“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.”

Anonymous

 

Fifteen years ago, son George adopted six-week-old kittens he named Sammy and Roxy. Sadly, Sammy recently became ill and George had to make the decision most pet owners dread at some point: ease his pet’s suffering and help him cross Rainbow Bridge. I share with you George’s thoughts of and responses to this moving and heart-rending experience. 

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“You know as soon as you bring your furry creatures home as pups or kittens, this day will eventually come. I have to bring Sammy to the vet later today; something’s wrong. He hasn’t eaten much at all the last two days; he usually devours canned food, but didn’t touch it at all yesterday. Almost 15 years old and I’ve never seen this from either him or Roxy. 

“He just drinks water, sleeps all day (well, they do that anyway) but has gotten skinny. He’s always been a strong, good-sized cat. Now he’s meowing like I’ve never heard, lays down in unusual places in the apartment or just sits and stares, almost like he’s lost. Hopefully it’s just something that will pass but my gut tells me it’s more than that.”

A few days later:

“I got the results from Sammy’s tests. Not good. He has a tumor on his liver among other things, so within the next couple of days I’m going to have to say goodbye to my boy. The last thing I want is for my loyal friend to suffer any more. 

“He’s a beautiful, unique cat and I’m going to miss him. I’ll still have Roxy, but I’m going to miss some of Sammy’s funny and, yes, occasionally annoying antics. Cute things:  jumping up on my keyboard when I’m playing, drinking water out of the faucets, hissing when going after a shoelace I dangle over his head, his six toes on his front paws.  Sometimes he would just be a pain, chasing Roxy and making her screech at 2 a.m.! These years have gone by so fast.”

On the day Sammy crossed the bridge, George wrote:

“I want to thank my family and friends who sent prayers, positive vibes, nice comments, etc. Some folks might say ‘he’s just a cat;’ true, but these pets become part of your family, annoying antics and all. It’s starting to sink in now; I definitely feel the void. Even Roxy is out of sorts today.”

I don’t know if there is a pet heaven; however, it is kind of comforting to believe that when our time comes to leave this Earth, “We look once more into the trusting eyes of our pet, so long gone from our life but never absent from our hearts, and then we cross Rainbow Bridge together.”