Instead, this happened: The compassionate people at an animal hospital in Miami realized that this sweet old man did not deserve to die. When I heard about him, I brought him to stay with Howard and me — and our resident cats and rabbits — until we return to New York in mid-May. Tazz does not need the stress of air travel (he’s successfully fighting an upper respiratory infection at the moment), so when I leave, I’ll hand him over to my fellow rescue partner and good friend Kelly, who will continue to care for and love him until we find him a forever home. (We already started his own IG, which Kelly will take over soon. @tazzconqueso).
Howard and I fell in love with him immediately, and because he came to us on May 5, Cinco de Mayo, Howard started calling him “Guacamole.” Tazz has a strong purr and an adorable raspy voice, which he uses a lot. We both love chatting with him and agree that it’s simply unbelievable that anyone could be so cruel to such a gentle family member at any time, never mind after 20 years!
Tazz is asking for very little from life these days: a warm spot in the sunshine, some brushing, kissing, tasty meals, and most important of all, time. He is a great house guest, perfect with his litter box, and easy to please. He’s a treasure.
Tragically, I’m finding more and more people are giving up on senior pets like Tazz, and it’s absolutely devastating and angers me to my core. The commitment we make to our pets must be for life — for better or worse, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death — not boredom or whimsy or arbitrary euthanasia — do us part! It really is just this serious. It’s a vow, a promise, and a commitment.
I cannot tell you how many people have said to me that they would have given anything to have been able to love their beloved cat for 20 years. For most of us, a pet’s life is much too short, never too long. Each day is a gift and to cut those days short…well, it’s reprehensible, heart-breaking, and mind-boggling!
Obviously, we can’t always predict who our pets will become once they’re in our homes. You might go to adopt a new cat and meet an easy-going, lively little friend who is all adorability in the shelter. But once home, she turns into a frightened, anxious, suspicious little worrywart, and stays that way even after years of patience. Mooshu Peaches (left), for example, is still very afraid of us when we’re standing and will come close only when we’re sitting down. It took ages for her to allow me to pet her. And look at my Poopy Pebble Stern! So naughty but I love her so much. You end up falling in love with any quirks that make your cat different.