Part 1



      Born Charles Rockford Coast in Las Vegas, Nevada, Rocky's memories of early childhood were both vague and anxious. He was, for all intents and purposes, an orphan. Occasionally something would trigger a memory of his mother, whose absence would make him wonder if it was his fault she was gone. What he doesn't remember, however, is how he ended up in that cage...


      Life in the cage was mostly dull, although he was cared for and occasionally adored by the humans who'd stick their smiling faces near the thin, steel bars. The humans would try to play with him, but poking his paws through the bars was not exactly a challenging activity. As the days passed he began to piece together his surroundings. He noticed that the animals who were making the most noise got out of their cages and were then never heard from again! Was this a good or bad thing? Were they being punished for making too much noise? That can't be, he thought. The humans were nice to him. Besides, what cat wouldn't want to get out of this predicament?


      After an entire afternoon of meowing, chirping, purring, whining, singing, prancing, and dancing, he heard a human exclaim, "Oh my, this is the cutest kitten I've ever seen! I must have him!". Rocky was so elated to be in the arms of his new human he nearly peed himself! Wait, what's this? Another box? This one's different, he contemplated. Before he knew it, he was already in this portable cardboard holding cell. He saw a brief flash of light through the small, half inch holes as he was carried to the car. Oh, how he hated that car....


      "Okay, we're home little guy!" heard Rocky as he could feel himself being moved out of that scary, stinky deathmobile. Little did Rocky know he was not going to be at this home very long.


      Rocky remembers this home as being far too crowded, with two older unfriendly cats and another younger kitten. There were also several human kids running wild, making for a rather nerve-wracking environment for everyone. Rocky could tell that the new humans were already trying to locate a new home for him. Would he ever find a human that would love him and never leave him?


      The answer was yes, although it was another rough beginning. Now completely used to all these boxes and cages, Rocky emerged from a beige, plastic contraption to find two humans and one other cat. He was so happy! He ran up to this petite, rugged-looking calico, and if you looked closely enough, you could see little hearts twinkling around his eyes. This encounter unfortunately did not go well for our hero. You see, Pandora the Calico had years on the streets to hone her fighting skills... and on those streets, you strike first and ask questions later. Rocky found himself on the business end of a lightning-fast right hook that sent him spinning to the ground. He chirped, he purred, he danced, he pranced -- but it didn't impress her. That night, when the remaining human went to bed, he sat in an unfinished bedroom and started to cry.


      Then, something magical happened. A male human trudged into Rocky's room and began to gently pet him. "I'm so sorry for this. I'm going to make sure I make this right", he whispered. Rocky's cries turned into purrs, and there was just something special about this guy. He played with him. He gave Rocky all the attention he could ask for. And over time, something else magical happened. That mean calico began to accept him. She groomed him when he was sick. She shared her food with him. Despite her old age and nasty attitude, she'd even play with him once in a while! Rocky had found a home, and loved his family. As he reached maturity, he blossomed into an adonis; a uniquely fuzzy, sweet-tempered man-cat with plenty of things to say. Unfortunately, he also watched as his family endured some hard times.


      That next spring, Rocky began to notice the human unable to move very well. Rocky already knew that this particular human could not see much compared to any other he had met. Thoughts like, This is bad! Why is he in such pain? Why is the medicine he's taking making him worse? were constantly on his mind. The grumpy calico was always solemnly at the injured human's side. Rocky wanted to help, but he just couldn't. The man endured excruciating pain for over three months, and it reocurred a few months later. That type of pain makes you feel like the immediate space around you is your entire world, and the next room might as well be a neighboring planet. At times the human had little or no medicine to lessen that searing fire inside. A devastated Rocky still found something inspirational about that whole experience. No matter the pain, that human would drag himself along the floor by his arms into the kitchen. He would feed Rocky and his older sister every single time they were hungry. He'd even give them cat treats. Now, that's love, isn't it! When the human began to re-learn how to walk, there was Rocky, always waiting at the finish line. Rocky may not know this, but he did a lot more for his dad than just cheer him on.


      Shortly after Dad recovered, Rocky's older sister's life came to a tragic, abrupt end due to an apparent stroke. That grumpy yet grateful old calico lived the life of a stray for most of her years. She was terribly neglected and near death when she was adopted. For her final two years, she lived as she always should have--in a loving home. It was tough for Rocky to lose Pandora. Rocky and his dad grieved together, but they at least knew she wouldn't suffer anymore. Rocky entered a stage of youthful rebellion to help cope with the loss.

In loving memory...