It’s hard to believe this 17 year-old regal, dignified and oh so gentle senior, began life as a feral. Approaching 10 years old, his luck changed one day when rescued by a wonderful elderly German lady, Agnes. Agnes cared for Tut along with her other rescued family of felines with so much love and understanding until the day she died – and bequeathed her family to BrightHaven. Tut’s family members were Dainty Diana, Pepito and Mr. Magoo – all much loved and all who passed away one by one, leaving Tut to represent the family.
Tut settled well at BrightHaven and was loved for his sweet and gentle ways. He remained somewhat fearful of strangers and then, spooked by something one day, he managed to scale our “Cat Fence-In” and run for his life. For 3 months we worried for his safety once again in the wild, this time with few teeth, until the day came when he was sighted by a creek. We journeyed daily to feed and try to tempt him home and then one day after a consultation with talented animal communicator Nancy Windheart, Tut returned home to daily life as though nothing had happened, other than his portly self had become terribly thin and wasted.
Life was good after that and during the last five years or so Tut became a comfortable family man, always full of affection and benevolence. He was never once heard to utter even the smallest oath.
In February 2015 we found an aggressive tumor in his throat but this man took it in his stride and our journey together for the last six months has been a truly remarkable experience.
Classical veterinary homeopath Pat Bradley was Tut’s vet and she was able to use her wonderful skills to help him remain loving and comfortable throughout his journey. Many fear that animals with a tumor in their throat will suffocate to death and so euthanize them to avoid undue suffering, but Tut was clearly out to show us how to release our fears as he very ably took charge, eating with slowly lessening great relish until his appetite petered away and he preferred to drink water only. Day by day his step slowed and he lost weight and muscle mass but his breathing ability never came into question.
Our darling Rosie, the BrightHaven current midwife to the dying, was of course ever in attendance at Tut’s side for the last month of his life.
Of course we worried what his death might look like and whether we may be forced to intervene, but had reckoned without our King who remained calm, dignified and composed to his very last royal breath. I had honored his wish to remain somewhat solitary on that last morning, but then went to lie quietly beside him with my hands close to his paws. Eventually he pulled a paw away and I felt he was asking me to leave him alone. As I began to arise he reached out to cover and hold my hands with his paws. He turned his face to gaze at me as all the while he took a gentle, soft and slow breath…and left on the wings of angels. I hope the story of his death will leave a legacy to help others be filled with hope instead of fear.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
― Emily Dickinson