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My Howard taught me to live, by Joy Belle

I think the most heartfelt story I would have about the one I lost would be about Howard. When I had to have him put to sleep he was 19 years old. It happened when I was having treatment for breast cancer, and as everyone knows, cancer is hard.

I had just come home from treatment, and I was laying on the bed. I was tired and I was in pain. Howard crawled up on the bed next to me and he looked at me. He snuggled up next to my breast and put his head gently on my chest and began to rub it. He looked at me and he cried, as if he were saying to Mommy: “If I could take the pain I would.”

Then he snuggled up next to me, and he put his paws on my breast, and he just laid there and he held me. Howard held me in his paws, and I felt safe for the first time in a very long time, and I felt loved. When you’re having breast cancer treatment, to feel safe and to feel loved is something you don’t feel very often, but that little black kitty made me feel safe and he made me feel loved.

Howard just lay there looking at me with those beautiful green eyes, looking up into my eyes. I knew at that moment what undying love is. That day Howard gave me the will to live again. That’s a lot to say, but he did – he gave me the will to live when I had all but given up. No matter what happened, Howard would be there for me, and with me, and he would love me.

I think the hardest is part of losing him was that I couldn’t help him in the end. I couldn’t do for him what he did for me – I couldn’t give him life. I couldn’t help him to live, but the one thing I was able to do was to release him from his pain, and that I will never be sorry for!

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