The loss of a beloved pet is an insurmountable burden that stays with you. It's a hard lesson for a child, but it is a natural part of life. Any family with a pet will at some point have to navigate coping with loss at some point.
Healing looks different for every family. Some families never find another pet. Others find another pet right away. And some families just need time to find the right pet, and more time to heal from that loss and be ready for their next pet.
For a child, that time can feel lonely, especially, if like Jonathan and Charlie, they bonded right away and were inseparable until death separated them.
Jonathan and Charlie the cat bonded immediately when Jonathan was born. Valerie, the boy and cat's mom told The Dodo in an interview:
Jonathan was the first baby Charlie had ever been around. He took his role as baby protector very seriously.
The little dynamic duo really did everything together, baths, naps, play, meals, you name it. They were the definition of inseparable in adorable real life.
And then 15-year old Charlie passed away.
When Charlie passed away in June at the ripe, old age of 15, the entire family was devastated. Jonathan, now 6, took it the hardest. He misses his best friend.
In fact, ever since Charlie passed away, Jonathan has been begging for another cat. But it seems that Charlie is the only family member completely ready for another furry friend in the family, the time just isnt right for Valerie and the rest of the family.
Valerie heard her son, though, and reassured him perfectly. Telling The Dodo, she said:
I tell him, ‘When it’s time for us to add another cat to the family, Charlie will send us one,’”
November rolled around and one day, out of nowhere, Valerie was approached by a cat outside. The precious puss appeared seemingly out of nowhere in all his fluffy, orange glory. It became apparent immediately that the cat was human-friendly so she sat down, hoping to hang out with him just a little bit.
The cat sat in her lap and together they enjoyed the time for nearly an hour before a car scared the feline friend away.
Valerie pondered that moment for two nights until the cat came back again. This time, Valerie made sure that her son Jonathan was there.
Describing the moment Jonathan met the furry visitor, Valerie told The Dodo:
The first day my youngest met this fluffy cat, they were both absolutely in love with each other. The fluffy visitor let me youngest shower him with hugs and kisses right away!
It was clear that having another cat to play with left Jonathan over the moon happy. Without skipping a beat, their nee friend was stopping by every day to say hello and play! The cat seemed healthy and in great condition, so Valerie suspected that he was not a stray and had a family. To find out for sure, she bought a collar and a custom tag that said, "I love your cat," on one side, and "Please call me if you own cat," on the other! Phone number included, of course.
Shortly after, Valerie placed the collar on the orange cat before he left. And it wasnt long before low and behold, Valerie got a phone call!
Valerie explained what she learned from that phone call:
She is a 69-year old neighbor in the next road over and she was so happy to know that we had been loving on Garfield. He showed up as a stray over a decade ago and adopted her. He never lost his stray habits, so he would rather be outside most of the day.
Valerie insists her family still isnt ready for a full-time cat of their own, and Garfield showed up at precisely the right time.
Understandably, Valerie believes that Garfield was sent by Charlie to keep Jonathan company and bring the joy of a cat to their family until the time is right they can bring a forever cat home and honestly, we agree.
Don't forget to share Garfield's story with your friends & family!
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