Snoopy was a very special cat. I adopted him in 2004 when he had nowhere to go other than an overcrowded shelter. I lived alone, and he made an exceptionally great companion.
We had an evening routine we enjoyed. After I was done working for the day and came home from the gym, we would get comfortable on the sofa together and enjoy relaxing music and a good book.
When my wife moved in with me, our lifestyle changed a little. Cable TV and internet were introduced into my home -- two "luxuries" I had happily lived without for the four previous years. So Snoopy didn't get nearly as much quiet time with me as he used to, but he loved my wife and gave her the same devoted affection that he had always given me.
We moved 250 miles away, and of course, brought our beloved Snoopy with us. Our cat family grew after we moved into our larger home. We added Chloe, then Junior, who I will write about at a later time.
We had no idea that Snoopy was terminally ill. He gave no indication he wasn't well. In March of 2011, my wife and I went on a week-long Caribbean cruise. One evening shortly after we returned home, we found him lying dead in our living room. We were shocked and grief-stricken. Our most beloved animal companion was gone without a warning. I called in sick to work the next day to hide away in my grief. But it took me several weeks to completely heal from the loss of Snoopy. To this day, he still has a piece of my heart.
An autopsy revealed that Snoopy had cancer in his kidneys. If he had been feeling pain, he did not reveal it to us. All he showed us was unconditional love. I had him cremated and I built a beautiful oak urn in which his ashes are stored. That urn stays in our living room, where he will forever be close to our family.