After I’d known Snowy for about a year, I began to notice changes in him. He had always had a strange habit of rolling on his back in the dirt, just like a dog. But as he grew older, this amusing quirk became not so funny anymore. For the once regally handsome Snowy stopped grooming himself. There were pieces of leaves hanging from his fur. His paws were green with grass stains. His fur went from fluffy to flat and matted. He was still pretty agile; I never saw him miss a jump. But I thought that his gait was getting a little wobbly.
I’d known Snowy was up there in age, just by the condition of his teeth. The poor guy couldn’t eat dry kibble at all. I always gave him pate (his favorite was Sheba Ocean Whitefish). But it hurt my heart, nevertheless, to see him deteriorating.
Then Snowflake started doing something remarkable. He began bringing other cats to my door. They were cats I’d seen around, but who’d never been approachable. Now, he was literally leading these shy cats and kittens to my doorstep!
Two of them, it turned out, also belonged to Snowflake’s dad, Rafael. There was the tiny tortie, Sheba, and later her daughter, Panda.
But two of the kitties were in need of rescue. One was Zoey, whose story you can read about if you scroll through my earlier blog posts. I wound up adopting her.
The second cat was a full-grown, terribly skittish male cat that someone dumped in my my neighborhood. He was spotted like a cow, so I called him Moo. Moo’s story will be coming soon.
As for Snowflake?
He disappeared. Although he’d been known to take off for a couple of days now and then, this time he was gone for good. Rafael was beside himself, certain that someone had stolen him.
I knew better. My heart told me that Snowy knew his time on this earth was growing short. I’ll always believe he went off into the woods to die alone and in peace. His final mission was to show all the neighborhood cats where they could get a good meal, even shelter, if they needed it.
At my house.
What a great cat you were, Snowy. You are missed.