Forever Loved: Ben

Forever Loved: Ben

benBen arrived at Tabby’s Place a little over 18 months ago with his sister Geri.

Both Ben and Geri had been living outside for most of their lives and they were feral to say the least. Geri was fiercely protective of Ben and would guard him with her own body, flying, teeth and claws bared, at anyone who tried to go near herself or Ben.

When Ben and Geri first went into one of our suites, Geri remained very protective and guarded her Ben at all times.
I fell in love with them both right away and decided they were going to be my friends, so I set about the long job of socializing them.

Ben and GeriFor the first few weeks, it seemed impossible to get near Ben with his bodyguard always nearby. But, eventually, Geri relaxed a little and would not always be right at Ben’s side.

Ben would hiss and cower away from me for months and months, but he was always a sucker for wet food. So eventually we reached an agreement that I could pet him while he was eating wet food. The friendship had begun!

When Ben joined us at Tabby’s Place, we knew he had kidney disease. When, a few months ago, Ben’s heart also started to fail, so started the tricky balance of medications. The medicine to support his heart damaged his kidneys more, and the fluids to support his kidneys damaged his heart more. We knew time would run out for Ben soon, so we made him as comfortable as possible.

My friendship with Ben continued to grow, and he finally started to return my love. Ben still only let a few select people be his friend, and would still growl and hiss at everyone else. I was very honored that he let me into his heart, because he had such a large part of my heart.

BenI loved this boy so deeply I thought I’d burst every time I looked at his face, which usually had his tongue sticking out of his mouth!
Some people were amazed how loving Ben would be with me, as they only knew him as the feral cat who liked no one. But when I was with Ben he was loving, sweet and always purring. I could kiss him all over, rub his belly and hold him in my arms like a baby. Ben was the only cat I’ve ever known who purred while I was giving him his fluid therapy!

A few weeks ago Ben became severely anemic and needed a blood transfusion. After the transfusion all we could do was wait to see if it would work…wait to see if Ben could start making his own red blood cells again, or if his body would just flush the new red blood cells out of his body. It didn’t work.

So then we started Ben on a medication to try to boost his blood cells, hoping this would work.  It didn’t work either. He was becoming more anemic and having problems breathing. I was losing my friend.

Sweet BenBy Sunday, my Ben was not himself anymore, and his breathing was labored. I knew it was time to say goodbye. I held Ben for the last time, kissed him all over his head and cried into his fur. He was still purring and nuzzling me but I knew he was tired and ready to leave.

I miss my Ben so much and always will, and I’ll always be so thankful that he let me into his heart.

I continue to try to convince Geri to be my friend.  I told her that we have a bond because we both loved Ben and he loved us in return.

Ben, I miss you every day and I love you with all my heart. Thank you so much for being my friend.

11 thoughts on “Forever Loved: Ben

  1. Karina, thank you for this loving, touching post. I sponsored Ben largely because he suffered from the same chronic renal failure that my last cat – the late, great Cheddar – suffered from. As painful as Ben’s loss is, I remain grateful that he touched my life and was such an important part of yours.

  2. It’s hard to read this without crying…Karina, my heart breaks for you because I know how much you cherished this special little cat. How lucky was he to have you in his life, to bring out his heart and soul and show him the love that he never knew he craved before! You gave him an incredible gift…and I know you feel that HE was the gift! Rest in peace, sweet Ben.

  3. Ben you will be missed, once again to Karina and all the rest of the staff at Tabby’s Place, thanks for the wonderful care and love that you give the cats. RIP Ben, it’s not that you have gone away, you have just started the next part of your journey.

  4. There’s something extra special about having a cat who doesn’t like many people like you. Ben was lucky to have you as a friend, Karina. And one day, the two of you will see each other again.

  5. Karina, I don’t know if the missing of a favorite Tabby’s Place cat(s) ever goes away. I still miss Albert, who passed from this world on November 19, 2009.

  6. Had tears in my eyes reading this – my heart goes out to you, Karina, and all of those who loved dear Ben. But just reading how how he wiggled his way into your heart, and how you two became such wonderful friends, made me smile and laugh too. It is a rare and amazing gift to have been allowed into Ben’s “inner circle” (of two: you and Geri!) – and I hope that the memory of his love and the special bond you shared will somehow ease your pain.

  7. Karina, I know how much you loved Ben. I had the priviledge of being in Suite B when you were giving him his fluids. I couldn’t believe he was purring! What a truly special boy. I always said hi to Ben whenever I saw him and I could tell he was not well. I’m glad that he is no longer in pain and that he is in a better place but I do miss his adorable little face, tongue and all. Rest snuggly sweet Ben.

  8. This is why I would find it so hard to work with special needs fur friends like Ben. I tend to get too wrapped up with them even if I’m meeting them for the first time as in the local shelter. Ben was so fortunate to have spent his last days at Tabby’s Place. It hurts to think of what his life would have been like had this not happened for him. Thank you for caring so much for these precious creatures.

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