I received a touching tribute about a pet’s loss from a woman in Wessington; I soon found myself in similar circumstances.
My column about providing “obituary” information prior to the time prompted her to send an obituary/eulogy about her cat, “Pretty Boy,” who had died January 6. It brought me to tears.
Just a few days later I had to make the wrenching decision to take my 17 ½-year-old Ellie to the veterinarian, and say good-bye to her.
She had declined quickly. From being my vocal little “glutton,” she quit eating, drank a lot of water and then regurgitated it. She was dragging, tired, wanting only to sit by me.
So the morning of January 18, I called the vet, told him what was going on, asked what to do. He said her kidneys and liver functions were probably shutting down.
I wrapped her in a little flannel blanket my sister had made for one of my kids. I insisted that I be with her in her final moments, and I was; I petted her and held her and told her I loved her. But I’m not a stoic; tears just flowed. For such a tiny cat, she generated a lot tears and missing.
Of course I shared with a few close people. One, who has been through it, too, wrote, “The vet told me it is the last kind thing you can do for a pet, so they don’t suffer.”
I know Ellie always felt loved. I just don’t know if she realized what she did for me. From a goofy kitten to a “grande dame,” she was always in tune. When I was going through something upsetting, she would just sit by me, let me cuddle her. The fur on her little body accepted a lot of tears over the years.
She was my talker…she made her wises known, be it for food, for attention, for being in or out of the bedroom. My other two rarely “talk.” It’s too quiet here now.
She was with me far more, day by day, than “human” family members. She was my constant. Whatever the day or the weather, my “fur baby” would come running to greet me.
I know it is somewhat a romanticized version, but I choose to believe the following, for I believe this is what a loving God would do, only for me it is plural…I have many beloved pets I would hope to reunite with again.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent; Her eager body quivers. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
I’ll meet you at the bridge…