My story is similar to a lot of pet stories out there. I am an ARMY veteran, honorably discharged. I consider myself a pretty tough character, In 1985, my girl friend and I rescued a cat from a friend, who wanted to have the cat shot. He was a one year old Tiger Angora, and at the time weighed 28 pounds, although he was not fat. By the end of the first year, he had grown to a whopping 34 pounds, but still not fat.

His name was Sampson, and although I had never been a fan of cats, I became very attached to Sam, and he to me. He went everywhere in the house I went, and could always be found on my lap when I was sitting down. This cat was the most amazing cat I have ever seen. He was more like a human than a lot of humans I know. He was a very gentle giant. Never scratched or bit anyone, even the kids that got a little rough with him. He took it in stride. When he had enough, he walked away. By 1996, he had developed such a severe case of arthritis, that my wife and I had no choice but to put him to sleep. It was probably one of the hardest things for me to do. I miss that cat to this day. He was my friend, my buddy. Now, we didn’t stop with Sampson. In 1995, while we still had Sam, we took in a dog that folks we knew had left behind and moved on. His name was Copper, because his head was the color of a copper-top battery.

He was 1/2 miniature doberman/ 1/2 rat terrier. Again, he was an amazing little dog. This time, my wife became extremely attached to Copper. Although I, too, was close to him, he was my wife’s little bud.Over the years, he, too, developed arthritis. In 2006, he had a massive seizure, and appeared to be dead. My wife held him and cried for 15 minutes, until he came to. The Vet said it would happen again, and he may not survive the next one. Again, we had no choice but to put him to sleep. My wife was devastated, more so than I was. We buried both pets, and visit their graves often. I guess, in essence, you never expect that the loss of a cat, or a dog, can hurt one so deeply. So, my tough image I have of myself only goes so far when it comes to a pet you never expect to become so attached to. My sympathy goes out to all of you whom have had similar losses. I would like to say we’d get another pet, but at this time, it looks doubtful. A pet, as a family member, can never truly be replaced by another pet, and my wife and I don’t feel we could handle another loss like those two.

Ron from MN