Ellen Cornett

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Five years ago, Jane had to give up her cat who was then known as Kitty or KFC. I had just put my last cat to sleep and though this ginger thug was not the cat I wanted, he was the cat I got. I decided he needed a proper name, and Tommy seemed Irish and appropriate, so Tommy he was. 


It took a few months for Tommy to settle. He had been a rescue when Jane got him, and I think it was difficult for him to feel safe and comfortable. But my house is quiet and in time, he got used to it. And to me. 


Tommy made up games, loved playing with Miz Ratty, Miss Mousy and his tail. He'd chase me around the house grabbing my ankles if he thought I wasn't paying him enough attention. And twice, I'm sorry to say, he took me out at the bottom of stairs, thundering past me and catching me off balance.


He also pooped on the basement floor. 


But when I'd come home from class and settle on the couch for an hour of tv before bed, Tommy was on my chest, looking into my face and purring. He followed me around the house from sunroom and morning paper, to the studio where he had his own chair, and into my office and his Labatt's blue box with orange towel by the printer. When he couldn't find me, I would hear him crying plaintively--I could almost make out the words, "where are you?"


I think we knew it was his last night, and for the first and only time, Tommy slept, not on the bed at my feet but on the pillow next to my head. I didn't sleep much, but petted him and listened to him purr.


Tommy went into the afterlife, wrapped in his orange towel attended by Miz Ratty stuffed with fresh catnip. I sure do miss him.


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