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When Randy and I lost our first orange tabby, Colby, at nearly 19 years old, we didn't think we'd ever find a cat as wonderful as that sweet feline. We were about to retire, and knew travel on big bodies of water in our 40-foot trawler would soon begin in earnest. Yet I still occasionally checked the local humane society website just in case a special kitty caught my eye.

Then one day, there he was. A handsome, tall, energetic, orange-and-white stray the humane society dubbed Cheeto. I checked him out. Then I told my husband where I'd been and what I saw. He didn't seem interested, but did say if we ever got another cat, it would have to enjoy traveling on the boat. I thought, Colby had adapted--why not another kitty? But I mulled it over and decided the matter was a dead issue. Little did I know that Randy went to the animal shelter, paid for Cheeto's care, but didn't take him home. When I went back another day for a looksee, I learned "some man was very interested in him, too." I panicked. What a happy surprise when that man turned out to be Randy, who surprised me with Cheeto the next night. We never could understand why his previous owners never searched for this marvelous, happy, content, and sweet cat. Guess who became an excellent crew member on the boat?

I lost the Captain of my heart three years ago to a stroke, but my goofy orange pal keeps me company with his antics, dozens of vocalizations and love of cuddling. Shelters everywhere have a pet for every person. I am so glad I checked out this smart, silly and handsome fellow so full of happy love. He certainly helps heal the ache that such a sudden sorrow brought.

Michele Bergstrom
Eagle River, WI

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