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  • One day, I was at the compound where this majestic lion named Arthur lived. He and I had bonded a while ago while working a Renaissance Faire in Massachusetts. He just decided he liked me and I loved him.

    Arthur was out in his paddock enjoying the day when I came up to him on the other side of the chain link fence. "Hello, Arthur!" How are you today?" I asked. He slowly got up, stretched his large brown body and shook his mane. He looked at me and came over to the fence and began to rub his head on the fence near me. I carefully placed my hand flat against the fence and let him smell me and rub his nose on me. He then curled around and laid by the fence.

    I had recently lost my darling cat, Thisbe, and was very emotional. I could see in Arthur's eyes the same connection I had with Thisbe and then said, "Arthur, I just lost a very dear friend. A very tiny cat named Thisbe. You remind me of her in many ways. She was a fierce as a lion but gentle too." Arthur just "talked " back to me saying what lions say when they talk to each other, "Booh booh booh boop". Sounds better when you speak it!

    We continued to "talk" to each other for a while, me telling him about things in my life and he responding. Then it began to rain. I said, "Arthur, it's raining now, I think I'm going to go inside. Do you want to hang out here or go inside?" He slowly got up, rubbed his head on the fence, stretched, shook and walked back toward the door that lead to his inside area.

    I mentioned what happened to a long time employee of the place and he was extremely surprised. He told me that Arthur never does anything like that except for the owner, the person who raised him. He said, "Arthur must really like you!"

    Arthur lived a very long life for a lion. He was over 20 when he passed. I saw him during his final days. He could barely move because his back legs had given out - typical for cats - the same thing happened to my Thisbe. He looked at me and I said, "Goodbye Arthur, you were a fine lion and a sweet baby to me." His tail moved slightly. He blinked. I knew he said goodbye.

    This drawing is done on the back of a jacket I own with fabric paint. This is Arthur.
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