Gentle Pet Passings is working to create a memorial page about your beloved pet. This can include a heartwarming or even a funny story and also pictures. Please feel free to email these to me at email@example.com. I am very sorry for your loss. ~ Sincerely, Dr. Gayle Burrell
MY BELOVED ANDY by Dr. Gayle Burrell
I thought I would start off my memorial page on a personal note.
Early last fall, I lost my 12 year old cat Andy. A few months earlier he was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, a very aggressive form of kidney cancer. After noting a mildly enlarged left kidney just by picking him up, I immediately took him in for blood work and x-rays. The blood work was perfectly normal but the x-rays and ultimately an ultrasound and biopsy revealed my worst fear. He was otherwise healthy at the time due to the fact that his right kidney was doing the work for both and allowing him to live a relatively normal life. However renal cell carcinoma is considered a terminal disease with no viable treatment options that would lengthen or enhance his quality of life. He continued to act his normal affectionate, playful self and although his blood work remained normal, his kidney was enlarging and it was becoming more apparent that the disease was taking its toll. But when I recognized that all too knowing look that I’ve seen in the eyes of hundreds of other animals and he was reluctantly eating only to see me smile, I knew. It’s the deep and thoughtful look they give you when asking you to please try to read their mind. And if you can, what you would hear is “I love you and I love the life we’ve shared together but it’s different now and I have one last favor to ask. It’s time for me to go and if you would kindly do me the honor I will be forever grateful”.
I did Andy that favor and he went quietly and peacefully in one of his favorite chairs that we often shared. As difficult as it was for me, it was a small price to pay for all the years of pure joy and comfort he had given me.
On a lighter note, Andy had a quirky suckling habit that many adult cats share since kitten-hood. Some will continue to suckle anything from blanket lint to ear lobes. In his case he would curl up next to me, kneading his paws on my arm and suckle his own nipple. It was odd, but very cute and he would get that dreamy look in his eyes that kittens do, or any babies for that matter when they feel safe and secure.
Andy will be forever memorialized in a picture on my website cuddling with his twin brother Amos. Amos coincidentally underwent successful treatment for hyperthyroidism discovered on routine blood work just before Andy got sick. The only 2 days in 12 years they had ever been apart but at least they were together at the end. Amos is fine now and has lots of others to keep him company.
In Loving Memory of Taffy
Our “Fuzzy Little Boy” Taffy gave us immeasurable joy for almost 13 years before God called him home on May 29, 2011. Taffy had a truly unique personality and most of all, he taught us how to love and how to relax.
Taffy liked to talk to us, but not by meowing like most cats. Taffy had his own language of small “chirping” sounds that he used to communicate his emotions to us.
Taffy may have been the only cat to understand the word “exercise”. When we were in the front yard with him, and we would say to him, “Taffy, Exercise!”, he would strut over to the tree with his tail held high, stand up and proudly shred a few pieces of bark off the tree. It is one our fondest memories of our little guy.
Taffy had a little friend who lives in our back yard. This little squirrel comes to the window every day for peanuts. Taffy and the squirrel grew so comfortable with each other that they would sometimes press their noses together through the screen. When outdoors, they often would chase each other around Taffy’s exercise tree.
We believe that God has a special place in His Kingdom for our little fuzzy friends. Taffy definitely had a “spirit” and we know that God loves all His creatures.
Rest in Peace now, Little Boy. We will always love you and remember how much you loved us.
Thank you, Dr. Burrell, for allowing us to share a few memories of Taffy on your web site.