I never intended to become a pet parent again. I had buried enough of them over the years. So when an eight week old tuxedo kitten showed up at my back door, I was ill-prepared but I could not say “no.” A few days later, a friend commented that my new family addition had a face that reminded her of Michelle Pfeiffer, and just like that, Pfeiffer had her name.
A short few weeks later, she nearly died from a pre-existing parasite in her neck, but the vet tech said she had never heard a kitten purr so loudly as when Pfeiffer spied me coming to take her home after a three-day hospital stay. From that point on, we were virtually inseparable.
It would have been difficult for an onlooker to tell who was having more fun when we played together. And of course, her favorite place to sleep was somewhere on me. If she was bored while I was at work, she would entertain herself by opening my drawers and pulling out my socks and underwear, and I discovered she was equally adept at opening kitchen cupboards to look for other items of interest, e.g. … food!
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Her cleverness more than made up for her small size, and I looked forward everyday to coming home and finding her waiting for me at the glass door. We read books together, watched birds and squirrels as we sat side-by-side, and there were countless games of “tag, you’re it” through the years. She never failed to lift my spirits.
As she got older, our activities together changed somewhat but our devotion to each other never did. We were connected on a level I’ll never fully understand, but which will always fill me with a sense of wonderment. It was two moves and 16 years later that she mysteriously became ill. There were repeated visits and some overnight stays at the animal hospital in addition to several rounds of testing, yet she never complained. She only showed her appreciation at being home again.
Her veterinary team was able to make a diagnosis of either IBD or intestinal lymphoma; we simply couldn’t know for sure without an invasive biopsy. At this point, she was on a special diet and was taking three different medications to treat her symptoms and make her comfortable. Twice she had to receive sub-Q fluids at home for a week at a time, and I had thought sadly that Pfeiffer might have reached the end of her stay with me. Still, she never complained.
And twice she rallied to stay at my side. Such was the greatness of her heart. Pfeiffer made it to her 17th birthday. I didn’t think she would, but she surprised me and I believe she did her absolute best to stay as long as she could… for me. But three months later, it was finally her time to go. And so, last August we went on our final car ride together. Though I have suffered the loss of my best friend of 17 years, there is one thing I know for certain: Pfeiffer may well have been a “rescue”, but she was the one who saved me.
Story submitted by J. Phelps from Traverse City, Michigan
Pfeiffer’s story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!
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