Ash came into our lives on October 21, 2004 at around two years old. He was being chased down the street in front of our house by a group of kids who were throwing rocks at him. Roxanne chased away the kids and rescued him. He was scared, but basically very friendly.
He was wearing a collar with a leash attached, but no tags. Despite weeks of serious effort we were not able to find his owners. After we got to know him better we decided to keep him.
Ash spent his life looking after everyone around him. He loved people, but he also seemed to like just about every other species he encountered. We saw him nose-to-nose with deer, a coyote, rabits, possums, squirrels, and even a skunk. They seemed to know that they could trust him.
Cats were Ash's favorite thing in the world. He did his best to befriend any he met and he usually won them over. They came from all over our neighborhood to sit on the other side of our front window from him, sometimes lining up across the front of the hourse waiting for a turn. When he went into the back yard cats would come in to rub up against him and receive a few gentle licks.
Our household cats, Abby and Kaylee, adored Ash. They would check up on each other, exchange muzzle rubs, groom, play, and snuggle. Abby would even clean Ash's ears, with most of her head disappearing inside.
Ash was a great listener. He would sit in front of someone and look into their eyes while they talked. You could feel the understanding and compassion in him.
Despite a final year of incresing physical disability, Ash always had a positive attitude. Just being around the ones he loved was enough to make him happy.
Ash passed away on April 24, 2015 in the arms of his loved ones. I have never known a gentler or more caring soul.