My normally stoic brother Mark sent me a note that he lost his beloved cat, Fishkin, at age 15. I am repeating what I wrote back to him (with permission). The story starts in the early 1990s:
I had dog-proofed the backyard with a fence. I completed two years of allergy shots for hay fever — with dog and cat added. My friend the veterinarian, Dwight King, knew I wanted a dog and that I was finally ready for one.
He thought he had one: There was a lady who had a reputation: if you went to heaven, it would be better to come back as her dog. The lady had Bridgette as a puppy, but Bridget became too big, and too wild and needed to find a new home. Bridgette was living temporarily at the vet clinic until such.
Dwight told me Bridgette was a “typical teenager” and that I was a perfect fit to adopt. My deal with Sandy was to go take a look at her at the vet clinic and speak to her about what I saw.
Well, when I saw that head wagging back and forth, and those ears flopping back and forth, as she walked toward me. …
I had a lot of explaining to do. It was a love affair. And a learning affair. Bridgette knew no boundaries. But it all came together, finally, after she shredded our garden hoses, ripped electric plugs out of their sockets, and tore newspapers into fine strips that covered the floor. And the toilet paper.
Bridgette loved Sandy. But Bridgette followed me everywhere. I still miss her. But I am better for it.
Thank you, Bridgette.