Parting can be painful.
Stanley and Milton have lived in our garage for more than five years. They have become the best of friends. They did not always live in the garage. Stanley came to us with his brother Ollie thirteen Septembers' past. They were six week old kittens when we adopted them. Although Ollie was the larger of the two, it was Stanley who took it upon himself to protect his big bro. When we brought them home they dashed down the basement stairs and hid from view. We knew they were eating and using their litter box but no glimpse did we see of the tiny duo, one a silver tabby and the other all black but for a star on his chest. It was my husband who found their hiding place, behind the freezer. He still has the scars from Stanley striking out with his little claws to save Ollie from the big bad hands seeking to reach him. The scratches were enough for Bruce to decide to leave the kittens in their lion's den, but later that same evening we were awakened by the slight shift in weight on our bed as Stan and Ollie ventured out to explore their new world. They soon settled in and grew to be loving playful companions, truly bonded to each other and to us. Years passed and our household pet population increased with a new dog and a few more cats, but Stan and Ollie accepted all the newcomers with style and grace. Then something changed. Ollie developed kidney and bladder problems, having difficulty maintaining urinary continence. Despite veterinary care second to none, Ollie's condition deteriorated and he was euthanized to end his suffering. As hard as it was for us to say goodbye it was a hundred times harder for poor Stanley. He wandered the house meowing for Ollie, and when Ollie did not respond to his frantic calls, Stanley began scent marking so his brother could find his way home.
We had no choice but to relocate poor Stan to an exiled existance in the garage. He had a warm bed, plenty of food and water, a clean litter box(which he used faithfully), but no companion. Two months after Stan's move to new digs, we found, or rather were found by, a small black and white kitten. Enter Milton! As luck would have it, this little guy was abandoned, so we soon adopted him and settled him into the garage, hoping that Stanley and he would get along. Well, get along they did, almost instantly becoming best buddies.
Incidently, Milton's arrival on the scene in 2008 was the catalyst that formed the idea for the Uffda Fund for Animals. Milt and Stan have lived , I think happily, in our garage for five years. They are beautiful healthy friendly cats. We visit them daily for feeding and petting sessions; but that is not enough. They deserve to live in a place where they can interact with other pets and people. Since moving them into our critter-filled house is not a viable option I decided to offer them a chance for a new furever home through Uffda.
Yesterday, less than a week after placing their photo on the web, Stanley and Milton met their new family - delightful people who will give our Tuxedo cats a wonderful new life. As I brushed Stan's black fur to a shiny gloss I thought about the past thirteen years with him, the eight years with him and Ollie and the five years since Milton's arrival. These three cats gave me so much more than mere words can express. May you live long and prosper dear friends Stanley and Milton.