Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Accident Turns to Happy Ending

"Quit choking me, Rocky!" says Jolly
When a accident led to my having my cat Jolly put to sleep, I felt like a murderer. At the time, it seemed like our only option. But after Jolly no longer filled our halls and hearts with his ornery ways, I kicked myself for not deliberating more, for not fighting to save him.
All you pet lovers know the jagged ache that I still experience every time I think of Jolly, and the longing I feel to embrace his silly little black and white self once again.

Enter my artist—translate: kind and sensitive—son, who listened with patient compassion as I choked out my grief the day Jolly died. Then he said, simple and nourishing as a bowl of milk, “You need another baby kitty, Mom.”

I sighed, wiping huge tears from my face. “Do you really think so, son?”

“Of course—baby kitties solve everything.”

Although his philosophy on life may seem a bit simplistic, I did think and pray about his advice. And decided to go with it. Lord knows beating myself up over Jolly’s demise wasn’t helping my broken soul mend.

Pokey is all white except for a calico head and tail
 and a couple of "dots" on her back
On the way to adopt my new fur baby, I had my mind set on a male kitten, whom I’ve found more affectionate than females. But this little lady, with her unique coloring and spunky ways, stole my heart and kept it. With the help of our granddaughter, we named the baby Poka-dot, and call her Pokey for short.
Pokey spent her first night in our bed snuggled between us, purring herself to sleep. I’m not sure my husband was too wild with that arrangement, but I didn’t ask him.

I will always miss Jolly. I believe he’s waiting for me in heaven. And I’m certain he forgives me for my stupid decision. But until I can see and hold him again, Pokey turns a tragic accident into a happy ending.

Have you ever had to put a pet to sleep? How long did it take you to get over it?


  1. Hi Jeanette! I have never had to put a pet to sleep, so I can't imagine how hard that must have been. And your conflicted feelings about it too.
    I am so glad that you have such a wonderful son who listens and encourages you to make the next step. Your new little addition is adorable! I know she'll bring you so much joy. And...how interesting that you think males are more loving! I hope Pokey blows the doors off your image of the gals!

  2. We've lived with multiple dogs all of our 55 years of marriage so yes, we've had to say goodbye a number of times. It's terribly hard, but we know they depend on us to make that decision when the quality of their lives is no longer good. Prolonging their discomfort and putting them through extensive medical treatment or procedures because we're not ready to part with them isn't a loving or humane thing to do. But oh, that ache!! While it eventually eases, I don't think we ever stop missing their distinctive little personalities. Having a new pup or kitten to focus on certainly helps. Welcome to your wee Pokey!

    When we had to say goodbye to our last dog, our daughter made a DVD movie with a series of photos of her life for us. We can watch them on our computer or TV but whenever we do we need a Kleenex in hand. She's been gone for two years now, and I still cry when I watch it!

  3. When I was growing up, I had a cat that had to be put to sleep. When our son was in grade school, we had to have an Irish Setter put to sleep. The dog had been hit by a truck. (think head injury.) A while later he bit the daughter/stepdaughter of some people who were moving in next door. 24 hours later, our son got bit on his face.

    We haven't had much good luck with animals.


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