Pookie and Scooter

July 30th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Pookie and Scooter’s Story:
I can’t tell Pookie’s story without first telling Scooter’s. Scooter, our amazing black cat, came to us in 1997 as a tiny kitten. She was already a survivor, having had and beaten some awful illness that took the rest of her siblings and left her with a weak rear end. That never stopped her from getting into whatever she could, though. Scooter was very vocal, often sounding like a baby or a goat, depending on who was on the phone with one of us. She was also demanding of attention and loved to be on laps or near us as we slept. She was never aggressive toward our daughter, even though she was already 7 when we brought a baby home. She was so healthy all through her life, but as she approached her 20th birthday in July 2017, she had slowed down significantly. I found Heaven at Home and had Dr. Tay out for a hospice visit, where we thought she might feel better with some pain meds and tried it out for a bit. She had another couple of good weeks but when the time came, Dr. Tay came and helped her cross peacefully, while she lay in her favorite spot. We were devastated to lose our faithful girl, but knew it was time.

After that, I said that I was going to take a break from having to take care of a pet for a while. I just *happened* to look at Petfinder about a month after Scooter’s passing, in late August 2017…and saw a post from Tyson’s Place, a local rescue, about this 16 year old cat who was given up by her owner as she had Stage IV cancer and could no longer care for her. Tyson’s had had Pookie since November 2016 and no one had even inquired about her since that time. I couldn’t bear to think about that – if I’d had to give up any of my pets, it would tear me apart to think no one else wanted them. So in September of that year, we picked Pookie up from her foster home. She was the opposite of Scooter in many ways – she was overweight, she wasn’t a lap cat, and she wasn’t vocal. But she worked her way into our hearts by the way she followed us around (silently!)…especially Cat Dad. You could find her most often by knowing where he was. She was a big fan of her catnip banana, scratching posts, and protecting her family from evil paper towel rolls (she once found an almost empty roll on the floor and attacked it…bunny kicked it to shreds).

We knew that adopting a 16 year old cat wouldn’t be for the long term, but it didn’t make the decision any easier. After a stressful diagnosis and rapid downward slide in her health and happiness, we knew the time was nearing. I will forever be grateful for the service that Heaven at Home provides, especially right now when vet offices are not allowing owners inside with their pets. Dr. Hoss came out on July 24 and, on a beautiful afternoon, helped our Pookster cross peacefully on our front porch. We miss her, but knowing that she is no longer in pain helps.

Thank you, so very much. So glad that all of you are so willing to do one of the toughest jobs a veterinarian has so often.

In Memoriam: el Aitcho

July 23rd, 2020 by Laurie Brush

el Aitcho’s Story:
Aurora and Boring Alice came into our lives 17 years ago. We loved them from the very first day. They were our first sister cats. People would ask which one was Aurora. I’d answer “the Long Haired One, Boring Alice is the Other One.” So our kitties ended up with two names. Aurora, aka el Aitcho, or LHO. Boring Alice, aka OhOh. Unfortunately, OhOh was in a car accident, and we lost her in 2005. She was the best mouser, and she would lay mouse heads by our doorstep like trophies.
LHO was my darling, I think I’ve never loved any cat more than her. She was so beautiful, and had pretty amber/green eyes. She was shy around strangers, but never ever mean. I would know what she wanted by her language. Food, water, snack, or a cuddle. She would know when I needed her. She came to me when I was watching tv, reading a book, or needed comforting. We were one.
She was the purringest cat. Napping, upon awakening, smiling, playing, and with the first stroke of her lovely fur, and especially while being brushed. Oh, how she loved to be groomed. She was always a lady. Our routine was scratch her back, brush the loose fur, brush around her face, repeat. End with a snack. She would be waiting for me in the kitchen when it was time for me to make my lunch for work. LHO would let me share my turkey or ham with her. Her favorite toys were a catnip flavored mouse, a crumpled piece of paper to bat around and chase on the linoleum, or a length of lanyard tied to a stick. LHO was my sleep buddy and slept either by my face or on top of me in bed. A perfect lap cat too. We would sit and watch videos for cats on the laptop computer together.
She got the skin cancer on her forehead and there wasn’t much we could do for her. It was slow growing and really didn’t bother her too much until it grew so large, it started closing her left eye. But she never complained and was content to slow down and rest in her later years, still a lady. On June 22, Dr Hoss was here to help her into her final sleep. I miss LHO terribly and still mourn. I am broken. She was a part of my life for a quarter of my life. I am comforted in knowing she didn’t suffer pain on her last day with us.

