The Saturday before Christmas, I had to take our little girl kitty, Happy, down to the vet, and have her put to sleep. We have owned dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, parakeets, and aquarium fish, but Happy-Kitty, was so special. She was only 9 years old, and that's not very old for a kitty. About a year ago, she started wheezing a lot, and the vet said she had Asthma. I gave her all the medications for Asthma, and also had to contend with intermittent ear infections, and other things that this poor little kitty would go through with the Asthma. Why is she so special? Well, first of all, she was brought home from a little pet store by our middle son. You know; those little surprises that Mom and Dad are supposed to accept, and live with. "Hi, Mom, Hi Dad, look what I've got here. Isn't she cute and cuttley?". Well, this little kitten of unknown pedigree that looked like your basic brown tabby with little white paws and a white spotted tummy was something else. First of all, she had been weaned too young and didn't know how to even lap up milk or eat soft or crunchy cat food. Dear old dad here, became the nurse-made of Happy-Kitty. I bought that stuff called KLM that's supposed to be digestible for young kittens. We set up a little litter box in our sons room and he(son) and I worked on getting little Happy-Kitty to learn to eat, so she wouldn't starve to death. Well at the time we had two(Yes Two others!) other Kitties in the house who were just barely adults cats. The male adult kitty named Teddy was a 23 pound Balinese cat, and was a pretty laid-back guy. Anyway, little Happy Kitty would follow Teddy everywhere. Teddy, didn't want to have anything to do with Happy, but gradually he accepted her, and little Happy and Teddy became best friends. Teddy a male, actually showed little Happy how to eat solid food and lap up liquids with her tongue. Big old Teddy would even tolerate this little pudgy Tabby kitten wrestling him. One day, we heard a muffled crying sound that we knew was little Happy. Dear old Teddy decided that the wrestling was over, and he basically just laid down on little Happy. She was buried under this 23 pound guy, like a baby chick under momma hen's butt. Anyway, she/Happy squirmed out from under Teddy, and was no worse for wear. We laughed and laughed. Teddy just needed to settle down this little rascal that wanted to keep pestering and playing with him. Well, 9 years later, I'm sitting in the vet's office with Happy in a cat carrier. Her head is nuzzled into a clean terry towel that I just put in the carrier at home. Happy's original Asthma, was actually the beginning of Nasal Cancer. I have worked hard for the last two months giving Happy all the comfort possible to her. In fact two months earlier, I brought her in and asked the vet if she was suffering? The vet didn't think so, but said that we would know when the time had come to say good bye to Happy. I think today is the day. The Cancer has pushed some tissue up her nasal tract on one side to the point that you can see a tumor-like tissue almost coming out of her nostril. The other nostril just runs all the time and I'm forever wiping her nose, and putting terry towels on all of our furniture where she wants to lay. I'm giving her meds in the morning and meds in the evening. I prodded and pushed her to eat, even though her nasal breathing was getting so labored. During all this time, Happy Cat, with her labored breathing, would come to me, purring, and jump/crawl up on my lap and just stare into my eyes, with this alert, sweet look of some type of comprehension. She would lift her paw up and touch my chin and cheek and nuzzle her head into my chest or lap. I never owned a kitty that would make distinct eye-contact with my eyes like Happy. All animals will look you in the eyes at times, but Happy did it all the time. She seemed to innately know that my or my wife's eyes were the point of recognition between her and us. It was a very loving stair. Well, about a day and a half ago, that little stare didn't happen. Happy's eyes weren't open big and round. They were, maybe 2/3rds open, and she seemed like she was staring past us. She wanted to just lay down and not move all day. In my gut, I knew that something seriously was happening finally. The doctor told me that he believed that she was finally at the point where she is trully suffering. He felt that the tumor in her nasal passage was inevitably going to push back to her brain and that internal bleeding would ensue. He also thought there was some swelling happening above her nose and in the area of her eyes. He said that there were alternatives, such as radiation, etc.., but me and the wife are not of great monetary means, and can only afford so much for our little pets. Never the less, the vet felt that those alternatives would only possibly postpone the inevitable. I finally said, "ok", to putting Happy to sleep. The doctor asked me if I would want to be present when he administered the high dose, barbituate into Happy's I.V.. I said, "No.".. I just didn't think I could stand to watch the lethal med being administered into her. A couple minutes later, I changed my mind. I wasn't going to sit there in the waiting room and see Happy and carrier carted off, and then expect the doctor to come out and say, it's done. I had to be by Happy's side when she passed away. I waited in a special little room at the animal hospital. The doctor came in with our Happy laying/I.V. inserted, on a nice cozy lambs wool blanket. She was just stretched-out with her head laying on the lambs wool. I asked the doctor if she had been sedated, as she just laid there not moving but just half stairing and breathing quietly. "No, she's not sedated.", said the doctor. Now was the time for me to give the "ok", or "Go ahead, doctor." instructions. I petted Happy's back, and even lifted her weak head and scratched her chin. I couldn't hold it any longer. I sobbed, and sobbed, and said, "goodbye Happy" in my sobs. There was ample Kleenex there. I nodded to the doctor, and he inserted a syringe into the I.V.. Within just seconds, Happy just went limp and stopped breathing........I sobbed, again... I felt like an executioner, and I know that I was doing Happy a favor, yet, I was thinking about those little warm white booted paws that used to stroke my face, and those eyes that looked deep into mine. She was gone. Her eyes didn't close at her parting. I tried to close her eyes with my fingers, but the doctor said that they always die with their eyes open. I couldn't stand looking at Happy stairing as though there was this void in her. The doctor left me with Happy and said to let him know when I was ready to release her to them. I finally stopped crying, and took the lambs wool blanket and covered Happy's lifeless shell. I tapped on the door and the doctor came in and took Happy's body away. Well, it's been about a week and a half since Happy's parting, and I'm doing much better now. Every once in a while, I see this picture of her in that room just as she passed on and I cringe inside, and get this terrible feeling of loss of a little friend. ******** Ok folks, I'm a biblical Christian, and I hope you don't think that I place the lives of pets over the loss of humans and especially our loved-ones. I definitely don't. Yet, I was really impacted, this time and at times in the past by the passing of my/our little furry friends. I lost my Mom to Lupus in 1992, and my father to a heart attack in 1995. My mother sufferered terribly, and was only about 70 lbs. when she passed away. My Dad passed away quietly, and peacefully in his sleep. I love and loved my parents beyond all imagination. Yet, some how I was better equipped to handle their passing, than I have with these little pets in my life. I know that God understands all the intricacies of life, and the bonds that we humans form with our loved ones, friends, etc... Yet, I never thought growing up that I would ever morn the loss of a pet-animal the way I recently have. I'm a grandpa, a husband, and a dad. I know that my grand children(4 of them), sons(3 married), and my wife are so special to me, and are literal gifts from God. I know that if something horrendous happened to them, I would suffer much greater loss than this recent parting of Happy Kitty. I miss Mom and Dad, yet I am a dad myself, and a husband as my dad was, and a grandfather as my dad was. **** Well, in some mysterious way, I've have gotten much enjoyment out of having a little pet-friend too. * I will always remember you Happy. I even think God used you, a simple little common breed cat to touch my life and others in a special way. Good bye Happy. I will always miss you.