Forgive me, this is a little late.
On March 28th, I got a text message in return from my mother. I had asked how she was feeling, since she had the flu. The reply was
“Getting better slowly,-Hazel Kitty died”
When I was about 13 or 14, my kid sister was playing down the street with one of the neighbor kids. They both stormed into the house on a Saturday morning with a pillowcase that was mewling and bobbing around. I took it from them and reached into the bag and pulled out a under weight Russian Blue kitten of about 2 months old. She had brilliant blue eyes and was cute as could be. The story we were told was that someone’s dad was not only allergic to cats, he was also a hateful bastard, and was going to take the pillow kitty out to the creek and throw it in. My sister stepped forward, and asked for the cat. She was only 5 or 6, but knew right from wrong (then).
Hazel took to me and began sleeping in my room. She would lounge on my, and was pretty much my cat. She managed to survive my sister, who would dress her up in outfits, and pretty much make her miserable, and she survived an attack by the neighbor dog later in life.
When I left for the Marines, she would sit in my bedroom window, like she was waiting on me to get home.
Later in life, after I was married, she lived in my house for a while as my parents looked for work, but was nearly driven insane by the insane dog we had at the time.
Hazel loved turkey, chicken, and all things meat related. We would bring home scraps from restaurants, and she knew to check my mom’s purse. Her favorite meal was hotwings, even with the spicy sauce.
As she got older, she was not healthy looking, and having had cancer removed from her forepaw about 12 years ago, it may have not been the only cancer she had. But each time I saw her, she was quick to come say hi, and my son got to know her, and fed her chicken at times.
I have 2 cats now, Scout and Dewey, and they often remind me of Hazel. I hope they have long lives filled with snacks and snuggles like Hazel did, despite her rough start in life.