other totally amazing cats, but Tootie2 was the cat with a higher purpose. From California to Florida, she rose to every occasion. So when she passed away one year ago today following a long illness (and her last, never-missed licks of milk), it was truly the end of an era. It was also the first time in 30 years that I did not have a cat...and so far no replacement.
How can I ever replace Tootie2?