Today my family lost one of own special animals. Our cat Rocky. I know this blog is about me and my horse Hondo, but today I would like to share Rocky’s story…

In 2002, me, my husband and youngest daughter Lindsey lived in Guam. I worked as an Environmental Engineer back then for the same company I am still with. The island was just hit with one of the worst storms in its history, Super Typhoon Pongsongwa. Guam looked like a war zone after the storm and we couldn’t even drive anywhere due to the roads being blocked. We lived on the 9nth floor in a 3- bedroom apartment and due to the storm, our carpets had got drenched. During the storm, water had come bubbling into our front entrance door and one of the front bedrooms window had busted. I was down in the lobby talking with the property manager about the damage when across the lobby came running a 4-month old kitten that was totally drenched. The kitten got a running leap and jumped on the counter I was standing next too. He then ran towards me and practically jumped in my arms. Apparently the Property Manager was scared of cats and was screaming to get it away from her. Being an animal lover I instinctively started shielding the kitten from the property manager. How can anyone be scared of a little kitten?

It appeared the kitten thought I was his savior as he was burying his head in my chest and started purring.  I knew it was one of the stray kittens that lived in our underground parking garage as I knew who the big tom cat was his sire. I had actually been leaving scraps in the garage since the day I had arrived on the island. Yes, I have a big heart and I am a softie!, but don’t let that get out because I am that tough as nails girl that I present to the world also….

We were not supposed to have pets where we lived and I had found extremely good homes for the ones we had prior to us moving to Guam. Holding this wet, stinky and mal-nourished kitten in my arms made me realize what we had been missing all those months since we moved there. I looked at the near hysterical women afraid of a 2 lb kitten and trying to shoo me away, I couldn’t help myself as I moved closer to her laughing under my breath. I told her I was going to take the kitten away, but it was going to be to my apartment. The property manager cried “I don’t care, just get away”. I assumed that pretty much gave me permission so I went to the stack of elevators and promptly went to introduce the ragged kitten to our home that currently had no ac, water or power except for the generator which was only on a few hours a day.

Once I got home, my husband Joe said we couldn’t keep him due to the no pet policy. I told him what happened in the lobby and of course, he opened his heart to the kitten that had chosen us as his family. Also, it seemed the kitten automatically went to Joe and he has been Joe’s cat ever since. Joe name him Rocky due to he had one black eye.

One year later after another storm, we ended up with another kitten that the momma had abandoned. This kitten was so young that we had to bottle feed it. Rocky was extremely put out and told us very loudly that he was not happy about this new addition to the family. Fortunately my daughter took over the care of Miss Kitten a.k.a Miss Kitty. She stayed in my daughters room for almost a month before Rocky decided not to want to kill her.

Several years later, I got transferred by my company back to the states. We were not going to leave Rocky or Miss Kitty so they traveled halfway around the world. My daughter and husband had to stay in Guam for awhile to move us while I had to start my new job. My mom picked Rocky and Miss Kitty up at DFW airport and drove them  3 hours to our new home in Arkansas. Apparently our cats and her dog did not make for a pleasant drive.

As you know, I live in Arizona and so Rocky and Miss Kitty had to make another move. Rocky was always happy as long as Joe was near so he settled down pretty quick. We have been fortunate enough to have had Rocky in our lives for 15 years. We took him to the vet today, we knew what she would say, but just needed the confirmation. Rocky was in liver failure, the last week he had been turning yellow and we knew he was suffering. He had quit eating or drinking four days ago.

We will always have the cat who chose us for his family in our hearts forever…

R.I.P.  Rocky O.

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