.................................. May 1988 - June 21, 2008............................
Basil wasn't like any other ordinary cat. I know people say that, but anyone who knew this cat loved him. I had several people tell me they didn't like cats, but this one was the exception to the rule.
When I got Basil in August of 1989 I wasn't really looking to get a cat. I had a puppy, mini schnauzer, named Snickers. A friend of mine was looking to get a completely white cat. He didn't want any other colors anywhere on it. He asked me if I would go with him to the SPCA to look and I did. Basil was there. Something about him drew me to him. I knew the first minute I saw him I had to take him home. Upon speaking with the lady there she told us the story of how Basil had come to be there. Someone had wrapped chains around him and fixed him to the mailboxes outside the SPCA. He was a few weeks old at the time from what they could tell. He had struggled trying to get loose and had done a lot of damage to his insides, mainly his spleen. Even though he was a kitten the SPCA took him to a vet and they fought to save his life. Basil had grown up in the SPCA facility and they pretty much let him have the run of the place in that he never met a person or an animal that he didn't like and didn't get along with. This lady warned me that although they had run every test they could think of and could not find anything wrong with Basil he wasn't gaining weight. He was very skinny and he had boughts with anemia. She said he may not live long. I had made up my mind though and he deserved to be loved no matter how long he had. At that time they checked my home and approved me. If memory serves at that time it was $40 to adopt and I had to take the cat for a year to Allen Vet so they could monitor his progress.
Within the first week of Basil being with me he began to gain weight. By the time I took him back to the vet he was up to 9 pounds. I loved that he was doing so well... so well in fact that I'll share a story of him with you.
Remember that puppy I told you about. He was about 9 months old when Basil came to stay with us and I kept him locked up in the laundry room when I was at work so that he wouldn't get into trouble. Well, he would bark and whine like dogs do because he didn't want to be in there. I was also afraid the new cat wouldn't like the dog chewing on him while I was at work. One day I came home from work to find the puppy loose in the house and my favorite coffee table only had one of the 4 legs left. The puppy had chewed right through the wooden legs on the others. I couldn't figure it out. It began to be a pattern no matter what the dog would escape. One day I was taking a shower and heard the dog barking and whining and I thought well I guess he doesn't need to be in the laundry room just because I'm taking a shower. I got out to go let him out of the laundry room and you'll never guess what I saw. Basil was standing on my stove, which was right next to the door of the laundry room, and he had one paw on top and one paw on the bottom of the door knob and you guessed it.. he turned it like a pro and out came the puppy. I bought a baby gate shortly there after. That dog and Basil were unseperable until Snickers died during surgery on July 5, 2001.
Basil was amazing in every aspect of the word. He loved to give kisses and I never heard him growl once in the almost 19 years he and I spent together. Another amazing thing was that I never had him to a vet for anything other than a checkup in all the time I had him. He was never sick a day and they thought he wouldn't live. Amazingly he was still active as he could be and still played with the dog I have now. The day he died he was playing and had given me kisses before going to lay down. The pictures were taken this past year. He looked healthy and was very active. I knew he was old and he died as I suspected he would, in his sleep. I thank God for all the wonderful years and for letting him stay with me so long. The SPCA didn't think he'd live a year... He almost made it 19. He was a little over 20 years old at the time of his passing and I thought in honor of his gentle soul I'd share his story with you today.