Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Year Later: In Memoriam

Well, it has been one year. On this day, November 3, 2008 I lost my beloved Gandalf to a rare hip disease. It was tough initially, but I have been very fortunate to have had a loving family, a fabulous dog, and the wonderfully supportive blogging universe here to help me. He was a great cat. Headstrong, full of dandruff, but great. I have made peace with his departure, and I have his ashes and many, many photos to remember him. Also, there is always life where there is death. I donated money to Guelph University's animal sciences department to help research cures for diseases in cats and dogs. I also donated to the Country Cat Sanctuary, and in doing so, found my new 'brothers'...
This past summer when my parents lost their cat Sheeeba to old age and arthritis, they knew they wanted to adopt after they had grieved her properly. After a few months of an empty house, they knew what they needed to do, so they started making a wish list for their perfect cats: they wanted a pair of cats to keep each other company and they wanted cats that were having a hard time getting adopted. Enter the Country Cat Sanctuary and Fintan and Laughlan. They had other names that currently escape me, but they were brothers who had been at the shelters foster home for over a year, leaving their kitten hood behind in a haze of 16 other cats. They hadn't been socialized and were frightened. But they loved each other. They were brothers and stuck to each other like glue, sleeping on top of each other, even when there was a whole bed to sleep on.
My parents spent some time with them at the foster home and knew they needed to give them a try. They took them home and after a few scared weeks, the year and a half old brothers are now ripping up and down the house, have had their nails cut for the first, second and third time (ever!), have seen the vet to get their shots and checkups and are happy. They have found their forever homes, and my parents have found their "neener heads" (goofballs), their life after death, their cure for grief. Yes, we miss our lost pets, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel, there is always life after death.

I think Fintan and Laughlan totally agree.

Remember, please adopt, don't shop for pets. There are millions of animals waiting in shelters for their forever homes. Just because they don't have papers or fancy pedigrees, doesn't mean they won't make excellent pets that fill your lives with joy for years. Please give a homeless animal a chance at a great life and visit an animal shelter near you for your next pet. Maybe you'll find your perfect "neener head" yourself :-)


  1. I think adopting a cat from the shelter is one of the greatest tributes someone can pay the Cat Who Came Before.

  2. Thank you Daisy, that is a beautiful way to look at it :)

  3. Awwww...great post :) And hugs!
    Our next puppy will definitely be coming from a shelter!

    I did a similar post just the other day after losing my "sisfur":

  4. What a sweet post! I agree- adopting animals from the shelter is the best thing ever. My furbaby kitty came from the shelter (I call her "slightly used" since she was a stray that had to have been owned at one point since she came declawed and fixed), and she's the sweetest- she even puts up with my parents' two annoying little puppies. I'm always going to adopt animals from the shelter. :)

  5. What a lovely post Meghann! Gandalf was gorgeous! I love the happy ending and agree that shelter pets are the best! I had lost my 18 year old cat Panther the day after my birthday in 2006 and I still miss her greatly. But, a little over two months after losing Panther, we adopted Angel and Isabella on Nov. 3, 2006 and they brought joy and happiness back to our lives. I'm glad your parents found the same with Fintan and Laughlan!

  6. Sorry to hear about your gandalf - what a perfect name. Love the new kitties!



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