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Sabby in the pink.

Sabby
is nineteen years old. He’s still feisty and fierce, loving, and loyal and extremely jealous. Sabby loves whom he loves and other cats and dogs had better not get in his way.

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A recent photo of Sabby. He still has the look although our vet tells me he is almost blind. But Sabby still leaps from chair to table to chair and recognizes each one of us so there has to be some sight left.

Sabby hails from upstate New York, born in Watertown in January, 1993. We got him from a soldier and his wife who were moving to Germany. The couple had two dogs and Sabby and they could only take two pets with them. They chose to take their dogs so we snapped up one year old Sabby. His real name is Sebastian, named for the crab in The Little Mermaid. We took Sabby home and introduced him to Abbey, our female cat we fell in love with in Panama. For Sabby and Abbey it wasn’t love at first sight.

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Abbey was two years old when we moved to Fort Drum, New York. She moved from a very tropical climate to a very cold one. The first winter she caught a bad cold that almost killed her.

But we were a family. Sabby, Abbey and our sweet dog, Pattertwig.

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Sabby sat at the door on the inside watching Pattertwig on the outside. It was cold at Fort Drum, New York.

A few months later, deep in the winter, Captain joined our family. The cat triumvirate was complete. For years poor Pattertwig was ruled by the three. Sabby, having been raised along side two dogs always seemed the most comfortable with Patter.

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How could Patter deal with the three of these picnicking cats? She did it with her own intrepid optimism.

One day when we were stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Abbey did something that really annoyed Pattertwig. Normally peaceful Captain never got into internecine opportunities but he was pissed big time at Patter. Sabby, who always considered Patter his “bud” was also really irritated at Patter and both male cats went after her. It made the very atmosphere in the room very tense. The humans had to intervene. Patter, Abbey, Sabby and Captain all had to be put in “time out” for a time.

Fort Sill was the last post all four were together. Sabby and Abbey went to college in the fall of 1999. Patter went to stay with his grandparents because on the advice of the vet she wasn’t considered healthy enough to fly overseas to Germany to our new post. Captain traveled with us to Heidelberg, Germany.

It was really hard breaking up our pet family, not to mention, leaving our daughters and son behind in their college and military careers.

When we returned in 2002 I wanted my pet family back but Kate was getting married and Abbey was staying with her. My parents wanted to keep Pattertwig and she had really been good for their health. They took her for walks, or rather she took them for walks.

Sabby came back to me when we returned from Germany. (and Captain) It was funny watching Captain and Sabby getting reacquainted. A lot of hissing and screaming (mostly by Sabby)

He was later joined by two new cats we had met in Germany, Amos and Bear. A friend had asked me to keep them while she and her husband moved to England and then later when they moved back to the states and had some difficulties she called me and asked me if I would keep them for good. I said yes, and she flew them from Tennessee to Arkansas. They stayed for a time at college in Oklahoma. The weekend Kate got married Bear died of a heart attack.

Sabby could tolerate Amos but he always liked Captain a lot so the reunion with Captain was a good one, after a lot of hissing from both of them. Our precious Captain died August 6th, 2007.

Only Sabby, of the original pet family was left. But he was not to be alone for long. When my daughter left for law school she left Amos and Asta with us. After graduation Asta left with her, leaving Amos with Sabby. It took a while but Sabby and Amos became buddies.

We lost Amos to cancer on February 5th. Oh, Amos. I miss him badly but I think Sabby even misses him more. Sabby is friendless now among the feline set but there is still Penny, a puppy we discovered in our back yard a year and a half ago. Sabby and Penny are now in a state of d├ętente.

So, it’s Sabby and Penny now, ruling our household. Nineteen years of Sabby in our lives has been a blessing. I hope for many more.