The Prince was a guy cat that showed up , I think, about a year before we got to be adoring buddies. He was always in the shadows and skillful as more of an apparition than a real image of a cat. He had a ragtag sort of look to him as he had large pancakes of hair matted to his back and the strangest ears…they looked as if they were severely frost bitten or damaged in some way. On top of that The Prince was about 20 pounds and the color of a raccoon:grey with black stripes and an odd way of moving like one too, sort of lumbering and rocking side to side that most cats don’t have in their stride. I started putting a little food out once in a while and slowly and carefully he began to come up on the porch, disappearing if the door was to open while he was in sight. It occurred to us that he was someone special when we witnessed his sureness and determined way of backing off a raccoon that was attempting a try at his bowl of food.Ever so slowly he began to open his level of trust to me and,as I had done with others… I had a plan to neuter him and find him a home. I tried trapping him (and his cat pal) but he would not fit in the trap, or would he go in one once I found one big enough, so I was left with the option of befriending him. One day he was very hungry and I set out a big portion of fresh wet food and he was more interested in eating than what I was doing, and I was able to cut off all those”pancakes” of hair on his back. After that day he let me brush him and pet him all I wanted, and seemed to enjoy it. I found him a home, and that was with us.My husband is not the world’s biggest animal lover, but The Prince won him over to the point that he designed and built him a kitty house on the back porch that was complete with a front and back door and a heating pad for those cold winter nights. He also approved paying for a tooth extraction (that cost as much as a fine vacation we could have taken!!) So, eventually The Prince came inside our house if the nights were real cold and most every morning to have breakfast. He did have some other health problems with his lungs and itchy ears…which the vet said were side effects of having spent a lot of time outside and through rough weather and because his ears were very folded…a trait of a Scottish Fold. The vet was fairly certain that he was a pure bred(!)Recently I had the Prince tested for FIV and it came back positive. He had some wounds that would not heal very well, and after mosquito spraying happened he went down terribly fast. My heart is still heavy with the decision to have to put him down, but logically I know it was what was best for him. I will always remember his powerful purr and his preference to hold hands or wrap his arms around my neck and rest his head on my shoulder. He had a way of sharing a rare love I was not expecting, but truely cherished this special gift.May the Durga protect him always.
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