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.