When we welcome a pet into our lives, it is often likely that we will outlive him or her. During the course of our lifetime, many come, and many go. Some we may hold more dear than others for whatever reason. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to know one so special. He was the one I will never forget, and the one who will always hold a place in my heart that no one else will. I loved him deeply and with all my heart.
Shelby was born in the city of Los Angeles. He was a city cat, so he never got to enjoy the outdoors. One fateful day, my landlord let him out of my apartment while doing repair work. I searched tirelessly for more than a year before finally resigning myself, but never really accepting, that my Shelby was gone. By nothing short of a miracle, I was eventually reunited with him.
As it turned out he'd been "borrowed" by a neighborhood boy, and kept a prisoner in the boys room. He and his mother apparently hadn't cared about the posters I'd plastered everywhere, or the hours I'd spent looking for him and calling out.
He was gravely ill when he was finally returned to me. Thankfully the boy had loved Shelby enough to realize that he would die without veterinary care, something they could not afford.. The vet said he was in the end stages of kidney failure, and his heart was diseased. The prognosis was poor and he wasn't expected to live more than a few weeks at best. I did all I could medically, and spent hours researching treatments. With the help of traditional and holistic treatment, and our beloved Dr. Janet Meyerhoff, we were miraculously able to give him 1 1/2 more years of quality life, most of which he enjoyed in the country. He loved his new home in Yucaipa, CA. Our back yard was completely and safely enclosed, so he was able to enjoy supervised periods in the outdoors. I'd never seen him so happy, pouncing on bugs and attempting to leap at butterflies despite his illness. I didn't work for much of that time so that I could be with him, enduring the financial difficulties due to his mounting medical bills.
Looking back on the year 2007, it was an amazing one for both of us, and I am blessed to have been left with such fond memories. It was very hard for us to let him go when the time came. In opening "Shelby's Eden", we had him in mind. We hope that he would be proud of us for moving on with our lives, yet still thinking of him. To speak his name every time I reference the facility has been of great comfort to me. He was the sweetest soul, and we will never forget him and the lessons he taught us in matters of the heart.