July 18, 1996 — October 7, 2017
A friend told me about her neighbor’s cat recently had kittens and was looking for people to take them in. It was the summer of 1996, the day was really hot so I waited until after dinner to go when the air started to cool. The family was super sweet and welcomed me into their home to pick out a kitten to call my own if I wished.
There were two black kittens, a boy and a girl and I guess because I am a girl, I picked the female. The boy was all over me, crying and wouldn’t let me stand up. Even when I was walking out the room, he jumped on my pant leg and was very vocal. We all laughed thinking he just didn’t want to see his sister go. I sat down in their living room as their kids each said goodbye to female I quickly named Salem.
Soon it was time to go, I picked up my purse off the floor and left with Salem feeling very happy with my choice. On the way home, I heard her little mews from the backseat calmly coming out of the box she was in. Suddenly, I had a kitten crawling up my leg. At first I thought it was Salem and that she escaped from the box due to it not having a lid.
There I was on the side of the road, trying to put the little escape artist back in the box when shock hit me. It wasn’t Salem, it was the her brother! Puzzled I retraced my steps, knowing I didn’t grab two of them. My eyes looked over and noticed my large purse, which was big enough to hold school books was completely knocked over with my things poured out. He must have climbed in, when I had my purse on the floor.
I carefully placed him in the box and returned to the family’s home, holding him in my hands. They were equally shocked as I was and we all shared a good laugh, mostly I was embarrassed and was laughing to feel better. When I tried to hand him over, he yelled as loud as his little voice could muster. I looked into his eyes and my heart just melted. Even with his claws deep into my hand, I saw he wanted to be with me.
It was very odd, in that moment when I realized when I thought I was there to pick a kitten, never in my wildest dreams did I think a kitten would pick me. I asked if he was spoken for and if it was alright if I took both kittens. The family was kind and quickly agreed saying that he must really like you to be acting like that, as they never saw him do things like this before.
On the way home, now for the second time, he would not stop crying while in the box. While the light was red, I reached to the backseat and placed the box in the front with me. Once I placed my hand inside the box, all was quiet minus the sweet sound of purring. My thoughts began to replay the things that happened, from him refusing to let me leave to him hiding in my purse only to magically appear on my leg once more. Softly I smiled when his name seemed to have been whispered into my ear, “Witchcraft”.
He was glued to my side everywhere I went. Including the bathroom, he would meow and claw the door until I just gave in and opened it for his grand entrance. When I had to leave the house, you could see him in the window mouthing a silent protest. Witchcraft didn’t need leash training, when I thought to bring him outside with me sometimes. He took to that leash like a fish in water. Always at my side and didn’t care what was going on around him as long as I was there.
After Salem passed away, shortly after their first year, Witchcraft hid in the closet for about a week. I thought to give him his space but I started to become concerned as his bowl was untouched for two days. For dinner that night, I ordered chicken and broccoli from a near by Chinese food place. Thinking he must be hungry, I decided to coach him out with the chicken.
I opened the closet and pushed a few blankets to the side, and wiggled that little piece of chicken in front of his nose. He just looked away and I was heart-broken to see him like this. I never saw an animal mourn before and felt at a loss not knowing what to do. So, I sat there, thinking if he saw me eat, he, in turn would want to as well. Slowly he came out of the closet, softly meowing with his eyes fixed on my fork. I looked down at the broccoli and thought, he doesn’t want this…does he?
Sure enough, when I presented it to him while thinking I was just being silly, he grabbed it off the fork and it was gone within seconds. Quickly, I separated the rest of the green vegetables from the chicken and placed it on a paper plate. He ate every single piece without pausing. His purrs were strong and his eyes became so bright again. After that, when ever I served broccoli, Witch always got a serving.
The years seemed to slowly roll by, a collection of memories no treasure could ever match their worth. He was every bit apart of me as my fingers are to my hands. From countless Christmases of him getting stuck in the tree to protecting my children from the dangers of those evil flying bugs. He wasn’t just a pet who lived with me, he was in every part of my life. I would muse at the idea that perhaps, Witchcraft didn’t think he was a cat at all. Maybe he was one of those animals who thought he was just a very furry human.
His personality was that of a kindred spirit. Never once did he bite someone or even displayed his claws. When he looked at you, somehow you knew everything would be okay. There were times in my life that were dark and uncertain, but he would be there, purring and meowing with a gentle touch of his paw. His eyes were always so warm and they seemed to enter your soul with such soothing.
Our love lasted for 21 years, more then half my life. Even when he passed, he was in my arms looking at me, purring. With his very last breath, he meowed.There was no pain in his voice, not even sorrow. He did what he always did, tried to make me feel better. I wish I could say, I was brave but I wasn’t. I was crying almost uncontrollably as I held him tight. But he meowed his last, trying to tell me once again everything would be alright.
When you started to read Witch’s story, I bet from the title you thought it was me falling for him the moment I saw him. But this is his story, from the moment he saw me. He fell in love enough to climb into that purse I no longer have and make sure we would be together. Never in my life have I shared such an emotion with another living soul. Witchcraft loved me without judgement or uncertainty.
But that was what he was, love…pure and true. I don’t know what he saw in me, I’m no one special. But I will forever be grateful that out of all the people in this world, Witchcraft chose me.
I love you Witchcraft, always and forever
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