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:
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
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.
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.
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
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…