For this weeks blog post, we are taking a short interlude from our topic on suffering, though it is related in many ways. My husband and I made the decision to send our dear handsome boy Sonny to Jesus. We hired an in home service called MN Pets ( HIGHLY recommend them!) to do the procedure. This was incredibly healing, we were able to take the time we needed with Sonny before and after; even our other furry friends were able to have some time to process (in whatever ways they do, see Dominion In The Image of God blog post) what happened to their soon to be missing friend.
This is Sonny’s memorial. Thank you for reading!
Sonny came to us in 2004 when my Uncle passed away. He was left homeless. I live in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, St Paul, MN) and my Uncle lived in Bemidji, MN. Sonny was put at a shelter there, and I was able to find him a couple months later, and brought him back to the TC’s to live with us. He was the gentlest, sweetest boy….. Sonny was a Lynx Point Siamese – a beautiful big boy. He came to me as an indoor/outdoor cat, so for 6 -7 years, we allowed him to go out; he always returned to us the next day, never longer than 2 days. But one day in late September 2010, he disappeared. I was devastated. My husband was the greatest support in the whole wide world. We flyer-ed, offered a nice reward, called FindToTo.com, looked for him in every spare moment we had.
On the 16th day of him missing, we got a call from the next complex over. Her 5 year old son had seen a cat that matched Sonny’s description in the storm drain. They had put food down there; they called the police, but they were not able to coax him out. When we got their message, we rushed over there. He had eaten a little of the food, but was not near the man hole anywhere. This was on a September day, later evening, still light out, and I planned to camp out there as long as it took, in the street, until, my cat or not, I was able to coax him out. My husband brought the cat carrier and his bed (he was not my husband at the time, but this incident is part of why I chose him!).
We called and called him, but nothing for a while. The neighbor whose son had seen him and I were talking, sitting near the man hole – me with my feet dangling in the hole – around 10:30 at night. Then I heard his yowl. So I called frantically. His meow/yowl grew closer and closer and more frantic as well until I was sure he was just right there but out of sight, yet, he would not come out. I had known from the beginning that this shy boy would not go to a stranger which made my worry even greater during the two weeks he was missing. I dangled a piece of clothing down in the hole, and, he came forward – I was able to scruff him and pull him out. He instantly began to purr! And for days, he would lie in his bed in the evening while we were doing whatever we were doing in the evenings, watch us, purr and knead his bed! What a joy it was to have him home, and for him, too!!
Looking back, this was the turning point, for Sonny never truly adjusted to being a total indoor cat. We let him out on a lead in the back during good weather, but, he could no longer roam. We were to discover that part of why he got lost is that his hearing and eye sight were slipping.
Sonny recently was found having the beginnings of kidney disease, and, most likely, hyperthyroidism. He had lost a couple teeth over the last 2 years. He had begun to eat less and less over the last year. Around the 12th of January 2014, he began to stop eating.
The decision to end his life, like it is for any of us in this situation, is so difficult. But I weighed out all the alternatives realistically. Without being able to give Sonny a home environment where he could go outside (like a big fenced in back yard), to bring him back to physical health by treating his ailments would not have given him the quality of life that he so deserved. And then there was always the possibility that he would not bounce back to health; Sonny was probably around 20 years old. I believe now that had we been able to give him the mental stimulation he needed, he may have recovered enough to live happily yet awhile longer, free of pain and suffering; he displayed signs at times before he quit eating, of having a lot of life in him. With an environment to offer him for his mental health, I would have given treatment a shot for a little while.
But here we are, the day after, and our Sonny Boy is no longer with us. Not physically anyway, but he lives in our hearts. He gave us so much joy and many, many wonderful memories. He was a stoic boy, who had a yowly meow – a gentle giant, really, whom I sometimes called King Tut as in his younger days, he would try to lord it over the other cats at times. He loved to be brushed, he would stand very still and loved to feel the brush over every inch of his body. When coming in from out in the rain, I would towel him down, and he would stand there and purr; even his paws were dried, while he spread his toes for the towel. He could never quite get rubbing up against you right; instead, he would head but you when he wanted attention! He had the most beautiful blue eyes.
I remind myself that Sonny was not “mine” – Sonny was God’s creature whom He loaned to us to take care of for a time. I have a mental picture of me, standing before Jesus, handing over Sonny to Him – to be forever in His everlasting arms! He gives me peace with this picture in my mind, and hope though I am still so, so sad – Sonny shall be missed terribly.
One day, Jesus will return to redeem this world from the evil grasp it, and all of us including the animal kingdom, is under. Though we cannot say for certain that the pets we knew here will be brought back, we do know that the covenant Jesus made when dying on the cross for us was with ALL creation (Colossians 1:19, 20) – a covenant promise making possible a direct relationship with Him now through the power of the Holy Spirit, making possible salvation now from Satan’s evil grip during our lives on earth, and salvation or redemption for those who commit their lives to Him, to one day live forever with Him in complete freedom from evil, pain, suffering, when He returns to end this age. (John 14:25, 26; 1 John 5:13,14; John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9; Hebrews 8:16-13)
The promise of eternity on the renewed earth with Him includes the animal kingdom (Isaiah 11:6-10; Romans 8:18-22). I trust that whatever the fate of His beloved animals in our care now that we love so dearly, it will be good – better than good – it will be much more than we could ever imagine! For our God is a good God – there is no evil in Him (Psalm 92:15) and what He promises He will do (Deuteronomy 7:9; Romans 4:21). And one day, we shall all see, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Rest in peace, Sonny. We love you so much, and miss you terribly…..
“…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
My calling as a Child of the Creator is to take the Gospel, as it relates to the WHOLE creation, to the world; and to remind the Church of its Biblical responsibilities to animals.
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