She lived 14 years on her own terms. She was a free cat in America and spent most of her life roaming free without collar or leash on land fraught with dangers.
She never let us pick her up, pet her or even get close. I never ever figured out what she liked to eat. What she would devour one day, she might never ever want again. A head turned up and away saying "no thanks." Quite often "a kill" would be left on our door mat with the good parts gone. She was a stone-cold killer in her younger days.
When I would walk the dog down/up the driveway, the cat would follow skirting on the rocks, around trees and in the brush alongside the driveway.
This last photo was taken on a reflex push of the shutter as she headed back into the garage just before Christmas.
We all should be so strong and independent.
She passed New Year's Eve with a last look at both my wife and me, too weak to deny our hands on her and our words of love. She knew she was always loved and she was. She was not alone in her passing. Not alone!
She has permanently marked the last day of every year now for us.
God Bless Kitty. God Bless!!