Rusty was born on May 29, 1989. The day he was born our daughter
called to tell us Starlight had her kittens. We went over to see
them and I pointed to the orange kitten and said that is the one I
wanted. When he came home, he slept with me under the covers.
Because Rusty would try to nurse my armpit during the night I had to
wear one of Don’s large t-shirts to bed. Thankfully, this phase
didn’t last long.
He really enjoyed his first Christmas. The morning after we
decorated our Christmas tree, we woke up with Rusty sleeping between
us. When I left the bedroom I saw an ornament in the hallway, then
some in the living room, one under the dining table and another in
the kitchen. When I looked at the tree, the bottom 8 inches were
bare. Surprisingly, he didn’t break any.
I had 6 ladybug magnets on the refrigerator door. One of his
favorite pastimes was knocking a magnet onto the floor, batting it
to the far end of the kitchen, then just like a hockey player, he
would maneuver it to in front of the refrigerator and then make a
final “slapshot” underneath the refrigerator. When they were all
gone I would dig them out from under the fridge and put them back on
Rusty was a talkative tabby with a large personality. This lovable
little charmer had the love and affection of his family, friends and
nearby neighbors. Hunting was one of his favorite pursuits, mice
being his prey of choice. Catching birds was discouraged and if
caught were rescued immediately. He never saw a sack, box or open
cupboard door that he didn’t want to enter and explore. When he was
a kitten he used to sleep in my knitting bag.
If he was out early in the morning, he would go across the street to
our neighbors, jump up onto her kitchen window ledge and talk to her
through the kitchen window while she was doing dishes. She said she
really enjoyed her morning chats with him.
On hot summer days he liked to while away his hours underneath an
umbrella shaped Japanese Maple bush planted near our driveway. On
one such day, we were out back on the patio when I saw him come out
through the garage door. At first I thought he had been injured
because his mouth looked odd. As he got closer I started laughing.
He had a mouth full of maple leaves with a small bird tucked in the
middle and a “what am I gonna do now” look on his face. He walked by
me to a Heather plant located just off of the patio and started
spitting out leaves and bird. Still laughing I got up, scooped up
the bird and put it in a hanging basket then got Rusty and helped
him get rid of the leaves. I imagine the bird landed on the bush and
he reached up to grab it and got more than he bargained for.
Although we had some bad times because of his being hit by a car in
1991 and health issues, the past 16 years have left us with many,
many wonderful memories of Rusty.