Last Edited: Oct 14, 2008 8:47 AM
It was in 1996 on a searing 105 degree day when I found Andy. He’d
been abandoned and left to die in the middle of a scorching asphalt lot.
He was just a little baby weighing only a couple of ounces and so covered
with oily dirt and bits of asphalt that I could not determine what his
coloring was. He was near death so I rushed him to the vet for
emergency treatment. After days of round the clock care he rebounded
and became a spunky kitten. Over the years Andy grew into a beautiful
animal, intelligent, expressive and sweet natured. He was the center of my
home life and I adored him.
In 2000 I was diagnosed with a tumor that required major surgery.
Although the surgery was successful, the treatments and recovery lasted
three years. Just when I thought the worst was over, in 2003 I contracted a
virus that undermined my fragile health and threatened to take my eyesight.
It took me another two years to recover from that setback. During that bleak
period of my life Andy was my constant source of love and companionship.
He never left my side. I spent countless hours and days and months in
bed with him resting under my arm. In 2005 I was finally given a clean bill
of health. As I grew happier, Andy grew happier. It was the best of
times and I loved Andy more than ever.
Then in early 2007 tragedy struck. I noticed a lump under Andy’s chin.
I took him to the vet and a diagnosis was made: Andy had lymphoma. His
disease was already fairly advanced by that stage and it was going to claim
his life. The shock sent me reeling. I survived catastrophic illness
and now my beloved Andy was going to die of cancer? I could hardly
comprehend it. But the illness was very real and Andy’s quality of life
quickly unraveled. Exactly one month after the initial diagnosis I had
to say goodbye and have him humanely euthanized. I was devastated.
Andy was only 11years old when he died. I wish he could have lived to
a ripe old age but it was not his destiny. He played a special role in
my life, a tender companion who brought me love and warmth and a reason to
wake up in the morning when I was ready to give up on living. I may have
saved his life in the beginning, but in the end he saved mine. I don’t know
what I would have done without him. I loved him deeply and will
cherish his memory for the rest of my days.