Once upon a time there was a boy who had a cat. Now this wasn’t just any cat. This cat thought he was a dog. He refused his litter box in favor of going outside. And, he played like a dog, wanting to rough house every night.
He was a good cat, very loyal, yellow tabby in color and of good temperament. And, his name was Donkey, Donkey Pooh to be exact.
One day a girl moved in with the boy and the cat and they all decided to get a dog. The dog loved the cat and learned many things from him. How to perch on the arm rest of the couch, how to play, how to get extra treats and how to throw a fit when given a much-needed bath. They were good friends.
There was one big thing about Donkey that the girl didn’t like, she didn’t like him roaming around the neighborhood because she didn’t know all his vaccinations and she worried that another animal might get him. The boy said he would be OK, it’s what he had always done since he was a kitten. So the girl relaxed and thought everything was going to be OK… until it wasn’t.
One day the boy came running in the house, he yelled to grab a blanket, something was wrong, very wrong with Donkey. When the girl came with a blanket she knew things were very, very bad. She rushed the three of them to the emergency clinic where it was confirmed he had been brutally attacked and was in a lot of pain and didn’t have a very good chance of making it. It broke their hearts but the boy and the girl decided that it was time to let him go, they couldn’t see him suffer. So they said goodbye.
On the way home the girl who had been so strong the whole time broke down in tears, she said she felt bad for all the times she got mad at him for doing silly things. And, she felt bad that she hadn’t cuddled more. The boy was very upset too, after all Donkey was his cat.
A few days later something strange happened. The girl heard a familiar noise outside and looked out, she didn’t see anything so she opened the door. She nearly fainted when she saw what the noise was, it was Donkey. Their Donkey!
She let him in the house, the whole time screaming at the boy to come and see. She squeeze him until he was mad and then fed him all of his favorite foods. The boy couldn’t believe his eyes. Where did he come from? Where had he been for several days.
Most of all… who was that other cat?
It was strange but, the boy, the girl and the dog were so happy to see him again. Everything went back to the way it was.. Play time, cuddles, lots of extra treats. They got a second chance, they were a family of 4 again… until they weren’t.
One day the girl was feeding Donkey and he missed when he tried to jump on the counter. She laughed it off. But, then he missed jumping on the couch to snuggle with the boy. And, then he started walking funny. And, then he just wasn’t himself. The girl said they needed to get him checked out.
Once at the vet the worst was confirmed, Donkey was dying, something had gone wrong, his blood was bad, his brain wasn’t working right, his body wouldn’t do what he wanted it to. He was miserable and there wasn’t anything they could do for him. So once again, they had to say goodbye, but this time knowing it was their Donkey Pooh.
It didn’t ease their pain having been through it before, they still mourned him, their Donkey, the cat with two lives.
* True story, John did have Donkey when we first got together and Boomer loved him very much. We did euthanize a stray cat thinking it was Donkey because he was so torn up we couldn’t tell it wasn’t him. But he came back and he was with us until the end when he got too sick.