Muffy by Steve S. Melo / Steve Melo

It’s been 2 months exactly today at the time of this writing. Muffy passed away on the night of July 13th, 2002. It is a night that I will never forget for as long as I will live. It was the day my life changed forever, for I had lost not only him, but a part of myself, for he was a part of my life.

It’s funny how you know the momments in your life that change who you are from that momment on. I know I’ll never be the same again. Time may heal me, but life will slowly move on for me forever missing that key, that joy to my life that I once had and was taken away from me on that night. I try not to think about it, but there isn’t a day that goes by in my head where I didn’t think of him. I’ll be turning 19 by the end of this month of September, and yet I feel so empty, so confused..but most of all..dpressed above all else.

Muffy was, to others, just a cat. Nobody cared about him. Nobody looked at him the same way that I did. I was him as my friend…my best friend…the only real companion who I fully trusted in. He would never hurt me. He was always there for me. Sometimes, whenever I was alone, crying to myself about things that are of no meaning in compared to the loss of a loved one, there he was, always there to comfort me.
He understood me. I understood him. We both understood each other in a way nobody else could.
I loved him with all my heart and I feel and hope he knew that.

When I was about 4 years old, my family went over to my grandmas house one day to visit her.
It was a cold October of the mid 80’s when I first met my cat Muffy. My grandma said he was a stray. He just showed up one day about a week ago before that or so begging for food or whatever he could get in return. I don’t remember much, but my earliest memories in my life begin at that time…the time I met him.
He was in bad shape. His beautiful coat of black, white and brown hair had patches with missing hair. It looked like it was burned off or possibly torn also in some areas. But the worst thing that caught my eyes were ironically his. His was blind by one eye and looked to be in a bit of pain.

As we left, my older and only sister who was 10 at the time snuck him into the backseat while I distracted the family. When my mom realized what we were up to, we begged “Please Mom? Just for the weekend?” Well, that was on October 30th and lets just say it ended up being the greatest weekend of my life, the greatest times in my life for now, forever. Those 3 days turned intos almost 20 years for me..and him.

We took him to the vet. It turns out that the infection in his right eye was fresh the vet told us. It also turns out that it was spreading to the other eye as well. Oh how badly he was when he took him into out home. But we took care of him and gave him love. But nobody gave him as much of love as I gave him. Nobody. To this day I still wonder and wish I knew exactly how old he lived to be. I assume he was a good 5 years when we got him, and again, at the time I was 4. My grandfather knew alot about animals and I recall him saying that he was not a kitten anymore and just about a year older then me problably. And so if that was the case, he would have been born in 1982, making him 20 years on when he passed on.

Sometimes you don’t really know what you got until it’s gone. I knew what I had and it’s gone.
I was expecting it, but not like that. Not on July 13th, 2002. July in general seems to be a bad month for me in general. The year before, my friend Carlos passed away the same way my cat did. I miss him also and know that I will see him again day. But since the time of my cat’s death, a constant question has troubled me…and that is do animals enter the kingdom of God? I believe that if I am a good person and if I die, God will wipe away my tears. He will bring to me what I desire. I will not request it, for he knows. With God…Nothing is Impossible. And if I believe I’ll see Muffy again, then I pray then I will. Latley though, I haven’t prayed. I try to, but am ashamed. I guess i’m just going through the stages still.
I still wonder when I will reach the end, which is never I think.

Shortly after I recieved my cat’s ashes back in a urn, I remember asking my mom where I should put it. Her response “In my closet, so I don’t look at it” Now as much as she may have been trying to help me, this angered me alot. I told her if she died and I had an urn with her remains in it that I would put it in the closet know…just forget about her. Is that what you what I asked?” Shocked, she said “Steve..It’s just a cat!” It’s funny how others may encourage you to “get another one,” as if your life-long companion could be easily replaced. This makes expression of your pain even harder. Believe me. And then I asked her if she thought I’d ever see him again. Her response “No, once animals die, thats it!”
What a loving mother eh? I wonder how over the years she became so cold hearted at times.
I think it’s due to the fact that she has loss someone close to her as well, that person being my grandma, God rest her soul. So I try to look past that and not get angry with her sometimes.

Bored yet? Problably. I guess I’m going off topic. Sorry…I guess all this writing is more to help me then it is for you. I read that writing makes your feel better. But I still feel the same….empty, lost, confused & depressed.
I got nobody now. Of all the would-be friends over the years that I’ve had, none of them compared to Muffy. And thats because of Trust.
A relationship isn’t one without it. My turst in people is at an all-time low as of now. I’m lost and worst of all…Muffy isn’t there to comfort me anymore. All those years, all the memories, more then words can convey was gone just like that.

It was Midnight. 12am. The date was now Saturday, July 13th, 2002. I had just finished eating a bowl of cereal. Muffy was by my feet, begging for a bit, which I gave him, of course. My parents were away that week. They went to Burmuda to visit family and explore the island. I was supposed to go but decided it was best to stay to take care of Muffy and Work, but mainly because of Muffy. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. My sister was away also…on a cruise off the waters of Italy .
So it was just me and Him. The week was coming to an end. My parents would return on Sunday and my sister in another week. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.

I let him outside. He was old so he would just chill for abit at the doorstep then meow to come in again. It was now about 12:45am and I was getting ready to go to bed since I had work the next moring at 7am. Halfway up the stairs it hit me…I better let Muffy in. Nothing could have prepared me for what I would see next. As I approached the door, I looked down and saw him laying on the welcome doormat…just laying there. Now at first I though he was sleeping or resting..but when I opened the door, I screamed in horror. I don’t know how I knew but seeing him their I knew he saw having a heart attack.

