photo by Pam Williams
Baxter, our part Maine Coon cat, thought he was a dog. He played fetch, ran to the door when the doorbell rang, greeted everyone who came to visit, and knew when we were sick and hurting.
We were aware that he had a heart problem but we were still caught off guard early Saturday morning when Baxter passed away. He had blessed our lives for 11+ years.
Yet, even in the midst of our grief, we see God’s hand. This past summer, while I was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer and feeling really crappy, Baxter often lay down by my side to keep me company all night. I knew he was having health issues himself and I actually prayed God wouldn’t take him while I was so sick. I just couldn’t have faced that loss on top of everything else. My last treatment was eleven days before we lost Baxter.
With the increasing frequency of his “episodes”, we certainly would never allow Baxter to suffer, but neither did we want to have to make an end of life decision. We had to do that with two previous cats and with our dog. It is a horrible, guilt-ridden, agonizing, but often necessary step that no pet owner wants to take. I prayed that when it was time, Baxter would just go to sleep, and that is exactly what happened.
People wonder if God cares. I know that He does. God loves us, hears our prayers, and knows our limit—even when it comes to our much-loved pets.
We miss you already, Baxter.