Farewell, my sweet friend.

by Alison Rasmussen

Originally uploaded by alington
Louie wandered into our yard, lives and hearts just two years ago. After convincing a hesitant husband we just had to keep him, he fell right in with our four kids, and he became my constant companion.

An unusually social cat, he would answer the door, greet guests, and crawl on their chests for attention. He would talk to me most of the day (before he grew ill) in his strange little quacking meow. He loved the kids, but mostly he love adults.

Louie was diagnosed with hyperthyroid in February, which was under control last month. He became ill with an infection and lost a lot of weight. While he made a partial recovery form his illness (he'd been at the vet for monthly lab work and check-ups), this week he grew worse and worse, and struggled even to breathe.

Today at the vet, we were advised of likely stomach cancer in addition to lung cancer, and that he was indeed in pain. I'd always promised to opt for quality of life, rather than quantity, but it was a horrible decision. I'm relieved to know he is finally at rest and at peace. But it's been less than 12 hours, and I am not handling it well. I miss his company, and I will for a long time, I know.

Love your pets and spoil them while you can. I can't believe how much joy this stray brought into our lives: one of our biggest blessings yet.