In 2004, the year I turned 30, I moved from Florida to North Carolina. I didn’t have a job, I didn’t know the area, and I didn’t know anyone. It was a crazy, but exciting time. After a few weeks I got settled into an apartment, started to learn the area, and found a job. Things were finally starting to fall into place. It was at that time that I knew I wanted to adopt a cat, specifically a black cat.
I spent a few weeks looking online at the local animal shelters and found 2 black cats at the SPCA of Wake County. I made an appointment and on a Saturday went to meet the cats.
When the adoption specialist opened the door to the cat room this petite little two-year-old black cat came running over to me and immediately started rubbing up against my leg. I was told her name was Razzledazzle and that they were pretty sure her former “family” had left her behind when they moved. I tend to agree because she had abandonment issues all through her life and even hated when I’d have boxes laying around.
It didn’t take long for me to realize she was meant for me. Since it was late in the day they suggested I come back the next day to pick her up, which worked out well since I had to get a litter box, food, and toys for her. The next day I was there when they opened and picked up my baby girl, Drusilla. I had them change her name before I left the shelter since she was no Razzledazzle.
For 11 years Drusilla was my shadow. She followed me every where I went, would sit next to me on the couch, and sleep up against my leg at night. She loved to be held like a baby and enjoyed watching the birds and squirrels from her favorite chair. And while she took a bit of time to warm up to Daphne, when I brought her home in 2009, over the years they became best buddies.
Three years ago Drusilla was diagnosed with high blood pressure during a routine yearly exam. She was put on medication and everything was fine. The next year she developed arthritis, which really took its toll on her. Then several months ago she was diagnosed with kidney failure. The best case scenario was a year. She lived 7 months.
I stayed with her to the end, which for me was heartbreaking, but I wanted the last face that she saw to be mine. I also decided to get her cremated. While my financial situation really didn’t warrant it, I had already decided that was what I was going to do. I am glad I did. She is now in my room facing the window she always loved looking out of.
It has been a little over a month since I had to say goodbye to Drusilla, yet as I type this post the tears are still streaming down my face. Our pets truly our members of our family. Many times we see them and interact with them more than we do most of our family and friends. So when the time comes for us to say goodbye it is truly heartbreaking.
Today, hug your fur babies and give them lots of kisses. Their time with us is so short. We need to cherish every moment we have with them.
My Forever Pet
But just for now, I need to mourn,
My heart — it needs to mend.
Though some may say, “It’s just a pet,”
I know I’ve lost a friend.
You’ve brought such laughter to my home,
and richness to my days.
A constant friend through joy or loss
with gentle, loving ways.
Companion, friend, and confidante,
A friend I won’t forget.
You’ll live forever in my heart,
My sweet, forever pet.
–– Susanne Taylor