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This is Pokey. He came to me in the mid '80s; his young owner could no longer keep him. She was about to move into an apartment that didn't allow pets, and he had already been exiled to the garage of her boyfriend for several months. He was kept in a plywood box with an opening only at one end. The untreated wood had become soaked in urine, and Pokey's beautiful white fur had turned yellow from his unclean living conditions. When he arrived at my house and the door was open for him, he was totally cage-crazed. But boy, did he dance! He was very thin and malnourished; it was a month before he was healthy enough for the vet to neuter him.

For about the first year, Pokey didn't quite know how to act; occasionally he'd nip, but mainly to attract attention for someone to chase him and play with him. By the time he was around 3 years old, he had become one of the most beautiful and loving little fellas I've shared my house with. One of his favorite hobbies was collecting empty milk cartons. To this day, there are still a few cartons to be found in a little pile in an out-of-the-way corner of the house, providing a source of entertainment for the current residents. Pokey has long since crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but I'm sure he's dancing and laughing his way into the hearts of all who've made their way to the bridge before and after his arrival.