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Lil' Girl

I found, or received my Lil Girl in September of 2004. I was at a house warming party when some friends showed up with her as a gift for my friends new place. They had explained how they found the little kitten lost on their porch with no mother to be found anywhere. Unfortunately one of the roomates claimed allergies to cats and refused to allow her to be in the house. Somebody in the party had the dumbest idea to just place her over the fence into the field in the backyard. Mind you this is in SLC, UT and already winter weather. This little kitten would have either froze to death or been eaten. Without hesitation I immediately spoke up and told everyone that I would take her and keep her. I will never forget the first time I held her. She was so small that she could fit into my one hand. She was the cutest little kitten and had beautiful green eyes.

I took her home to my apartment and luckily already had one other cat, so I already had the supplies I needed to care for her. I could not decide on a name for her and since my other cat was a male, I started referring to her as “Lil Girl”. When I took her to the vet for the first time I was asked what her name was and could not answer. I was then asked what I had been calling her. When I explained myself the lady at the vet office wrote “Lil Girl” down on her notes and told me that, thats what her name was going to be.

She bonded immediately with my other cat who was just around 7 months older than her. The two were inseparable and I referred to them as brother and sister. Lil Girl quickly became my snuggle buddy. She enjoyed sleeping at my head and would nudge me in the head or knead on me when my alarm clock would go off and I wouldn't wake up. She was always the sweetest little thing and always loyal to me. She would sit on my lap for hours and look at me weird when I needed to move her. She moved with me all over the place all the way to our forever home for her.

When my daughter was born she immediately built a bond that was the hardest for me to see break near the end. The sweet cat that loved to lay by my head on my bed and snuggle with me traded me for my daughter. I understand pets tend to sense and latch onto people when they know they are needed and I am forever grateful that my daughter got to experience the love of my kitty the same way I did.

No matter how much time passed, how big our family got or where we moved, she adapted and continued to be a happy, healthy and loyal kitty. When my son was born, she became just as fond of him as she was of everyone else. She loved her boy and would show him often. She could sit and let him pet her for hours.

She remained an indoor cat her entire life with the occasional back porch creep around when we were outside bbq or hanging out. She always ran back inside and enjoyed her family inside where it was always warm and safe. She would spend hours on her stair bathing in the sun.

Christmas was always her favorite, not sure if it was the tree, the lights or the wrapping paper she got to play with after gifts were open but she always enjoyed it.

As the years have gone by she has had to deal with me leaving her for some extended periods of time. Boy, did she ever make me regret it. She always had a way of making me feel bad for leaving her once I returned home. I always found it funny how she knew how to get my attention and affection.

The first time she got sick was shortly after 15 years old and I began to worry but quickly came to accept that we would not be able to keep her forever. I was hoping to make it to 20 years with her but in the end I could see the pain she was in. She went from a happy, mobile cat to an elderly old girl who could barely care for herself and required assistance for many everyday tasks and would tire just walking to her food bowl.

We were extremely fortunate to have her for a couple more years after her being sick and love that everyone in our family had a bond with her.

I like to use the phrase when speaking about her that, I have had her longer than I have had my family. Prior to meeting my wife it was just me and her and her brother. She out lived her brother and continued to hang on for me for what I believe was my children. She never shied away from them, she never got uncomfortable with them but she showed them great love and companionship through the early years of their lives and the later years of hers.

I could not have asked for a greater companion and kitty friend than my “Lil Girl”.

In the end, we sent her home with such care.

I set the Christmas tree up so she could see the tree and lights one last time.

She had a nice, last bath (which she hated). We washed her blanket and bed. We had a family photo session, the kids wrote and drew her pictures. I wrapped her in her blanket, placed her in her bed and held her in my arms. We sat as a family outside on the grass at sunset and got to say our final goodbyes. She drifted off in my arms surrounded by her whole family and all her special toys staring into the sunset.

I loved this cat with all of my heart and I know my wife and kids did too. I was very fortunate to have been able to have my Lil Girl for the past 17 years. It is time I will cherish forever and she is a pet that I will never forget.

~Elden