by Scott Fidler
(West Monroe, NY)
Cleo was born in April, 1990 under my sister's porch. Her daughter brought her to my house looking for a home for her.
I was presented with this tiny grey furball with an attitude. She wanted nothing to do with people. I took her in. She hid for a few days, only coming out of hiding to eat.
We quickly got to know each other. There was something about this kitten I felt a special connection to from the start.
In 1992 at 2 she got sick. It was 3 veterinarians til one figured out it was only a sinus infection keeping her from eating food. I was worried sick for 3 weeks, until her recovery.
Then I was sent to work in Florida for 6 months in 1992-93. I brought her with me. Then, after a painful divorce in 1994, we were left alone, Cleo and I.
She was leash trained, and I took her for walks through trails behind my house daily. This cat was my best friend through some of the hardest times in my life.
She waited by the door for me to come home from work, and we were a true comfort to each other. It was unconditional love I got from her.
Three months after my dad passed away, August 8th, 2000, she suddenly had a seizure. I rushed her to the vet's where she died shortly after arriving, cause unknown.
I was absolutely devastated. My boss even gave me an extra 3 days paid from work. I gave her a royal burial with a headstone.
Funny, the evening before she passed away we walked on the trails and rested as the sun set, watching the sun's rays through the trees. That evening she laid on my chest with her face against mine til we both fell asleep.
I was on vacation the week she died. At least we got to spend her last 8 days on this earth together, just us. I firmly believe to this day she was put here for a reason.
I now have 5 indoor cats and am remarried. My cats are all special to me, however there will never be another "Cleo." Friends before this life, during this life, and when we meet again one day.
I still mourn the loss of Cleo and miss her very much.
Cats have personalities, cats have souls, cats have feelings... looking back, it seems somehow she knew that evening before her passing that this would be our last.
It was different that evening, the way she clung to me. (My time with Cleo convinced me that our pets sense and understand things that we as humans can only speculate and wonder about.)...
To my Cleo, who awaits my arrival behind the door, I love and miss you... Scott Fidler xxxoooo
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