Let me tell you something…Never have I screamed and cried so much in an instant in all my life. I fell to my knees in agony thinking No god..please no! Why now? please don’t take him away from me..he’s all I have. It was the longest minute of my life. My neighbor then came running over and said I’d better take him to the 24hour vet. It was in the next town over and would take 30 minutes to get their. So I got in my car and my neighbor helped me put Muffy in the passengers seat as I drove off into the night. As I drove, Muffy would keep trying to get up, but seconds later would lay back down. His heart was slowing giving up on him. I noticed his tounge was hanging from his mouth as he held his head up to look at me. And that he did. I will never forget it. I don’t know if he could see me, but he felt my arm on him, petting him and hearing me say..your gonna make Muffy…Please make it Muffy. It was at that momment that he proved to me his love. With all his remaining strenght, he gently placed his teeth on my arm and tried to lick me. He couldn’t. Instead, he gently bit down for about 3 seconds , then fell back in his laying postion. I burst into tears! It was the moment I will never forget.

I pulled into the vet parking lot about 10-15 minutes after leaving my home. I was doing about 120-125 km, passing red lights, you name it. I’ve must have broken half the laws that night.
But I didn’t care. I’ve never had a ticket before in my life, so I figured nothing else matters, as long as Muffy stays with me. I dunno, maybe even though I expected the day to come, I just wasn’t ready to let go. But I had to. Upon entering the doorway, the vet took him from my arms and checked him out. It was now 2:00am and he was still hanging in there. Then the vet told me what I had already assumed. She said it was his heart and that she was going to do everything she could. But I could tell she didn’t care. She was just doing her job. Right away she started talking about money. All I said to her was “Listen, I don’t care what I have to do or what I have to pay, just do what you can to save him please!” And I meant every word. I remember sometimes my mother asking me when I was younger if I could ever give Muffy away. I always said what I told her that night. “Never. You could give me all the money in the world and it wouldn’t make a difference!”

And thats exactly what I told the vet. I wanted to stay, but they insisted I go home and wait to hear from them. As she turned towards the other room, I told her wait and took one last tearful look at my best friend. He looked at me, droped his head and turned. It was the last time I would ever see him alive. I get home and sit there…just waiting. 2:31am the phone rang. It had only been 15 minutes later, but I knew exactly what it was and who it was and sure enough, I was right. “Steve…I heard from the other line….I’m very sorry, but Muffy just passed away.” I just burst instantly into tears and screams, louder then before and in more pain as well. The biggest part of my youth died with me. All the memories of my life, Muffy was always there. Now to have that taken away…I didn’t know what to do or think. Honest to God, I just fell to my knees stared up at the ceiling and screamed No!….over and over again.

My night wasn’t over though (but don’t worry, I’ll be done soon). At 3:00am, I got back in my car and headed right back there. I dunno if it was the right thing to do yet, but I did it.
A year before, my friend Eric’s father passed away right in front of him. I remember asking him how he took it so well. He looked at me and said “Because I saw him. He didn’t look like he was in any pain and it sunk it.” I think it sunk in more for him to because he knew for 6 weeks ahead of time that is father had gotten cancer.

So I went back to see Muffy. Again, I dunno know if I should have. I went thinking that if I saw him once last time that It could sink in…but it didn’t. I went backing thinking that he didn’t suffer, but how could I know? They sent me home. As much as I wanted to stay with him, they sent me home! But as I walked into that same room once again, I burst into tears, once again. There he was…laying there…lifeless.
His blind eye was closed, His good one open. His paw wrapped in bandage, his mouth open. I just sat there and looked at him. It was 4am. I don’t know exactly how long I stayed..but it was the last thing on my mind. As I sat there..all I could think about was that he was really gone.
How was I going to explain it to my parents?
How was I going to tell my sister?
Would they blame me?
is it my fault?
Why did this happen?
Why did it have to happen now?
How could God do this to me?
But most of all, I kept thinking how could something so caring, so innocent in life
just suddenly disappear out of my life?

None if it mattered at the time I concluded to myself. Time and reality moved on and the last image I have of Muffy is seeing him on that table as I slowing, but tearfully closed the door and made my way home..all alone. The week to follow went by slow. At every corner of every turn in the house, there was something missing.
Where is Muffy?

I didn’t work, I didn’t eat. All I could do was sit and wait. Sure enough I heard and still hear comments from people who think they are helping me by saying “Get another one” or “It was just a cat” People who don’t understand the pet/owner bond may not understand your pain. All that matters, however, is how you feel. Don’t let others dictate your feelings: They are valid, and may be extremely painful. But remember, you are not alone: Thousands of pet owners have gone through the same feelings. To them, there pet was the greatest pet in the world, and I can honestly say that Muffy was and will forever my greatest friend in the world. Nothing will replace him. Not Now, Not ever, for he was the brother I never had and the friend who understood me more deeply than anybody else ever has and ever will. I think now that altought I am uncertian if he suffered in death, I’m glad that he died of natural causes instead of having his life cut short years ago. I’d like to think that God has a reason for everything and I also understand that nothing lasts forever. I’d like to think that there wqs a reason for him making me stay behind to take care and spend the last week of Muffy’s life along his side. But most of all, I’d like to think that Muffy is with God right now watching over me. I guess I just have to pray and hope, cause thats all I got right now. Thank you God for giving me the chance to see Muffy one last time. I had the privilage, so I took it. Again, don’t know if I should have, but I did. And maybe..just maybe…one day….This will all make sense to me.

In conclusion, I think I should end this with a quote. I had a hard time deciding, but I think the following sums it up best;

“The worst times in life, anyone’s life, still hold the best thing about it — having it. Respect it and don’t abuse it. Live for Today, For tomorrow may never come!”


Muffy, I love you....with all my heart....with all my soul.....for now......forever! I miss you.
Steve S. Melo