Mud, an orange tabby cat of some renown, was born on April 12th 100 ½ cat-years ago, under a front porch in Princeton, New Jersey. The porch was attached to a gray house which belonged to Mr. Sneed, and his big black dog, Silver.

Sneed wasn’t a cat person, himself, but when he spotted the kitten living all alone beneath his saggy steps, he took pity on him. He wrapped Mud in a tattered flannel shirt, called to his dog, Silver, and the two of them walked the kitten over to nearby Princeton University. There, leathery old Sneed tucked Mud inside an over-sized mailbox outside one of the girls’ sorority houses, then put the red metal flag up so they’d know there was a package inside.

When a pretty young student named, Claire Clemmons, went to collect the mail, she found the filthy, adorable kitten, instead. She loved him instantly, took him in and named him Mud.

Mud was happy with Claire. He was happy when she married Theodore Merritt Connelly III and they moved to Washington, DC. Happy when their first child, Teddy, arrived. But when the Connelly’s had the second of their three children, a blue-eyed girl named Lorelei Lee, Mud knew he’d found his best friend. Even Lorelei’s first word wasn’t “Mommy” or “Daddy,” it was “Mud.” The two became inseparable. Mud kept an eye on Lorelei, and Lorelei told him all her secrets.

Finally, on October 15th, at the ripe old age of 100 ½ in cat-years, Mud lay down beneath some hydrangeas in the Connelly’s backyard, and quietly passed away. The following day, 11-year old Lorelei began her diary in the form of letters to him so that he could continue to know how she’s doing, even from Heaven.

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