Tribute to a Long-time Friend

Last week was a very sad week for Dick and me. We had to say our final goodbyes to our beloved 20+ year old cat, Beethoven. We knew that he would have to be leaving us, because he’d lost a lot of weight and his back legs weren’t working too well, but I felt that as long as he could climb the steps to the bed and lie in my arms to sleep every night, and didn’t seem to be in pain, we would continue with his six pills a day and continue to love him for the time he had left. Last week when I woke up, he was not on the bed.  He was lying on the rug nearby, and he wasn’t able to stand by himself. It was plain that it was time, but that didn’t make it any easier.

Just 6 months ago I put photos of Tovey crawling under my sheets to sleep as he did most mornings.  How I miss that lump on my bed!

We got Beethoven and Mozart at the Humane Society in 1991. They were constant companions until Moz lost a battle with cancer six years ago. What joy they brought us! Beethoven was a smoke colored tabby, the only one we’d ever seen with the black fur that is white underneath. He paved the way for our youngest, Kassia, who was brought to the shop as one of the kittens in our annual summer Sidewalk Sale and Humane Society Benefit. She’s the second smoke kitty we’d seen, and we had to have her to go with her brother! He was larger but if we saw one of them, we had to look at the eyes to see if they were green or gold. Tovey had beautiful big green eyes.

I told my Sewing Club ladies yesterday morning that I have heard people say, when they have gone through the pain of loss like this, that they can’t ever have another cat (or dog, or other kind of a animal companion) because of having to say goodbye. We’re already talking about going to the Humane Society to look for another cat who needs us. We feel it’s a tribute to those who shared our lives in the past, and we have so much love to give to our animals, more than enough for our two wonderful remaining kitties. Our Humane Society keeps their adoptable animals until they find homes. I don’t think I could kitten-proof the sewing room any more, so we’re going to look for an older cat who likes other cats, and offer him a loving home. The pleasure of sharing our lives with our animals far outweighs the horrible pain of having to say goodbye, as much as that hurts. I read an anonymous quote, “Until one has loved a cat, a part of one’s soul has remained unawakened.” That goes for any animal companion. I hope you’ll consider sharing your home with someone like this who needs you.

Until next time…

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4 thoughts on “Tribute to a Long-time Friend

  1. I'm sorry for your loss.He must have been very fortunate to have had you as "mother. You can be sure is very happy now in heaven playing cat and singing a lot, awaiting the day we all see each other again in the presence of God and all his creations.Stay well and take care not to forget that you have friends who are praying for you always.kisses

  2. Thank you,Martha. He left a big hole, but I know he's not suffering any more. I've gotten lots of emails sent to me personally and there are so many people who know the pain and rewards of sharing our lives with our pets. It's so comforting. Erica

  3. Just discovered your blog. I am so sorry to read about your loss. My oldest is 15 and still going strong, but I dread the day. My prayers are with you.

  4. Thank you, Lisa, and all who have commented and sent private emails. It's been a few weeks now, and our household is adjusting to the huge loss we feel for Beethoven. Animal lovers all understand. Kassia, the one who looks like her big brother Beethoven, has sneaked into his place most nights, to lie in my arms like he did, and I love it, but that place in my heart is still Tovey's. My best wishes to all of you and your own pets.

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