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Friday, December 24, 2010


It’s hard to watch a loved one age but it is a natural process of life. I sit with Twygal on my lap, she likes to sit upright with her paws curled on my chest and her head under my chin. I should be typing but instead savor the time I have left with this little fireball.

She showed up one day in the barn, a tiny, round ball of fur just popping up from between bales. So I grabbed her and took her home. She was young enough that I didn’t have to go through any taming process as I did with other feral cats and kittens. The only thing we disagreed about was her name. I wanted to call her Galaxy in tribute to another cat I’d lost that year. After all her tortoiseshell fur looks like a night sky sparkled with stars. But she preferred the name Twilight. You see, I believe that if you are open to suggestion cats will tell you their proper names in time. In the end we agreed to combine the two, thus “Twygal.”

True to her tortie coloring she became quite a little monster. She’d terrorize the older cats and attacked anything that bothered her. She is also a perfect example of redirected aggression. She won’t usually bite me but if I’m bothering her too much she’ll take out after the nearest cat or even the dog. Sometimes my bad side comes out and I’ll tease her into attacking another cat by rubbing her back for a moment. If she happens to be pointed toward some hapless cat he becomes her target.

A very different thing happened the first time she met my sister’s very large Siberian Husky. Granted it was her first time outside since I’d caught her but the minute she saw that large dog she bit me and took off. Luckily she was on a leash so I was able to grab her before she managed to slip out of her harness.

At home she rules the roost and even keeps the larger cats away from her food. She takes her position at the foot of the bed and makes her displeasure known if I move my feet during the night. Her personality changes, though, whenever she visits her veterinarian. She becomes this silly, shy little nothing that puts up with anything they need to do to her. No one at the clinic would ever believe what she’s like at home.

Now Twygal is 16 years old and she’s facing some health issues. We’re not sure what exactly is going on but she lost a lot of weight a while back and had a terrible bout with colitis. After many attempts to control her symptoms we’ve finally got her back on track and she’s back to her chubby ole self. The difference is she needs more attention now and I’m obliged by my love for her to give her every bit she asks for. Twygal is a joy in my life that I’ll always treasure.

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