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She and her litter of six kittens (all of them ill with an untreated URI) were rescued in April 2001 from a city pound in Long Beach CA by a Good Samaritan pet sitter who was also a volunteer at a local no-kill shelter. I visited them recovering in foster intending to select two kittens when I had the revelation that taking Athena (then called Jewel, because they said she was one, had never seen such a good mother!) as well as the kittens was the perfect solution. We didn't know her age at adoption, estimated 1-3 years.

We adopted Athena and 3 of her kittens, and this beauty graced my life with her loving heart and sweetness (and lots of laughter) for the next 12 years. She was my companion in good times and my comforter in bad, and helped me keep my priorities (her!) in order. We tell ourselves that we made her life better, but the level by which she improved ours cannot be measured. A calm, confident, but profoundly sweet spirit, she owned the house the minute she walked into our lives back in 2001.

We let her go yesterday after a brief but chronic illness. She had survived painful ear polyps, recurring URI’s, and was cured of hyperthyroidism a few years ago to list a few, but her suffering to overcome this last challenge was greater than our need to keep her in our lives for just a while longer. Athena, may the Lord of all who made us keep you happy and content until we join you over the bridge,I only pray we can show ourselves as worthy as you in how we touch the lives of others.

Lynne & Vaughn Wendelstadt
Cypress, CA

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