Some goodbyes are particularly wrenching. Few rival the ache of losing our tiny tabby, Anastasia.
No one adored Ana more deeply and faithfully than Sharon (Jonathan’s wife, our Volunteer Coordinator). Sharon always cherished Ana and always advocated for her, and Ana’s entire countenance would brighten whenever Sharon entered the room. I know how painful this must have been to write, but I also know blessed Anastasia would be to hear Sharon’s loving words.
“I was at home when Jonathan called to tell me of her passing — enlarged heart, fluid in the lungs, difficulty breathing. News I dreaded to hear. Listening quietly as the tears slowly trickled down my face, I choked back sobs. This isn’t fair— She was only 6 years old—I loved her so much.
Feelings of guilt flooded my soul. Anastasia was one of the cats we considered adopting. She was always so fragile, so high strung. We didn’t think Annie would adjust to living with the rest of our clan and determined that she would be less stressed living in familiar surroundings. Were we right? Was there more we could have done?
Annie, as I lovingly called her, lived at Tabby’s Place for most of her life. How could this small, brown, tabby girl worm her way into my heart? It was actually quite easy – Anastatia was one of the sweetest cats ever to grace our facility. She loved attention, to be petted, and had the most amazing purr machine inside that petite, dainty body. Dr. Collins frequently commented that it was difficult to hear Annie’s heartbeat over the constant roar of her motor.
Although Annie enjoyed human attention, she was never very fond of the feline type. Several kitties did form close relationships with Annie – shy Desi and feisty Natasha were two of her favorites.
Annie’s medical problems began shortly after her arrival. We almost lost her when she struggled with a high fever and lethargy that arose for no apparent reason. Then there was the constant gulping, a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease, tests, and special diets. In Annie’s short life, she endured many physical challenges. But till her last days, this loving girl continued to show her affection with purrs of gratitude.
Annie is now in a better place – no longer in pain or suffering. I see her running free, sitting in the sunlight, enjoying a meal – without gulping. Although my heart is still sad, I am filled with the joy of knowing that someday I will be reunited with Anastasia and all of my beloved pets. I am grateful for the way she touched my life and left an indelible mark on my heart forever.”
Every cat, everywhere, should have a Sharon in her life, loving her so fiercely through all the ups and downs. Ana’s life was infinitely richer for having been cherished by you, Sharon.