Cookie came to me on a cold snowy night in February 2000 at the tender age of six weeks old. A friend of mine was walking her dog and found this young sweet innocent life by the garbage in a Bronx neighborhood. She had been left there by people that had moved out and had no regard for whether this poor kitten would survive or not. If my friend had not taken her in she would have froze to death that night never having been given a chance. My friend already had a few dogs and several cats, so she called me and asked what she should do; I did not even hesitate to say “bring her to me, I will take her.” That is how Cookie entered my life.
She was the youngest cat I had ever taken in, but by no means the meekest. She stood her ground and made sure the other cats knew she meant business! She totally bonded with me. She loved to sit with me and watch TV or sleep in the bed and purr her head off. She was not clingy. She just wanted to be near. That made her the happiest.
Healthwise she had her ups and downs, but I was always able to nurse her back to health. A few times she stopped eating and I syringe fed her for weeks until she started eating on her own. As long as she was willing to fight I fought alongside her.
This month she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in her upper jaw. I knew her time was short. I made her as comfortable as possible and when it was time to let go she made it known just as she had done all her life. She never minced her feelings. That is the promise we make to them that we will not let them suffer. That we will suffer in our grief by letting go.
I had her for 13 short years. They went very fast. Each day should be treasured because you never know when it is the last. I pick up her ashes tomorrow and my vet's office is giving me a ceramic paw print. I never had that from any of my cats. I will cherish that along with all the memories of a little kitten that got a chance at life.
Editor Marjorie Skiba
About the Author: Melissa lives in New York state with a baker's dozen of cats. She is an active member of the animal rescue community, having saved the lives of countless dogs and cats.
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