Sunday, July 08, 2007


I'm not sure I'm ready to write this post.

But then I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to write it.

The pretty lady on the right is Jamie, one of our two cats. Late last week we made the decision to have her put to sleep. Jamie had suddenly gotten ill, went downhill very quickly and nothing seemed to stop the progress. Our vet knew that her liver was being attacked but couldn't tell by what. It may have been a virus, it may have been cancer. What ever it was it took a healthy beautiful cat and left her shattered in less than two weeks.

As you may suspect I and the two ladies in my life are devastated. It has always been my practice to focus on the life of the ones I lose at a time like this. Let me share a few thoughts on Jamie.

By my count Jamie is the eighth cat to be a part of my life. Of all of them she had by the far the softest fur and was the sweetest tempered.

Over the first several years we noticed several unusual things about her. Unlike most cats in my experience Jame really didn't like snuggling, lap sitting or being held in any fashion. If she sat with you it was usually 6-8 inches away. Later she discovered the joy of curling up close. If I stretched out on the sofa to watch TV she'd stretch out full length next to me and purr as I stroked her fur. Her trust in me grew to where if I needed to move her I could slide my hands under her body, scoop her up, and settle her in a more convenient spot. When she lay on the floor she would do it the way a dog does, chest throat and chin all on the floor with her front paws on either side. I've never seen a cat do that and she ALWAYS did it. We always had doubts about her eyesight. She would take forever before jumping up or down, seeming terribly unsure about what was right in front of her.

Truth be told I also harbored questions about just how bright she was. Let's be generous and just say she was a simple soul. In many ways the stereotypical "blond", lovely to look at but not a deep thinker. When you added in her sweet temperment and loving spirit it didn't matter. She was a beautiful lady and a joy to have around.

That of course is why it has been so hard on us. Making the decision to have a pet put down is one of the hardest decisions there is. Knowing that you are doing them a mitzvah by ending their suffering is still hard. We all cried as we said good bye to our pretty girl. It's been days and I still cry especially when I look at her picture.

I don't KNOW that animals go to heaven, but I want to believe that God brings all of his creation home to him. So I'll believe that she's curled on someone's lap, looking up them with that beautiful face, waiting for her silly humans to come and join her.

I love you pretty girl, and I shall miss you.


Suzer said...

{{{{DaYouthGuy}}}} -- So sorry to read about Jamie. It is a most awful decision to have to make. She is, indeed, waiting for you on the other side. This was a lovely tribute to her. May God's grace and peace be with you and your family, and ease your sorrow over time.

(PS - I know you from MadPriest's)

Aghaveagh said...

One of my students asked me if I believed that cats and dogs have souls. I told her, absolutely, yes, and that I believe that we will see those beloved furry ones again in heaven.

It's so hard when these cats walk straight into your heart as if they own the place (which, in fact, they do) and then they leave. It never gets any easier, but the only alternative is to harden your heart. Better to experience the both joy and the pain.

Robert Heinlein said, "How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven."

If so, Jamie, and your spot on the sofa, is waiting there.