An elderly gentleman, let’s call him ‘George’, had a cat that he had owned and loved for years. Eventually, time took its toll and the cat had to be brought to the vet for the last time. George was weeping as he brought his beloved friend in, and, as he knew would happen, the vet told him: “George, it’s time. As hard as it is, you are doing the right thing”. The vet took the cat from George’s arms and put him to sleep while George gently stroked his fur and talked to him, quietly sobbing.
The vet had been in business for years and seen the grief over losing a beloved pet. He also had a way of dealing with it. Being the local vet, clients often brought him kittens who needed a new home, and he kept them in a large box in the corner of his office. He went into the box and took out a cute, tiger striped kitten who was looking around the room with great curiosity and put the kitten in George’s hands and said: “Here George, take this little kitten; she is not a replacement for the friend you lost, but she will grow up to love you and keep you company”.
George melted when he held the little kitten and whispered to it as he stroked its fine fur. But then, his face clouded up and he began to weep again: “Doc, I know you want to make things better, but I just can’t do it. I have owned many cats, and it always ends up with my having to take them to the vet, just like today, and it always breaks my heart. I just can’t go through this again”.
The vet looked at George and asked “George, how old are you?” George answered “I’m 78 years old.” Looking at him with a smile, the vet said “George, this time it’s the cat’s problem.”