Who believes in love at first sight?  As a mother with two jobs and a less than glamorous private life, I certainly did not. 

SidAlthough I did enjoy my job talking about pet food, it was just another day at work. It was nearly closing time when a young couple walked in with a question.  They wanted to know if the store did adoptions or would take in a kitten.  I told them that the store did not accept animals and did not do adoptions.  At that moment, a tiny pink nose popped out of the young man's jacket. 

"Ohh...he's so cute," I said.  Then, I immediately snapped myself back to reality.  The last thing I needed was another cat.  My dog died a few months earlier, and just as Vala (my oldest cat) got over missing him, her best-cat friend, Midnight died.  But, I tossed out all of my reservations as soon as I held him.  He had the softest fur and the biggest gold eyes!

I took him home.

I asked my daughter to help me pick a name.  There was a programme about punk rock and so she suggested Sid Vicious.  It didn't fit at all.  However, Sidney seemed just right.

He made himself at home right away, and the girl-cats Vala and Jennyanydots took to him, too!  He had such a great personality that even later when I added two more boy-cats, he never batted an eye! 

He was good at soothing the cats, and people too!  There were many times that his soft fur caught a tear, and purred me to sleep. We used to call him the Ambassador, as he always ran to the door to be the first to meet the visitor.  Even when he couldn't run as fast, and his legs were a little arthritic, he still got to the door as fast as he could. 

One day, when he was about 19, we noticed that he was breathing a bit heavy.  A trip to the vet confirmed that he had cardiomyopathy.  He would have to take medication for the rest of his life.  I knew he was gentle, but I wasn't sure how he would react.  Although I'm sure he was insulted, he was compliant when I put the pill down his throat.  I was quite pleased with my nursing ability, until I found little white pills under the table and in odd corners. After that, as long as I wrapped it in a treat, he would sit for his pill! 

A year passed.  Sid still ran to the door and grabbed my lap before any of the other cats could get to me.  He was still soft and beautiful. 

The day before my daughter's wedding, I sat reflecting on a lot of things.  When I looked at Sid, he seemed smaller and thinner, somehow.

I sat on the floor, and he immediately ran to my lap. He looked at me with those big golden eyes, and there is no question that he understood everything I said. I told him that I loved having him with me for all of those years and that I wished I didn't have to worry about him.  We talked for a long time, and I told him that I had to go out for a while.

He walked over to his favourite spot and went to sleep. That's where he was when I came back home.  When I touched him, I realized he was gone. 

We buried him under a pine tree where the birds sing all day long.  There's a blanket of snow there right now.  In the summer, there are flowers that grow nearby.

To me, he was not just a cat.  He was special and he was a great companion.  If there is a door in heaven, I know that Sid is running there right now, ready to meet the next one who walks through!  Love at first sight? Without a doubt! 

Diana Sichta

Diana writes an occasional article on Pet First Aid which you'll find in the Feline Fitness section or click on the link below:


Five Good Reasons for Having Your Cat Neutered

  • Reduces fighting, injury and noise
  • Reduces spraying and smelling
  • Much less likely to wander and get lost
  • Safer from diseases like feline AIDS, mammary tumours and feline leukaemia
  • Reduces the number of unwanted kittens

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