Many years ago, I adopted a kitten from the Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston, Mass. He was a talkative little thing, jet black, and a stubtail Manx. He came home with another black kitten, an Ebony Oriental Shorthair, both taking the place of two other cats who had died a week or so previously. They encountered my household’s surviving feline, an older Sealpoint Siamese. She was lessthan thrilled with their arrival, so the kittens stuck together.

The little boy I named Merlin. As he got used to the house, Merlin becane adventureous, and he explored all the nooks and crannies of the house. He revealed an innate inteligence that was astonishing for a domestic pet. As he grew, he and I developed what I can only describe as a psychic bond. From the time he was little, if I held him in my arms, he would nurse on my chin. My wife accused me of enjoying the spectacle. I didn’t, but I was touched, and when he did it, he purred loudly, happy as can be.

Merlin and I shared many things. When I moved to Florida, he didn’t complain, though he was still vocal. He didn’t complain as I drive from Massachusetts to Florida, but every night on the way down, he slept close to me.
Eventually, he got old. He and I remained close. But one day, I learned that he was suffering from renal failure, and the vets convinced me to put him down. I was with him when the fatal injection was administered, and the little cat did not die peacefully, but fought with all his noble little heart to stay alive. Eventuaslly, I left, watching him still struggling to breathe, when I could see through my tears. I sincerely regret that I didn’t let him pass naturally, but for the 22 years of his life, I never loved anothger cat as I did Merlin. I could write a book about him, and I may yet. Rest in peace, little one.

Stephen from FL