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I got Willow when she was 6 weeks old from the Bangor Humane Society in 2000 after moving from Wichita, KS to Winterport, Maine.My husband stayed behind in Wichita to tie up loose ends and sell our home there.I had purchased a Sea Captain's home, built in 1795 and intended to restore it.It was a huge, rambling house and I missed my husband and our two dogs, Maggie and Echo.So, I went to the Bangor Humane Society to see what kind of cats they had.All that was available were three kittens.The first one they brought out was called a tri-colored tabby.She was beautiful with muted colors and a winsome personality.She attached herself to me immediately -- went from the caretaker's arms to mine and there she stayed.I didn't ask to see the other two.Because of her beautiful coloring, I decided to name her Willow, Opus 4.Willow because she reminded me of pussy willow blossums, Opus because I am a musician (Opus is Latin for work), and 4 because she was my 4th cat.

Willow loved the 3 story home with all the rooms and crooks and crevices. Finally, my husband moved in with our two dogs.Willow and the dogs were all best buds before long and she loved my husband. Through the years and a couple of moves she was right there, through the good times and the bad. In April 2004 we lost our Bichon to congestive heart failure.Those were dark days for us but we had her for 16 years. Two years later, I had a huge tumor that was life-threatening and had to have it removed.Willow saw me through that.

Today, we have 5 more cats and Willow is the queen of the house.At 17 years old, she moves with grace, but a bit slower due to aches and pains of arthritis but she still loves to play with her catnip fish, and chasing the red dot.She's never late for dinner or treats and she sleeps on me at night.I am so fortunate to have found her those many years ago when she was just a kitten.

Mary C Meredith
East Millinocket, ME

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