Last Thursday I found out that my Aunt had passed away. At home, in her sleep…on Valentine’s Day. I like to think that my Uncle, who passed in 2007, called her home. She was 88 years old. She had gotten very frail, and her memory was failing her. She has been a bit lost and confused without my Uncle. But there were two things that always gave her joy. Ice Cream…
The last time I saw her she was having difficulty recognizing people and places. I was not sure she knew who I was. She could not find or remember what she wanted to show me. But she knew Sunny. “This is my cat,” she told me, gently stroking his fur. He sat beside her, protectively…staring at me…not sure I was to be trusted. She was calmer with him there. Though she did worry about what would happen to him when she was gone.
And now she is gone.
He has lived his entire life with my Aunt and Uncle. He has always been an only cat. He is getting on now…mature…11 or 12 years old. Possibly older, no one is really sure. He was there for both my Aunt and my Uncle’s passing. They both died at home. And now he is alone. I am so often struck by the gifts we receive from the animals around us. Their loyalty and warmth provides us with such comfort. They listen to all our stories…never passing judgement. They are just there. What would we do without them….and how often do they go unnoticed? I am so grateful that Sunny was able to be there for my Aunt. That there was someone she knew and remembered when so much was forgotten…lost to her. We hope to find a home for Sunny soon. A quiet home where he can be an only cat…cherished and loved. A place where he too can find comfort in his last days….
….and we will. It is the least that we can do.