Isaac and Patch were best friends. Actually, Patch was more like a brother or “dad” to Isaac, our “Sylvester or Tuxedo” cat. This photo was taken when both cats were seniors.
Patch was about two years old when Isaac and his twin, Jacob came into our lives. The twins were so small, we had to bottle feed them. They were so small that we made their first litter box out of John’s Justin’s Boot box. I added a ramp for them to climb on because they were too small to jump into the box without help.
We didn’t know how Patch and three old Zippy would respond to the kittens so we kept them in our unfinished basement room. The older cats didn’t know what to think about the meowing in the room and stayed close to the door to the kitty room. When the twins were finally old enough to meet their big brothers, Zippy and Patch appeared to be afraid of the little guys!
For about a week, we brought the kittens into the den for about an hour and let them sniff around and to become acquainted. The first night, John held Jake on his lap to watch a hockey game. Boy, was Patch insulted! His emerald-green eyes looked even greener as he gave us his “I’m not happy about this” look – and then he took off! John searched through the house and couldn’t find him. “He’ll come out of hiding soon,” I said as I helped him look under furniture and into closets. (Both of the older cats could open the closet doors.)
We were completely surprised when we returned to the den and found Patch curled in a ball under the couch! The stinker tricked us! Zippy, on the other hand, kept an eye on the little guys. By the end of the week all four were best friends!
The first night they interacted, Patch grabbed Jake and cleaned milk off the kitten’s face and looked at me with his “angry” look. He seemed to be asking, “why didn’t you clean the boy’s face?” I had tried to clean them with a washcloth but it took a cat’s skill to clean him perfectly!
The first time we allowed the “twins” to wander around the rest of the house, Patch and Isaac played a game of Hide and Seek. While Patch was hiding, John gathered up the kittens and put them back into their room for the night. A few minutes later, Patch gave the loudest, most mournful cry I have ever heard. Apparently, he thought he had lost Isaac. When I took him into the kitten’s room, Patch checked out both of the kittens and gave them both a bath before he left the room. Zippy was just as protective.
When he was about sixteen years old, Patch started having seizures, resulting in blindness less than a year later. Isaac was Patch’s see and eye cat. Patch was seventeen years old when he gave up his struggle. He passed away in our arms – beside John with his head on my shoulder and Isaac sitting beside him on my lap. Isaac was eighteen years old when he joined his brother and buddies.
The Bible says that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. That friend is Jesus!