It’s amazing how a single moment in time can change a life forever.
When in my early twenties I moved into my first apartment. Having grown up with dogs (whom I loved) I decided no pets. I was working a full-time job, going to school part time and planning on having a life that existed outside of my home. This meant no pets. They take up time, make it difficult to travel and cost a lot of money.
Then my Mom and sister came home from a working vacation (oxymoron right?) with a kitten they found at a boat/truck stop in Georgia. Neither of them could keep them as they both had dogs that would look at the kitten as a toy and may unintentionally kill it. My oldest sister already had two cats and was at her limit. My brother just adopted another dog and this left me.
I agreed to keep the kitten until a permanent home could be found. My sister had named the kitten Mr. Foot as he had white fur on his hind legs and underbelly but the rest of him was a steel gray. She changed it from Bait, which is what the employees at the truck stop called him as it was only a matter of time before an alligator got him.
The first day the kitten mostly stayed under my bed. That night was a different story. This little guy was like a mad man once the sun set and the moon controlled the night. He attached shadows and bounced on anything that moved, especially my feet. He became my night time warrior, my Orion. He was my familiar.
About a year later I participated in a fundraiser for a no-kill animal shelter in our area. When some friends and I went to the shelter to take pictures to use at the fundraiser there was a litter of kittens, and I fell in love. The kitten was striped like a tiger and had a white underbelly just like my Orion. It was the face that did me in, with the kitten’s light pink nose and kohl like markings around its eyes. The kitten was beautiful and made the perfect Andromeda. With the urging of a friend, I filled out the paperwork to adopt this beauty and found out the kitten was a boy! The kitty quickly became Perseus and found a new home.
The two kitties became fast friends. Orion lived up to his namesake and was the protector of baby Perseus. They would often be found playing together or cuddled up on the couch with Orion wrapped protectively around Perseus while they slept. Yet it seems the menagerie was not complete.
On a cold February morning, I was at work and came across a woman walking into a building near ours with a basket of puppies. They were adorable, squiggly little Cockapoos. There was an all black one with silky curls that I just had to have. After talking with my manager and the help of another co-worker as I did not have cash or my checkbook on me I bought the pup whom already had her first set of shots.
This excited ball of fur was tricky to name as there were so many possibilities. After going for a walk and having 5 different families stop their cars to get out and adore her the choice became clear. The little witch became Circe.
The cats were not thrilled with our newest addition, but under Orion’s watchful eye Circe and Perseus found a rhythm that worked with Orion always the watchful moderator. These three were my loves and I quickly started using their initials to personalize emails, etc. Oh that screen name is taken then how about ***************672 . . . wait 672 is not OPC or is it? Take a look at your phone, you will see the number 6 has an O, 7 has the P, and 2 the C. These three were such a major part of my life.
Unfortunately, after three short years, my Orion crossed the rainbow bridge. The doctors believe while he was on the streets he drank something that caused his kidneys to start to fail. It took a while as he was given a good home soon after but not fast enough to stop the damage. It was devastating. A few years later we had another kitty join us, but it was not the same. I loved her but she was never as much a part of the family.
About three years ago Perseus also crossed the rainbow bridge. He was 14 years old and just had enough. After he stopped eating and drinking we knew it was time. The vet was not sure the exact cause but believed he had cancer. Again a tough blow.
Last year the youngest kitty passed away. As she was slightly inbred I was never sure what was going on with her. I believe it was mostly depression after Perseus left us that caused her decline. After his passing, she lost a ton of weight. I think she just gave up.
We still had Circe, she celebrated her 14th birthday in January 2016. The last 8 years was tough on her as she was attacked by another dog while we were on a walk. She healed after three surgeries but developed tumors at the surgery sites. As the tumors grew they made it harder for her to walk. We knew her time was near. Then she became stuck on the steps trying to follow me. She was unable to finish going down or turn around and make it back up and we knew her time had come.
Three weeks ago my Circe crossed the rainbow bridge as well.
I miss my fur babies, but knowing my 672 are together again and pain-free makes it an easier pill to swallow. I know Orion is taking care of them all.