Pet of the Day

May 17, 1998

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Alonzo, the Pet of the Day
Name: Alonzo
Age: Sixteen years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Cat
Home: Indiana, USA
   About sixteen years ago I found a gray striped kitten under the porch of the couple I used to babysit for. I was in high school at the time and was taking Spanish classes so I dubbed him a cute Spanish name, Alonzo. This cat was an outside/inside cat and got into frequent fights with the other cats in the neighborhood. He was a plain, striped gray tiger cat who never made regular trips to the vet because we couldn't afford it and who never won a beauty contest because #1, he wasn't a "fancy cat" and #2 his ears were all chewed off from mean cats who fought him. He wasn't photogenic and no one would consider him a "beautiful" cat. But to me he was the most beautiful cat that I have ever seen and the sight of him brought a peace in me that I have rarely experienced in this life. This cat lead a pretty uneventful life except for the time I accidentally gave him a trip round and round in the dryer one time. (He came back stronger than ever). Through the help of loans, I managed to go to college. My faithful friend was always there when I would come home on the weekends. He was there for me through horrible family problems I had to endure while attending college. He was there for me when I got my first apartment and he moved in to become an inside cat full-time. He was there smiling at me every morning at a time in my life when I was told I might go blind. When I felt like I couldn't get up in the morning, there he was for me and when I couldn't go to sleep at night, his gentle purr and loving touch would ease my spirit and sleep would come on little cat paws.

    This past November, my best friend's life came to an end. A kidney failure took his health and peace away and I had to be there for him for a change. I laid him in the sun one more time for a sun nap before the vet came to my home and let him go. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and I grieve for him still. We don't have pets... we know and love friends who know and love us as long as we're together. Thank God for our "pets."

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