Rudy came into our lives 11 years ago with his sister Maggie. From early on, the cards were stacked against him; he had asthma and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy but he still managed to live life to the fullest.
He was the gentlest soul and would purr while using his asthma inhaler twice a day– and to get a treat, he would shake my hand. He loved to lounge with my wife Laura when she came home from hard days at work and helped her through so many difficult transitions in her life. He bravely fought congestive heart failure– and endured an intense regimen of pills three times a day– for ten long months before letting us know that it was time to move on. I have cried more in those ten months just imagining that one day Rudy might leave us than any other time in my life. And yesterday morning, knowing the end was near, Rudy came up to me in bed, laid down on my chest, and purred for over two hours before I got up. Not a tear was shed during that time– I knew I had to value the moment and not burden such a great memory with sadness. While he was there, our eyes locked intently for over a minute. I knew our souls connected and he was thanking me for being such a loving dad and reminding me that, until the next time we meet again, I can find him in my heart and in the sparkle of all life in the wondrous world around me. The only difference between then and now is his physical body. I also made an audio recording of him purring on this last morning. I played it to myself this morning before I got out of bed, and smiled as I knew his spirit was (and always will be) right here with me. I could hear a voice saying, “I ain’t going nowhere, dad!”
I will miss Rudy more than I miss just about any other person or animal in my life. He came into my life as a bodhisattva and taught me to live in the moment. He will always be my friend and continue to teach me how to be brave. I know his soul will be with me in one form or another for the rest of my life.