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Two adult cats at the shelter needed to be fostered. We took them in.

They were nice enough cats - Mister Kitty, an orange and white lump who nervously peed on things, and Little Kitty, a badly matted tortoiseshell with a horrible respiratory infection. We kept them for a bit, worked with them as one does - they'd certainly make nice additions to someone's family, we thought. Especially Little Kitty, who was beginning to show her cattitude as she recovered from the infection...

We had once owned a Persian who was the sassiest girl you would ever meet. She was the mistress of the house, no questions asked, and remained that way until she finally told us, at 28 years of age, that she was ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge. There could never be another cat like her, not in a thousand lifetimes.

Except now there was. Little Kitty, with all her grump and sass, was a dead ringer in everything but color for that lovely lady we once had.

I told myself I wasn't going to keep her, even as I introduced her to the resident cats now that she was well enough to mingle. They all got along as well as one can expect, came to enjoy one another's company, and yet I kept insisting - I didn't need another cat. I didn't.

But one day I saw her in the hall, laying on a neon green mouse-shaped toy, looking at me with those eyes - the "you are my human" eyes.

I gave in.

Now named Branwen, she's fat, loving, and still just as sassy as her predecessor. She likes climbing up on my chest and rumbling her breathy purr in my face. She doesn't meow, she chirps - and does it in the most demanding way. She's lovely and I'm glad I decided to keep her.

Kai Lowell
Dubuque, IA

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