For people who never met Mr. Kitty, it can sometimes be a challenge to describe him. That's because he was no ordinary cat. His habits and routines had a way of seeming human at times.
He would visit the neighbors on a strict schedule. If he failed to show for a few days, my parents would get calls of concern. And, like the warden of the house, Mr. Kitty would meet visitors at the end of the sidewalk and escort them, with his signature bow-legged gait, to the door. Having been born wearing a permanent tuxedo (minus the tie, of course), he even dressed the part. Somewhere along the way, he learned to exchange high-fives for pats on the head...but only when he wanted them.
I was 14 years old when Mr. Kitty arrived at our house in the Delta. I'm 32 now, and it's hard for me to remember a time when he wasn't around.
We'll miss him a lot. Without him, who will let us know when the back porch furniture is out of place or if the patio needs to be hosed off? Who will allow the neighborhood kids to poke and pull at him without so much as a hiss or scratch? Who will greet us at the driveway when we come home?
We are lucky that Mr. Kitty spent his 18 years on Earth with us. I don't think there will ever be another one quite like him.