How do you say good-bye to the best little buddy you’ve ever known? How do you say good-bye to the one that’s brought you so much joy, that’s loved you unconditionally, that greeted you every time you came home, and sat in your lap every morning for coffee, that always wanted to be right where you were, and that slept by your pillow at night? How do you say good-bye to a pet that’s been a part of your family for nearly as long as you’ve been married, that you got a week before 9/11- yes, the 9/11- when she was only about two months old and sucked on your shirt and slept snuggled into your neck when you first got her?
How do you say good-bye to the one that saw you through deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan? How do you say good-bye to the one that’s literally held your hand with her paw and comforted you when you were sick, especially when you went thru Breast Cancer? The one that’s comforted you through every disappointment and tear you’ve shed? The one that’s been so playful and affectionate? The one you’ve had so many good times with? The one you talked to all throughout your days, the one you told of your comings and goings? How do you say good-bye to the one you’ve told all of your secrets to, the one that understands you like no other, the one that truly brought out the best in you? The one that is the definition of loyalty??? The one that made you smile and gave you hope, that made you somehow try to see the world thru the innocence of her?
How do you say good-bye to the one that drank out of a Snoopy bowl even though she was a cat? The one that needed just a spoonful of food or treats every time you walked past her bowl because it was an act of love? The one that pawed the blinds in the morning because she wanted to look out and head-butted your hand in your sleep because she wanted a pet? The one you adored and that adored you back? The one that actually liked to hear you sing? The one that helped you pack your bags when you had to be away, that helped prepare you for your race, and that helped you write in your journal? The one that you had so many stories about and that brightened all of your days? The one that made you smile when nothing else could and lowered your blood pressure? The one that was smarter and more compassionate than all other animals? The one that you had 20 nicknames for and that humored you? The one that was always so curious and took seriously her job to keep the penguins away? The one that wrangled a hamster and then helped capture a bird that flew in the RV? That kept the mice and other rodents away? The one that was a guard cat, and even growled at a stranger knocking on the front door? The one that was always in your business because she loved you that much? The one with a thousand nap spots?
How do you say good-bye to the one that’s been there for every milestone and success you’ve celebrated over the last 18 years? The one that was your best friend?! The one that recently discovered she loved potato chips and the smell of chocolate? The one that was just so beautiful- both on the outside and deep in her spirit???
I know she is just a pet, and I sympathize even more with those that suffer greater loss through spouses, children, and parents. Still, it’s hard. She was a part of our family. It hurts. And it’s just so very painful. My heart feels shattered into a million pieces.
I’m so glad I had so many long days with her since June 2014, when I left my job at Ft. Campbell. I always dreaded this day, and I always prayed I’d outlive her because I worried she wouldn’t understand why I abandoned her if I didn’t. It’s going to be so empty without her. There will forever be a void.
I always envisioned her going naturally in her sleep, and that would have been easier to take. However, we found out on December 20 that she had a huge cancerous mass in her bladder. It was fast growing and it would have been inoperable even if caught earlier. The vet gave us a timeline of 3-6 months, maybe 9 with some medication.
True to how she found a home with us, she has been persistent. She has the best little personality. She is so snuggly, has the best little meow and purr. And now the time is here. She made it 8 months, and I do believe it was purely out of her deep love.
How do you make the decision to send her to the Rainbow Bridge when all you want is one more good day with her? How do you let her know this is your way of holding her paw??? How do you repay her for the countless times she has comforted you? How do you keep the tears from rolling knowing that this time she can’t dry them? I hope you know you were my heart, my Graycie Girl.
We can’t fathom another pet. Our world will never be quite the same. You were absolutely- hands down without a doubt- the best cat ever!!! We wish we could keep you forever; instead, you’ll forever be in our hearts and memories.
We have to try to carry Dr Seuss’s advice into the days ahead: “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.” RIP, my sweet angel 🐱, as I sing you into Heaven with your favorite song of mine, “I’ll Fly Away”. I have to believe you’ll be there to greet us when it’s our time to make the journey. We loved you with a love beyond comprehension!!! Now, we close this chapter.