One crisp fall evening in October, 1994, my daughter Nicole came home with an emaciated little tortoiseshell kitty in her arms. She said that the kitty approached her while she was taking a lap around her high school track, and seemed desperately hungry. Nicole fed her the last of her hamburger snack, observed she had no collar, and promptly carried her into our home (and happily into our hearts for nearly 17 years).
Maple’s sweet disposition and blend of grey, cream and amber colored fur resembling maple syrup, inspired us with her name. She grew into a beautiful, well rounded young lady. Her face and eyes were the most memorable feature, although we often chuckled at her feminine gait (sort of a swagger, like Marilyn Monroe), her tail raised high in the shape of a question mark. Maple’s voice was also unique – she had a soft, happy chirp, instead of a typical meow.
Maple had a gentle disposition towards all, but she carefully chose her friends. That included not only humans, but cats as well. She was a loner, preferring her own company to that of the other three cats who shared her household for many years. She nevertheless loved to play, her large round eyes resembling those of a wild cougar before pouncing on her catnip mouse prey. Her other favorite pastime was spending quiet time on my lap. I never wanted to get up from the couch, for fear of disturbing her peaceful slumber.
After many wonderful years of companionship, early this summer, Maple started losing weight despite her healthy appetite. After some routine tests, the vet couldn’t identify a specific problem, but we started giving her medication and vitamin supplements. Our friend Bernadette then recommended Dr. Nancy Ruffing a hospice veterinarian who specializes in older pets and makes house calls. Dr. Ruffing noticed a small mass in her intestinal area which rapidly grew to the size of a plum over a two week period. We knew then that we didn’t have much time left with our dear little girl.
Nicole visited Maple one last time to say good bye, and on the afternoon of August 20, my husband and I said our good byes to Maple. Shortly thereafter, with Nancy’s gentle assistance, Maple passed away peacefully, my husband and I by her side, telling her we loved her. We feel the Lord has blessed us so richly with Maple’s life.Carolyn Kozlowski
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