On a hot summer day in 1997, a friend and I were walking from her house to mine along a fairly busy road. My family lived in an unincorporated area that was halfway between suburban and rural, so “fairly busy” meant that it was a two-lane road that had no stoplights, but people routinely drove 50 miles per hour because it was easy to get going fast. There were no sidewalks, so we were walking next to the ditch beside a field when I heard a little meow. I looked into the tall grass, and out came trotting a fluffy little kitten.

Orion kitten


These photos were taken with a webcam in 1997, thus the terrible quality.

There was no way two teenage girls could leave a kitten that adorable beside a busy road, so he came home with me. We had no luck finding any owners, so we named her Circe, but only until a vet informed us that she was a he, and his name was changed to Orion (the hunter). Over the years he definitely lived up to the moniker. He got into a lot of trouble, stealing food any food that wasn’t nailed down and, for awhile, shacking up with some neighbors who fed him steak from their dinner table.


Those ears are tattered from numerous fights, and in the picture below, you might be able to tell that his whiskers on the right side are shorter than on the left. He singed them off on a gas burner when he wanted to know what was for dinner. He once did the same thing with a candle.

Orion-1I took this photo in January, when Orion was living with us. He drove me nuts, jumping on top of my craft projects when I was trying to photograph them, so I turned the camera on him.

On Saturday I went to visit my family, and poor Orion was really sick. We all said our goodbyes, and later that day my parents took him to the vet for the last time. I know it was for the best, but saying goodbye to a pet is really hard. If you have any furry family members, give them an extra hug for me.

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4 thoughts on “Unexpected

  1. Ahhh Rachel I feel for you. Orion looks like quite a personality! He looks like and sounds like he was a Maine Coon cat. Thanks for sharing his story. We lost our Zippy last November. He was a sweetheart stray that was around the same age as Orion. The furry friends can be the best. I write this from my bed with Vern the cat and Runa the dog snoring on either side of me. RIP Orion and take care…an energetic hug is coming your way.

    1. Deborah, we always assumed he was a Maine Coon. I’m sorry about your Zippy. It’s so hard to lose them, but we just have o enjoy their company while we can.

  2. Oh, what a wonderful story…you gave Orion a good life that he may not have had if you hadn’t bumped into him that day when he was just a wee babe. I’m sorry for your loss but glad you had the chance to say goodbye to your little fella.

    1. Jennie, thank you. He did have a pretty good life (he was good at finding people to dote on him), so that’s comforting.

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