by Charleen Hooper
When Bootsie first started coming around about 6 years ago we thought he was a feral cat. We could feed him but he wouldn’t let us touch him. Later we found out he belonged to one of our neighbors. We still had our beloved Tiddles who passed away soon after from kidney failure. She had been with us for 17 years and we didn’t want to get another cat because it hurt too much when she died. Eventually Bootsie let us pet him. He was becoming a normal affectionate cat and he was spending more time with us then his home. Our neighbor had 5 cats and Bootsie didn’t get along with some of them. One time after Boots got in fight and his face had a big sore on it I asked her if she was going to take him to the vet, she just said it happened all the time and she wasn’t concerned. I asked her if we saw him really hurt or sick if we could take him to the vet and she said yes. We started to get very attached to Boots and called him our adopted cat. He was at our house every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He came in during the day to keep my husband company and he spent every evening sleeping on my lap. During the summer he sat in the courtyard with us. If I called him he was at our house in about 5 minutes. He had chosen us. We knew he wasn’t really ours but we took care of him like he was and now we loved him. We didn’t see much of our neighbor anymore and hadn’t talked to her in about 3 years.
Boots started to lose weight. He was eating but was getting very thin. He was changing his routine from the last 5 years. He wasn’t coming to our house in the morning and didn’t want to come in as much at night. He was getting thinner. On Dec 14th we decided we needed to take him to the vet. We found out he had kidney failure. The vet said it was very common in older cats. Bootsie was about 10 years old. There wasn’t anything we could do for him. Not again. The vet said to feed him whatever he would eat and to just keep him comfortable he would probably live another few months. Not so. On the 23rd our neighbor called, after not talking to her in years. She said Bootsie had been at her house and she didn’t realize now thin and wobble he had gotten. She hadn’t seen him much in the last few years. My husband told her we had taken him to the vet and that he had kidney failure. She was glad we had taken him. My husband asked if when Bootsie died if we could bury him next to our Tiddles cat and she said yes.
I prayed Bootsie would still be with us at Christmas. He spent the next 2 days sleeping on the couch. He wasn’t eating and could barely walk. He was so weak. After dinner on Christmas I sat on the couch next to Bootsie petting him. My heart was breaking. Through my tears I told him he didn’t have to try and hold on any longer, he could go. I told him we loved him very much and would miss him. In a few minutes he was gone to Rainbow Bridge. Boots was truly our cat; we would never again call him the neighbor’s cat. The next day my husband had to call our neighbor and tell her Boots was gone. It was so hard for him. We buried Bootsie next to Tiddles. I’ve cried so much. Now there is sadness and loneliness again.
We love you little Bootsie cat, our beautiful furbaby.