My wife and I met in September of 2007. We quickly decided we wanted to make a life together. One of the first things we did as a couple was adopt two kittens. Amy named them Henry and Angus. Henry was about eight weeks old, Angus six weeks.
I had never owned a cat before. I expected my relationship with them would be tolerating them for Amy’s sake. But a funny thing happened: they stirred a deep affection in my heart.
Where Angus was full of personality with a talent for hoodwinking me into giving him and Henry treats, Henry was a gentle boy. I called him Henry the Sweet and Powerful.
We were forced to euthanize Angus five years ago when he succumbed to bone cancer. I was broken-hearted.
For a few months Henry was the sole cat in the house, the focus of all our affection. But then we adopted a six-month old female cat we called Daisy. We were curious to see if Henry would accept Daisy. He did, as if Daisy had always been a part of our family. And the same was true a year later when we adopted Hazel.
It is hard to imagine a cat with a better disposition than Henry. He loved to be brushed and have his belly scratched. He always had a look on his precious face that made me think this was his twelfth lifetime and that he’d already seen it all.
They say the human body is about 65% water. Henry was about 65% fuzzy belly.
Henry outlived Angus by five years, but after an illness neither we nor our vets could solve, Henry closed his eyes for the final time last week, and I am still getting choked up at his absence from our home.
I learned when Angus left us that one of the greatest gifts our pets give us is revealing just how much we are able to love.
Henry, I miss you and I am grateful to have known you for over 15 years.