Crystal's ChoicePyramid Image.

Sandy Gabelt

© Copyright 1999 by Sandy Gabelt
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Crystal has gone on to wherever it is that good cats go, but she is remembered with great affection. Crystal's Choice still holds center stage in Ms. Gabelt's life and they're hoping that growing old together will prove that the best really is yet to come.

Looking for a kitten for my teenage daughter one day, I stopped at the Humane Society. There I discovered a beautiful silver Persian cowering in the back of her cage. She was lost, very unhappy and quite ferocious, but her beauty won me over and I took this young adult cat home with me. On her arrival, she popped out of the box like an exploding, spitting banshee and took up residence behind my couch.

After a few attempts to make friends with her that only yielded deep puncture wounds in my hand, I decided to bide my time and let her make the first overture. This process took about two weeks of good food and soft conversations before she let me lay a hand on her . Eventually, she grew to trust me, though she never had any time for anyone else. She hissed and slapped at my husband, ignored my daughter, and was downright snooty with anyone else who tried to approach her. Her greatest pleasure seemed to be to just lie on the back of the couch by my head and purr softly, occasionally rubbing her cheek against mine.

After almost six years of the bond between us growing, I finally had to concede the point to her. Yep, my husband sucked! Crystal never liked him either, so we packed our belongings and moved out. I rented an apartment and had to sneak her in under my coat, since I couldn't afford the $200 deposit. It didn't matter much to Crystal where she lived, as long as I was there too, and she was a quiet and very mannerly roommate. However, she was not keen on any of my new acquaintances and continued to hiss or put her little pug nose in the air and walk away from anyone new in my life. Ultimately, it seems she was always right.

Time passed and I did introduce her to a very nice man (I thought), but I was convinced that Crystal just didn't like anyone but me. He was an animal lover, very fond of dogs, but only tolerant of cats. I explained that Crystal never liked anyone but me anyway, so if he achieved her tolerance he was doing better than most. Our relationship was going quite nicely when I started to notice an entirely new attitude in Crystal. She would follow him around, talking in her own feline fashion, and sit behind him on the back of the couch and rub her head against his hair. She even thought it was cute to dip her big, fuzzy tail in his drinks. I couldn't believe it ... Crystal liked him ... in fact, she was crazy about him!

After five happy years with the two of us, Crystal developed a lump in her stomach, cancer, which would take her from us. I can still picture her bright blue eyes looking at him adoringly, and he grieved with me when we lost her. She was a true friend and will not be forgotten.

So now, three years later, as we proceed down life's path, hand in hand, still content and full of love for each other, it's kind of nice to know that she approved ... once again, she was right!

Sandy Gabelt resides in rural Arizona with her husband, two teenaged sons, and assorted dogs, horses, and other animals. She works as an administrative assistant for a major company and only occasionally indulges her first love which is writing.

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