Last year around this time, my beloved kitty, Clyde, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge—he was a week shy of his 16th birthday.

We had adopted Clyde and his sister, Bonnie, when they were just six weeks old; they became part of our family. I knew I’d miss this handsome and lovable boy, but how would his sudden disappearance affect Bonnie? She was secondary in this kitty relationship—Clyde was alpha male and poor Bonnie was shy and intimidated. At the time of Clyde’s passing, I shared with you that it seemed after one day of looking around for her brother, she began to very slowly creep out of her little cat shell.

I can tell you without a doubt that Bonnie is not the kitty of last year! She just celebrated her 17th birthday: a special can of cat food—no candles—and lots of love! Family, friends and I are amazed at how this trim little tuxedo cat has developed her very own personality and “I’m the boss” attitude. First and probably most important, she doesn’t have to gobble down her food immediately—Clyde used to finish it even before he attacked his own. She nibbles some food, drinks a bit of water and goes for a little nap. A few hours later she returns, and voila, the food and drink is still there! Now, that’s casual dining!

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Of course, Bonnie is not perfect. My few plants have been strategically placed out of her reach—she loves to eat the leaves and then throws up. She absolutely destroyed my Christmas cactus.  So far, the survivors are safe!

When the doorbell rings, Bonnie will run to another room. However, once she hears voices—especially men’s—she will race back into the living room. If one of the boys sits on the sofa, Bonnie crawls up, sits against his thigh and purrs her delight. She won’t do that for me—told you she likes men!  She’ll walk around “talking” to guests but is never a pest or bothersome. Bonnie is a remarkable little lady and assumes the role of hostess—hmph, thought that was my mission in life!

In some ways, Bonnie is predictable: At bedtime, she will hear me shut down my laptop—she’s usually under the desk.  She stretches herself out, looks up at me, meows and heads to the bedroom.  By the time I turn off lights and go into the room, Bonnie is curled up on the bed, waiting for me.  And, there she stays until the alarm goes off in the morning. This is our customary nightly routine.

When I climb out of bed in the morning, Bonnie is already sitting on the hassock by my chair. It’s as if she knows that in a few moments I will be sitting there for the morning ritual of reading my devotionals and scripture. Then it’s breakfast time!  Bonnie runs ahead of me, looking over her shoulder to make sure I’m right behind, and in to the kitchen where she patiently sits by her dishes.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll enjoy my little furry creature.  At age 17, she is alert, healthy and runs around the house—I don’t let her out except on the deck when I’m out there. For whatever time we have, Bonnie is finally in charge and loved by the humans she’s chosen to share in her life!

Ruthann can be reached at grandmopps@aol.com.