Mark, it has taken me awhile to muster the courage to write one of my stories.
In 1993, my first wife informed me that she wanted a divorce. At the time, my two boys were ages 4 and 2. Aside from the pain of the divorce, the awful truth was that I would soon have my boys wrenched from me. I was finishing up school at the time, and after graduation my career choice required me to move to San Jose for my internship.

The thought of being alone in a strange, new place was not very comforting. Since I couldn’t have my boys with me, I decided to take our cat, Cocoa-Puff. She was a beautiful, long-haired Calico with chocolate, white and caramel colored fur. She was very affectionate.

I moved into a studio apartment in San Jose and began my internship and the rigors of a bustling city. I was very alone and missed my boys terribly. But at least I had Cocoa. She was the one remaining link to my boys that I had and she made me smile every night when I came home. Holding her brought me wonderful thoughts of my two boys and how they adored her.
Then I received the news; the apartment complex I lived in found out that I had a cat and ordered me to either get rid of her or face eviction proceedings. Since I was living on a stipend and could not afford a place that allowed animals, I was forced to make the decision to put her up for adoption at a shelter nearby.

On the way to the shelter, I was distraught. I was losing the remaining link to my boys and all I could feel was the pain of losing my boys all over again. As I left the shelter, I could not prevent the tears and I cried all the way home.

In the following days, it really hit me how much Cocoa helped me to relieve the sorrow I felt for not having my boys with me every day as a father should. Cocoa helped me to get over the initial few months of loneliness in San Jose, and for that I am truly grateful. I miss her and hope that she has had a wonderful life.
I have since remarried a beautiful woman and have two more children. We have two cats and a gorgeous dog named Maizey. My older boys are men now and we are very close.
God bless you and your family Mark. You have indeed touched me with your profound story.

Rory from CA