[NOTE: The following is from Jane, an employee of Tabby’s Place and one of Levi’s favorite people.]
As a staff member at Tabby’s Place I have seen many cats pass through our compassionate doors. Some have been adopted, some still live a wonderful happy life with us and others have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Each one leaves paw prints on my heart. Some of those paws reach deeper than others. Levi’s paws did just that.
Levi was found weaving and wandering the streets of central New Jersey. He had no identification and little ability to see or hear. As a feline senior citizen (15+ years) he was immediately scheduled to be euthanized at the clinic where he arrived as a stray. Thanks to Paws and Claws Society, and their generous Circle of Compassion for Animals grant, Levi was brought to Tabby’s Place.
Overcoming his obstacles seemed no problem for Levi. He quickly learned the layout of his new home and even managed to get to the top of the cat tree in the lobby. “How did he do THAT?” asked everyone that knew his physical limitations. “Because he’s Levi”, I would answer as proud as any mother.
But it was Levi’s trust and love of humans that trumped his physical abilities. He quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite. Just one bump from his oreo colored head and you were lost in head bumps and purrs. Put him on your lap and he would stay for hours if you let him, purring and bumping and quickly lowering human blood pressure.
He became part of our daily meetings sitting with me or a wonderful volunteer (it was a race through the lobby to see who would get him first – I usually won).
As with all of our kitties the difficult questions were there. Could he be adopted? Would he be adopted? Is there anyone who would want to adopt this senior cat that can’t see or hear? Enter super adopter Katie.
Katie saw Levi online and having cats with similar disabilities, thought he would be the perfect addition to her family. And so he was adopted into her loving home. I was both elated and torn. Who is this adopter? Would she love and care for him as much as we do? How would he handle the ride to Pittsburgh? All these questions weighed selfishly on my mind. I knew it was best for him, but how could I possibly enter the lobby without basking in his wonderfulness every day?
Katie made the five-hour trip to meet Levi and it was love at first sight. When she scooped him up, it was obvious Levi was home in her arms. His adoption left a void in my heart and in the Tabby’s Place lobby. The reality was a greater gift could not have been given to our cherished boy.
While living the wonderful life in Pittsburgh, Levi became a certified therapy cat. It was the perfect job for him. He continued to make others feel loved and comforted just as he did with us at Tabby’s Place. Katie was always in contact with us updating his progress and proudly boasting about her special boy.
Then, on July 3rd, the worst kind of correspondence from Katie was posted on the Tabby’s Place Facebook page. Levi had not been eating and stopped giving head bumps, an indication that something was terribly wrong. Katie and the vet team in Pittsburgh were doing everything humanly possible to get this him back on track. Levi was a fighter and always had been so we were filled with hope that this was just one more obstacle that he would overcome.
Unfortunately, on Monday July 5th, Levi succumbed to his illness and peacefully crossed the Rainbow Bridge in Mama Katie’s arms.
The paw prints sweet Levi left on my heart will be there forever. I will always think of him running through the tall grass while able to clearly see and hear everything around him. I know all the Tabby’s Place kitties that crossed the rainbow bridge before him welcomed him with love.
Levi, you’ve touched so many and will be missed by all that crossed your path. Rest in peace,