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Kiwi and Dolores
Dolores and Kiwi
Kiwi and lifelong friend, Dolores Hiskes

Kiwi: May 1986 - January 2002

Our little Himalayan-Burmese-Manx sweetheart recently was diagnosed as having total kidney failure. She of the thick bear-like nappy fur, Siamese coloring, and ridiculously long back legs that always got in the way. She who loved smelling fresh flowers and taking naps with stuffed animals.

For fifteen years she has helped me write Phonics Pathways, sitting next to the computer and reassembling the printouts. (She is featured on page xvi cuddling with Dewey, the big bookworm I once made for our Harvest Festival.)

She always sat on the edge of the tub when I took a bath, helped me paint watercolors, sat on our laps to both watch t.v. and help answer every phone call. She chased and retrieved balls, wanted her nose powdered when I put makeup on, and did situps with me.

With watercolors, I had to have an extra container of water right next to the one I used for my brushes, because every time I dipped my brush into the water she had to take a drink too.

With makeup, she sat on the bathroom countertop while I applied powder and lipstick. Then I would ask, "Kiwi get makeup on?" and she would purr, shut her eyes, and stick her nose out. I have a special soft brush I then swished back and forth over her nose a few times.

With situps, while I huffed and puffed on the livingroom floor she would run under the loveseat, lay down on her back, and pull herself back and forth upside down with her claws.

She would never go outside. Ever. Sometimes we pushed her out just to give her fresh air, but she panicked and immediately ran back inside. She was devoted to both of us, and just wanted to be our little shadow, day and night, around the clock.

Yes, night too. As soon as we were beginning to doze off she silently crept underneath the covers between the sheets and curled up in a tight little fuzzy warm ball between us.

And so, on January 19, 2002 our dear little furry friend finally went to sleep for the very last time.

Laughing, dancing autumn shapes
We swirl through brightly colored leaves,
My loyal cat and I!

Dry leaves slowly twist and fall
Huddled fur, kindly pain-glazed eyes
My dear true friend--farewell!

You can contact Dolores Hiskes at: