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In October of 2012, I had been on the hunt for a kitty to adopt. I was told about a kitten and his mother who needed a new home. I could only take one of them, so I took the kitten. From the moment I held him, I knew he was a special boy, and he quickly stole my heart. I named him after a high school friend who died in a tragic car accident, Austin. I found out a few months later that he had a mid-grade heart murmur, but I was told by two separate vets that it was nothing to be concerned about. Austin liked to steal my socks and hair ties, and created "stashes" of these items under my bed and dressers. He also loved to play fetch around 2 or 3 AM. Not too long after I found out about the heat murmur, I wondered why he wasn't growing. Turns out, he was ravaged with tapeworms. After treatment, he grew into an enormous cat. Even my new vet commented on what a big frame he had.

Austin helped me out of a severe depression, and brought my quiet brother right out of his shell. There were times when I didn't want to go on, and right on cue, Austin came with cuddles and purrs to calm me down. July of this year, Austin suddenly had a stroke, which was caused by the heart murmur I was told not to worry about. He was only three years old. I miss him everyday, and I am still so angry and bitter that he did not get the full life he obviously deserved. I wish I could trade 10 years of my life for him to have had 10 more years. RIP Austin, I will always love you.

Meghan Provost
Springfield, MA

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