My Beloved One In a Million Cat

by Sheila Strassburg
(Lewiston, NY)

Scooter was one of those one in a million cats... so soft to the touch, attentive and beautiful in every way. He was a Burmese mix Tuxedo cat that everybody loved to love.

Scooter came into my life at a time when I desperately needed a healing. I was reeling over the loss of Twin Boys born into the world too soon. They were both still born children. Shocked and devastated, my heart ached, my body ached, my mind raced with guilt. Was it my fault? Did I do something wrong? How could this happen to me? I slowly began to be overcome with sadness.

As days turned into weeks and weeks into months I felt myself just slipping away. I had a 12 year old son and a loving husband who I pretended to be OK in front of. I had hoped to shield them from my sadness while trying to figure out how to overcome it. Christmas was approaching and before the big day arrived I received the best gift I had ever been given. My Son, Max and Husband, Chris went Kitten hunting in the middle of a cold dark winter and found this little soft furry bundle of sweet overpowering love!

The very moment he was brought through the door I squealed with excitement and sincerely felt happy for the first time in a very long time. My aching empty arms loved picking that fur baby up every day. We talked together, eat together, walked in the yard together, gardened together, napped together and talked, yes, talked together. He was mine and I was so completely his.

As our relationship grew it was apparent just how important this cat was to the whole family. He was such a good cat. He loved us all and warned us when visitors came to the house but charging the door and growling like a dog.

We would laugh at his nightly jaunts between the kitchen, backroom and cellar.. scooting and racing up and down the stairs running back and forth across the room chasing his shadow and making everyone laugh with delight! He was shy around visitors and only allowed a few to pet him. Everyone that was treated to a pet marveled at how soft his fur was. It was like velvet... so soft, dense, warm and delightful.

Scooter was my friend, my confidant, my reason to get up on the days it was just too hard. He healed my sadness with his young sweet natured meows and his loving looks. His purr was like medicine... infectiously calming and soothing and he made everything, every little problem or tension just melt away.

He was my magic cat! It is hard to actually put into words what he meant to me. First he was a symbol of love - a wonderful gift from the two men that mean the most to me... my Husband and Son. Second he was a miracle in my life ... this little cat brought brought me back to life again, he helped me through 16 years of good and bad.

He helped me see my son graduate from middle school then high school, then off on a two year church mission and then after that to collage then after that to marriage. He once again filled a huge void in my life that only a mother can relate to. My only child was out of my home and before I knew it I became an empty Nester... he really helped in that transition. Then came the death of my Mother and next my Father. Once again that little man would give, give, give, give......that was another hard and sad time that he patiently loved me out of.

He welcomed my sweet grand daughter into our home little by little until they became good friends. She loved snuggling him and he didn't mind the kisses she showered on him when he would stand still long enough to get them. He would gently lead her around the house with her gently holding onto his up turned tail.

He talked. Scooter had a vocal range that would astound me. You could really tell what he was feeling when he verbalized it. I talked to him and he talked to me.

I miss him every day and night. He was a one in a million kind of cat. His temperament was calm and loving. He loved being loved. He was well behaved and a joy. he gave so much to this little family and left a legacy behind that has an honored place in our memories.

Sadly almost 2 years ago we lost him. He began to loose weight and the doctors did not know what was wrong or how to treat him. It was along 5 month battle but in the end I had to face the hardest decision of my life... to end the life that had performed miracles in mine. To stop that one in a million heart from beating. It was inconceivable... how could I do this?

As I Looked in his eyes one last time before the doctor gave him his forever sleep dose... I saw that he was ready. He was ready to say goodbye...... he was tired, he was thin, he was done. I was a mess......... I held him, he purred, I felt his life slip away..... I felt his body go limp...... I felt lost, broken, inconsolable.

And maybe because for me it was also the end and I was scared. The end of all that had held me together for so many years, the end of what gave me that indescribable bit of joy in my daily routine, the end of my 16 year love affair with a velvet soft furry little man named Scooter who for all those years loved me with a love that knew no end. The end of my one in a million cat, my friend, my sweet four legged child, my baby, my love.

He was more than a pet........ more..... much more. I still ache for that furry love. I ache for his voice, for his soft purrs, his needy calls, his kisses and his snuggles. Scooter was like nectar to my soul. He was my solace and dare I say, my child. A beautiful creation of Gods love who I am so thankful was in my life for all those years.

Comments for My Beloved One In a Million Cat

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Dec 15, 2013
To Ross
by: Sheila Strassburg

I am so sorry that I missed your comment and your beautiful tribute Ross. Can I address a question you asked???

I find myself missing my beautiful Scooter every year at this time of year especially, because of the fun we used to have wrapping gifts and the extra attention we would give each other during the holidays.

Ross, I feel your pain... I feel love in your words for your beloved kitty too. Somehow, you start to get a little better. The memories linger. The pain of loss never completely leave you.

I found it takes about 5 whole years before the pain subsides and the routines seems to return. So hang in there. Please consider getting another sweet friend to love. Possibly a adult shelter kitty or a recuse cat... they are delightful and appreciate a second chance at life. I have Jack now and although he will never replace Scooter, he is a lover. He is grateful for a loving home and a human companion that gives him the love and attention he craves and needs.

Make sure that they live inside with you so that the same terrible accident never happens again. You have such a big heart and it would be a shame for you to let that big old heart go without filling it up again with LOVE.

People who love animals are complete. They feel more deeply, they are more connected with the Universe and therefore are my kind of people.

Best wishes in your grief. Memorialize your sweet Stubby any way you see fit. Grief takes many forms.... never feel embarrassed or afraid to express it. Sending love and light to everyone who has a heavy heart at this time of year and always.
Sheila Strassburg

Jan 16, 2013
Questions for Sheila
by: Ross


Very sorry for your loss. Your tribute to Scooter was absolutely beautiful, and it really resonated with me. I recently lost my beloved kitty, and the grief is very intense. It has been lessening, but I still cry every day over my Stubby. I try to remember all that I have to be thankful for, but still find myself asking why she had to be taken from me early. I was hoping for a few more years of love with her in my life. How long did you grieve for Scooter? Have you brought another kitty into your life, and if so, how has that been?

Thank you if you are able to respond.

Jan 09, 2013
My Beloved Stubby
by: Ross

This was the best tribute that I have come across searching the internet, since I lost my 14.5 year old Stubby on Dec. 16, 2012.

Stubby was my one in a million cat. She had tortise colored fur and was part Manx. At the time that I picked her out as a kitten, I had overlooked her for a more striking looking tabby male with a long tail. My fiance at the time focused on Stubby, and it did not take long to convince me that they could keep each other company while I was at work.

My male tabby, that I named Tiger, did not work out for us as down the road when we were looking to have our first baby. We had to give him up, as we could not trust how he would be with our baby. As my wife puts it, this was the time that Stubby blossomed into her very sweet and loving self. Stubby's kiss to me was to rub her cheek when I would put my nose close to her head. As she rubbed my nose, her purr would amplify.

After moving to our new home, we found that we needed to make a place in our garage for Stubby to reduce her cat dander in the house because of my son's allergy. This seemed to be a good solution, and the best part was when I brought her into the house after my son had been put to bed, she became my lap kitty. I have never known such pleasure as my purring Stubby sleeping on my lap.

My mom passed away in Oct. 2011. Without a question, it was my biggest personal loss that I have ever experienced. My Stubby comforted me each and every night after that, and I definitely knew that my bond with her was irreplaceable. I did have thoughts about how hard it would be to one day having to let Stubby go.

To my extreme sorrow, that day came much sooner than I was hoping for. My wife was heading out to the store, and backed over Stubby when leaving the garage. She came and got me, and I just wailed when I saw my beloved Stubby laying on her side.

My heart aches every day thinking of her, and my mind remembers all the love and comfort that we reciprocated.

I know that I am in the middle of all stages of grieving. The only one that I believe I am through is denial. I would still like to know why or what happened this particular day, but then that really doesn't get me my Stubby back.

