Earlier this year my cat Fred died. Over ten years ago, we found Fred in our backyard dirty, with marks of possible abuse. Needless to say, it took awhile for Fred to trust people again. We never gave up on him and over time he learned to trust his new people family. The cat that we used to call “Grouchy Kitty” turned out to be a big mushy cat who loved to snuggle and give you head-butts.
The one fear that Fred never got over though was that of the vet. Hiss, meow, bite and scratch. He always put up a fight. Then when we would get him home he would hide for days after the visit. So after one rather tough day at the vet, I vowed to Fred, that unless it was an emergency, that would be the last time he went to the vet.
A few months before he died, we noticed that Fred was getting skinny and slowing down. He was constantly hungry, but would throw up if he ate too fast. I struggled with the notion of taking him to the vet, but I just couldn’t do it. If he didn’t have much time left, I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to be peaceful.
The day he died, he curled up in his favorite spot. His breathing was very labored. I sat with him on the floor. After awhile, he picked his head up, gave me and my husband a last meow and then he went still. It was of course a sad day and I questioned if I had done right by Fred. In my heart, I knew he did not suffer, but my doubting brain was second guessing my decisions.
Looking for a diversion, I hopped on the internet clicking on anything to distract my chatty brain. The next thing I know, I am on a website for a peace conference that was going to be held in my home state of NJ. On the website they had this graphic.
All of the sudden, the letters popped out of the screen. Fred. It turns out that “fred” means peace in Norwegian. My brain stopped its chatter. My heart took over and I knew that I had done right by Fred and I thanked the Universe for the validation.
As we here in the United States gear up for Thanksgiving, I thank the Universe for continually sending me the signs I need, the time I had with Fred and for the feeling of Fred, Norwegian and furry, in my heart.
Karen Auld is the founder of the Society of Ultimate Living (SOUL).
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