Growing up with pets, they were always loved and spoiled immensely. Throughout my childhood up until after I got married in my early twenties, I always had a cat by my side. There were multiple special bonds and plenty of happy memories, but there were always some that formed that special connection that one will never forget. One of those cats was with me throughout some major milestones in my life.
I’ll never forget trying to fall asleep in my bed one night at the age of twelve, when I heard my dad come home from an uncle’s house. My parents were whispering, followed by the most delightful little sound I ever heard. I knew that sound… and I tore downstairs to see my dad standing there, smiling, holding something against his chest inside his jacket. It was the most adorable little white and grey tabby kitten. He was so tiny! I was told that he was abandoned by a stray cat in my uncle’s backyard, and that he was now all mine! I named him “Toby”, after the baby in the movie “Labyrinth” with David Bowie. I learned to bottle feed that night. I made him catnip toys out of felt, and he was always by my side.
I moved out on my own when I was eighteen, and of course my fur baby Toby came with me. The years seemed to pass so slowly, but they were speeding by – as they always do. After meeting my significant other and a couple of apartment moves later, we settled into our first house together. By then I was twenty-three and preparing for our wedding. I could see it in Toby’s eyes, they were changing. It was a subtle change, but they seemed not quite as vibrant as they once were… tired even. He was sleeping a lot more now, and his walk didn’t have the same bounce that it once did.
The day had come when I had to make the dreadful decision, and it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life. I didn’t want to say goodbye… I wasn’t ready. But he was. I had to let go. I was talked into leaving him there in the vet’s office, as I was way too emotional to handle what was going to happen next. I have and will forever regret that I wasn’t strong enough to hold him in those last few minutes. If I could only go back in time, that would be one of the few things that I would change. Ever since that day, I vowed that I would never leave a beloved pet or any animal like that again. I would, and have been, there to hold them and tell them how much I love them, and that we would see each other again one day.
Founder, Director, CEO
Aura In Pink Inc.
Rags To Riches Cat Rescue (Non-Profit Organization)