Don't get me wrong, we've loved every one of our pets with all of our hearts, but Stanley was different. From the very first day that we brought him home, he assumed the position of the alpha male, watching over his pride of three other cats. He performed that duty with so much confidence. He had the back of each and every member of this family, but there was no other duty he took more seriously than the one of 'most fierce guardian'over his "Momma," my wife. Stanley made sure she was safe at every turn, from the second her foot hit the floor. He would faithfully stand sentry on the front porch every time she was away. Every night, Stan slept right in between our pillows in the master bedroom, tickling our noses with his tail every now and then. Now, only 8 short years later, we had to let him go.
Probably around October, my wife discovered a lump in Stanley's belly. As young as he was, we both though it was something benign as Stan had no other signs of slowing down. We took a routine trip to Nelson Road Veterinary Clinic to have Melinda check him out. Cancer... we were stunned. We immediately scheduled him for surgery to have the lump excised. He recovered well from that, despite the 6" incision that it required, but the lab results of the tumor reveled that it was not likely to be the main cancer that was overrunning his body... somewhere. 3-4 months was the anticipated time left with Stanley. Now today, only one month after the surgery, we said goodbye to him. His belly was becoming distended and more importantly, he was not smiling anymore. So making the same difficult choice that we made with two other cats, Roo and Lucy around this time last year, our saint of a sister-in-law came to our house and relieved him from his discomfort. That is precisely why it had to be done now, because he absolutely did not deserve to have that discomfort turn into severe pain.
The tears we cry today are of course only for ourselves. It is a selfish feeling, yet unavoidable as humans. We know that as soon as we pull them out of the cardboard box in front of the grocery store or take them out of their cage at the shelter, that our pets will not outlive us. These loving creatures are only here temporarily to enrich our lives and mooch a little taste of our human food every now and then. As difficult as it is, we always sign up for more, because the gifts pets bring us while they are alive far outweigh the sorrow that is felt when they have to leave us.
We're gonna miss you like crazy Stanley, but we know you are comfortably at peace now, God bless you.