Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Goodbye To Another Old Friend

I was an active volunteer at the Animal Shelter in the Albany area back in 2008 and had access to many of the back rooms where sick animals or those on hold were kept. Every time I walked into what was called "the puppy room," a white cat in a high cage would reach out his long arm and pat me on the shoulder. He was deaf, but so handsome and friendly that I felt sure he'd get a good home. When he finally made his way to the adoption area, however, no one seemed to want him and he still reached out to me whenever I went by. So of course I adopted him:

Draco was a fully grown adult when I got him. The Shelter neutered him and I had some concern that he might retain some of his tom cat ways. But he was a lover of comfort and friendly to everyone. This old photo is one of my favorites, showing Draco happy and comfy as well as four of my dogs at the time, only one of which is still alive:

  When we moved to the farm, Draco continued to make himself at home:

 Draco had a few spats with Rocky, but was always best friends with Bramble. The two of them were often together:

And he was an expert at finding cubbyholes to hide in, often opening cabinet doors and crawling inside for a nap:

Mr. Personality, Draco was always the first to greet any guest in my home:

But as the years passed by, he slowed down and began sleeping more:

His two best buddies were Bramble and Snoozey:

And just recently he was still enjoying a bit of play with feathers tied to a string. He and Bramble batted it around vigorously:
Draco was almost everyone's friend:

But he began showing his age more and more. When he began wheezing, I rushed him to the vet, where he was diagnosed as having pneumonia and a failing heart. I nursed him for three weeks with several antibiotics and special foods, trying to get him to eat. But he continued to look worse and worse. One morning I decided that it was time to have him euthanized, but he walked out into the middle of the room and watched me with bright and alert eyes, seemingly saying "Hey, I'm still inside here." I relented, but the next morning he was worse. I took him to the vet to be put to sleep. I didn't want my old friend to suffer any more. He's now buried out beneath the hay bales, close to his buddy, Snoozey, who preceded him:


  1. So sorry for your loss but he had a very good life with you. RB

  2. Draco, so much like my Muji to even the shoulder pats, loving and full of personality, how lucky you each were to share each other for the last 8 years.

    My Babu, always a house cat, went through the loose window screen yesterday and wouldn't come to me despite a day of calling. Between my anxiety and grieving, I thought how much Muji would miss him. Muji called to me all day as I called to Babu. Eventually, just after dark, Babu's screams led us to find each other when he got away from the feral cat that was trying to kill him. Babu made strange at first, even with gentle Muji,who stopped "crying" and seemed immediately less anxious. Babu has come back to centre. I guess this is the long way of saying how much these animals need us and each other. I marvel at the amount of animals you've given a home to and commend you for your kindness during your time of loss. Big hugs, Bill.

    1. Thank you, Lorraine, and I'm happy to learn that all is now well with Babu. You are right that they need us (and each other) and we need them. Draco will be missed here.

  3. Patsy in Pauma ValleyJuly 9, 2016 at 1:28 AM

    Farewell, sweet Draco, and thank you for giving love and companionship to Bill and all his animal friends. You reached out to the right man, Draco. Your mutual blessings were shared. Thank you, Bill, for the photos of Draco's life with you and all your tribe.