by Janice Essick
I did this 5 months ago with the loss of Tabby.. If you don’t like cats, look at the pic collage and don’t read. I don’t judge. But, for those others, feel free to read..
For those of you that know me, you understand my love for cats and knew of my losses. But, this time – it was different. I lost a dog that was disguised as a cat. His name was Bentley. He was 12 ½ years old. He was diagnosed diabetic (at 6 lbs) and was the love of my life. Yes, I admit it. He was the best animal that I’ve ever had. I’m heartbroken. I love my husband and I love my daughter. But, this is a different kind of relationship. Unconditional, never disappointed nor unappreciative. The most incredible love that I’ve ever experienced since he was so receptive to any act of gesture that I was able to give. I called him by his name and he came to me. I told him to act “sexy” and he did. Whatever I asked him to do – he gladly obliged. Until recently. He was less than 6 lbs. The insulin made him lethargic, even sending him into a seizure. Not knowing that he would last the night, I said my “goodbyes” weeks ago. When I traveled, I couldn’t wait to come home to him. Ok, yes, my hubby too.. Sure, let’s say that. But, this last biz trip, I heard that he had worsened. I dreaded returning home, because I knew that my “Bentley” was at his end. After all, he was never a fat cat, quick to play – actually, we thought he was born a “stoner”. His sister and brother were named Ferrari & Porsche because they were so fast when we adopted him back in October 2007. But Bentley, was chillin’ and taking his time to say “hi” to us.
Tonight, my parents convinced me to have dinner with them at the local Italian restaurant in our neighborhood. Coincidentally, a high school friend “Russ Stampler” who knows my parents came over to say “hi” and saw me. My mom quickly explained the depressive mood and attire I displayed sharing that my cat passed recently. Russ was open and shared his loss of his cats that passed too. And, when Russ offered the advice of adopting another cat, and to see my quick objection, he told my mom, “Watch, this – watch how I change your daughters mind now..” He said, “What would (what’s your cat’s name?...) Bentley want you to do? That was the easiest answer that was reflexive. I confidently responded, “Easy – don’t get another cat, because you will never replace me.” See what I mean? That’s Bentley. He only cared about himself, me and my hubby in my absence. Rae tolerated him and she knew it. So, it was a mutual tolerance of presence on both their parts. I’m glad that my daughter was kind to Bentley and that he was nice to her. But, be clear – Bentley was my son that I never had. He was such a different cat, that those that were allergic (Tammy Costantino & Eric Bushkin) could be around him without any reaction. This is the reason why I will never have a cat again. I’m done. I’ve had the best cat ever… I love all my cats before Bentley – please don’t misunderstand me… But Bentley is the soulmate of my animal love life. I will never attempt to replace him. Sorry for the length of this, but as Bentley would say, “It’s all about me”.