As anyone who has been lucky enough to have pet in their life can tell you, animals are capable of experiencing the same kinds of emotions that we people do. We can think back on our pets’ lives and recall their expressions of love, joy, annoyance, and on occasion, fear and anger. Less often, and fortunately it is less often, cats show that they can also experience as complex and profound an emotion as grief. A case in point is what happened when a cat named Chuey lost her battle with jaw cancer.
Chuey and Big Boy were feline roommates who, like many cats who share a home, didn’t always get along. Big Boy, a large, rambunctious orange tabby, had a habit of constantly pestering Chuey for attention. Chuey usually didn’t want to play along and, as cats often do, made this quite clear. Frequent though this conflict was, it was only on the surface. Deep down, the two cats were actually very close. This bond between Chuey and Big Boy is yet another example of how our pets have emotions, too.
When Chuey passed away after her battle with cancer of the jaw, her parents didn’t want to have her suddenly vanish from Big Boy’s life, disappearing without any explanation. So they decided that the thing to do was to give him a chance to say goodbye. They wrapped Chuey in a worn blanket and then allowed Big Boy into the room so he could see his old friend one last time. What happened next was heartbreaking but it vividly shows us that our pets have emotional needs, especially at times of tragic loss.
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