The Best Boy in the Whole World - My Cat Story

by Jim Pransky
(Davenport, Iowa)

The best boy in the whole world died on October 4, 2012 at 5:15 a.m. He passed away in his Mommy's arms as his Daddy knelt between the veterinarian and her assistant so that he could look in to his boy's eyes as the needle was administered and Henny's life ended 15 seconds later.


Henry Aaron was our tabby cat, just one month short of his 15th birthday. He was a victim of congestive heart failure, causing him lengthy periods of shortness of breath that could only be relieved temporarily by injected medication.

It has taken me five days to begin writing about Henry. I did spend some time making an outline of his time spent with us; anecdotes, routines, things that made us laugh and most importantly, what made us love him so much. It became an impossible task to list all of the ways he gave us consummate joy every day of his life.

We first saw Henry as a kitten at our local Humane Society. The first kitten we held was black and white with a runny nose and the administrators did not want him to leave the shelter with a cold. I'd liked to say that I picked Henry out, but it really was the other way around. It was as if he chose us to be his parents. After holding him for a moment, we put him on the floor and he immediately raced for the toys in the back of the room. We took him to a private room for some bonding time and we knew he was our guy.

We paid thirty dollars for Henry and he gave us back a thousand times that with his love and affection.

The next morning, my wife, Grace, brought him home. Grace loved cats and was very familiar with their habits and needs. I had never owned a cat, knew nothing about them, and just figured that I'd pet him once in a while and that would be it. How wrong I was!

We do not have any children. We had lots of love to give and we gave it all to Henry and he reciprocated. We marvelled at his sweetness and his loving personality.

When words like "great and "perfect" are used so commonly, it almost reduces their true meaning. Everyone can't be great, everything can't be perfect. But we are absolutely certain that Henry was perfect for us.

We know we were blessed to have him enter our lives and bring peace to a world that sometimes gets too hectic and fast-paced.

He grew to have his special moments with us as individuals. He loved lying on the bed with Grace early in the morning, side by side, holding her hands. He would wait for her as she showered, needing a pick-me-up as soon as she put on her white robe.

My lap became his resting spot every time I sat in our recliner. He would always approach the chair and circle it in a counter-clockwise fashion, appearing on my right side as he jumped on to my lap. I always had to be prepared for his arrival, covering my legs with one of his countless blankets.

He loved watching movies with us. It was a wonderful time for him to be near us and to nap. He would rest on one of his blankets, cushions or inside one of his "tubbies." We called them "sleep movies," and with the notable exception of the stinker, "Swordfish," he would be with us through the entire showing. He walked out on "Swordfish." He displayed exceptional taste.

There wasn't a single room or area in the house that wasn't his. He spent almost 40,000 nights in our house, spending only one night away from his home until his last night on earth as he was in emergency care.

We were his caregivers, but he took care of us daily. He did double-duty whenever one of us was ill, always being by our side, his mere presence easing our discomfort.

He was loving, smart, handsome, funny, but most of all he was good. He was always good. In a world that often disappoints, he was our hope. So many times, Grace and I would just watch him as he rested on warm towels or curled his little arm over his eyes when it became a little too noisy during his nap attempt. We would smile at each other, amazed by his beauty and what this precious gift had added to our lives.

Our lives were changed when we first held him in our arms and now they have been altered again upon his death. We will never be the same without our boy. his legacy will be one of peace, compassion and good. His life will stand as a positive example to us all. We will grieve for our boy forever.


Jul 16, 2013
I know what it's like
by: Peyton

I cried because I just went thought a cat death and I am only ten so I feel your sorrows but don't worry even thought the wound will not completely heal it gets better
Mar 08, 2013
Lovely tribute
by: Lori

What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful Best Boy. May he be joyous at the Bridge.


Oct 31, 2012
The Best Boy in the world
by: Melinda Hunter

I almost cried when I read your memorial story. I have had cats since my son was 12. The cat I grieved the most was Big Foot. She was part Maine Coon and had 6 toes on each foot and was very loving.

I loved the way you described Henry's activities, like watching movies with you and holding hands with your wife.

I will pray for you as you grieve. I grew up in Indianola, Iowa, so I was interested that you are from Davenport.

Deep Sympathy,
Melinda M. Hunter

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