Johnnie Weiss had to be put to sleep (euthanized) on November 28, 2006. 

Johnnie_1Just a couple of days ago, while lying in bed before falling asleep, my thoughts turned to Johnnie; it suddenly dawned on me that this beautiful Tabby cat, physically, had been part of my life for nine years and one day.

On that fateful day I noticed Johnnie’s heart was beating in a way that alarmed me, Instead of a beat of about 140 per minute … her heart was heaving in a manner that made her side or lungs swell much more obvious than in a normal beat. Her regular Vet was about 20 miles from home. No, I would not waste the time driving to Marlton, New Jersey, besides Dr. Honey only came in on certain days. I called a Veterinarian near my home and made an emergency appointment to bring Johnnie in for examination.

I put her in the same pet carrier that I had used 9 years and 1 day earlier, when I brought Johnnie and Frankie Weiss into my home and life. They both were about 4 ½ months old at that time. Johnnie was timid … Frankie was brash, bossy and demanding. Johnnie ran and hid behind the sofa, Frankie started to explore her new home.

But you already knew that if you read the story I wrote about “Frankie Weiss and Her Magic.”

At the new Vet’s office I was introduced to Jill, a pleasant young lady, a Veterinarian; we went into an examination room…Johnnie would not leave the carrier. Gently I lifted her out and onto the steel examination table … Jill quickly applied her stethoscope to Johnnie’s heart and lungs and immediately suggested X-rays be taken. Naturally anything to help Johnnie was of extreme importance to me, and of course to Johnnie.

A short while later … I received a crushing verbal blow … the X-rays showed that Johnnie’s lungs were filled with fluid and there were also signs of possible cancer. Having asked this young lady Vet what could be done for Johnnie and (for) me, the look in her eyes were of sadness and deep regret … as she answered me … practically nothing.

For a quick second, I did not grasp the meaning of the word ... nothing.

JohnnieSuddenly, I understood ‘nothing’ was meant to be … euthanized! I was not prepared for this unholy prognosis. Johnnie was never sick one day of her entire nine years since she and Frankie had become my “children,” companions and soul mates on November 27, 1997. How could I, her loving Mr. Mom, allow my “child” to be euthanized? She was a part of Frankie’s and my life all these wonderful, happy years, our playmate, our bed partner.

I was more than confused; I was hurt, and I was sick. As Johnnie’s Mr. Mom for all these happy and wonderful years … I had to sign a form giving them the permission to put my cherished child to death. To remove her physical being from Frankie and me and never to look upon her beautiful face again? The world I lived in for so long since their adoption … was coming apart.

My mind was racing … what would her absence do to Frankie? How would I feel going home with an empty cage knowing I had signed Johnnie’s death warrant? I looked at Johnnie on the steel examination table. I again looked at the X-rays … the tears began to flow, as I understood with my losing her, I was going to lose the part of my heart that held her loving precious closeness to me.

The lady Vet, Jill and I spoke about her being cremated; she gently asked me if I wanted Johnnie’s ashes, I answered … no. Having her in my heart and in the many pictures taken during her years with Frankie was enough memory for me. The ashes would not console me … only time would lessen the unexpected hurt and loss of Frankie’s companion and playmate and that of my “child” … a beautiful female Tabby cat, I had named Johnnie.

Jill left the room and soon reappeared with a form authorizing the cremation. With tears in my eyes and a sudden feeling of terrible hurt in my heart I applied my signature to the form.

She again left the examination room to give me some time with Johnnie. I looked at this feline with flowing tears that recalled our closeness and the realization that it was the time for me to say goodbye to a four-legged beautiful Tabby cat that had shared my home with Frankie and held a deep, never to be forgotten place in my heart. Giving Johnnie a gentle hug, kissing the top of her head and telling her I will always love her, I closed the mesh door to the carrier and took it with me as I left the examination room.

johnnieThe clerks in the office offered their condolences as I paid my bill and opened the door to leave the building. One woman who was sitting outside with her dog waiting her turn, asked me how I made out with Johnnie upon seeing the empty cage I was carrying. Unable to reply, I pointed with my thumb in a downward position. The look of shock upon this woman’s face more than confirmed the love that the human race has for their four-legged pets.

Getting into my car, I had to be careful while driving back home to Frankie with the empty cage in the trunk of the car. Whenever the cats were in the carrier it always was on the seat next to me. My tears had stopped and my mind was numb until I came upstairs and was greeted by Frankie who knew something was amiss by the look on my face as I took the now empty carrier into the little den. She could sense it … the tears began again, and my voice cracked as I told her Johnnie was gone.

It was not easy for a man living nine years with two cats and who would be 91 years of age in exactly two weeks from this terrible day in his life. Now my main concern was Frankie … how would she react to the loss of Johnnie, her friend and companion for all these years?

No human could get into Frankie’s head or mind … but by her actions I could tell … for three days straight, she searched the house from room to room looking for Johnnie … and she hardly touched her food for a few days. Finally, hunger took over, as well as self-preservation, and she was eating again. The pet carrier was now verboten in her mind; she would not go near it. Strangely, she considered this carrier her second home. But, leaving the house with Johnnie in the carrier and returning with it empty was cause enough for Frankie not to rest and sleep in it as she has done so often in the past.

Frankie’s Mr. Mom now became her main concern; she knew when I put on my jacket I was leaving her and the house. She would not accompany me downstairs to the first floor. Hitting the button to open the automatic garage door, I entered my car, drove out of the garage, and clicked the garage door closing button.

Her reaction to my returning home is truly incredible. Entering the driveway and clicking the button to open the garage door, Frankie, hearing the door open, will rush downstairs and lay down on the carpet in front of the laundry wash basin waiting for me to come in the door alongside the garage. She cannot wait for me to fondle her; raising her pretty head and searching out my presence as I lock the door … impatient for my touch … she is now deliriously happy in her actions as my hand touches her beautiful soft belly and face. No longer is Frankie alone.

The bond between human and feline is amazing. I am her entire world; Frankie is a large part of mine. With the loss of Johnnie … we now need each other … more than ever.



Five Good Reasons for Having Your Cat Neutered

  • Reduces fighting, injury and noise
  • Reduces spraying and smelling
  • Much less likely to wander and get lost
  • Safer from diseases like feline AIDS, mammary tumours and feline leukaemia
  • Reduces the number of unwanted kittens

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