Farewell Kitty

Title: Love for Harry. Image: Harry the Kitty with gray pointy ears, white face and dark gray stripes on his head, with a blue colored afghan blanket behind him

My sweet kitty, Harry, is in process of transitioning with cancer. By the time you read this, he’ll likely have crossed over to the other side, free of pain and suffering, and onto cavorting with all my other kitties who have crossed over during my lifetime—far too many to mention here.

No matter how many times I go through the pain of losing a fur baby, however, I know I’ll do it again. Not because it gets easier, but because of the unconditional love and joy that pets bring into my life.

For as long as I can remember, I have dealt with losing these four-footed friends who have become a part of the family. When I was a kid, these pets were my best friends, and as an adult they’re my children.

Very rarely do our pets outlive us. In fact, a friend of mine suggested that I consider getting a parrot next time, given that they have long lifespans—longer than most humans. For some people, that may be an option, but I’ve never bonded with a bird, with the exception of a parakeet named Pepe, and also Big Bird.

For those of you who have never had a pet, it might be a little difficult for you to relate to “bonding” with them. But it’s no different than bonding with another human. Love is love, and for the sake of love itself, I’ve cherished every moment that I’ve been graced with Harry’s presence.

I adopted him when he was 10, and knew that there was the possibility that he might acquire health issues. But from the minute I brought him home,

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I fell hard for this adorable love bug. He was already an adult when I got him, so all the toys that we’d buy to amuse a kitten were of no interest to him. (With the exception of a red light pen; he chased that beam all over the place!) So, without the diversion of toys and with his lack of interest in catnip, we became close even more quickly than I ever bonded to a new kitten.

Harry made up his mind within the first day that I was his new Mommy. From that initial night, he slept with me under the blankets, and I felt as if I’d known him forever. I believe we had been together in many lifetimes before. It’s entirely possible, given that cats have nine lives.

After a mere three months, he developed his first health issue, supposedly after he ate a spider, and it poisoned him. He was inconsolable, cross eyed, and kept losing his balance. I remember the vet telling me, that this was possibly neurological damage, and that even if he lived, Harry might be like this for the rest of his life.

In a kind of numbed shock, I said, “So what you’re telling me is that I may have a cat with cerebral palsy now? Then I said, “Well, the doctors told my parents the same thing about me, and they didn’t put me down.”

At that point Harry was transferred to intensive care and on an IV for three days. I rang the doorbell of the hospital on this third night at about 11, and asked if I could see Harry. A little reluctantly, they let me in to be with him.

He recognized me immediately, even though he was still cross eyed, and kept falling down when he stood up. I sang to him and told him I loved him, and that whatever his fate, I would support him. But he also needed to know that extended hospitalization was expensive, and that my employment was sporadic. I prayed for all my spirit guides and fur babies on the other side to help him with whatever his little soul chose to do. The next morning the hospital called to tell me that I could pick up Harry, and that his maladies had all disappeared! That was almost three years ago! I feel so blessed that I didn’t lose him then, and since then we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time together.

Now as he struggles with cancer, we both know that our days together are coming to a close. As painful as it is, however, we trust that we’ll see each other again.

“Harry Houdini” will escape from cancer, but he has no desire to escape from love. He’ll live forever in my heart. And yes, my furry son, I would do it all again. Thank you, my sweet loving Harry, for spending one of your lives with me!


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by Geri Jewell


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