And say my glory was I had such friends. W.B. Yeats
My human friends weren’t the only ones to see me through my months-long recovery from five breast cancer surgeries. One of my staunchest friends before and after this experience was my cat, Peewee Holstein.
As you can see from the picture, she was my furry guardian while I napped my way through postsurgical recovery, and I napped a lot. If you’ve ever lived with a cat, you know they’re epic nappers themselves and Peewee was no exception. She was happy to have company for her snoozes. My husband Bruce and I were worried about me having to sleep on my back after the big surgeries, since that was her signal to snuggle on my chest. But she was surprisingly good about staying off of it.
Your mind can play tricks on you when you’ve been diagnosed with something big. In my case, my diagnosis came just a matter of weeks after my dad’s death and I was waiting for some other shoe to drop. First I thought how classic it would be if something bad happened to Bruce. Then I decided he would be okay but the cosmic timing gods would take Peewee, who was 16 at the time. But the gods were merciful and let her live.
We eased her out of this life just over three weeks ago, when she was 18. I went home for the afternoon and hung out in bed with her, just as she had with me during my weeks at home. I did a little work on the laptop while she rested against my leg as she had done so many times before. I stroked her and told her what a good girl she was, and weak as she was starting to become, she purred like always. Then Bruce came home and we made the trip all pet owners dread, but it was the least we could do for such a faithful friend.