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Monday, August 11, 2008

Loss -- Andy

I have cried so hard the last few days. My eyes are swollen and sore, but yet I continue to sob. My heart feels like it has been ripped out of my chest and I hurt—all over. The pain of grief is unbearable.

But it isn’t a mother, father, or close friend that I am grieving for. It is my cat. Only an animal lover can understand that losing a beloved pet can be just as painful, because our pets are truly part of our families.

I found Andy all curled up in his favorite napping spot. After sixteen years of being my constant companion, he was gone. I’m glad he didn’t suffer.

I got Andy from an animal rescue place when he was five weeks old. He weighed a pound and a quarter at his first vet appointment. He was so scared that he was literally shaking all over. When I picked him up and cuddled with him, he sighed and relaxed in my arms. And the rest is history.

We went through so many changes together—several long distance moves, the death of his brother, his struggle with diabetes, and the death of my husband.

I don’t think we humans can truly love unconditionally. We try. But our pets are experts at unconditional love. They never argue with us when we come in from a bad day at work. They don’t try to “fix” what is wrong. They never say a word about the extra pounds we have gained, or ask us “What in the world did you do?” when we come back from spending big bucks at the hair salon. They just listen and love.

They have their demands though. Andy would greet me at the door, meowing for a treat and a rub. At night sometimes, he would yowl—just to get me to wake up and acknowledge the fact that he was there. And the last eight years of his life, I had to give him insulin shots twice a day. But all I did for him only made me feel needed, wanted and loved. Through it all, I feel like he gave me a lot more than I gave him. He only asked me to love and care for him. And, in return, he gave me total unconditional love.

The house seems so empty without him. I long to hear him purring in my lap, and looking up at me as if to say: “You’re the greatest thing since tuna fish!”

Andy, I am so glad I had you for so many years. The pleasure you brought me will help turn this sadness I am feeling now into wonderful memories. Rest in peace, buddy.


1 comment:

Wolfgang said...

Melinda, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your cat, Andy. I truly share your pain. I lost my kitty, Murphy just shortly before losing my husband. She was like our child and was always there to comfort me after a long day at the hospital. She’d look at me with those big brown eyes and just knew how to make me feel better. She always made me smile. Your blog made me realize that I wasn’t alone in feeling such sadness about losing a pet. Thank you for sharing.