I know that this forum is mainly for dogs, and I’ve had the pleasure of having several in my life. Someday, I may write to tell you about some of them, but tonight I was so touched when you talked about Penny that I wanted to tell you about my cat, Moose.

He was born feral on some property owned by my sister’s former in-laws. For some reason, the mama cat would push him out of her little nest, and my sister would always gently put him back. One day I asked her if she thought he was old enough for me to take home, and she agreed that he was, so I did. For the next fourteen and a half years he was a constant companion and a dear friend. He would often amuse me with his antics.

At home, he was a very loving cat, and would try to cozy up to me as close as possible. When he was outside, he was very much the dominant Tom that ruled whatever neighborhood we lived in at the time. Some nights he would come home wounded from a fight, and he had a notched scar on one of his ears.

We lived in Oregon for a while, and he had an entire acre of wooded property to hunt in, and hunt he did. I’ve often spotted him roaming the tall grass in our back yard only to disappear, and later emerge with a snake or a mouse clenched in his teeth.

One day, in November of 1999, he began to act lethargically, and I noticed he wasn’t eating very much. I took him to the vet and she ran some tests. The next day she asked me to come in. When I arrived at her office she explained to me that his kidneys were failing and there wasn’t anything that could be done. She told me that he could receive saline injections to flush out his system, but that while relatively painless, it would be uncomfortable and it would have to be done on a daily basis. I couldn’t bear the thought of subjecting him to that and I don’t think it’s what he would have wanted. The vet agreed with me that the best thing I could do for him was to let him go. Although it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, it was the easiest decision I have ever made.

I held him in my lap as I had done thousands of times before, and stroked his soft fur, gently tugging on his tail, which he would flick away, and I repeated this as the vet gave him the injection that took him off to sleep. I told him I loved him and would think of him often, and then, his tail stopped flicking and he was gone.

That was on November 9, 1999, and it was one of the worst days of my life. Prior to that, I have buried my father and my mother, and since then, I lost a brother. I cried on each of those days as well, but the day that I had to say goodbye to Moose was equally as hard. He was a brother and a friend. He was a companion and a confidante. He was The Great and Mighty Hunter. He was Moose.

Even after almost eight years, I still think of things he did, and smile, and even after all these years, I still grieve. I’ve had to pause a number of times while writing this because, even now I find myself overwhelmed with grief. I believe there is a Heaven, and I know that someday, he will be there to greet me. Perhaps with a snake clenched in his teeth.

God bless you, Mr. Levin, and thank you for letting me share this with you.

David from CA