Verdell “Birdie” and I met at the shelter when he was about 2 years old. It was love at first sight for both of us. We lived together the next 16 years–about 10 of those just him and I. In the words of my sister, who is not a “cat person” he was the coolest cat ever. He was part Maine Coon and was big and so soft…he would sit in my lap for hours and I would pet him just to feel his softness. He was so adaptable, moving around with me during my single years and being my faithful companion. He was excited when I came home and loved to snuggle while we slept or watched TV. For many years our ritual was to get up in the morning, get a cup of coffee for me and a snack for him, and snuggle on the couch for a while slowing gearing up for the day. He knew when I was sad and knew just what to do…just be with me. We simply loved to be together. The last few years were harder, as I got married and we had a child in 2011. We didn’t get as much time together and our child loved to pet him. Birdie was old by now and not keen on the fast moves and loundness of a toddler. But he tolerated it and let our little boy love on him. Our preschooler is wonderful around animals and I know that is much because of Birdie. I believe Birdie hung in there until 2014, after being diagnosed with a heart murmur and pancreatitis in 2006, because I needed him. He was there for me through miscarriages, loss of my parents and so many life changes…providing me comfort and being my baby. Finally, he couldn’t hang in there any longer. His heart developed a mass in his chest that made it hard for him to breath and eat. Such a sad, but peaceful passing at home. I loved my time with him but am glad he is no longer suffering. I am so glad that I could give him a peaceful death at home.
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