In early 2000 my significant other and I moved to the desert of Southern California. He was fresh out of Grad School and scored a pretty cool gig at Edwards AFB. I was working on getting some experience in the Animal Care field and got a job as a Veterinary Assistant at a nearby animal hospital.
After several months at my new job one of my coworkers, Jamie, had taken on two foster cats. The owner of the cats was moving and couldn’t take them along so her friend, Jamie, said she’d take them and find homes for them. Jamie asked me if I’d be interested and I emphatically declined. I was NOT a “cat person” and had absolutely NO desire to bring even ONE cat into my home! So I said I’d take one and foster it till it could be placed. Call me a pushover.
When I let this cat out in our apartment, she acclimated quite rapidly. Then Chris came home and she just thought he was the best thing in the world! She loved all over him and told him how wonderful she thought he was. Then he named her. Penelope. And she took her place in our home…our first pet!
For 14 years she shed hair on our lives. Purred in our laps. Gave us sandpaper kisses. Tickled us with her whiskers. She did whatever she wanted to do and allowed us to be a part of her life. She was a very personable cat and loved people (as long as it was in HER own home). She was not fond of other animals but tolerated her housemates, including me. Chris was always her favorite!
Over the course of the last 2 years of her life, Penelope was losing weight and slowing down. But she was still happy and full of life! By May of this year however, she went downhill rapidly and we had to make the most difficult decision any pet owner ever has to make. It was time and she let us know that she was ready.
Pets are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. I don’t remember who coined that but it is 110% true. And as difficult as it is to make such decisions for our beloved pets, it will never discourage me from bringing another into our home.
We miss you sweet little princess Penelopeeperpie. She is the reason I am a “cat person” today.