Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"No Kill" recalls memory of two favorite cats

I can understand Mike Picchietti's beef about the Manatee County Commission's decision Tuesday to work toward a "No Kill" policy at its animal shelters.

All the barking dogs at the new rescue animal shelter near his East Manatee home gets on his nerves.

A former neighbor's lone barking dog did the same to me.

I can also respect Dennis Vitton, a mobile home park president, who didn't oppose "No Kill," but didn't want fixed feral cats released back to the neighborhood under the shelter's trap-and-release program.

Cats will drive you crazy.

They will also break your heart.

I know.

I adopted a couple of wild kittens 24 years ago when I lived in Delray Beach from an acquaintance who was an animal lover like me.

They were Persians, a brother and sister.

Top Cat and Midnight I named them.

I can still see the curtains behind the couch moving as I rose every morning and they came out to greet me.

Midnight sunned herself in a window sill every day I left for work.

Top Cat jumped up on the couch behind my  head as I watched TV at night.

I loved those cats.

Then a neighbor came over one day and remarked how thin Midnight looked.

I had thought the same thing, but never gave it more consideration.

The vet told me she had feline leukemia.

I had a choice.

Putting her down, or giving her a daily needle to prolong her life.

I chose the latter.

As fate would have it, Top Cat who seemed fine, got it, too, and died suddenly.

I had no choice this time.

I took Midnight, who was 5 like her brother, to the Palm Beach County animal shelter and had her euthanized.

I cried like I hadn't cried in years.

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