Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.18.33 PMTo the doctors and staff and Bayview, especially Mary Smart,

Ever since I reluctantly made the decision to have Tom, our gray male tabby of 16 1/2 years put down on Thursday, May 26, I have wanted to write and express my deepest appreciation for the kind, gentle and tender way you looked after him and relieved him of suffering from injuries from which he had no realistic prospect of recovery. Unfortunately, I left town that same evening on a long-planned vacation, which had an understandable bittersweet edge to it but which your care helped unfold much better than I initially thought possible. When we returned, we found your thoughtful card and note, which also means much for which I, on behalf of our entire family, thank you.

Tom was a most remarkable cat, unbelievably tough inside, yet equally gentle and patient on the outside. When Dr. Smart told me the extent of his injuries, I was stunned because not once did he ever meow or exhibit any indication that his injuries were so extensive, even when gently moving him from the bathroom, where we hoped he would convalesce and recover, to the living room, to keep me company and vice versa. He only meowed when he was hungry and started purring as soon as I started petting him. That was why I thought he would recover with more, since he was hit in the hind area by a car in 2014, looked much worse that time and yet made a full recovery. It’s a truly remarkable cat that will patiently and uncomplainingly put up with that sort of discomfort, even with the gentlest of handling and why your final care was so deeply appreciated. Thank you. THANK YOU!

I’ll miss Tom, to be sure, but am so grateful for the 16 1/2 years of love and happiness he gave us, especially when he kept me company during the months of recovery after a compound fracture in 2009 — purring late at night while I stroked his favorite spots and taking my mind off of how serious and unpleasant my own situation was.

In closing, thanks again for doing all that you reasonably could, giving me the diagnosis in a gentle way and, to Dr. Smart, answering, with moist eyes, the one question for which I most needed an answer: If Tom were her pet, what would she do? When she said, with a touch of emotion, that she would have him put down, that was all I needed to come to the same difficult, but ultimately loving and caring, conclusion.

Here’s a shot of Tom, taking in March 27, 2016, showing him at his finest and gentlest.

Kindest personal regards,
Bob McKeen