Today Sundance the Handsome is 18 years old!

That’s right, my darling furchild, my first ever son, Sundance the Handsome is 18 years old!  That’s about 125 in people years. Happily I can say he is still going strong!

Sundance came to me when he was just a baby, his momma cat belonged to the crazy landlady I had at that time. He captured my heart the moment I saw him and knew he would be mine.

Today it’s hard to believe someone who started out so small… (yes, he’s curled up inside a hat there)

Baby Sundance curled up in a hat

Were you ever really this little, Sundance?

…would turn out to grow so HUGE – he was a twenty pound kitty in his glory days, and is still about 15 lbs even as a skinny old geezer now.

In addition to being so HUGE, Sundance is also the sweetest, most tolerant and even tempered kitty I have ever known!  When his half brother Silver Phantom came along six months later, Sundance played with him all day long, letting him get away with murder, letting him win, letting him get the better of Sundance.  Silver was half Sundance’s size. Even when they were both big and looked about the same size, Silver was only half as heavy but his long fur made him look as big as Sunny. But with Sunny it was all muscle (ok and a little lowrider too) and with Silver it was half illusion created by his long fur.

Sundance and Silver Happy Years

Brothers and Best Friends. I am forever grateful for the happy years we had together.

And years later, when they were getting old and Silver got sick with the cancer, Sundance was always there to comfort him.

Sundance and sick cancer kitty Silver

Silver loved his big brother Sundance, who comforted him when he was hurting.

Silver is no longer with us, he is resting in peace and no longer suffering. And when Silver died, Sundance was there to to keep the last shattered shards of my severely broken heart in place. I can only hope that we gave Sundance the comfort he needed too, when he lost his beloved brother and lifelong playmate and best friend. Those two were two peas in a pod I tell you.

Sundance enjoyed being the sole recipient of the animal love in our house for a couple of years.  But when our puppy Tots showed up at the door, so small at only 1.8 lbs. and apparently abandoned by some horrible person and found under a bush by my spouse, Sundance begrudgingly accepted her into our lives, despite her desire to jump on his head and play with him when he just wanted to sleep.  We keep her off him to the best of our ability but she slips one in here and there (for which she is soundly reprimanded and made to lie down on her rug) and even then Sundance handles it with grace and more patience and tolerance than I can confess to having. I think he somehow knows that this puppy was needed and is teaching her momma (me!) that it is ok to let love in again, even though it may someday end in the knife-in-your-heart-sorrow of loss, that burning, painful, shattered heart loss that had made me decide to never have another animal companion again.

Tots and Sundance

Tots looks at Sundance, hoping and hoping he will invite her to play with him. Sundance says “nah puppy I just want to sleep”

For all of these reasons, Sundance will always, always have my undying, never-ending love, and for still being with us at 18 years of age, Sundance gets whatever he wants, and he gets it first!  If Sunny wants to wake me up at 3:30am to feed him, I get up and feed him.  No matter that he has dry food out always and he just wants me to get him canned food. Canned food it is!  Sundance gets the treats first, he gets to eat first, he gets to go outside first, and he gets to go into the master bedroom and the kitchen where Tots isn’t allowed to go.

These days, Sunny’s eyes aren’t as bright, he’s a bit grizzled and rickety. But he’s still The Most Handsome Cat on Earth in our loving eyes and hearts.

Sundance still king in 2013

Sundance the Handsome, still regal and beautiful even when he’s old and grizzled.

These days, Sundance mostly sleeps, eats and poops.  Hey, at 18 years old, a cat that sleeps most of the day, still purrs when you love him, still likes to eat a lot, and still takes good po0ps… that is a cat who is doing good!

Sundance Handsomepants 2013

Sundance’s personal snack tray.

Here’s to you, my SUNDANCE HANDSOMEPANTS! 

May the rest of your years also be spent in peaceful slumbers, loving, happy moments with our family, enjoying the finest in canned dining, and taking good poops!

Today Sundance will enjoy several treats from a can of dolphin safe tuna packed in vegetable broth.

We Love You, Sundance!!

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Farewell to My Darling

Sundance left us March 2014. We had five lovely months with him after his 18th birthday. Alas, he also was taken by that devil, cancer. A tumor appeared in his neck, and grew very quickly. Once it was big enough for us to feel and notice it, it was only weeks before it grew so large that it made it hard for him to eat anything but the tuna and chicken we liquified in the food processor for him to drink. We were very fortunate that our caring and compassionate vet was one of the last ones around who made house calls, and we were able to send Sundance on his way in the comfort of his own bed, surrounded by love, while we petted and sang to him how much we loved him. If we had not done so, he would have choked to death on the tumor in another week. He was too old to survive an operation, and the tumor was making it hard for him to breathe and eat. We gave him the best send off we could. Now he is with his brother Silver, but he will live in our hearts forever.