Monday, August 08, 2005

For Walker

It's been a rough couple of days. Yesterday morning my cat Walker suddenly and unexpectedly died. He was only a year old and apparently in excellent health. I'd had a long night with Sawyer so I stayed home from church by myself to try and get some rest. Walker had been playful and frisky all morning, attacking my feet as usual and playing with his favorite toy. He followed me upstairs when I went to go lie down. As soon as I had crawled into bed I heard Walker in my closet, meowing very low and quiet. I called him and he didn't answer me or come so I knew something was wrong. I jumped up and ran to the closet where I found him collapsed on the floor, not breathing and with no pulse. For several minutes I tried to resuscitate him, but he was already gone.

Today I drove out to the state lab to have a necropsy performed. The vet who did the examination couldn't find anything wrong, apart from him being a little on the heavy side (I'm sure all that butter was to blame for that). We'll get the lab results back in a couple of weeks but for the moment his sudden passing is a complete mystery.

I miss him so much. We got him right before starting IVF and I totally believe that I owe my ability to deal emotionally with that whole process in large part to him. The day after transfer when I was on bedrest he spent the whole time cuddled up next to me in bed. He had such a fun, quirky personality. I didn't realize before how involved he was in my daily routine, but now that he's gone I notice a huge absence. He would be underfoot while I cooked, he curled up on the side of the tub when I read in the bath, every time I went up or downstairs he would run next to me (several times I nearly fell down the stairs because of him), and he was always there by the door to greet me when I would come home after being out. At night when my foot dangled over the edge of the bed he would sneak up on it and attack. I would yell and he'd scramble off, highly pleased with himself. Funny how now I miss that.

I had a conversation with a friend a while back who had called me shortly after her dog had died. I tried to console her by saying that she would see her dog again in the next life. She immediately disagreed with me and said that her pastor had told her that there are no animals in heaven. I feel intuitively that this can't be right. Why would God create such a variety of life just to have it all cease to exist? Isn't everything God does eternal? When I later went to the scriptures I was comforted to find that Doctrine and Covenants 77 backs me up on this.

2: in...heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.

Following verses go on to describe resurrected creatures living "in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity" and "full of knowledge" with "power to move, to act." I doubt it's part of our official doctrine, but I believe in my heart that the relationships we form in this life with our pets will continue in the next. And I believe that includes my Walker. I hope when I pass over to the other side that he's one of the first waiting to greet me, just like he used to wait by the door for me to get home every day.

I'll be seeing you, my friend.


  1. I am sorry to hear about your loss. It's funny how animals are like little people and losing a pet is like losing a family member.

  2. Oh Chelsea, I'm so sorry!

    (I think I'll just leave it at that, I was going to say something stupid like "he was a very nice cat." And there I go, I said it anyway.)

  3. Anonymous11:16 PM

    What a sweet kitty. I'm sorry.

  4. I am so sorry about your furbaby.

  5. I never know how much my pets mean to me until they die. Then I'm bereft. So sorry, that is a cute little kitty.

  6. Chelsea, I am also so sorry about walker.
    I do belive that you will see him again.
    I feel our pets choose us and not the other way round. He could have had a very sad life but instead he got love and affection from you and that must have made him very happy.
    I hope you find some comfort in happy memories.

  7. Just before my son left for the Marines, we got the coolest little kitty. He drove the older cats nuts, he would dance sideways down the hall and attack all of us. We loved him so.

    Loved. We had to put him to sleep today. He was 15 years old and had cancer. I loved that sweet cat. He got huge and fat and mellow and kids could crawl all over him and he was so loving. He is the last animal we had when my son was alive.

    We buried him under a tree with our beloved old dog, also died of cancer, wrapped in the last pillowcase I had left from my first marriage (my husband, father of my son, died).

    It's like saying goodbye to a part of my life. Tearful today.

  8. Oh Chels! I am so sorry!

  9. Chelsea, I'm so sorry. What an adorable cat.

    Anne, I'm sad for your loss, too.


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