Zeus by AJ & Sandie Falbo / Mom and Dad

My beloved Zeus came to my family when I was 13 1/2. My Aunt Dorothy (God rest her soul too) had discovered that a stray “mama” cat had given birth to a litter of little ones, behind her garage in Queens NY. She, always having a big heart, worked tirelessly to find good homes for all of the kittens (even the mama). The only one she could not find one for turned out to be my Zeus. She called my mother, as she knew that our Dog, Alfie, had passed away the November before; and asked if we would be interested in him. My parents were skeptical at first, but both my sister and I were craving a new pet. So my parents agreed and she brought him to our house in April of 1984. He was about 6 weeks old and just as cute as could be. He had the biggest ears and this little body it was quite funny, but we, including my parents,
fell in love with him immediately.

As he was getting use to us and us to him, he would do all these cute things like chase his shadow, and climb up your leg to sit in your lap. He was just so much fun and very cute to watch. He never really played with toys, he preferred his tail and shadow. We named him Zeus, as we thought it would be funny to call him in front of family and friends and of course they’d expect a big dog and here would come this little cat. The name stuck right away and my little cat would have
the name of a Greek God.

As time went on he became a member of the family just the same as me or my sister. He would sit with us during dinner and liked chicken and baby peas (go figure). I went away to military high school and had lost contact with my grammar school friends or they just did have time for someone that was apart of their new groups. This made for lonely summers and holidays.

Zeus became my bestest friend. He would sleep on my bed all day and wait for me to come home and greet him on the bed as I settle in for the night. He gave me his love unconditionally and never asked for anything in return. But I loved him equally and tried to show him daily.

Again time went on and I got married, but my Zeus stayed at my parent’s house. My wife had a cat, and I did not want to leave my parents without Zeus. I missed him greatly and I would return to my parents house weekly to see him and my parents too 🙂 My parents decided to move to Florida in April of 2000 and by this time my Zeus was already 16. My parents were afraid that the trip to Florida might be too much for him at this age. So they asked me if I would take him and, of course, I said SURE! My wife’s cat, Poppy, gets along with everyone, it was an easy decision. Zeus never lived with another cat (or animal) and it took him sometime to get use to his new surrounding; but he pulled through with flying colors and made a new friend.

As time went by, my wife and I added 3 more cats (all kittens). Although he never became that close with them (at 17, it was alot to ask), he never fought with them and they learned to respect him.

About the time Zeus turned 17, the vet told me that Zeus was starting a decline, as he had lost a little weight and the vet suspect that it was the begin of renal failure. He also assured me that he was not in pain and with a change in diet he could easily live another year. We did everything the vet stated and Zeus adjusted okay.

Time wore on and Zeus went through his 18th year into his 19th. He began to lose more weight and drank more water. The vet told us that we would know when the time comes.

About 2 weeks ago, Zeus began his final stage of his decline. His left eye became fixed and dilated (and I found out later that it was a retinal problem from the renal failure) and his balance was off. Another week went by and he stopped eating, not even tuna. In that week, he began to “tell” us that he wanted to go to the bridge.

He was sitting in our bedroom at the entrance to the room, which he never did. He stopped meowing and purring and would sleep a lot. As he refused the tuna, it finally set in that it was time and my heart immediately broke into a million pieces. I made the appointment for the next afternoon, Friday 08/29/03. I spent the day with him. I told him that I loved him and that I loved him too much to let him starve to death and suffer.

As we prepared to take him to the vet, my wife brought the carrier out and the strange part was that none of the cats like the carrier and usually run from it. Except this time, they all gathered around it as if to say “see you later”, as we placed Zeus into the carrier. They knew it was his time and he would be going to the bridge.
That was very sad and hard to take.

The vet was wonderful, full of compassion and understanding. He examined him and discovered a large mass in his stomach, most likely cancer from the renal failure. We asked him to give my Zeus his everlasting peace and rest. The vet gave him a sedative/muscle relaxer and gave us about 15 minutes to be with him. I held him tightly and stroked his frail little head. I told him that I loved him very much and that I did not want to see him suffering. I told him it was okay, that Aunt Dorothy would be there to greet and comfort him, not to worry about me because he had given his all to me for 19 years and that I appreciated it and would never forget. I told him that he would always be in my heart and that when my other babies make it to the bridge, to please take care of them and comfort them as they, like you,
pass from this world to the next.

The vet returned and gave him his peace and youth back. I just kept holding him and did not want to leave him. It took me 10 minutes to finally leave. I was so upset and broken heart. I know that it was out of love and compassion that I let him go, but that did not make it easier.

I will always feel the lost of this wonderful little cat. He was my best friend and I loved him just as much as anyone else I’ve ever loved, human or animal. Although my earthy eyes can no longer see my beloved Zeus, the eyes of my soul will never lose sight of him. Someday, I will met him at the Rainbow Bridge and I will be whole again.


We miss and love you,
AJ & Sandie Falbo