Updated: Apr 22, 2020
This is a story dedicated to anyone who has ever had to say goodbye to a beloved animal companion. Those who open our hearts expand our selves and our understanding of unconditional love. May your heart remain open.
Avery Finn says Goodbye
Kristina L. Daniels
Hi, my name is Avery Finn. I am a two year old cat with a handsome coat of grey and white fur. I am adopted and live with another cat named Ms. Dixie and a human mistress that takes care of us both.
What I love most in this world is the great outdoors! I like the smell of green grass and the sunlight which makes it grow. I am very good at hunting birds and even lizards. If you are looking for me try searching in the tree branches, or rolling in the dirt. My adopted human tries to keep me inside “for my own good”. But I have discovered my own secret ways to get outside and I have had a number of great adventures!
The adventure I am going to share with you today makes me feel sad. But I think it is an adventure worth sharing. It is about the time I said goodbye to my feline friend Dixie.
My favorite time of day is morning. I wake up my sleepy family by “Me-Owing” really loudly until my human opens the bedroom door and picks me up then slings me over her shoulder. I like to stay on her shoulder purring then jump off and race everyone to the kitchen.
One morning on my way to the kitchen when I ran past Dixie she stayed on her bed instead of racing me. She meowed softly when I approached her. When I sniffed and try to lick her nose, she growled. So I back away and looked over my shoulder at the stairs waiting for our human to help get Dixie up.
When our human sees Dixie in bed she knelt beside her. She touches Dixie’s nose and looks into her eyes. “Dixie, do you want some breakfast?” We both look at Dixie, but she only meows quietly and she sounds tired.
Our human walks out of the room and I hear her talking on the phone. When she returns she said she is taking Dixie to visit the veterinarian. A veterinarian is a doctor who takes care of sick animals.
Dixie hides her head down in her chest. I don’t think Dixie is feeling very well.
Our human feeds me breakfast, and before I have finished she's packed Dixie into the cat carrier and disappeared. After breakfast I jump up and look out my favorite window to search for birds.
I see a couple that I can frighten, and flick my tail back and forth to scare them. Today they don’t seem to notice me, so I sit up and put my paws against the window. I stand as tall as I can on my back legs and yell “ME-OOOOWW”. But the birds don’t move.
I feel angry with them for not paying attention to me. Then I feel scared, because I am thinking about Dixie and the veterinarian. I wonder if Dixie is scared. I worry she will have to get a shot. I hate shots, even when my human says I am brave. Thinking about the doctor makes me feel small and worried, so I lie down next to Dixie’s bed and take a nap.
I wake up when the front door opens. Dixie is in the carrier and sounds pretty upset. When she is put down she runs out of the carrier and right to bed. I sit next to her and she lets me lick her forehead fur.
Ms. Dixie is sick. My mistress takes care of her by changing her food. She gets wet food instead of dry kibbles and she has to take medicine. After the medicine my friend feels better and sometimes we even play.
After a couple of weeks of taking the medicine I notice Dixie just wants to watch the birds. She seems tired all day and all night. One day she decides not to take her medicine and runs away when she hears our human getting the medicine ready. When our human sees Dixie hiding, she asks Dixie what she wants to do and when their talk ends our human is crying.
Things change after the talk. Dixie gets to eat as much salmon as she wants. I tell my mistress that I want salmon too, but she doesn’t give it to me as often as she feeds Dixie.
One day after we both ate a helping of salmon, I try to start a game of tag but Dixie says she is too tired to play with me anymore. She talks about going away but she won’t tell me where she is going.
This makes me feel sad and angry and confused. Sometimes I feel all of these things at the same time. Once I swatted at Dixie because I felt angry that she was leaving and didn’t know what to do or say. I got even more upset when I had to say sorry.
I stay upstairs in my room to keep out of the way. Dixie has another upset tummy and throws up a lot. One night she gets sick and crawls under our mistress’s bed. Then she said she doesn’t want to come out.
The next day the doorbell rings and I race downstairs to see who it is. It is the Veterinarian! I jump onto the couch afraid she might try to give me a shot. But my human says, “Avery, the doctor isn’t here for you”, and she lets the veterinarian into our house.
My mistress brings Dixie downstairs in her arms. She puts Dixie in her bed and pets her till she settles down. I am very scared and sit next to our mistress and Dixie.
The doctor comes over and sits beside Dixie. After she tells Dixie what a nice cat she is, the doctor pokes her with a needle! I jump back because it looked like it hurt, but Dixie doesn’t seem to mind.
When our mistress looks at me she has tears in her eyes and she explains that Dixie is going on a trip and she won’t be coming back. She tells me that Dixie’s body hurts and Dixie doesn’t want to be in pain. She tells me Dixie decided she was ready to say goodbye the day she stopped taking her medicine. She said that even though Dixie is going away she will always be with us, only in our heart from this day on.
I try to tell her I don’t want Dixie to leave, my heart already hurts. Then I look at my friend and Dixie looks so tired and sad. I don’t want my friend to hurt any more. So I say goodbye.
I tell her how much I will miss her and wish her a good trip. I tell her that I hope there are lots of birds to watch where she is going. Then I leave the room and go upstairs to my bed, curl up and cry myself to sleep.
The next day I wake up with sunlight streaming through the window. I flex my paws, roll out of bed then bathe myself, wanting to be sure my fur is handsomely groomed. I begin my morning “Me-Owwws” and my human finds me and picks me up.
Slinging me over her shoulder she hugs me close. She is crying. I try to jump down because she is squeezing too hard. But she holds on tighter.
We walk towards the kitchen when I remember that Dixie won’t be waiting for us. My heart begins to feel very large and heavy. I lean in closer to my human hugging her back as we walk down the stairs together.
This sadly is the end of Ms. Dixie's life adventure, but in the next story Avery Finn meets a new friend.
In Memorandum of a very fine cat