This is Lyle at the shelter. Weighing in at fourteen pounds, he was a bushel of love.
This blog post is an homage to a fine, sweet, older kitty, Lyle.
Lyle was surrendered to the local CASPCA six months ago. He had been in the same home for eleven years. The owners had various reasons for letting him go, yet Lyle never really recovered from the separation. Despite daily attention from a devoted feline volunteer, Lyle remained shy, fearful, and distant, making adoption difficult in a facility filled with bouncing, adorable kittens.
It’s been nearly four years since my beloved Miss Kitty departed this life and I finally felt ready to welcome a special kitty into my heart. After filling out his paperwork on Friday, I asked Lyle if he approved. He looked me in the eyes and reached out one paw and began kneading his pillow. I took that as a YES!
Lyle was vetted on Monday, where a new heart condition was discovered. This did not dissuade me in any way. The shelter thought we were a perfect match, and with high hopes, I brought him home on Tuesday.
The ride to Swallowtail Cottage was peaceful. The sunny winter afternoon was brilliant. Lyle made eye contact with me many times from his carrier, sunlight reflecting from his soulful, golden eyes. He even seemed to enjoy the view of the passing landscape. I assured him we would have a good life together. He would have a second chance at love.
Within minutes of arrival, Lyle began choking and gasping. Numerous calls to his vet assured me this was stress related, and I should leave him to quiet. Within thirty minutes he was dead — DEAD!!
Post mortem revealed Lyle died of heart failure. A heart broken from rejection? A heart longing to be loved too long? A heart not strong enough to accept new love?
I shall never know.
The house is again quiet — in its winter mode. I wrestle with many emotions, yet have the highest respect for those dedicated shelter volunteers and skilled professionals, who have the emotional stamina to deal with rejected animals every day. To all of them, thank you. And to all who adopt from shelters and rescue facilities, hugs to you.
For those guardians who dump/discard family pets when they age, shame on you!
Today if you have the chance, please send up a little word for Lyle to finally find peace and unconditional love.
Photo of Lyle courtesy of the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA.
Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved