(Main picture is Cornelius, a white 6 year old cat looking for a home now at the Niagara Square Adoption Centre.  For more information CLICK HERE).  “Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.” ~ Veronica Roth

All day I was thinking about what I would write. Do I talk about the kittens in the nursery or the big orange cat in the viewing room at the shelter? I took him out for a visit last week and sat him on my lap. He just kind of spread-out and never left, content to be petted and coo’d at. When I went to put him back, I had trouble lifting him high enough to get back in the cage. He was heavy! Luckily, he’s a sweet boy and didn’t grimace or squirm. Looks like the volunteers aren’t the only ones who need patience, eh?

Anyway, I came home and logged into my computer, still trying to decide what to write.

Oh, I’ll just go look at Facebook, I thought… for a moment. It was then that I read about my friend, Sharon, who I’d known in high school. She was a character, even then… and even more so now! We’d been talking online for at least a decade and she even sent my husband and me the coolest gift – a horseshoe, to put over our front door for good luck. She was an author, an artist and cat lover. A cat maniac is more like it. Her cat, Neptune, had a Facebook page before anyone else I knew! In fact, she wrote a book about him and had it published. He was deaf and she chronicled their life together. (The photo below is of our cat, Tess, and the book Sharon wrote, which we bought. Sharon signed it and Neptune “pawtographed” it! )


Sharon had advanced COPD and even though she was on hospice care over the last two months, she said she wouldn’t go until she was sure her three cats had homes. True to her word, she waited. She passed away this morning.

There is something very selfish in the grieving process. It feels as though you are the only one who has ever gone through it, although you know, of course, you are not. You are not the first, or the last, or the only one. But it’s so much easier if you have someone to hold.

So, as I sat in front of my computer this afternoon, tears streaming down my face, alone. I went and hugged our cats, Bette and Missy. Well, kind of…. they are more “listening” than “hugging” cats. I remembered the quote I shared above. I thought of how Sharon and I had talked about Neptune and Tess, who passed away within a month of each other last year, both fifteen years old. I thought about how our cats brought us together in a way that only other cat lovers will understand.

Below, Ginger, an 8 year old girl looking for a new home at the Niagara Adoption Centre.  For more information CLICK HERE).


It seems fitting to write about Sharon and Neptune and Tess today. And to ask if you have someone in your life who will help mend you when you’re broken?

This week’s column written by: By Sheryl Hutton

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