When A Pet Dies: A Tribute To Sprinkles

We love you, Sprinkie.

My family and I lost a beloved family friend yesterday, our little cat Sprinkles. We miss her dearly and can't believe she had to leave us so suddenly. She was only five years old but developed kidney failure very quickly.

I fell in love with this little kitten the first moment I laid eyes on her at the shelter. She was tiny and fit contentedly in the palm of my husband's hand, feeling safe and warm.  A lady passing by in her car had seen her playing in the road near an alley of a local hotel with two other kittens from her litter. She came back with a cage and some food. Sprinkles was the first kitten to take the bait. My little Sprinkles—always hungry.

She quickly became a loved friend and member of our family, forgetting her simple roots in the alley and developing quite the spoiled, prissy attitude of a pampered cat. She had lots of love to give and gave of it freely. She was not a lap cat, but loved being near us, wherever we were, just sitting and enjoying our family from a cozy position on the floor or in a patch of sunlight.  She made us laugh with her little chirpy "hellos." She let me put my ice-cold feet under her on freezing winter days. She was polite and happy.  She was a comfort and a true friend. She was probably the only cat to have ever made an appearance on Catholic radio: One day I was having a phone interview with a Catholic radio station, and she walked into the room and let out a soft "meow?" I almost started laughing in the middle of the interview but managed to keep my composure.

I prayed for roses from St. Therese, knowing how hard this was going to be. I was with Sprinkles at the end. Her sad yet peaceful eyes looked into mine and we said goodbye.  "Thank you for adopting me. I loved you so," she seemed to say.  I made the Sign of the Cross on her brown forehead and kissed her goodbye. As my youngest son Paul said last night through his sadness, "I hope she found a nice, sunny spot in Heaven."

My heart aches because I miss her. I hope to give her a big hug again someday, the kind she pretended to hate but deep down, because of her contented purrs, I know she truly loved.

When I came home after it was over, I stepped out onto my back patio to think and be by myself. I looked down and at my feet was a single yellow rose petal. It was a lovely note of sympathy from another true friend: St. Therese.

Losing a pet is never easy. God gave her to us for such a short time, but we thank Him for the happiness she brought us. God is so good to have given us such a nice friend.

Hug your pets tight tonight.

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