Seventeen years ago to the day, a one-year-old Siamese cat and his sister arrived at my door. They weren’t called Merlin and Coco then but they knew they’d found their forever home. It’s been a long and wondrous journey since then. Coco had a rendez-vous at the Bridge two years ago
and a grieving Merlin sought solace with new cat friends. Merlin taught me that life goes on, spring arrives without fail and that the value of life is in every breath. My day-to-day life in recent months with Merlin remains private and precious. Eventually the magic of our transformational relationship it will find itself onto the printed page.
To be frank, a few months ago I wouldn’t have bet on Merlin making it to this milestone, but fate had other plans. Despite numerous medical conditions, Merlin shows an astounding resilience and will to live. Instead of the usual fluffy, birthday balloons and cute sentiments, Merlin’s song today is the old Alice Cooper song and anthem about the power of life: “I’m 18″. He will not go gently into the night. He will rock and roll until the day he dies.
I’m a boy and I’m a man
I’m eighteen and I like it
Yes I like it
Oh, I like it
Love it, like it, love it
Eighteen, Eighteen, Eighteen
I’m eighteen and I like it.
This is his official birthday portrait taken last week. He doesn’t like being photographed as in the past but indulged me with a few frames. He’s blind but in this rare moment his eyes unclouded and I felt him gaze straight down to my soul. He’s Merlin the magician, the magnificent and for the moment, the birthday boy!
We honor those fighting cancer with Livestrong today and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we will being “Thinking Pink” with fab pink giveaways every Friday during October. Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with this excellent selection of videos on the subject for women. For cats, the best we can do is prevention and early detection. The incidence of mammary tumors is reduced by 91 percent when spayed prior to six months of age, and by 86 percent in cats spayed before their first birthdays. For cats that love receiving belly rubs, we can share in a bonding experience while checking for any abnormal growths or lumps around the teats. This October, let’s race, educate, donate, shop, hope, pray and meow for the cure.