In 2003 we went to the Pat Brody Shelter to pick out a little buddy for our cat Aurora. We were looking around when a little black and white cat came right up to us and let us know he was meant to be with us. That’s all we needed and we brought him home that night. Over the years we’ve enjoyed every single moment with him and loved him more than we ever imagined possible.
Pilot has had quite a few medical issues over the years but 4 months ago the worst we had to deal with was a tumor on his leg and it had to be amputated. They told us if he had no breathing problems 6 months after that we were out of the woods. For a while it seemed we were safe, until he had a tumor in his eyelid. We had that surgery done and when he came home he didn’t seem right. I knew right away he was breathing differently but we hoped it was just from the surgery. We soon went
back to the vet and found out right away that the tumors had spread to his lungs and we had to say goodbye. Luckily they allowed us to bring him home that day so we could spend one last day with him. That day we cuddled, talked to him and just enjoyed his company the best we could. On Sept 17th 2012 we brought him back to the vet to put him down and he died in my arms.
Pilot was the most lovable cat with the biggest heart. If you came over to hang out he’d sit on the couch with you and cuddle. Every day when I came home from work he would walk up to the sofa and look up at me with his big green eyes asking if it was ok if he could cuddle. I always put down what I was doing and told him to come and cuddle. He’d fall asleep in my lap and whatever was wrong that day would wash away. He was my little buddy and he was my baby boy. He was so strong and he fought to stay alive as long as he could because I think he really loved life but he also loved us.
We miss him terribly, there is a big hole in our family now without him. For almost as long as Erik and I have been together it’s been Me, Erik, Aurora and Pilot. We’ve been devastated since he has been gone and have been mending our broken hearts. I’m just so glad he came into our lives; he made every single day so much better. We’ll miss him forever. He’ll always be our Pilot, my Moonpie, my baby boy.
Robin, Erik & Aurora
Phoebe had us fooled the day we adopted her. A Turkish Angora called “Ophelia” by the folks at Pat Brody, her long white fur and stately appearance stood out among the photos of the available cats we’d seen online. We met her in person and were not disappointed. She was lying peacefully in a box while the other cats caused commotion around her. She seemed so quiet and docile.
Boy were we wrong.
It didn’t take long for Phoebe to come out of her shell after we brought her home. Always full of energy and game for mischief, she often seemed more dog-like than cat. While her fellow feline friend Oscar would disappear to nap for much of the day, Phoebe was most often underfoot, trotting around looking for action or watching birds and squirrels out the window.
Although we kept her indoors for most of her nearly 11 years with us (mainly for safety reasons), when we lived in Virginia in a lower traffic area, Phoebe enjoyed being a part-time outdoor cat. She seemed totally in her element chasing animals, sunbathing and stirring up trouble. On more than one
occasion we watched with dismay as she snuck into the drain in the side of the road; we wondered if she would emerge okay, and of course she did a few minutes later, trotting away quite proud to have explored the underside of the neighborhood.
Phoebe was a fierce mouser, quick and cunning. Unfortunately, a few too many mice made the fatal error of entering Phoebe’s grassy domain. One even made its way into our kitchen, where Phoebe proudly deposited it then went on her way to the other room, having lost interest since it stopped fighting.
As rough-and-tumble as Phoebe was, she was also hungry for affection, and loved to be pet. She followed Rick around the house like a loyal puppy, always hoping for an impromptu play session with a ball or piece of tin foil.
We got the bad news about Phoebe’s cancer this spring. For a while she bounced back and seemed authentically herself. Before we move away from our house in Needham in June, we let her out back for some rare supervised outdoor time. Hitting her stride and finding some energy, she suddenly darted across the backyard, a flash of white fur, in pursuit of a chipmunk who just barely squeaked away from Phoebe’s grip.
Sadly, she lost her battle rather suddenly on July 4. But the Phoebe chasing that chipmunk is the Phoebe we will always remember – full of spunk, a glint in her eye, ever ready for some mischief. Her absence from our family is a glaring one, and we will miss her always.
Rick & Jennifer
As many of our wonderful Pat Brody friends know, my wife, Lisa, and I currently have 13 cats (9 are Pat Brody alumnae). Though Lisa has always been a cat lover, there was a time when I disliked cats. As someone who grew up exclusively with dogs, I used to think that cats were selfish, unfriendly and did not possess any “dog-like” characteristics. I used to think – foolishly – that you could never be buddies with a cat. While my opinion of cats began to change with the first cat Lisa brought into our home (her family cat Solo), my opinion of cats changed forever the day Lisa and I adopted Skippy.
As many of you may recall from his time at the shelter, Skippy was quite friendly and playful, but, unfortunately, he was returned due to his medical condition (Skippy suffered from an awful gum disease known as stomatitis). Though Skippy was a happy-go-lucky cat, shelter life is difficult for all cats, and he eventually became a bit depressed and discouraged. Lisa and I could no longer bear to look at his sad, soulful yellow eyes, and we decided to adopt him one spring day in 2005.
The minute Skippy arrived at our house, his spirit and personality were rejuvenated. He once again was that playful cat we first met, running around the house and entertaining himself with his many cat toys (Skippy loved to catch the play-mice and would announce to everyone when he caught one). Skippy, as it turned out, also loved to take walks around the yard with Lisa and me (on a cat leash) and loved car rides. I would frequently take him in the car with me when I would do errands, where he would sit on my lap and, on too many occasions, criticize my driving. When I would return to the car after doing the errand, Skippy was behind the steering wheel, ready to drive us home.
While my memories of Skippy are countless, perhaps my favorite is the greetings Lisa and I would get from him when we returned home. The minute we opened the door, Skippy would come running to greet us, smiling away with his shining gums (all of Skippy’s teeth were removed and he was known around the house as “Gummy”). Not only would he give a friendly greeting, but Skippy would follow us around the house and skip/jump as he walked by our sides in effort to prod us to pet him. At night, Skippy would sleep on a pillow in back of my head, and I would fall asleep to the sound of Skippy’s charming purr. In the morning, my first sight when I opened my eyes was Skippy hovering over me, and once he saw my eyes open a crack, he would poke me gently with his paw until I was awake.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Skippy was his spirit. Even though he was a slight cat (Skippy weighed only around 6-7 pounds), he was no push-over. If another cat dared to take Skippy’s spot on the bed or elsewhere, Skippy went into full attack mode and “gummed” the intruding cat until he reclaimed his territory. In Skippy’s defense, he was frequently on steroids and may have suffered from “roid rage”, which earned Skippy the nickname “Giambi” (Lisa and I were relieved when Skippy was not mentioned in the recently released Mitchell Report).
In addition, during the last few months of his life, Skippy became very sick from a cancerous tumor in his mouth that spread to his eye. Upon our return from vacation in late August, the vet suggested that we put him down immediately. But Skippy refused to go without a fight and with Lisa’s amazing dedication (an assortment of remedies, painkillers, prednisone and daily feedings through a syringe), Skippy was able to live, purr and smile for another 7 weeks until the tumor spread.
Once the tumor spread Skippy became blind and began having neurological problems. We knew at this time that it was time to say goodbye.
Lisa and I miss our buddy Skippy. We miss seeing him in his favorite spots and playing energetically with his toys. We miss him being by our side when we walk around the house and his shiny, smiling gums. While the old proverb says that a dog is a man’s best friend, I don’t think the author of this saying ever knew a cat quite like Skippy. Because if he did, he would certainly appreciate the bond that forms between a person and a cat, a bond that connected Lisa and me to Skippy that we will never forget and will cherish for the rest of our lives.