P is for perseverance…and love…

People let me tell you ’bout my best friend
He’s a warm hearted person [cat] who’ll love me ’til the end
People let me tell you bout my best friend
He’s a one boy cuddly toy, my up, my down, my pride and joy

lyrics by Harry Nillson

(something about that pink nose…a much younger Percy/ Julie Cook)

If you’re anything like me… well…
you’ve probably had your fair share of four legged or even two winged pets
during your lifetime.

I counted it up today and Percy, the last of my cats during this 63 year run of a life,
actually totals number 7.

Let’s not count the dogs, one bird, one mouse, one hermit crab, a myriad of fish
and countless found wild little animals that needed tending too…
simply put, it was always the cats… and in particular, it was
always Percy who seemed to matter most.

Percy came into my life 13 years ago last month.
I wrote the following post about him after about two years in living with him–
because by this time, he’d completely stolen my heart–
the link is here:

My Best Friend

And I might add that I’ve actually written many posts about Percy…
posts about his life, his rescue, his surgeries, his endurance…
but most importantly and simply put, I’ve written about his perseverance.

For you see Percy is short for Perseverance.

When I found myself staring at the tiny maggot covered, broken, bruised and
bloodied mass that was actually a kitten barely clinging to existence—
a kitten who had been thrown from a car and smacked up against a fence post…
this tiny mess of a baby…I knew any name this animal would have,
would have to measure up to this wee one’s sheer will and determination
to survive.

A strong name for a seemingly helpless mangled mess.

But what you need to understand in all of this is that I didn’t,
my family didn’t, rescue Percy—it was Percy who found us to be his rescuers.
He found us, because as odd as it might sound, Percy sensed–
yes this tiny broken creature seemed to know that we’d give him that chance
that he needed and obviously desperately wanted…a chance to thrive.

And yet however…in the end, it was and will always be Percy who rescued me.

Time and time again, Percy rescued me.

Yes, it seems that I just wrote a post about losing my older cat Peaches…as she
had to be put down after battling jaw cancer.

We already had Peaches when Percy came into our lives.
And just like that, this older cat who had never had kittens of her own,
quickly accepted and took on Percy as hers.

(Percy and Peaches at this newest of homes / Julie Cook / 2023)

Yet Percy wasn’t like other cats; not like any I had ever had before.
Even vets would comment that Percy was not catlike but rather more doglike–more
intuitive, not dismissive or elusive but rather… just more of an old soul.

Percy was the most expensive pet I’ve ever owned.
No thoroughbred, no exclusive breed…just basically a mutt so to speak.

The costs came quickly…
there were the exams and meds and fluids just to see if he’d survive
his first week with us.

A cage, food, bedding, toys….

Then there were surgeries early on to repair the damage done to his face..
damage caused by humans who must have been void of their own humanity.

Then there was the metal rod installed by an orthopedic surgeon to repair a
torn achilles tendon.
The 12 weeks worth of rehab.
More cages.
The ensuing bone infection that required trips to the vets daily for injections and pills
for a good 7 weeks.

And most recently there was the emergency room trip.
The oxygen box.
More meds.
The IVs
The infections.
The X-rays.
The kidney failure.
The suspected congenital heart failure.

And yet…he overcame…once agin…or so it seemed.
For there was always the perseverance.

The desire to be.

The bond between us was (and will always be) inseparable.

13 years…with all the additions and subtractions in a family.
The retirements, the lives, the deaths, the moves, the ups, the downs, the divorce…
the one constant was always…Percy.

Well…yesterday…Mother’s Day…my best friend’s heart simply gave out.
It suddenly stopped beating and he stopped being…
just as a piece of me also stopped.

Percy was seemingly my only link to a life that was bridging a life that was and
a life that is…he was the last bit of brittle glue bonding two worlds…
and now… that last link, that brittle little glue… simply stopped breathing.

Do animals, our pets, go to Heaven?

Well, that’s been an age old theological conundrum for ages…
but I have always said that God knows how much our pets mean to us—
on all sorts of levels.
How much they do for us and how much we do for them.

I think the God I know…knows.
He sees and He knows.
And he cares, even for the least of these.

Many will say that Percy was lucky to have found me…
but if the truth be told, I was and I am the one who was the luckiest of all
that Percy found me.

He taught me and continues to teach me what it means to Persevere.

Thank you my dear little friend….

The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made

Psalm 145:9

Way back when:

Not a recent good look! Despite countless water bowls around the house, Percy always preferred drinking water from a recently finished shower…or remnants in a bath and most recently… something a bit more disturbing…

However the most content was simply to rest on a perch next to a warm fire…

34 comments on “P is for perseverance…and love…

  1. artaxes says:

    A great tribute for a beloved friend.
    They pain will go some day. The memory will stay forever.