Thank you Dr Hoss, Dr Tay, and Heaven at Home for tending to LHO on her final day.

In Memoriam: Murphy

July 1st, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Murphy’s Story:
Murphy came to us at 5 weeks old from a large puppy litter of 13 yellow Labradors, he was special from the very start! Full of energy, love, and sharp wits about him. His personality was pure Lab – happy, stocky, strong, and loyal. His brother Morley came along when Murphy was almost 2 years old and it was a complete family! Being on a lake and always near water was part of our regular swimming and fetching activities, strong swimming runs in our family. He hung on for nearly 15 years and we already all miss him dearly, but we know his last day wading in the water he was in his element and will be forever. Always with you, handsome man!

Please definitely add this to the testimonial section! Dr. Katie T came to the house after hours by request, Murphy had been outside earlier in morning for his last lake trip and we knew It was time for the old boy to rest easy. We made a comfortable spot for him in the garage all together and after the first sedative he dozed off so peacefully and started snoring! Crossing the rainbow bridge was so peaceful for him and was made possible by the most caring, compassionate, and, quite possibly, the nicest veterinarian we have ever met! You are so fortunate to have not only her but both Kim and Kathryn helped me on the phone to make arrangements, especially the day of, I was so impressed by your whole operation and cannot thank you enough for helping us give Murphy the dignity and respect he deserved by coming to our home. A+++ to all!

In Memoriam: Seal

July 1st, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Seal’s Story:
We adopted Seal 15 years ago to be a companion for another aging kitty we had; Goblin. Goblin had just lost her pet companion Moochie and was not doing well with the loss. In the end our vet suggested getting a kitten. After we made the decision, we traveled to the Humane Society of West Michigan. We saw Seal (who then had the name of Paul) and asked to visit with her. In the end we almost lost our opportunity as another couple wanted her. But we got our Seal. Seal was part Bombay, a breed known for bonding with people. Right from the beginning Seal bonded with us. We used to find her doing the most hair raising things, like climbing to the top of the cabinets and balancing on a 4″ wide piece of molding, racing around our living room at top speed and going over the knee wall to land at the bottom of the basement steps and much more. But most of all she stole our hearts with her snuggles, mutual grooming, and deep warm purrs. She was a cat with OCD. She learned our time to get up and would be vocalizing before the alarm would go off, she knew my routine when I came home from work. And she’d keep me to it. Her beautiful black fur was so soft and you couldn’t help petting her if she’d allow it. If she was laying in the sun you could see the darker brown stripes that weren’t visible in ordinary light. When she was about 4 she started having urinary tract infections. We’d get them cleared up and not have any for awhile. When she was 9 they started to become more frequent. We could tell she was hurting and the vet would prescribe an antibiotic and send her home. By the time she was 13 she was having urinary tract infections 3 to 4 times a year. In this last year she had 9 plus two other infections. She started hating to go to the vet. She became hostile to the vet techs and pretty soon they wanted nothing to do with her. She was hurting and trying to be good but just couldn’t do it. This final urinary tract infection came on when she was still on antibiotics. The vet didn’t want to help and suggested I contact Heaven at Home for pallitive and end of life care/counseling. Katherine and Mary were fantastic as we played phone tag. Dr. Amy Hoss, I cannot express to you how much your compassion and gentle manner helped us when you came to help our Seal on June 18. I think you know just how hard it was for us. You confirmed she didn’t have a mass in her abdomen. It was a very hardened bladder from so many urinary tract infections and antibiotics.
Seal our Seal, our beautiful Seal – it is so hard to live without you. You will be our forever love, we’ll never forget you. I miss you chirping, your meows, your mad dashes through the house after using your litter box. I miss you snuggling and finding you under our comforter. I miss your purr, your touch and your wonderful gaze into my eyes. You were the smartest cat, the most in tune with me. We love you Seal!

Heaven at Home Pet Hospice helped us through a very difficult time. Their kindness and compassion during such a hard decision help to ease the stress and pain. They sent us a condolence card and we feel they truly understand our pain and loss.

Compassionate home care for your companions!
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