April 3, 1997 --- January 22, 2012


My beloved Pretzel, you and I were meant to be together. I had picked out your name before we even met. And on that happy day, I picked up the cat carrier and told Don that I was going to find you then. Intending to visit the cat shelter, instead, I found you in a box in front of Bel Air market with your brothers and sisters. You were on your hind legs reaching up toward me as I picked you up. With a brief check of your privates, I showed you to Dad and told him "this is Pretzel". He scowled briefly with an Are you sure? look. I took you to the vet's office for a brief check up and then home we went.
That night I tried to make you comfortable in the guest bathroom but you would have none of it. Dad even called you Baby Boombox from your loud protests.
So, we slept that night in my recliner chair with you across my neck, Ruggs in my lap and Scooter on my legs.
Your favorite playtime as a kitten was chasing an empty grocery paper bag around and around on the living room floor. As you grew, you were always sleeping nearby and, every time I'd get up to move from room to room, you'd follow me and then pick another place to nap. Your devotion was so special.
You would sit in my lap when I was at the computer and give me brief nose touches when I bowed my head to you.
Your love became more demonstrative when Roscoe came to live with us and you were 5 years old. What a great pair you were! Two of the most loving kitties I could not have found. After having dealt with the nasty attitude of Scooter, you were not too fond of being around other cats. But Roscoe showed you how to feel loved and how to give the best nose kisses which I loved! He would groom you and the two of you were most often found sleeping together on the couch or the bench on the deck.
I remember one Mother's Day when the two of you were sitting watching for voles at the far end of the horse pasture. It was getting late and I called for you both to come in. You both turned and, in unison, raced across the pasture in a mock race, two yellow streaks side by side. This still makes me smile.
You were usually good about coming when called except on those warm evenings when hunting would be good. And then you were a little slow.
One time, I was on the deck with Dad and you had started up the hill. When I called you, you turned and leaped over a big bush to come to me, just like a big dog.
The first time you spoke to me, you were on the bed and when I reached down to pet you, you vocalized in such a way that I thought you were angry with me. I soon came to know that this was your special voice.
You never were happy to be picked up and held or carried. There was always a paw braced against my chest when this happened. But when I took you to the vet's, you were always such a good boy. Never struggling when they drew blood or even cleaned your teeth. I was so proud of you.
When I showered in the evening, you would sit on the counter and wait for me to be done and then talk and talk to me as I dried off. We would even sing together to "You are my Pretzel(Sunshine)".
As you grew older and spent more time in the house, you would sit and wait for me on the computer desk, knowing that I would be returning after doing my chores outside. As I sat, you would take your paw and place it on my nose in such a loving gesture. I miss that so much.
At night you'd curl up at the end of the bed on my side. And when I'd come in, you'd chirp and purr and be so excited. After I settled in, you'd curl underneath my arm and purr. And every time I'd stir, you'd be there giving me a big nose kiss. I still painfully miss you there most of all.
I miss the click of your nails as you walked across the linoleum floor. And the feel of your soft fur and that cute kink at the end of your tail. Nobody loved me like you, Pretzel. It broke my heart to lose you and I so look forward to having you with me again. Until we meet again, my sweet Baby.

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