Yesterday I received email with the news that Smurf, a Tabby’s Place alumnus, “went to Heaven on Friday, March 6, 2009.” I was greatly saddened to hear this … my mind flashed back to the day Smurf came to Tabby’s Place.
Smurf was 15 years old when she came to us from a local shelter, where she had ended up after her owner’s death. Smurf came with her own stuffed toy, which the shelter staff told us she carried around like a security blanket.
The toy was clearly some kind of furry quadraped, but we never were really sure of its species (I thought it was a moose). The toy had obviously been with Smurf a long time, as it was, frankly, pretty disgusting.
Our disease control protocol calls for us to wash and bleach anything placed in a holding cage with cat (to avoid ringworm contagion), but we were afraid that the toy would disintegrate. Much to our surprise (and Smurf’s delight), the toy survived the wash and came out looking great.
Smurf was very gentle cat and quickly became a staff favorite. Because of her age we didn’t expect her to have a great chance at adoption. But, a lovely couple fell in love with dear Smurf and adopted her in 2005, along with her stuffed toy, of course. Her owners kept in touch with us and we followed Smurf’s progress over the years.
Smurf suffered from a number of medical problems since 2005, but she handled each with grace and was thriving. She succumbed to heart failure on March 6 and was let go in her home, surrounded by love and caring.
Wondering about the toy? The sad email had the answer:
“While battling her illness, she used the stuffed animal to prop up her head — and slept on it every night. When she passed, her tiny head rested on it — giving her comfort and aid. We are grateful you had given us this stuffed animal — she was cremated with it this Tuesday past.”
The tears are starting as I finish this tribute to ‘Smurfey.’ She was a wonderful cat and I will never forget her.