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A Tribute To Dad: A Cat-Loving Legacy

Tribute to dad

Dad sleeping with Pepper

Have you ever given much thought to how or when you became a cat lover?  Was there a particular incident, encounter or fond memory that solidified your passion for cats?  I can.  I have to give credit to my father for this.  My love for cats is part of the legacy he passed down to me.  This post is a tribute to Dad as I reflect on our shared love for cats.

Cherished memories

For as long as I can recall there’s been at least one cat, if not more, in my life.  I was born shortly before Christmas, and when my parents brought me home from the hospital they took a picture of me in a stocking next to our cat, Muffin.  I guess you could say I was “imprinted” early!  

Growing up my sister and I talked my parents into adopting a few cats along the way.  We spent hours playing with the neighbor’s kittens and even tried to bring a few home.  Looking back I realize it was my mom we had to convince, not my dad.  Despite the “tough sell” we gave him, he was really a softie.  As we grew up and had busy lives our cats ultimately always bonded with my dad.  There was rarely a moment when he didn’t have a cat in his lap, sharing a good nap.  Over the years he volunteered for the trips to the vet for check ups and such, and he never seemed to complain when the duty fell to him of burying our family cats in the graveyard beneath my bedroom window.  Even years later after I had left home he willingly laid my cats Ashland, Shasta, and Tosh quietly to rest there.  I would cry every time I visited them.

Tribute to dad

Dad with Muffin

This past week it was my dad’s time to leave this earth.  In the hospital during the days leading up to his passing he would often ask about his cat, Pepper, who he missed dearly.  Was he ok?  Did he get fed?  Is he outside or inside?  Sadly, he was never able to say a proper goodbye, and I know in my heart Pepper is grieving, too.  Once my mom’s cat, Pepper and Dad bonded after his sibling, Punkin, died.  He would spend hours in Dad’s lap and followed him around like a loyal companion.  I’m sure my dad was greeted by all his family members, including all the cats he loved over the years, as he entered heaven’s realm.  

My dad was an amazing man with a tender, servant’s heart.  Besides instilling in me a strong work ethic, calm demeanor, integrity, faith, and a belief in myself, the love for cats he passed on to me has touched my soul.  There’s a connection, an intuition and a passion that I will continue to nurture in my journey ahead.  Thank you, Dad, for all you taught me over the years, for your wisdom and encouragement.  I hope I made you proud.  I will always remember the way your eyes lit up and the smile on your face when you saw me before you slipped away.  I’m convinced the only thing that would have made it even sweeter is if I had been holding your cat.  I love you, Dad! 

Porche sleeps behind Dad

 



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