Saying Goodbye to Peppy

There are times when the only thing you can say is, “Life sucks!” Yes, there are the expected ups and downs, but sometimes those downs take us to very painful lows.

In May of 2000, my wife’s father passed away. His battle with Cancer cost him the bones in his leg, but eventually it was the Cancer treatment that cost him his life. Shortly after he succumbed to his illness, God sent Lee an angel in the form of a cat. Peppy became an instant guardian of the still grieving young woman who also happened to be a cat lover. As crazy as it sounds, Lee is convinced her dad’s soul found a home in Peppy’s furry self. And I am convinced, too, given how protective Peppy has always been around Lee.

Of all the previous cats she had before, Peppy was quickly and uniquely her favorite. After a tough day, Peppy would be there to take away the stress. Propped like a baby on her shoulder, Peppy would quickly make everything better.

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This evening, Peppy’s magic remedy is greatly needed …. and he is sorely missed.

Diagnosed with feline Cancer, Peppy stopped eating and drastically dropped in weight.  Having seen a previous cat suffer with illness not too long ago, Lee made the difficult decision to have Peppy put to sleep this morning. As painful a decision as it was, she definitely did not want to see him suffer any more than he already was, and she did not want her last memories of Peppy to be a skeletal shadow of his former self. To say she is devastated is an understatement. In the midst of her ‘life sucks’ mourning, the only thing she’s been able to do is to curl up in bed and forget about life for a while.

I will admit, it wasn’t until I met and married Lee that I was able to understand the impact of pet loss on most people. I love animals and grew up with dogs and cats, but I was never devastated with what I knew was the eventuality of losing a pet. I was flabbergasted when I realized, at the age of thirty, that Hallmark makes condolence cards for a deceased pet.

And this sense of distance came in handy today as my wife needed a rock to lean on in her grief. It would have been clumsy and awkward if we both had the same level of distress today in dealing with Peppy’s passing. Instead, Lee was able to focus on those final moments with him and not have to worry about much else but dealing with the pain in her heart.

I know our life together will have its ups and downs, and I can only pray the good times far outnumber the bad ones (and in the past 10 years since I first met Lee, they certainly have). But in addition, I pray we will always be this great team together, balancing each other out, and lifting each other up when needed.

My wife lost her best furry friend today, but at least she has the shoulder of her best human friend to cry on.

Rest in Peace, Peppy. You were a character, you were unique, and you will be missed.

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8 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to Peppy

    1. Thank you, Hannah. Yes, the losses are difficult, and when it’s the dear and special one, it’s made that much harder. I still expect to see that little tabby tiger come in and head-butt my shin as I sit at my laptop. With each passing day there will be a return to normalcy, but right now his absence is echoing.

  1. I truly believe that God does send us what we need, in Lees case Peppy WAS sent and was part of her fathers soul, I know this because it has happened to me not once but 3 times. I will just tell one of those stories… I have lost 3 cats to a disease called FIP, each of these cats were special, they were Velcro cats that were always with me in happy and sad times.Bongo was the 2nd of those 3, he was a kitten who was thought to be blind and was also black which was almost enough to be euthanized at a shelter, I took him immediately, he was not blind and he was very special, not long after his first birthday he died from FIP. I was devastated. several weeks later on my timeline a kitten looking exactly like Bongo, he was on the death list and his name was Bongo! He truly is the reincarnation of Bongo,everything about him is Bongo, he is now known as Bongotoo. Peppy was very lucky to have a great life and so well loved, and you Gil, you are a great guy, not only have you written a great piece, you also understand the true connection we have our pets, Lee you are one lucky lady and together you are a great team!

    1. Thank you, Cheryl, and what an amazing story. There is something truly spectacular about how pets can impact our lives, and I just love the fact you named the second kitty Bongotoo. That is so excellent. On behalf of Lee, we greatly appreciate the empathy and kind words. Hope to see you soon.

  2. I am so sorry to read about your family’s loss, Gil, and especially for Lee’s loss. Pets bring us such comfort, great distraction, and absolutely unconditional love. I’m glad Lee could take some time to grieve at home and with your support. Please tell her she’s in my prayers.

    1. Thank you so much, Cheryl. Lee’s cats have always filled her heart, but Peppy occupied such a special place. Their bond was truly amazing to observe, although I will say there were times when his love for her was very, very conditional. After all, he was a cat. 🙂

  3. My heart goes out to you and Lee on the loss of Peppy. I know all too well how losing a furry loved one is like ripping off an appendage. Give Lee a big, empathetic hug from me.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Deb. Grieving is a process, and it’s one with which Lee will need lots of time to process and get through. Yet I know in her heart she will never quite get over losing her beloved Peppy.

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