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Last glimpse of spring, by Mel Hunt

Orion O’Brien McClune, 17, Wellsville

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Orion O’Brien McClune, 17 and a half, of Wellsville, NY and formerly of Millerton, NY, headed back to his nebula in the best constellation of the night sky on February 21, 2023. With gratitude to Dr. Lopez and the Wellsville Veterinary Hospital staff, he drifted off from the arms of his favorite Hooman, on his favorite bed in the comfort of his own home after a most valiant battle against kidney disease and aging.

Orion was born in Connecticut on September 26, 2005. When he met the McClune family, he was a feisty little ball of orange fur whose siblings had chewed off all of his whiskers; he joined the family with his feline soulmate Sarah. Orion was a mischievous and energetic kitten whose antics were legendary, whose personality was so much larger than his physical body. He had many nicknames including Master Chief, Orion the House Lion, The OG, The King, and Kitty Kitty Meow Meow Chop Chop.

He loved to lay in the warmth of a good sunbeam, or play with his favorite toys: ribbons, Kitty Can’t Cope Sacks and other catnip toys, balled up paper, the flower pen, and the feather duster he carried around like a hunting dog retrieving a prize pheasant. He loved to play Kitty Crop Circles with his Uncle Paul. He learned how to flush the toilet so he could watch the water spiral down. He had many beds (truly, the world was his bed), and enjoyed a good, long nap. Any pile of laundry was his favorite, and he would lay on top of guests’ luggage to try to make them stay longer. He loved to snack on yogurt, turkey from Sprague’s, tuna salad plates from Texas Hot, and crumbs of fine aged cheddar, and an occasional chicken nugget; he was a real gourmand. He especially enjoyed sharing with his Hooman; no cream cheese or butter on a bagel, no spaghetti and meatballs, no slice of bacon, and no dish of vanilla ice cream were safe from him if left unattended. He enjoyed water from his fountain but preferred to stick his paw in your glass of ice water to quench his thirst before knocking the glass over before walking away as if to say “well, it’s your problem now.” He loved resting on or above his Hooman, following her around and showering her with love and devotion; he was the most loyal and bestest friend ever. He enjoyed holding hands, and in his younger years he loved a good game of fetch. Orion never passed up the chance to add his creative flair to knitting projects, and he soaked up scratches and pets on his ears, face, and chest. He smelled like pepper and sunshine, and he had freckles on his toe beans and lips. He was as soft as a cloud, and he knew how stunningly beautiful he was. He liked to sit on chairs “like a people.” He loved catnip circles and cookie time with his friends.Orion enjoyed music; his favorite song was Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers; he listened to that and Grateful Dead’s Brokedown Palace as he passed through the veil to meet up with his old cat friends Sarah, Wolowitz, Rajesh, and many human friends as well. He is survived by his chosen Hooman Megan, his Papa Brent, his feline friends Philomena, Larry, and Zuul, his Labrador cousin Toby, his Aunt Laura and Uncle Paul who named their firstborn son Arthur Orion (Orion got to meet Arthur, and adored him), his Uncle Jarrett, and many other family and friends. He was truly a Feline Ambassador: he was such a character that he changed many people’s minds about cats and influenced them to adopt kitties of their own.

Orion, you’ll be loved forever, and I’ll miss you sorely until we’re together again. Until then, your memory will be a blessing to us every day. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

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