Sandy the cat died this year. He was 21 hooman years old. Sandy was a friend to all - people, kids (who aren't really people, right?), dogs, other cats and, well, everybody. Sandy was truly a friend to all. The one characteristic that universally stood out with Sandy was his Purr. He had a great Purr Box that could be heard across a room, through walls and beyond. It was loud, it was heartfelt, it was genuine and it was Sandy. Everybody who met Sandy would exclaim, "Oh, what a loud purr!" And that was Sandy.
Sandy got lost twice, both times after a move. The first time Sandy got lost he went down a storm drain as he had done many times - in a different town - and got lost in the subterranean labyrinth. We thought he was lost forever, but a month later he returned home, thinner, dirtier but happier.
The second time was after we moved from the "drain" house to a new house and Sandy went walk-a-bout and didn't return home for several days. Then, one evening, we had a knock on the door and there was this young woman, a veterinarian student, with Sandy in tow. She was on her way home, stopped at a stop sign and noticed this cat sitting on the corner looking lost. She pulled over and found that he had a collar and tag. She called us up to say she had "Sandy" and we directed her the few blocks to our house. He never got lost again!
In his final years, Sandy got more feeble, unable to jump on chairs or climb stairs. He spent his time sleeping, eating and puttering around the ground floor. In his final days he slept a lot and finally just stopped. I found him lifeless on the kitchen floor by his food bowl looking fast asleep but that long, long sleep we all will enjoy when our time comes. Sandy's time came and he peacefully slipped into the next realm where he is undoubtedly chasing mice and birds and eating Kat Chow. RIP Sandy.