June 25, 2014: On Mittens Return to the One Who Loved Her First

~by Susi Pittman

The day is Sunday, and the air is almost touchable as a steamy, sauna bath surrounds me sitting upon the back porch listening to the thunder and rain roll in. The thunder always makes me think of the power of God in the universe beyond.

Mittens, known to us as” Mitts America” because of her 16 front toes, sits in my arms. Mittens has been a part of our family for over thirteen years and is the matriarch to all the other cats. She is incredibly smart, very sophisticated in how she handles herself, has always been extremely brave and rules her cat family with, yes, compassion!

God is calling Mittens home.

About a month and a half ago, it became obvious that Mittens was losing weight. She has always been a beautiful cat, a very strong and well formed body. But, she was thinning down and in our home of “milk & honey” for the pets, that is pretty hard to do. So, a trip to the veterinarians was immediate.

Buddy, my Dalmatian came along for the ride. Everybody loves to see Buddy the Wonder Dog when we visit the vets office…they saved his life three years ago when his urethra failed and his bladder had swollen to huge proportions. Buddy is all about being “adored and fawned” over! His presence was also a comfort to Mittens who doesn’t like riding in the car.

Dr. Maria Guzman, our 5-foot-2-inch-with-a-smile-as-big-as-the-day veterinarian walked into the examination room and gave Buddy the big welcome and then we got down to business about Mittens. During the physical exam, Dr. Guzman said she felt something and thought it best that we get Mittens x-rayed. Her return to the room was somber. She asked me to view the x-ray which was absolute in its telling. Mittens had a large malignant tumor in her abdomen. Dr. Guzman looked at me and said, “I just can’t tell you how sorry I am. It seems lately, that all I am able to deliver to you is bad news.”

Having been given the options, and because of the malignant nature of the tumor, I chose for Mittens to have days filled with a quality of life. The thought of putting her through surgeries, chemo, needles, hospital stays and the like, with no guarantee on the outcome just seemed ridiculous, especially if she could be with her family in her last days doing what she loved to do.

So, Mittens and I are here on the back porch a month and a half later listening to the voice of God in the sky. She has done so well, and continues to do well, though the weight continues to drop. We hold her up to the Creator for a miracle, but, as it is in all things, it is His call. We will accept whatever He gives us to do.

My hope is that God will take her quietly in her sleep. But, if not, she will not suffer. When she lets me know that the pain is too much, we will let her go. She will be surrounded by love and we will give thanks for the gift that was her presence in our life and allow her to slip away quietly, humanely.

Animals in Heaven? You Bet’cha!

UPDATE: Mittens rests now in eternity, safe and loved forever and awaits our reunion at the appointed time that the Master calls me home.

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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