Paw Prints on My Heart

A post honoring my furry friends who have left paw prints on my heart.


This post is a bit different then what I usually post. It is something that was on my heart to write and share mainly to honor those in the post.

My love for animals began before the sweet air of this world kissed my lungs. While my mom was expecting, our cat Buttons gently cuddled up against her abdomen, played with me as I kicked, and purred a calming melody. I developed a deep love for animals, they have always had a special place in my heart. Growing up I was surrounded by furry friends including two cats, a dog, bird, rabbit, and a few stray cats. I jumped at the chance to meet and play with other animals. Just like no human knows how long they have on Earth, no animal knows. Many times they depart too soon. I lost many of my friends in a very short period of time. I’m going to talk a bit about my friends.


I got my dog Hannah at seven years old. I desperately wanted a sister named Hannah, but I got a dog. Hannah and I were inseparable, best friends. She was gentle, sweet, and full of love. She adored people and cats. It worried Hannah to say the least when I became ill. Hannah made sure I stayed on a schedule. If I was up late she would sit on the stair case whining until I began getting ready for bed. Then she would make sure I shut off my light by a certain time. Hannah either slept next to my bed or in my bed with me. She knew how to get help if I was in trouble. If I fell she knew how to help me up. I never questioned my safety with her around. In the nice weather we would go for a walk around my house, she was afraid of leaving the property. We thought she had developed asthma like me. The vet was surprised to tell us that she had lung cancer in both lungs. I begged her to passed away at home. I could tell she was in pain. She got worst hourly. We had hoped she had more time. She passed away at the Vet’s four days later. She was bleeding internally as well. Looking back I am grateful for the time I had with her. Of course I wanted more time but she lived a long and happy life.


Hope was a different cat. She was found in the woods with her brother, deserted by her mother. The first night we meet I told her bluntly that she was my cat and that I would love her. As soon as I turned my back she hid then I frantically searched all over my room for her.  She had sever anxiety, depression, and interstitial cystitis. I worked with her and she became like a new cat. She would throw her food or eat using her paw. She would answer any time someone asked her a question. Once Hannah passed away, Hope became the one who watched me. Her fur was beautiful and extremely calming to me. Shortly after I got Hope, I got Grace (who is turning three soon). The three of us were very close. The girls adored one another. They protested me going away to college by attempting to tear up my suit case and unpacking my clothing.


Tommy was born in my house two weeks before Hope passed away. His mother is a stray named Fluffy Fluffy invited herself into my house one day and had a litter of kittens. She wanted someone to hold her paw the entire time which was over twenty four hours. Tommy was the sweetest kitten with the ideal personality. He wiggled his way into my heart and had no intesions of leaving. When he was a few weeks old I talked to him for a few minutes until we fell asleep; he knew I was sick and wanted to help. He loved plating hide in seek and he loved stuffed animals. He was an extremely bold and adventurous kitten. He loved to play and loved to run on his tipy toes. The love and excitement he had for life was admirable.Tommy was always purring. Anytime he got in trouble all I had to do was say his name and count like mothers do for their children,and he would immedeity stop, sit, and look at me.The memory of the day he passed away is still fresh in my memory, it was a heartrending experience. I am usually a level headed person who is fairly calm in perspective. Tommy was just over six months old and it was  his time to get fixed. The phone rang earlier then I expected and I had a terrible feeling. Though I could only hear pieces of the conversation I knew he was gone. I literally lost it. Screaming. I had just lost Hope five months ago. Tommy was only six months. I couldn’t do it. He was too young. It was the worse feeling. The vet told my mom what happened and was running test to find out why. He did well in surgery. After he stood up, fell over, and passed away. The vet found out that Tommy had heart disease and a blood clot near his heart, which of course was unexpected. He most likely suffered a heart attack.


Grieving with a Chronic illness is difficult. I doubt there is any advice that I could give you that would make the grieving process any easier. If you are grieving, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Grieving can cause flare ups and complicate things. I cried rives each time. Allow yourself to feel any emotion that you need to, it is healthy. Personally, making collages, talking, writing, and reading quotes helps me cope with this agonizing process. I also spent a lot of time with Grace, my cat and Fluffy the stray. They provided me with so much comfort. Though time does not erase what has occurred, it does help to a degree.


One of the most difficult things for me has been memory loss. I am afraid that I will completely forget my beloved friends. It is a burden which has consumed my fragile heart at times. I already feel the memories slipping through my fingers, quickly fading away. No matter how many of my memories desert me, I know I will always deeply love them and cherish the time I was blessed to have with them. These furry friends have left paw prints on my heart.


Author: Victoria

Welcome, it is an honor you dropped by. I am Victoria. A twenty-something-year-old battling multiple chronic illnesses while learning how to thrive. Chronically Hopeful was designed to educate others and to provide support to those who are chronically ill. Proving encouragement to others is essential to me. I share my health on here. My major illnesses are Lupus, Hyperadrenergic Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, EDS, Mast Cell, Endo, and Ulcerative Colitis. I want to share my story with you hoping you will experience support; that someone else understands your pain, struggles, and frustrations. God has chosen not to heal me but to hold me. The more intense the pain the closer his embrace”. My faith, as a Christian has sustained me through the stormy waters of the past few chapters of my life. I desire to grow closer to God and lead others closer to Him. I help lead two online women’s Bible studies. I also post devotionals. I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree through Liberty University’s online program. Despite my illnesses, I have thrived in school. I am a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Psi Chi the International Honor Society, and Tau Sigma Honor Society. Abby is my service dog in training. I also have three cats Gracey, Fluffy, and Sadie Rose. I am looking forward to hearing your precious story. Sending hugs, prayers, and spoons. Have an amazing day!

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