Barbara Barnett:

As for my favorite memory of Mudge, two things come to mind: 1) the moment I captured my photograph of Len & Mudge when I walked into Len's house one day & saw him holding Mudge with such tenderness & unspoken friendship, and the two of them communicating heart-to-heart with an intimacy that no words could ever capture; and 2)the first day that Len & I took Mudge to the vet for acupuncture. As soon as Mudge was released from the carrier he began to fully and uninhibitedly express his feelings about being in this new & unfamiliar environment. He unsheathed his claws, bared his teeth, and proceeded to fight every human in the room who had the audacity to expect him to submit to an exam and treatment on anybody's terms but his own. He dashed frantically around the room, hissing and wielding his claws like tiny swords, until Len was bleeding from both hands, and the vet wisely admitted defeat & called for reinforcements. Two techs came into the room wearing thick protective gloves, and eventually the defiant & snarling Mudge was held down on the exam table by at least 3 humans, while Len sat bleeding in the corner, trying to soothe his rebellious feline-friend with words of comfort & encouragement. The vet brought out her acupuncture needles and decided to begin with the "Calming Point" on top of the still-growling Mudge's head, which definitely seemed like the appropriate place to start. Within seconds, "Mudge the Cantankerous" transformed into "Mudge the Peaceful", and he actually dozed off at one point. From then on, his sweet and adorable side was fully in control of his feisty body, and he proceeded to purr contentedly and utterly charm all of the people he had been clawing and yelling at just a few minutes earlier. While Mudge rested quietly for awhile with all of the needles in place, Len's wounds were cleaned, and we all laughed at Mudge's unique & inimitable blend of gentle sweetness and curmudgeonly defiance, qualities that he embodied right up to his last breath.......