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Rocky the Killah Shop Kitteh April 2000 - July 2016

Well, the blogs are back on the website. Have not written one in over three years...and wouldn't you know...we're starting on a very sad note…

Rocky, our beloved "little man", the face of the company since day one, the killah shop kitteh has passed. He was 16 years old.

He came into my life right on the day he was born. My sister owned his mom, and she called me to ask if my daughter had ever seen kittens being born. I said she hadn't so we were invited to come over and watch. Ashley was excited and intrigued. While laying on the floor watching the momma cat, I felt a little nuzzle on my hand. This adorable little kitten had wandered away from momma and came over to me. I looked down and was smitten. My sister took one look and said, "Guess he picked you." I did not intend to adopt a kitten before I went to the house, but my heart was taken by this adorable cutie…

As he grew up, he and I had a bond similar to those with dogs. He would hang with me in the house, whether I was doing office work, watching TV or going to bed. So it should come to no surprise that he would hang out in the shop as well.

The shop was in the basement, so Rocky would sleep on the steps while I worked. Sometimes he would get on the bench and interrupt me with a "Pet me Daddy ,now" expression on his face. One day while using the table saw, Rocky was watching from the stairs; and he was mesmerized by the spinning blade, and was in a crouch position to pounce. Luckily I caught sight of this, and shifted gears accordingly. He learned to respect the bench and the saw when, one day, he walked across the saw and accidently stepped on the blade. The saw wasn't plugged in, and he barely touched the blade with his paw… but he got the message, and realized that he had to careful (For the record, it didn't even hurt him, just startled him)

At age 13, he was diagnosed with cancer; but we were told of a procedure called "RadioCat" that would try to alleviate cancer from his body. It wasn't foolproof, and the cancer could come back, but it was worth a shot. He came through with flying colors and seemed better than ever.

He also developed a new "bad habit"… he would follow me, just like a dog would, while I was eating, and practically beg for a sample. Not so much the food, he just wanted to lick the spoon!! When we would go to bed, he slept with me… and I had to be in a certain position (known in our house as the "figure four"); and if I moved, he would paw at my legs till they assumed the correct position. The older he got, the more pronounced these habits would be.

He would sit on the bed or a chair or even the floor with what I called the "Mr. Majestic" pose, a sort of regal air that he would carry himself with. As he got older, he became more of the "Alpha Male" with the other cats. Especially with a hell-on-wheels speed demon like our tuxedo kitty Opus.

Opus would drive Rocky crazy, though he didn't always show it. He would be stoic, while Opus was like the yappy little dog in the Looney Tunes cartoon (You wanna play with the ball Spike, huh Spike, huh). All the while, Rocky just stood majestically and took it like a little man. Until one day Opus got a little too close, Rocky scooped his right arm underneath Opus' front legs and flipped him over better than most pro wrestlers! Then, he went back to his stoic pose, while Opus got the message loud and clear. I always wished I had video of that.

About a year ago we were told that the cancer had returned . Figuring that he had a good life, we decided against another radiocat go round and just let him be. When he was ready to go, he would let us know. Of course, it didn't help matters that he acted like he was a kitten, still wanting, and getting to lick the spoon, still able to climb up on the bed, climb stairs, and just be himself. He visited the new shop once since we moved in, and he had a ball, although I had to lift him up to the benches. He loved it.

In his final days, he was going downhill, but he still came downstairs whenever he heard a spoon. Until his last day when he gave me the look…

On behalf of my wife, I wish to publically thank Dr. Guntly and Agawam Animal Hospital for being his regular vet; to the folks at New England Veterinary Center & Cancer Care for the care in his final months; to the folks at RadioCat for giving us three years with Rocky that we never would have had. It was worth it. And to those who knew, before this blog was written, about Rocky, thank you for your kindness We greatly appreciate it.

Rocky will forever be the face of the company… there can only be one "Killah Shop Kitteh" and he is irreplaceable.

Rest in Peace Rocky… you're in heaven but keep an eye on the place… love you...

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