It's funny what you don't notice as a child. I never knew my father didn't like Kitty or that Kitty didn't like him back. After I was grown and long after Kitty was no more, my father told me of how Kitty liked to dig his claws into my Dad's hand, just for fun, it seems.
Well, I loved Kitty. To this day, my heart has a special place for Orange tabbies. I liked when I was a child to come home and see Kitty sleeping under his favorite rose bush. It had about an inch worth of cat hair as a nest because he'd been using it forever.
I always considered him a clever cat because he knew how to get inside, his method was to leap up and hook his claws into the bottom of the window pane on the door. Whenever I heard a bang, I knew Kitty wanted to come in and I would see his face in the glass. Then I'd open the door and unhook him and bring him in.
We had him neutered because our previous cat had died from fighting, we think. He came in one day, all torn up and bleeding, then curled up and before we knew it, had bleed to death of an internal hemorrhage. Looking back, I don't think it could have been caused by another cat, maybe he was kicked, but it must have been for his propensity to look for fights. So we un-maled Kitty.
He never held it against us, (except Dad, maybe) and was a loving cat and loved to play with butterflies by batting at them with his paws.
It was sad at the end, though, when he couldn't hold his bathroom and kept defecating in our downstairs shower. And he needed lots of love then. He would come up to me and want to be held and stroked. He wanted our company.
His only downside was that now the dog could 'get' him, meaning he wasn't fast enough to run away. When we first brought our puppy dog home, she wanted to play with Kitty but he scratched her and from then on, it was war.
So the dog, who was getting old, too, and had kidney problems caught him a couple of times. That's when my mom decided to have them put down. She thought that they wouldn't really enjoy life anymore and also thought that since they'd always been fighting, they should be put down together. It would be strange to have one and not the other.
So one day in 1978, they were taken to the vets and helped into the afterlife.
R.I.P. Kitty. R.I.P. Cindy. I hope they rest easy now and are waiting for me when I die. I don't mean to be morbid here but I would like to see them again. Someday.