A Pet Is For Life – Theirs

Moe was a funny cat. Our family always joked that she wasn’t very good at “catting”. She never caught much of anything that she chased because she was pretty slow. Thankfully.

She couldn’t jump very high, and when she did jump, she sort of landed with a look of surprise that she’d actually made it.

Oddly enough, Moe got her name because we thought “she” was a “he”.

She was left with her littermates in a cardboard box by a bus stop in Vancouver BC. Fortunately, someone noticed the box move and looked inside. Seeing a squirmy batch of tiny Calico kittens, he took the box home and contacted a rescue society.

They had been taken from their mother far too soon so they weren’t properly weaned, and their genders weren’t known. When they were old enough, the woman who eventually fostered them here in Victoria posted some pictures in an attempt to find them homes. My daughter sent me a link, knowing that I was looking for a new cat. It had been almost a year since our last one died.

I saw Moe and fell instantly in love.

My other daughter came up with a list of names, and because we assumed the cat was male, we were thinking Larry, Curly or Moe. Moe seemed the right fit. When we found out that Moe was actually female, we decided the name still worked and kept it.

The first vet who examined Moe said she had a bit of a heart murmur, but when we brought her to our own vet a couple of months later, the murmur seemed to have disappeared.

So we started life with our sweet and silly kitten.

I had only ever had male cats in past, so I found Moe to be quite different.

She never was much for the outdoors unless it was just lounging on the deck or the driveway. She didn’t like the feel of grass on her paws, so she would kind of hop precariously over the lawn to get to the patio where we were.

She could be clumsy and goofy, but she was also extremely affectionate. Towards me, that is. Other cats, no.

We didn’t know her actual date of birth, so we made a guess and decided to celebrate it on St. Patrick’s Day each year. She lead a happy, contented and spoiled life, as cats should do.

A couple of months before her birthday this year, I found out that Moe had congestive heart failure. Maybe her heart had always had problems after all.

She was in the vet hospital overnight while they drained fluid that had built up in her chest. Then she was sent home with lots of pills and instructions. Eventually she had a scan to confirm the diagnosis, and her pills were adjusted again. And, of course, I worried about her every day.

I spoiled her even more during this time. If she wanted a treat, I gave it (don’t tell the vet). If she wanted attention at 3 o’clock in the morning, I got up and gave her lots of cuddles. Whatever Moe wanted, Moe got.

Our last cat, Picard, had lived to almost 18, and I was hoping for the same from this one. But when I finally had to say good bye to little Miss Moe a couple of weeks ago, she was only 10.

As many of you know, losing a pet is a heartbreak like no other. One of my friends said that “grief is just love with nowhere to go.” That spoke to me.

I miss her terribly, but I’m so very grateful to the people who made it possible for me to adopt Moe.

During COVID, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, pet adoptions went sky high. Our pets gave us comfort, made us smile, and showed up in our Zoom videos while we worked from home.

With Christmas coming, some people will once again be tempted to give a cute kitten or puppy to someone as a gift. But I hope they will think about it long and hard first.

These are creatures who deserve all of the love and attention we can give them for as long as they need it. We can’t just put them away like toys when we get bored, or return them like car rentals.

Sometimes they get sick or hurt, or if we’re lucky, they get old, and that’s when they need us most. If you decide to adopt a pet, as I know I will again some day, remember that it is a commitment like no other.

It’s for life.

12 thoughts on “A Pet Is For Life – Theirs

  1. Thanks for your heartwarming story. My last four cats were adopted as adults, the latter two already seniors. I almost adopted another because I laughed every time I saw his picture; I had already named him “crazy Larry”. If people look beyond the kittens and the cutest cats, they may find one to steal their heart..

    • Yes, that is a great point! They don’t all have to be puppies and kittens. Thank you for taking good care of the older crowd 🙂

  2. A pet for THEIR life. Couldn’t agree more. I thought you might appreciate this quote by Suzanne Clothier.

    “There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings and walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.”
    ― Suzanne Clothier, Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs

    • Dear Susan, that made me cry all over again. Especially the “willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken…”. It’s so true.
      Thank you for that 🙂

  3. Irene…..Thank you for sharing Miss Moe with all of us. You captured her essence beautifully. When you mentioned her having congestive heart failure my heart broke. Our Buddy was 19 when this happened to him, late April 2020. To this day I miss my Buddy boy. It gets easier, but little moments and signs that they are still around will tug at your heart at the most interesting times. I spent that last night with him after our decision to give him a peaceful good-bye, laying on the floor, listening to his lanoured breath. As I’m writing this the pain is deep because the fond memories are many. He is still my love. 19 years went by in a heartbeat. I empathize and feel so sad you only had 10 years with Moe. But what a special lady to have had in your life. Thank you again fir memorializing her and reminding me if a furry guy I still miss. We have Sophie now….adopted at 8 years….she is a fireplace aficionado. She’s not Buddy, but she is her own unique bundle of love and has made this time we’re all going through a nicer place. I hope you find somewhere else (furry) to put all that love. Take care and have a lovely holiday. Your article touched me and your are so right about a pet for life….it is about their life and what they add to yours. Don’t deprive another kitty needing a home of the great cat mom you are. Hugs to you.

  4. That is so sweet. Thank you Kim, for sharing the story about your Buddy. You’re right in that they never really leave us, and I know the memories will eventually become more about the wonderful times rather than the sad ones. The responses I’ve had from lovely people like you have given me great comfort. Hugs back to you 🙂

  5. Thank you for the article! Tragic and light! Miss Mo and our other pets are just a gift from fate!
    I am writing via google translator, so forgive me if the translation is incorrect!

    • Hi Galina…thank you for your words. Yes, our pets are a gift 🙂
      And Google translator did a good job for you!
      Thanks again,

  6. I double your comments. I have Moxie my female adopted from foster care. She’s had rough life, but now she is spoiled rotten and loved beyond belief. I’ve never been so attached to a cat as I have this one. My heart goes out to you. You loved her and gave her a great life, joy to that. As to other thinking before adopting… I totally agree, now a lot of those pandemic adopted pets are being abandoned and that’s not okay.
    To others, no matter what, if you don’t want them take them to the SPCA or animal shelter, don’t put them in garbage bags and toss them out of a car or take them for walk in the park and leave them. They love you and trust you. Treat them right.

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