On Tuesday, Stuart and I said farewell to our cat, Pete. For those of you who knew Pete, he was quite a character. He was a gray tabby bobtail cat with a great personality. He was a member of our family for ten years. Pete was a shelter cat. He turned up on their doorstop… Read more
On Tuesday, Stuart and I said farewell to our cat, Pete. For those of you who knew Pete, he was quite a character. He was a gray tabby bobtail cat with a great personality. He was a member of our family for ten years.
Pete was a shelter cat. He turned up on their doorstop weighing only three pounds. Their vet said he was malnourished and dehydrated, but would recover. So, they nursed him back to health. He was so small the shelter staff named him Peter after Peter Pan because they didn’t think he would ever grow up. As he gained weight and grew stronger, they changed his name to Pete.
We adopted him in December 2004. He was a wonderful pet. He was very sociable, loved to greet visitors at the door, and he talked a lot, definitely an extrovert.
In September, we learned that Pete had lymphoma. The prognosis was three to four months after he had surgery. My prayer was that he would be with us through the holidays, but that was not to be. We were with him yesterday when he took his last breath. As the vet wiped away a tear, he assured us that we had made the right decision. He also said that he was glad Pete died with dignity.
Since we are renting, friends let us bury Pete in their backyard. They said that corner of the yard is like a pet cemetery for several of their beloved dogs. We went prepared to do all the work. But to our surprise, they had already dug the grave. At the graveside, we thanked God for Pete’s life. Then, Stuart and our friend filled in the grave.
If you are not a pet person, all this fuss over a cat may seem silly. But those of you who have or have had pets know that they are part of the family. The grief that we feel when we lose them is very real. I have shed buckets of tears in the past three months. And when I least expect it they overflow again.
But in the midst of our loss, I thank God for the gift of Pete the Cat in our lives for ten wonderful years. I thank God for the joy he brought us and so many other people. I thank God for good friends who comfort us in our grief. I thank God for people who love their pets and understand the pain of losing them. And I thank God for students from Northwestern University who travel hundreds of miles to volunteer at Red Fern Animal Shelter, where dogs and cats who have no home receive loving care and life.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19