I miss my dear Tootie2 terribly!

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Animals are such an important part of our lives -- as is the protection and care of them whether in the wild, as neighbors, or in our homes.

The short video below is a French animated piece done by a student in Bordeaux, about how teenager Enzio protects the last red panda in the world from a bloody taxidermist. "The Strawberry" is a short and sweet homage to the dedication of many who go all out to protect endangered species:

And our pets, how do we preserve and protect them?

I just lost my dear cat, Tootie2. It's the first time I have had no cats in the house for 30 years. How does one explain the role of a cat in one's life -- as pal, companion, and family member -- to No-Cat People? In her last days, I was taking care of Tootie 24/7. She suffered from kidney disease/thyroid disease, plus anemia and severe weight loss - and took 4-5 medications a day by mouth, in addition to the subcutaneous fluids I gave her daily. That's not totally unusual for a 14-15 year-old cat, but it's beside the point...

I loved Tootie, as did many others. She was a rescue cat, who initially was my Mom's pal during her last years with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. After my Mom's passing, she lived for five years with my sometime cantankerous father -- who couldn't get along without her, but occasionally threatened to send her to her Aunt Paula in Miami. And with his passing, I indeed brought Tootie to Florida from California. Thus Tootie served three terms as Companion-in-Chief with panache, intelligence (yes, cats think!), and devotion.

I'll never forget those wide eyes whenever Tootie saw (or heard) suspicious movements in the kitchen area that could mean tuna or turkey. She had a particular affection for a small pink pillow that she would put her head on whenever we watched television in bed. And in the morning she would wait by bedroom door facing away while I brushed my teeth, so we could march into the kitchen together for my coffee and her non-fat milk treat. Even on her last day she wanted that milk, regardless of whether she could barely sit up to have it. Tootie was tough, with a mind of her own -- a real character and a blessing in our lives.

Those are some of the reasons why I made the agonizing decision to have Tootie put to sleep at the vet's, the first time I had taken that route. She weighed less than 4 pounds, could barely get up, and was not after all the remedies getting better; I did not want her to suffer the increased indignation that was sure to follow. She went to sleep so quickly in my arms, looking up at me sweetly with not even a flicker of resistance. It was a revelation.

But the rather inescapable fact remains: I miss my dear Tootie2 terribly!

About the author


Paula Xanthopoulou sees how the gross under-representation of women in the U.S Congress adversely effects women and the country as a whole -- and wants to create real change. Her eye-opening eBook "SMOKE & MIRRORS: The Truth About the Political Status of U.S.Women" was recently published on smashwords.com. Paula publishes/maintains…

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