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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