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Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2014

The Cat That Rescued Me

Posted Monday, May 17, 2010, at 3:38 PM

Grief is a strong emotion and as of late, it seems to come knocking on our door too frequently.

Luckily we haven't lost a family member - at least not the human sort. But it was hard for me to hear of the loss of my Mother's and my daughters dogs and even my sister's horse that she had had for years. I used to be one that thought that the sadness felt by some over the loss of a pet was a silly emotion - for a mere animal. I am eating my own words right now.

This has been one of the hardest weeks in a long time for me. I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to bond with a very special cat named Pepper. We adpopted Pepper almost 15 years ago. We have been through a lot that old girl and I, and even though there were a few months of separation, our bond has grown so strong. She was always there to greet me when I came home, she would lay on the back of the couch and when I sat down she would swat her paw at my head, just to get my attention. She shared my cereal milk, and when she wanted to be held, she would rub her face on mine. Never a kiss, well not until we noticed that her health was failing. As I held her in her final days she dug her head into my cheek, turned a bit and licked my cheek.

I would sit and talk with Pepper and discuss the issues of aging and that I was so grateful to have her to share this ever so apparent aging thing that was happening to both of us.

As she was shedding a bit more, my hair was thinning a bit more, as her eyes seemed to droop a bit more, so did mine, as she had a bit of a weight problem, I also shared that (Pepper lost it, as I gained it however). She was my companion, my confidant, my best friend. She really didn't like too many people, which included the very girls that she grew up with. We actually got Pepper for Katie, but there just wasn't that bond with her as there was with me. In all actuality Pepper was a real "B". Well that seemed to change as of late also. She mellowed to the point that she allowed even the littlest ones to pet her and brush her.

There were so many signs that I guess I chose to ignore, because I was not ready for the inevitable. 15 years for a cat is pretty good I am told. I would've loved to have 15 more with her. Mothers Day we noticed a real change in my furry friend. She couldn't lift her head, she wasn't eating or drinking, she didn't use the litter box nor were there any messes. She looked like she was fading fast...I cried and held her that night whispering to her that it was ok to go to sleep, even though I wanted for her to never leave me.

It came time to make the decision to help her on her way to true peace. Our journey together ended just where it had begun, Lake Animal Hospital. I cried on the way there; as did she, she hated car rides, I cried while waiting for the euthanizing to happen, I cried as we took her home as she sat on my lap, lifeless, yet I petted her as if she knew that I cared and was troubled by her demise. We buried her that same day, raindrops falling as if the heavens were mourning my loss also.

I miss my Pepper so much and at times I feel like such a sap, but knowing too that I have a big heart for our furry friends that we call family, makes me realize also that it's ok to mourn for a pet and when the time is right I may just visit another shelter to rescue yet another animal and in the end knowing that it indeed rescued me.

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Outside Looking In
Trudy J. Schroeder
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Trudy is a former Advertising Representative for the Pilot Tribune, and also a contributing writer.
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