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Ten years ago, Leo scrounged for scraps behind a restaurant next to a busy Texas interstate. He dodged cars to beg for fries or a bite of hamburger. Sometimes he would get lucky and someone would be kind and share their food with him. Other times people would shoo him away or yell and throw things at him. Leo still loved people and would approach customers with the same love and friendliness every time. The manager called Animal Control. Leo went to the humane society shelter where I worked. We became friends and I couldn't resist bringing him home to join my two other cats, Sylvia and Taz. Leo accompanied us on the long trip from Texas to Minnesota. Leo became a dignified older gentleman of 18. He outlived his friends and was set in his ways and content to be "THE" one and only household cat. Leo had his very own room, complete with 3 cat trees, furniture, TV, A/C, his very own heater (to keep him toasty during tough Minnesota winters) and 24/7 dry food buffet. Although he was free to socialize throughout the house, he preferred his quiet private quarters but loved to get visitors. Leo enjoyed going to PetSmart, where he walked on a leash and harness while we shopped for his favorite treats and visited with employees who always asked about him and stopped to pet him and fuss over him and give him catnip and treats. Leo lived out his golden years as a dignified and thoroughly spoiled senior feline. On Feb 22nd 2009, he succumbed to a pre-existing heart condition. The emergency vets did all they could for him but it was time for Leo to cross the Rainbow Bridge. My old buddy is missed but he is remembered with much love.

Joe Torres
Rochester, MN

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