Let me start with my cousin, Daniel. He was my youngest cousin and had suffered for years from rheumatoid arthritis that was crippling to him. The medication he was taking helped him function, but ultimately took his life way too soon by destroying his t-cells. On July 22, 2005, he went to take a nap and never woke up. He was 40 years old.
I became especially close to Dan the last few years of his life. He lived quite a distance from me and it was an effort for him to get out at all, but we talked on the phone quite often. We laughed a lot. I think that's what I miss the most. His laughter. I actually talked to him the night before he passed away. We talked for close to an hour. He was talking about possibly adopting an elderly Pekingese since he finally felt like he "wasn't going to die anytime soon." I later found out that he also talked to my cousin Laura that night, and my aunt, his mom. I think he had a premonition. I'm so thankful for that last conversation with him.
Dan, if your spirit is around me at all, you know how much I love and miss you. Take care of my special girls for me until it's my time to join all of you, okay?
And now, for Flower's story. Two years ago, on July 21st, I was observing surgery at my vet's office as I often do, helping where and when I could, and noticed a cat in the cat room. I went over to see her and she purred and rubbed on the cage door. Before I left that day, I found out that she had been there for weeks and had lost a lot of weight. She needed a home and she was very old. Dr. Fitzgerald estimated her to be 14 or 15 years old. He asked me if I wanted to adopt her. I said "no". I had lost two dogs in a year and I was not ready to take on an elderly cat that could be on it's last legs. Besides, I already had a cat (Phoebe) and didn't want to take a chance that they wouldn't get along. He said that I could just take her on a trial basis, but I stuck to my guns and said no.
That night, I had a dream about her, and when I woke up the next morning, I couldn't get her off my mind. Then I remembered that it was the first anniversary of Dan's death, and what better way to honor him than to adopt this ancient kitty that he would have loved so much. Dan's own cats were like his children. Especially his Siamese, Nephi. So, off I went to find out more about her. Well, her kidney levels were a little off, and she weighed less than 5 lbs., but when I picked her up she purred and purred. Dr. Fitz said that he would cover her vet bills for as long as I had her and that if I'd give it a month and it didn't work out, he'd take her back. I came home and talked to my sister, Melissa, and asked what she thought. She said, "You have to take her. I'd be on my way back to get her right now." That's just what I did.
Flower is now a 12 lb., healthy, happy girl. I found out later that Dr. Fitz really thought he was just sending her to me for hospice care. He really didn't expect her to become as healthy as a horse and still be doing well two years later. She has just thrived on love.
We had our share of hard times at first, but I'm so glad that this little one entered my life when she did. She is the sweetest lap kitty you could ever hope to find.