Lastly I would like to say how thankful I am to have had her in my life for 14.5 years. As hard as it was and is to let her go, her unconditional love is one of my greatest treasures.

I say a prayer for her every night, and although I hope that it will be many years before I join her, I do look forward to one day reuniting with her.

Apr 22, 2012
Thank you to all who read this and shared
by: Sheila Strassburg

Thank you for you kind words of encouragement and to Julie, I am so sorry for your loss as well. Our Scooters were special once in a life time babies. I am so grateful and thankful we both had these precious fur babies in our lives.

Missing them is part of the process isn't it? It's a hard process but, I assure you the pain dulls. It turns into happier memories. You will never stop missing him. But you will recover from this terrible anchor of sadness. After a loss, Grief folds over all of us like a heavy, dark blanket that you can't kick off for a while. Eventually you are able to but not in the beginning.

It is good to love so deeply, it is good to have these life experiences... it serves a measuring stick for life.

Thank you to all for expressing your kind thoughts. I am grateful that you felt the need to share your words with me.

Sheila Strassburg oxox

Apr 21, 2012
I was meant to read this
by: Julie

I lost my own beloved, sweet, one-in-a-million cat on St. Patrick's day, March 17, 2012. I have been trying to cope and make sense and I am so bereft. I find myself searching the internet for help and to find other people who know this loss and can understand. Your tribute to your cat is so beautiful and says so much of how I feel as well, it was meant for me to read. You see, I found this grief website and your post was scrolling by on The Grief Blog and it caught my eye. My wonderful boy was also named Scooter. I couldn't believe it! How could someone else have loved and lost a one-in-a-million cat named Scooter? So, i read it and enjoyed it very much. My baby was only three years old. He apparently died of a congenital heart defect that I was unaware that he had. He died in my presence, just laid down and made a soft moan and then took his last breathes. There were no signs until that moment. He was his happy and normal self just that morning. He was given to me also to help me heal, from the loss of my sweet dog, a dalmatian with epilepsy that I loved for nine years (he was about 12-14 when he died). My friend's cat had had kittens and they were about ten weeks old. She brought one over to cheer me up and he stayed. I had three other cats also and this kitten was so laid back and sweet, they all loved him. Everybody loved Scooter. I have had many pets in my life, and I knew this guy was special. He never used his claws on people. He was an ambassador and a clown, greeting everybody who came over and performing his tricks. People came over just to visit him. He grew, and grew, and grew, and became a big, fluffy, Maine Coon mix. Brown tabby with with white chest and socks and black toe pads. He was beautiful, and cute, and sweet as pie. He had personality galore. I lived for this cat. Scooter made me smile every day, every time I looked at him, every time I thought of him. He was pure love and joy. All of my other pets always needed me. They were rescues, usually with special health needs. But this new cat was different. I needed him. Scooter was with me during a very difficult time in my life. Now I am lost. I cannot believe that he is gone. I wish for him back every day and I cry so much. I have lost many pets, and they all hurt, but somehow the loss of Scooter is the hardest ever. Thank you for your beautiful tribute, it really expressed how I feel as well and I will re-read it many times. Take care.

Apr 08, 2012
Beloved Scooter
by: Sheila McKinney

Sheila, Thank you for this powerful and beautiful vignette. You had me in tears. Scooter may be physically gone but that one in a million cat will be forever in your heart!!!

Apr 06, 2012
Furry Children
by: Judith

Shelia, I understand. Our pets do become our little children. Now you must choose another one who is waiting for your love. Pets help us become better people. They console us and bring us joy and it breaks our hearts for them to go especially when we have to make the decision to let them go be with God.
I've lost four very special furry children and will always love them and miss them. They each had their own personality and did thnigs so differently that I was amazed. I have 3 new ones who need me and if I didn't have them my husbands passing 18 months ago would have been more unbearable. HE loved them too.

I'm so sorry for your losses.

God Bless.

Apr 06, 2012
You'll meet again one day
by: Lee United Kingdom

What a beautiful tribute to Scooter.

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