Guest post: Forever Loved: Penelope

Guest post: Forever Loved: Penelope

Penelope was loved.

Penelope knew love long before she first graced our doorstep. I have no doubts that Penelope knew 16 years of love before her arrival here.

Penelope’s very attitude and charm spoke of a cat who never questioned if she was adored. Her confidence shone in her every move, with her “make way” sashay as she would climb onto the table in the middle of meetings, jump into our laps at inopportune moments, or simply stare us down with her intense gaze until we gave into her whims.

Penelope knew that she could get whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, and she never hesitated to demand her desires. I can only imagine her as the center of attention in any household. She would have insisted on nothing less.

Penelope was loved, but life was not fair.

Circumstances demanded that Penelope leave her home. Troubles beyond control meant that she and her family were to be separated. And so, Penelope found her way to us.

As a former spoiled single housecat, Penelope made her displeasure at having to share the glory and the attention well-known. With hisses and growls and a fearsome swat, this regal tuxedo lady let us know that she did not appreciate the loss of her former kingdom.

Even as she commanded love and attention from every visitor, Penelope let her roommates in the Community Room know that she did not intend on making feline friends. She was not accustomed to sharing, and she was not interested in learning how to do so now. Even with her grumpy attitude, we found it impossible to resist her charms and “chocolate chip” freckled paws.

Penelope was loved, but again life was not fair.

Shortly after her arrival, the staff noted that Penelope seemed to be having some discomfort while urinating. Tests revealed cancer in her bladder, and we had little to offer her for treatment. Her time with us would be very limited.

Life was unfair, but she was loved. And so, Penelope became a spoiled single housecat again – in hospice foster.

Penelope did not hesitate to make herself at home in my bedroom as soon as the carrier door opened. She made quick work of a thorough investigation of her space before jumping up on the bed and then into my lap. She settled in as if she had always belonged there.

From February through the beginning of May, Penelope enjoyed lazy afternoons sunning in her favorite spot, and evenings spent marching across my pillows (and sometimes across my forehead) as she alternated between looking out the windows on either side of my bed.

When I sat to work on my laptop, Penelope insisted on assisting me by launching herself at my lap whether I was prepared for her or not. Every morning, she greeted me early to demand breakfast by butting her head into my hands, insisting that I wake up and pet her.

Her favorite spot to sit was on the corner of my bed beside my head, and she was more than willing to push aside whatever happened to be in her way of her getting there. Penelope’s only complaint was when it was time to take her daily medication, which was a daily battle that usually involved me chasing her around a chair.

Penelope was loved, even when she was not the most cooperative patient. All the love in the world, however, sadly cannot cure cancer.

Penelope knew little of her diagnosis until, all too suddenly, she felt its toll. Eventually, her tumors grew, and she could no longer pass much urine. She was growing tired and uncomfortable, and she let us know that it was time.

We let her go at Tabby’s Place, surrounded by the staff who adored her, with the taste on one last Churu treat on her tongue.

Penelope was loved until the end, and even after.


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