Russell "Rusty" Cat died July 5, 2005. He was a native of a northern county and moved to the Pine Grove as a kitten. His first owner, Young Girl, cherished him as did her Mother. When they moved, Rusty remained and became the pet of St.Casserole and family.
Rusty was known for his quiet, dignified presence and his love of the outdoors, particularly his own yard. He was a consistent observer of birds and squirrels. Rusty participated in gravity studies on the driveway for many years checking for gravity by taking naps on all portions of the driveway.
A cat of regular habits, he was a clock for his family telling them when to feed him, when to let him indoors or outdoors. He enjoyed a morsel of steak from the next door neighbor each Saturday night for over ten years. His regular habits led him to watch for the newspaper delivery each day, take naps morning and afternoons and allowed his family to know where he was most of the time.
His gentleness with people was well known. He kept his claws and good teeth all his life but did not use them to scratch or bite unless provoked. He like to sleep with St.Casserole and rest his soft paw on top of her hand as he slept. He smelled like sunshine.
Rusty was a dignified cat who liked few humans. His own family was blessed with his attentions, particularly the children. He allowed himself to be held in odd positions and carried carelessly without a murmur. He did not attend any parties or dinners when guests were present.
He lived a long life. In his later years, he suffered from kidney disease and endured with good-humor frequent IV injections to keep him hydrated. He tolerated vists to his vet, Dr. Jen, and was greatly admired by the veterinary staff.
He will be missed for his constant presence, ability to comfort humans and for his determination to track birds and squirrels even into his senior years.
His body was prepared by his family. He was buried in a shroud embroidered with birds and rabbits. His grave is north of the bird feeder where he enjoyed watching birds.
Gracious God, who gives us the good gift of pets, we thank you for Rusty. We thank you for all in him that made us love him. We thank you for his life with us which made us grateful for the natural world. We thank you that he allowed himself to live with people even though we did not undestand him. For the mysteries of life together with our pets, we give you thanks. We commend to your care all pets we love and have loved. We ask that you give us tenderness of heart for all the world's pets so that we may live responsibly and lovingly with them. Heal our grief in your gracious time. Thank you for letting us love our pets as we do.
In Christ's name, Amen.
Rusty died after lunch today. He didn't appear to be sick this morning nor did I notice anything unusual about him. He died quickly, in less than an hour. He began to throw up his lunch and he may have aspirated. Dr. Jen said he may have been more ill with his kidney disease than we knew but that he had many more years than is usual for cats.
I am beside myself.