Our Cat “Rusty”

Yesterday, July 15, 2006 our beloved cat Rusty died. We will forever miss her. She was truly one of a kind, and we are grateful for the nearly nine years we spent with her.

Deb, Mike and I spent the night of July 14, 2006, at UCSB, where Mike was registering for Freshman Fall semester. Andy was in Riverside visiting Grammy. A few days ear-lier, on Sunday, July 9, the whole family returned from a 9 day trip to Maui. We think Rusty waited for us to return from Maui, before she went off to sleep.

Our neighbor Lisa last saw Rusty on Friday evening at about 6 PM, when she fed Rusty. In the morning when Lisa returned to feed Rusty breakfast she noticed the litter box was used during the night, but Rusty was nowhere to be found. We believe Rusty wan-dered off to a peaceful place to die, the Morning of July 15, 2006.

When Mike, Deb and I returned home at about 7 PM Saturday evening, Rusty was not there. We called her but there was no response. This has never happen before, with all of the short and sometimes long trips we would take, Rusty was always there to welcome us home, no matter what time of day or night. This time was different, and we feared the worse.

We will never find Rusty, in her secret spot, but that’s okay, we will forever have fond memories of better days. I will really miss her, and giving her special ear rubs that only I could do, just the way she liked it. I will also miss her company, she was always nearby to talk to and give a pet. And she really did have the softest fur of any cat I, and many others, have ever petted. I will miss her “love bites” after a good scratching, and I will miss carrying her to bed in the garage, from the landing at the top of the stairs.

We believe it was time for Rusty to pass. She was not well, almost deaf, blind in one eye, and near the end of her time. We had to have her blind eye removed almost a year ago, a procedure that we believe extended her life for a year, and we will forever be grateful for that.

Rusty came to us in December of 1997. We had moved to Castaic in August of 1996. She just showed up at our door one day, and after returning her to her owner three times, the owner said we could keep her. Even though I am actually allergic to cats, we de-cided to go for it, because Rusty would spend most of her time outside. We named her Rusty because she was a black cat with some “rust” colored hair. I think Rusty really liked our hillside and back yard, and there were no dogs around to bother her. Rusty was an outdoor cat, a great hunter. She would bring us “gifts” of dead rabbits, birds and lizards. But as she got older the hunting slowed down, and she was less able to protect the yard from other cats.

We believe Rusty was about 5 years old when she came to us. We had her for almost 9 years, so we think she was 14 or 15 when she died. A good, long life for a cat.

In the end, she left us the same way she came to us, on her own terms. We hope she found a shady spot similar to the ones she liked around our yard, to lie down and gen-tly go to sleep. We will forever miss what we think was the best cat there ever was.

Rusty, may you rest in peace.

Brad from CA