Hi all-- Jeanne here.
I had planned to write a light column today in keeping with Friday’s fun theme, but last night my daughter called and she had to have her long-time pet and companion, Nina, put to sleep. Nina was a cat of indeterminate age that Jeanette was given right after she moved to Chicago about ten years ago. It was a rescue, of sorts, because Nina belonged to an elderly gentleman who could no longer care for her. Nina was a beautiful longhaired cat. She was shy, but would warm up after a session of petting or grooming. She loved to be brushed. She slept beside Jeanette and would wake her with a paw to the cheek or by purring so loud right in her ear, that Jeanette had no choice but to rouse herself and get that food on the table—or in the dish. She loved catnip and any toy that held it. She made nests for herself in the closet, loved sleeping under the covers or in the light from a sunny window.
Nina should have had a few more good years. She was a victim of tainted pet food. It cost her the use of her back legs, kidney problems, and yesterday, her life.
I’m not a pet owner. I like animals, but not the responsibility that goes along with owning one. Jeanette, however, is the opposite. She has a big heart. Nina is the second cat she’s rescued. The first, an abandoned kitten only days old, lived a happy life because of her. I know when the pain and sadness of Nina’s death become a little more tolerable, she’ll look for another cat to take into her home. It’s what she does. It’s what she is. It’s why I love her so much.