Tuesday, July 08, 2014

It Was Meant To Be

My dearest friend Michael called me a few days ago – wailing because of a decision he didn’t want to make, but knew he had to because it was time.  One of his cats, Mrs. Kelly, who had been slowly declining over the past six months, was showing signs of withdrawal.  She had been dealing with a myriad of health challenges – renal failure, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, incontinence and hydration.

It’s been a struggle, to say the least. For my friend, it was so hard letting go of something so precious and irreplaceable that had brought him an infinite amount of joy over the years.  Oh, how he loved her!  As for Mrs. Kelly, she tried so hard to keep it going.  In the past when I would enter the apartment and call out her name, she would always charge out of the den because she was always so excited to be around people.  However, those days became more and more infrequent.  Her run turned into a gallop… a walk…a drift… a long stroll, and finally, a meow from the couch in the den as to say, “Don’t forget me!”  “I am here!”  “Come see me!”  You can’t forget Mrs. Kelly because she was friendly, lovable and chatty – very!  The latter is what I loved most about her.

She had a bit of a rough ride in her earlier days, challenged by the stability of her living conditions, but that would change over time and she would end up where she was meant to be, at Michael’s business becoming a career cat.  She would greet customers and boost moral.  She was quite good at her job.

My friend’s company closed, and he was a little hesitant about bringing Mrs. Kelly home because he had already had a cat that made it quiet clear a long time ago – NO OTHER CATS ARE ALLOWED!

I was going to bring her to my home, but I ultimately persuaded my friend to keep her because that’s where she belonged – with him!  (I can’t imagine anyone forming an attachment with an animal and then giving it away.  That doesn’t make sense to me.  As far as I am concerned there are no excuses.  Would you give away your child?  You might think about it depending on the child, but I don’t think so.)

Today was the day Mrs. Kelly was going to be put down, but that never happened.  She was her typical self on Monday, perhaps a little less chatty and a bit more needy, following Michael around the house incessantly.  For the past few days she was having accidents and was unable to make it to the litter box.  With all that was happening, it was clear she wanted to be near Michael.  He spent a good part of the day with her telling her stories like how they came to be.  (It’s worth noting, Michael’s other cat, Lioness, never really wanted anything to do with Mrs. Kelly, who in her friendly way did everything in her power to befriend Lioness, but Lioness never acquiesced.  However, on Monday Lioness came over to Mrs. Kelly and licked her face several times and sat next to her for a while.  Lioness knew!)

Michael had a ballgame to attend that evening and before he left he noticed Mrs. Kelly attempting to use the litter box and she did – successfully!  That would be the first time in days.  She went back to her perch – her favorite spot, the couch in the den.  He gave her some love before leaving and when he arrived home he discovered Mrs. Kelly had traveled from the couch to underneath his bed. She had furled and drifted away, and that’s just the way it was meant to be.  Somehow this made things a little easier.  He found an instant peace and was able to concentrate on the memories, and there are many.

I know so many people who’ve attempted to keep their animals alive to the bitter end and beyond and all out of selfishness because they can’t deal with loss, and I find that cruel.  I do feel some pet owners are more intuitive than others.  Part of being a responsible pet owner is knowing when to let go, appreciating the memories created.  Not all animals can make that journey alone, thus human intervention.

Our pets' love is irreplaceable, incomparable to no other living entity. There is so much they give to our character and resolve. They fortify our existence, making our journey in life a little less daunting. They are there when we’re sad, raising our spirits with a little nudge or lick. Their simple little tricks pry open our hearts even more, helping us to keep love alive for all living things. They help us appreciate the world just a bit more, and when everything is going wrong in it, they show us what is right.

We eulogized Mrs. Kelly over lunch today at Sherwood Gardens.  Part of being a good friend is listening.  I packed us a lunch and we sat under a tree, and while eating and playing Scrabble, we talked about Mrs. Kelly.  It was nice.  Chin up, my sweet friend.  You are loved. – paerki

What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.


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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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