1928 - Alderson High School - 1968




Rick Hughes - May 18, 2014

We have observed death many times. Death has totally wiped out ,quote, our older generation. My only sibling died in 1983. Two of my wife's siblings have died. We lost one son to destiny and the number of fairly close friends would put the figure at close to 25, plus I have lost some cousins, so while I cannot claim to be an expert on death, I have had ample experience with it. Which brings me to my current adventure with the gray fate.

May the 8th 2014 will always be a moment of intense sorrow for myself and Barbara, for on that awful day we lost a 19 year old companion. We were separated from a loving, loyal to the extreme, friend. A once in a lifetime Allie and friend departed from us forever and ever. He was A brave, bold, loving committed creature. He was extremely good natured. He enjoyed having his head rubbed and to a ridiculous degree, he enjoyed our company almost beyond imagination. He was 19 years old.

His early history is fairly well known. Greg found him in a field behind our Adams street property along with his brother. They appeared to have been abandoned. Anyway his brother died within a day. He was placed in a box by our bed where my wife fed this extremely tiny creature with a eyedropper. I was mostly an observer.

My wife had gotten me to where I loved dogs, but growing up I had never owned a dog, now I was at least becoming familiar with this new life form ! He was very cute and actually would approach me, rubbing his head seemed to make him content and he would purr loudly. Gradually, he grew and began to occupy the back yard. We lived at Maywinn then and the woods were very close and visible. He would get into fights with possums and other living creatures. He also had a propensity to get on our roof and then call on me to rescue him ,which I always did. In those days he spent most of his time outside. Early in the morning about 4 o'clock he would pound on our bedroom window and I would get up and let him in.

After 12 years we moved from Maywinn to Deerwood and he decided to come with us! On April 8, 2007 I let him in from the back porch and he got close to my head. He was wet but I went back to sleep. I really had surrendered to sleep. Awakening at 8 o'clock that morning I had a feeling of extreme dread .I had a premonition of impending disaster. I looked for him but he was not to be found. Barb told me he was good at hiding.

Upon returning home that night there was still no sign of his presence. We all got in different cars and went looking for him and he was no where on the roads in the area. Over the next few weeks I canvassed many neighborhoods looking for him but no one had seen him. Everyday I called the pound to see if they had any new refugees. One day they had one that fit his description, but it turned out his name was Robert and he belonged to a lady on the other side of town.

All through the summer we searched for him. We prayed that somehow we would find him. We ran ad after ad in the local newspaper but he had vanished! At the end of August we went down to Charleston ,West Virginia to run against Al Mc Laughlin in the annual race. We told Al and Mary Jo that somehow we believed we would be reunited with him.

Upon returning home we ran A huge ad ,with his picture big as life so everyone could see HIM. Soon a call came into our home but the only person to take the call was Richie, a very young male, who brilliantly took a phone number and gave it to Barb. She called and bingo it appeared we had hit pay dirt. Barb and Richie on Saturday morning Sept. 11 2007 met the people from a town 42 miles away and sure enough it was him. As I approached him after work that Saturday, it was twelve thirty and my joy knew no bounds. He purred very contentedly as we celebrated his rescue. Anyway, he had a limp on his back right leg and we decided Monday we would take him to the vet. Monday came and he was running frisky, happily with extra vigor for the longest time he never hurt again. After this experience he became an indoor dweller, because we loved him so much we did not want him to experience anything like he had just gone through. Anyway, from then on he lived a very happy life and would always enjoy the company of any other pets we might have.

We went to southeast Asia in Jan 2014 and when we returned the vet told us he had developed diabetes. We took him to Med Vet, a top hospital for animals located in Columbus OHIO. We were trained on how to administer insulin and how to identify the dosage to provide. We ere there 7 days. When we returned home he plugged along but there was no noticeable improvement. Finally we returned to our local vet and we tried various cures, none very effective. We continued to take blood samples and using needles on him. He would get mad at me, he wanted me to fix the problem.

Recently I opened my closet door and he lay passed out, probably dying and I heroically took him to the vet where he was momentarily restored. Then on Thursday he vomited 3 times! We put A boatload of insulin in him that night. He somehow found the strength to get up on our bed and lay limp between Barb and I. We both, in the most tender possible manner petted this living loving creature, and sometime in the night he somehow got off the bed and left us. The next morning we took him to the vet. She said it was time to let him go to his destiny. I started to cry, more like weep as I wanted to save him. I held him up, he put his paws around my neck. I kissed him on his head, bawling like a broken fire hydrant. I kissed him again softly and he died right there in my arms. My wife who is much much more intelligent, sensitive, and functional than I am, told me that when he came up to see us the last time the night before on the bed, that he was saying goodbye and thanking us for 19 wonderful years of life. I should have thanked him. KING ARTHUR was his name and he was a joy. He was unique and he was a miracle! He was a beautiful long haired gray cat. We really really loved him.

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