College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline

Rusty was born on May 29, 1989. The day he was born our daughter called to tell us Starlight had her kittens. We went over to see them and I pointed to the orange kitten and said that is the one I wanted. When he came home, he slept with me under the covers. Because Rusty would try to nurse my armpit during the night I had to wear one of Don’s large t-shirts to bed. Thankfully, this phase didn’t last long.

He really enjoyed his first Christmas. The morning after we decorated our Christmas tree, we woke up with Rusty sleeping between us. When I left the bedroom I saw an ornament in the hallway, then some in the living room, one under the dining table and another in the kitchen. When I looked at the tree, the bottom 8 inches were bare. Surprisingly, he didn’t break any.

I had 6 ladybug magnets on the refrigerator door. One of his favorite pastimes was knocking a magnet onto the floor, batting it to the far end of the kitchen, then just like a hockey player, he would maneuver it to in front of the refrigerator and then make a final “slapshot” underneath the refrigerator. When they were all gone I would dig them out from under the fridge and put them back on the door.

Rusty was a talkative tabby with a large personality. This lovable little charmer had the love and affection of his family, friends and nearby neighbors. Hunting was one of his favorite pursuits, mice being his prey of choice. Catching birds was discouraged and if caught were rescued immediately. He never saw a sack, box or open cupboard door that he didn’t want to enter and explore. When he was a kitten he used to sleep in my knitting bag.

If he was out early in the morning, he would go across the street to our neighbors, jump up onto her kitchen window ledge and talk to her through the kitchen window while she was doing dishes. She said she really enjoyed her morning chats with him.

On hot summer days he liked to while away his hours underneath an umbrella shaped Japanese Maple bush planted near our driveway. On one such day, we were out back on the patio when I saw him come out through the garage door. At first I thought he had been injured because his mouth looked odd. As he got closer I started laughing. He had a mouth full of maple leaves with a small bird tucked in the middle and a “what am I gonna do now” look on his face. He walked by me to a Heather plant located just off of the patio and started spitting out leaves and bird. Still laughing I got up, scooped up the bird and put it in a hanging basket then got Rusty and helped him get rid of the leaves. I imagine the bird landed on the bush and he reached up to grab it and got more than he bargained for.

Although we had some bad times because of his being hit by a car in 1991 and health issues, the past 16 years have left us with many, many wonderful memories of Rusty.

Posted Oct. 13,  2005  |     Printer Friendly Version