Farewell to a Beloved Family Member

Minuet - pic by 'Mom' (Beth) 5-6-2021 Minuet – recent photo by our daughter Beth

Does the fact that she was a cat make this post seem less sincere? It’s not. Anyone who’s adopted an animal knows that pets are family members–and family means loving unconditionally.

Minuet was beautiful and troubled. The moment our daughter Beth brought her home, we suspected this little cat had been mistreated, perhaps badly.

But love was the cure. The more we held and stroked her, the more she relaxed, finally believing, it seemed, that she would never be abandoned again. She soon became affectionate and playful.

And then Misha arrived. If Minuet was the moody goth girl, we joked with our teenage daughters, Misha was the carefree cheerleader. And yet somehow these antithetical felines got along, even spooning together when they napped.

That is, until Misha came of age.

Almost overnight, some insidious hormonal reaction occurred in Minuet. She seemed threatened by Misha’s very presence, repeatedly attempting to drive her away. And Misha, in-turn, defended herself; this was her home too—every inch of it. The claws were drawn.

We finally had to permanently separate them, relegating Minuet to the place she felt safest, the basement. And so, for a year she lived in isolation. We’d visit her throughout the day, holding her and reminding her we loved her. But it was a band-aid, not a fix.

And then, Beth, now out of college and living on her own, came to visit. Her heart nearly broke when she saw Minuet alone in the basement. After holding and re-bonding with her Minuet, Beth insisted on taking her back with her to California.

To say that getting Minuet into a carrier and onto a plane was traumatic would be a ludicrous understatement. Every fiber of trust we’d woven into her was shredded that day. Trudy and I cried as the plane departed, fearing our attempt at a solution had inflicted permanent damage.

But within a week, Beth reported, Minuet was exploring her new home and curling up next to her new hero at night. After all, Beth was the one who’d rescued her from the people who abandoned her. It saddened us to be the enemy, but sometimes love makes you the bad guy. At any rate, it was a small price to pay to restore this beloved family member, who was now living happily with her true “mom.”

Minuet passed away last week, while looking quietly into her Beth’s eyes, knowing she was loved…

Unconditionally.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

114 Responses to Farewell to a Beloved Family Member

  1. rwfrohlich says:

    We had a cat who looked just like yours. She showed up on our front sstep one cold February night, and our college student daughter insisted we take her in. She lived with us for about 12 years.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. MeganMarie says:

    So sorry for you’re loss. Pets are family members in our family to .

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Awww, Minuet! What a beauty! Misha was the name of my first cat, and I still remember how devastating it was when he left us. 😥

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Pingback: Shared Read: Farewell to a Beloved Family Member – The Kitty Kat Life

  5. Kimie says:

    This is so hard🤍

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Anita Bowden says:

    What a lovely story, and I am so sorry for your loss……Our beloved animal companions truly are a part of our families, and it is never easy to lose these gentile, loving souls. ❤ Wishing all of you peace during this difficult time.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Alecia says:

    So sorry for your loss 🖤 losing a pet is one of the hardest parts of life. Take comfort in knowing she knew you loved her and that you gave her the best life she could have asked for.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. cypher says:

    Hope you read this🙂
    Feel free to follow the blog
    https://cypher912.wordpress.com/2021/06/20/a-bus-trip/

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gardenia says:

    Awwww… this is a beautiful tribute to Minuet and the bond of family. I am so sorry for your loss…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So sorry for your loss. It had to have been hard to put her on that plane, even knowing she was with Beth, and I know it is hard for all of you to know she has now passed. An animal that enters the home as a pet, never stays just an animal. They become treasured and valued friends and part of the family. You gave Minuet a beautiful gift by loving her, even when it was hard. May the memories she left behind of shared moments be a gift back to you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As it’s been said about the horse….there’s something about the outside of a cat that is good for the inside of Man… I know the pain well and am so sorry. It took three cats to put out the sadness of losing my Lola…

    Like

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