Getting a grip on the passing of a loved one is never easy, and it would appear that cats are no exception. Pets and humans have a very special relationship. A human’s experience of animal companionship can be quite profound, and animals feel the same heartbreak when they lose their owners, especially in this particular case.
A 96-year-old woman named Sarah Whaley has been her lover and companion for the majority of her life. As Alexis Hackney and her family were flipping a house in 2014, they heard her singing in the basement and decided to check it out. She was in the wall, and my mother and sister got a sledgehammer and busted out the sheetrock. “She was about two weeks old. Her eyes were barely open.” The couple couldn’t find Tracy’s mother, so they took the kitten home to Tallahassee, Florida, where she formed a close bond with their mother Sarah, who lived with them. “My grandmother lived with us for 18 years,” Hackney said. “My grandmother would fight with her, and she would tell her how cute and sweet she was.”
Trooper slept most of the time in Whaley’s bed and was always bringing things in from around the house. Everyone knew how much Travis loved Whaley, and how much Whaley loved Travis. However, the family hadn’t really felt their connection until Whaley became ill and Travis was there all the time. Sometimes, Whaley would have an uncalled-for temper, and Trimmer would rush to her sister to console her. “Trapper would run in and hug her, and then she’d pet her and feel her, and she’d be relaxed,” Hackney said. The moment my daughter began to be unable to communicate any longer, I believe her surroundings comforted her greatly.
“Trapper was always beside her sister – always there – and she would hit or squeeze her accidentally, and she would never return. As soon as my mother calmed down, she would jump back into her arms and be with her. It would have been a disaster if we had done that. Our children would have been a crowd of thugs, but she was my grandmother, and she never scratched her or hit her.
Trapper was unreachable when Whaley passed away. She stopped eating. I don’t think she’s a typical cat, but she was just walking around the house crying all the time. Trooper is doing better now, but he misses Sarah terribly.