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It was October, and I was on the way home from my volunteer day at the hawk watch.  I stopped for a pumpkin shake before the stand closed for the season.  As I was pulling away from the curb, an orange cat stepped out of the alley, meowed a couple times and returned to the alley.  His tail looked awful, so I had to check it out.  I found him meowing under a wagon; I put my hand down, and he came right out purring and rubbing my legs. I scooped him up expecting a struggle and expecting to get clawed, but he kept purring.  He was fur & bone, and his tail was full of burrs. I put him in the back seat, and he immediately fell asleep.  He was  very, very  big, but had a young look, so I estimated him to be 10 to 12 months old. My vet advised he was only 6 months old and luckily was disease free. He fit in well with my clowder of 7 other rescue cats.  He is the biggest baby, always purring and demands cuddling.  I named him  Merlin  after the fast-moving falcons I had seen that day at the hawk watch.  And he lives up to his name by streaking through the house.

Karen Lund
Genoa, IL

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