We adopted Higgins two years ago. I was grieving hard for my precious TT, our girl of 15 years who we had set free a couple of months before. I was drawn to a picture of Higgins in our local newspaper. He was a tabby Persian who looked just like Garfield. He was 9yrs old and had recently lost his dad. Higgins spent some time in a foster home. But they had kids and other pets. So, he didn't do well. They took him to the shelter. His fee had been reduced to $20.00. You know what was next. Anyway, I called and was told that 2 other people wanted him. They did a lottery and I came in 3rd. I didn't think there was much chance, but I went anyway. I first saw Higgins in a cage, lying in his litter box. He was shaking so hard. I got down on the ground to see if he would look at me. It was so sad, I started crying. In public. And I was a 58yr old man. I wanted him then. Then it was time to see if Higgins would come home with someone. The first lady pulled out and the second lady took Higgins into a small room to see if they were a match. Higgins hated to be held. He had a large hernia on his right side. His vet and I think he was kicked. His voice was almost a squeak, sometimes a scratchy cry. Sometimes his mouth open, but no sound came. In addition to that his previous owner had declawed all 4 paws. Anyway, she did not want him. She couldn't hold him. When I went into the room and she handed Higgins to me, I shut the door and set him down. He ran into his box. I gave him a minute, and then I got down on the floor. Higgins had the most expressive eyes I have ever seen. And I saw fear. The newspaper article said all Higgins needed was some peace and quiet. I cried because he was so scared. And I told him that it would be ok. You are coming home with me. I paid my $20.00 and off we went. |
At that point I didn't know that he had the hernia, talked funny, would leek a little pee because of his hernia, needed two cat boxes and would take 3 months before coming out of the guest room. After a while, Higgins would run (lope) up and down the hallway, sneaking peeks at us once and a while. I kept telling him he didn't know what he was missing. We made it real easy on him. But I was thinking that he would never warm up to us. I bought him a cat condo, sprinkled it with catnip and set it by the window. That pretty much started to turn things around. His personality started to show. We started calling him Mr. Higgins or sometimes just Mister. I called him Mitter. Or papa's boy. Mr. could not groom himself on the right side because of the hernia. So he would get matted. We had our vet give him a lion cut. He was soooo cute! And it seemed he was friskier. He had the cutest pom pom at the end of his tail. With his huge eyes, he was something to see.
Mr. Higgins had many endearing traits. He would be sitting against a wall, grooming after eating, and he would forget that his rear leg was sticking up. I called it his one legged salute. Mr. had long arms which he would cross, one over the other. He would lie
on his back making bunny paws. Mr. loved my tennis shoes. I left an old pair outside where he would stick his face in them, chew on the laces and then grab them and kick, kick them. Mr. Higgins would not only talk to the birds, but the lizards too. Mr. showed us early on that he wanted two cat boxes. We got him a regular one, but he would sling his sand 4 feet down the hallway. He wanted two big boxes. He would poop in one and pee in the other. I saw him leap from one to the other to do just that! Mr. would get up on the arm of my recliner. I would put a big pillow on my lap and he would make paws on it. I would say, "tell papa" and he would talk. We would do this about four times until he got tired of answering me. Then he would lie down and purr so loud. We loved each other so much. Mr. loved his cardboard boxes. I have one in my office with an afghan in it. He loved to sleep in it while I was working. He loved the big box that the pool cover came in. I called it his hotel box. He would run and dive into it, then start acting out. Getting wild and frisky, with lots of room to whirl about. That was the box that the pool cover came in.
Mr. Higgins has been around the pool last year with a different cover on it. I never thought that it would be an issue. He had fallen into the pool a few months before, but was able to swim to the shallow side and get out. I figured he would avoid it from then on out. To my immense sorrow I was wrong. I don't know what happened on that day, but I think he may have been chasing something onto the cover. Mr. Higgins drowned that day. 3/24/2010. I held him in my arms, willing him to breathe. I carried him until he was warm from my body. I screamed and cried until Judy got home. I still cry. I miss you so much my boy. I hope TT is showing you around the Bridge. I can't wait to be united again. Until then my precious, Mitter, I will praise God and thank Him for the time we had together. You and I gave to the other what we needed. Love and understanding.
I love and miss you.
It is now 2yrs since you went to the bridge. I miss you very much and think about you often. I know you are in a better place where you are whole and have no pain. The pain I have in my heart is getting better. It is being replaced by joyful memories that mom and I share. You and TT will always have a special place in my heart. I sure would love for you to visit me in my dreams, just to let me know you are having fun with TT and all your Bridge friends. I almost got to come to you last year, but mom needed me to stay. I think about the day I get to come to the Bridge and you and TT come running and jump into my arms. What a wonderful day that will be!! Until then my boy.
Your Papa and TT's Dad