My soul cat Percy, by Joan Saliskas

Percy is my soul cat.

Percy was loving, sweet, gentle, innocent, and unassuming. He was born in a barn in Wisconsin, and a vet tech brought him and his brothers to the animal hospital in Illinois where my vet worked. My vet knew I wanted an orange cat because I had heard they have the best personalities, and so she gave me Percy in September 2007. Percy was orange and white like a dreamsicle – orange at his head and tail and mostly white in between – with stunning sea-green eyes. In his purity and goodness, Percy was like his namesake, Sir Percival, one of the most pure and holy knights of King Arthur’s Round Table.

As a kitten, Percy loved scrambling under the bed covers and attacking my feet at four in the morning.  Until his last month or so, he used to jump from my sofa to my desk and land on my laptop keyboard.   Sometimes he startled me so much – and interrupted my work – that I yelled at him. But I came to realize he just wanted to be close to me, and that I worked too much and needed to be calm and content like he was.

My handsome boy loved food, and at one time he was very plump. He would paw my face in the middle of the night to let me know he wanted treats. When he was dying of cancer, Percy got thinner and weaker and ate less and less, and he had no appetite for treats. The week before he died, he scratched at my bed, and when I brought him up to me, he pawed at my face but didn’t really eat any treats. But he gave me love.

Percy was euthanized at home on December 12, 2020.

Sometimes I feel enveloped by his huge, pure spirit – loving, protecting, and healing me.

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