Pet stories: Cats that have changed our lives

Twenty eight years ago, I had just got married, and had moved away from home to be with my husband on an Air force Base.

I was 21 years old, and missed my younger brothers and sister dearly, but I especially missed our pet cats, and the chaos of a household with four kids and pets.

I remember thinking how nice and quiet it was going to be, and without all the extra work of pets and family. Well, a week or so into our new apartment, and I was missing all of them.

My husband knew I missed my cat, and he had heard about a kitten roaming around a local plant. The workers had been feeding it, but with a two week Christmas shut down, he was wondering what would happen to the kitten.

They managed to catch him, and I was really excited.. he was very tiny, and he was so used to junk food from the workers, that he only wanted burger and fries. On our way home from getting him, we stopped for something to eat, and he was right in the front seat going into the bag looking for burger and fries. He would get a fry and run to the back of the car to eat it.

Next we had to sneak him in our apartment, as cats were not allowed, but we managed. I spent my next paycheck at the vet’s office, getting him de-wormed, shots and fixed.

My husband had to go away on courses with the military, and I would be left alone. “Candy” would greet me every night after work, and he was such a comfort as I dealt with homesickness and loneliness. He would cuddle with me, and made me laugh.

As years went on, we moved out of the apartment, got a house, and had a couple of great kids, and Candy was always there, adapting to the changes, and greeting everyone who came in the house. I always thought he would be around, but at age 19 he was faltering, and became quite ill, and we had to make that horrid decision to put him to sleep.

I still miss him. He was my first pet on my own, and he was such a comfort to me in those first rocky years… He definitely changed my life. I always have a cat in the house, and I still say “Candy” you could teach this one a thing or two..

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