Joseph Wood Krutch once said, “Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want”. This is true with my cat, Rickel. Whether he is looking for a treat, or wanting a warm lap to sit on, he will let you know. He usually gets his way.
It was a warm night in the month of March 2005. My husband (at the time), Chris, and I were up late watching television. Because it was such a warm night, we had the door open to let in the air. It was around 2 a.m. I was pregnant with our daughter, Harmony. All of a sudden, we heard a pitiful sounding “meow”. Curious, I got up and looked. Outside the door was this sweet looking, blond colored kitty. I told Chris and he said, “Let him in.” So I opened the door and in walked the love of my life.
He was so thin that we could see his bones showing through his fur. I immediately decided the thing to do would be to go to the 24 hour convenience store, and pick up some cat food. He did not eat that night, and I was worried that he was near starvation.
Rickel slept with us that night. The next morning, he followed me in the bathroom, waiting quietly as I got ready for work. Once I had left, he went right back to bed with Chris until he got up.
When I came home, we decided to give him a bath and comb him out to ward off any potential fleas. We made a veterinarian appointment for him and it turned out he was very healthy. The veterinarian estimated that his age was anywhere from three to five years of age.
Rickel was gentle from the start. He was always patient with Harmony. There was a little incident involving her putting doll clothes on him. Another time, I was in her room putting away some of her clothes when I heard a small cry. It was coming from the dresser. I opened a drawer and he looked out at me, bewildered. Rickel never once had shown aggression towards her.
In May of 2010, I had fallen on hard times. My only solution was to move back home with my folks. Unfortunately, my mother was not keen on having animals in the house. I could not find anyone to take him in. So sadly, the last morning I was in my apartment, I decided I would take him to the animal shelter. My hopes were that he would find a loving home. I had Rickel in the pet carrier, driving towards the Humane Society. While I was on my way there, my mother called. She told me that Rickel was a nice cat, and that I could bring him to their house after all. I pretty much started crying and I thanked her. This is how he got “rescued” a second time.
My dad and Rickel have become fast friends. I often times come home to see those two snuggling in the chair while watching television. My dad also loves to sneak treats to Rickel. I’m talking about all the lunch meats: pastrami, roast beef, ham, and summer sausage. Rickel also loves cheese, whether it is string cheese or American. Most meal times he is found to be sitting in the empty chair, silently pleading with us for something to eat.
Rickel’s best friend of all is Harmony. She always calls him her “little brother”. She loves picking him up and cuddling with him on the couch. I have a picture of those two together. In it, Rickel’s paws are wrapped around Harmony’s neck, as if he is hugging her. He will lick her hand and often times she will rub it on my cheek saying, “I’m giving you Rickel’s kisses.” They are inseparable.
It will indeed be a sad and emotional day when the time comes for him to leave this world. My mom believes he will be in heaven for us to enjoy. As she states, “God loves His animals”. Rickel is kind-hearted, loving and loyal to all. He is, as my daughter always says, “The best cat in the world.”
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