Saying goodbye to a friend

This morning we had to make the impossible decision – to say goodbye to our cat Sarah Jane.  Yesterday she fell and broke her leg, and with her age, diabetes, and kidney problems, we felt that it was time to let her go rather than force her to endure surgery and a long re-cooperation.

A friend of ours found Sarah Jane five years ago, digging through trash in her neighborhood.  She had obviously been someone’s pet, now abandoned (she had no claws at all.)  She weighed only 5 pounds then, and she was mostly blind from untreated diabetes.   I thought we could give her a comfortable home for a few months, but she lived far beyond our expectations.

Along the way she became a valued member of our family, especially for my husband.  She slept on him every night and waited by the door for his appearance.  Last night he slept with her on the floor of the dining room, as she couldn’t go up stairs any longer, and I think that made her happy.  This is so hard on him that it breaks my heart – I loved her, but she was his special cat.  I know how hard it was for him to let her go, but we were with her to the end, which was peaceful.

She was cranky beyond all belief, and we loved her for it.  I’d like to encourage anyone with the resources to consider taking in a special needs or elderly cat.  It’s true that she wasn’t with us for that long, but I know how happy she was in those five years.  There are many abandoned animals who need homes, and I know someday we will open our hearts to another.  We are making a donation to the Shamrock Foundation in her name.  They are a local organization that does good work with abandoned, stray, and abused animals.

If you have a pet, give them a hug for me.  I think it can be hard for some people to understand, but we don’t have (and likely won’t have) children, so our pets are really our family.  Regular me-made posts will resume soon, but today I’m taking time to be with my husband and other cats (Leon and Dionne).

Sarah Jane – 19?? – 2012.  Always cranky, always loved.