  2. phyllissnipes says:

    Oh, Julie! I am so, so sorry! Percy has been such a faithful companion for you. I have to agree with you…Heaven wouldn’t be Heaven without those we love most with us, including the precious Percy’s in our lives!

  3. I remember Percy. You and our blogging friend Wally both got kittens and you both named them Percy. I am so sorry for your loss and sadness.

  4. ptero9 says:

    So sorry and touched by your love and loss of Percy. Thanks for sharing a bit of him with us.
    After I moved from Oregon to NC and finally secured a place of my own, I decided to adopt an older cat, or he adopted me. Like Percy, he had a very rough kittenhood, but his original owner put everything she had into restoring his health after swallowing a toy that got stuck in his digestive tract. Although he was 6 when I adopted him, and will always have special needs, he has captured my heart. And like Percy, I know his original human mama loved him dearly. Peace and love to you!

  5. atimetoshare.me says:

    Oh my dear friend – tears are falling as I remember Percy too. Our pets become so much a part of our hearts. Their love is unconditional. They wrap themselves into our pain and suffering much more than any human can. Percy was with you through so many struggles and God placed him there for that purpose. I believe your perseverance rubbed off on him as he fought his own battles. Hugs and love to you through yet another loss.

    • I’m telling you Kathy— it’s one emotional roller coaster one right after another— I’m ready to get off this ride for a while. I remember when y’all’s dog passed away and how tough that was— I keep telling myself never again— but boy the house is so quiet and empty feeling!!!

      • atimetoshare.me says:

        I hear you😍Paul and I have been taking turns on the ride. Thankfully we’re able to do it at different times. I know the end of my life isn’t far off, but I sometimes wonder why God doesn’t just get it over with. We’ve been without our dog for a few years and have been tempted to get another one, but it wouldn’t be fair to add any new passengers at this time.

  6. So sorry for your loss of Percy. Your story reminds me of to a banded little kitties that my husband found at a time in our life when we were dealing with rejection from some of our family members. It was a very hard time for us and my husband found these two little kittens and brought them home. We named them Mercy and Grace. They were such a comfort for us. They were not with us very long.
    We left out in the country and we believed something chased both kittens away. We looked, but could never find them. Grace never did come home but mercy returned in a couple of days, looking frazzled and hungry. We loved and cared for her and we had her for a few more months before she was an accident they run over by a vehicle. Those two little kittens taught us both, what mercy and grace was all about. I’m glad you had Percy as long as you did.
    His story touched me and brought back memories of our sweet little Mercy and Grace. Thank you.!

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. If Yeshua will be riding a horse when He returns, surely there are other animals in heaven. Afterall, won’t they meet us at Rainbow Bridge.

  8. bcparkison says:

    I do understand.

  9. SLIMJIM says:

    Sorry for your loss; Percy has been around through thick and thin with you

  10. Mary Myers says:

    Oh Percy. I am so very sorry. He truly was a little love. Hang in there my internet friend. You comforted me with kind words 2 1/2 years ago when my own little love Lulu passed suddenly. I will pray for you Julie. Strengthen yourself in the LORD.

    • Thank you Mary— when I was so upset I said something to a friend that I felt God just keeps taking all those I love but she said- ‘actually, maybe God told Percy his work was done ‘it was time to come home good and faithful one’ and oddly that was very comforting —

      • Mary Myers says:

        Wise friend you have. Percy did his job. Yes it hurts, but if you believe as I do, God’s creation after earth have it so much better. You will see one day. Until then, hang on, stay strong and seek His face. Blessing on you my internet friend.

  11. Tricia says:

    Oh gosh Julie I’m so sorry to just now be reading this post about dear Percy. What a beloved tribute though to this beautiful animal. I remember you writing about when he first came in to your life and his amazing will to live. Pets hold a special place in our hearts and the hole they leave when departing from this world feels almost too huge to bear. As I’m sure you already know, our hearts actually grow larger with each and every one, Percy of course is no exception. God bless my friend, hope all is well.

    • Thank you Tricia— talk about a gut punch to an already stressful situation—
      However, I am on a wonderful road trip with friends— up the east coast and back down— a nice diversion from self!!!!

      • Tricia says:

        oh so glad you are with friends! And on a road trip to the east coast no less! I grew up in MA and the EC will always hold a special place in my heart. Beaches here in Cali are nice but nothing beats steamahs on New England beach on a hot summer night. Enjoy Julie!

      • I knew you were from the Boston area— we’ve been there for 3 days and left for Maine today— tails up and lobsta all the way 😍

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