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On May 14, 2004, I took my very special buddy, my 2-year old brown tabby cat Timmy, to an emergency vet clinic with the expectation that what was ailing him was treatable.  Little did I know that it wasn't, and that I would not be bringing him home that evening.

I was devastated, he was the best cat I'd ever had.  I got him from a local shelter a year and a half ago, and he surprised me with his affection and cleverness.  He was about 8 months when I got him, and he started playing "fetch" without ever having been trained, he just started one day to retrieve a ball I threw for him down the hall of our old apartment.

He was also best buddies with my husband's older cat, Pepper.  That evening, when I came home, Pepper looked everywhere for Timmy, which only served to break my heart even more.  Even he felt the loss, as he uncharacteristically snuggled up to me in the middle of the night for the next few nights.

I wasn't sure if I'd ever get another cat, the loss was so sudden, I could not see myself going through that again.  That is, until I was online the following day and came across so many cats needing homes on

I decided to get right back on the horse, so to speak, and bring another cat home.  One of the cats I saw on PetFinder was called Fred Macguire, who was also a brown tabby.  He looked so sad in his picture online, and I just had to see him.  Even while checking out local shelters on the Sunday, I could not get the picture of him out of my mind.  That same day I took the drive out to see him at the pet store that he was at.  I saw other cats there, too, but he stood out as "the one" for me.

The associate at the store showed him to me, and even let me hold Freddie.  He was so sweet, and curious, and even responded when I mewled at him, and also when I called him "Freddie".  I proceeded to fill out an application for him, and as I left the store, my heart sank that I might not get him.

Later that evening I received a follow-up call from the lady in charge of his adoption, and when I got off the phone I still had doubts that I'd be his new caretaker.  I emailed her to further explain anything that I felt I might have left out.  If I was turned down, well, there were many other cats in need of a loving home, too.

The next morning I checked my email at work and jumped for joy at a reply to mine I sent the evening before – Freddie was mine!  After playing a little bit of telephone tag, it was settled that I would head over to the pet store that evening to pick Freddie up.

He spent about four days in quarantine in our spare room as he had a feline cough, which was promptly treated, but I also wanted to gradually introduce him to Pepper.  The first time Pepper saw Freddie, he made a dash for him, and I feared the worst.  However, that fear did not last, as Pepper threw himself down in front of a surprised Freddie and wanted to play.  I left them to it, and did not hear one peep out of that room.  When I went back in, Freddie was asleep on a chair, and Pepper was asleep on the floor.

Freddie has since made himself quite comfortable.  Those sad-looking eyes from the shelter have been replaced with eyes full of life and contentment.  I love him to bits, and he has truly made a huge impact in my life.  Freddie will never “replace” Timmy, but he showed me that I had plenty of room in my heart after Timmy died to help another animal live a full life, if only at least in Timmy’s remembrance.