I can hardly believe it, but my baby is nine (in human years). She was born to a feral cat, so I don't know what her date of birth is. All I know is she was about three months when I got her in December 1999. The shelter said she was probably born in late August or early September.
It's not really important, I guess, but I wanted a date to mark her years with, so I picked September 5, because it was my Grandma Bean's birthday. So tomorrow is Millie's ninth birthday. I wish her many, many more years of being my sweet baby. She brings a lot of joy to my life.
Tonight, I scanned the first Millie picture. This was minutes after Mom and Dad arrived at my apartment, surprising me with a baby calico.
"The ladies at the shelter called her Punky Brewster," Mom told me. "But you can call her whatever you want." So she became Millennium Joy, my Millie-girl.
Mom promised me that day that Millie would be a wonderful friend. "She'll never tell your secrets." And it's true. In the last nine years, I've been comforted many times by the cuddles and purrs of this sweet little soul.
She's like no other cat I've ever known: smarter than is probably good for her, able to remember me after a long absence (my year in England) and to immediately go back to complete trust and affection. She is curious, snoopy, playful, loving, sweet, talkative, quick to purr, sassy, mischievious, and a source of laughter and joy in my life. I swear she knows when I've had a bad day.
She's had really good health, and for a nine-year-old cat, she's still somewhat active and playful. She never did turn into the "fat lady of middle years" I expected all those years ago, but has retained her girlish 8-pound figure. Am I jealous? You bet! She once got a really bad bug, and I spent one panic-filled afternoon hysterically crying because I thought I might have to have her put down. I unabashedly took a day off of work to nurse her through that illness, forcing water and Gerber Chicken and Rice down her throat with a syringe in an attempt to hydrate my poor, sick kitty.
Some people say that cats (and animals in general) are stupid, that they don't feel. I don't buy it for one second. If there are angels on earth, surely they come in small furry bodies, with comforting purrs and playful spirits.
Happy Birthday, Millie!