Fourteen years ago, our former neighbor’s husband died. Her students, at the time, decided she didn’t need to come home to an empty house. So they gave her a miniature dachshund puppy and named her Ren. I’ll never forget seeing her hold that small brown love with dark puddles for eyes.
At the same time our son decided we had to have a small black kitten. He knew if he brought it home I wouldn’t be able to say no. My husband and I always said we didn’t like cats. This one fit in the palm of my hand. His mother had died, and he was bottled raised.
When my neighbor retired she began to travel a good bit. We had the pleasure of taking care of her sweet Ren. That puppy and our kitten played like there was no tomorrow. They wrestled and tumbled all over the house. They were crazy about each other.
We eventually moved and shortly after the move our black cat died from cancer. But we continued to watch little Ren when her “mama” travelled. We had another black cat, and she never understood why he wouldn’t play with her. She climbed the cat tree in hopes he would be her friend. It never happened so she resigned herself to playing with our outside dogs and barking at anything that was on the other side of the fence. When she barked it sounded like, “beeeyurk.”
Not too long ago Ren had a seizure at her house. Then she had one the last time we kept her. But she recovered quickly both times. Recently she did it again and didn’t recover. The Vet said he thought she had a brain tumor.
Today Ren’s mama called to say she took her to the Vet, and held her as she slipped away. And though I’ve already cried because I knew it was coming, I am crying again. I am one of those who believe that love remains for eternity. The sweet spirits we get to hug and pet stay with us because of love. And I want to believe that somewhere a little black cat and a sweet wiener dog are playing and resting side by side…forever in our hearts.