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Beyond the Byline: Care for your pets always

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WILKES-BARRE – All I want for Christmas is my cat, Lily.

Yes, Virginie, I know that is not possible.

I also wish for world peace, two-party politics, food and shelter for all, the eradication of the coronavirus and goodwill towards all – and, of course, loving homes for our furry friends.

My Lily passed away on April 22, 2017 at the age of 19-1 / 2.

She has been my constant companion for all these years and we miss her.

At this time of year, we all miss our loved ones. I am no exception. I have missed my mom since May 1968 and my dad since November 1995. I miss other family and friends as well, as do many of you.

So we get together every holiday and we remember, we remember, we laugh and we cry. We think about all those vacations and all those days they were there and remember how we took it all for granted – never thinking about the days after, just the days before.

Included in our memories are also our missing pets, like my Lily. They too left great memories during their stay with us and we will never forget.

I am definitely a cat person. Has been most of my adult life. I have had several cats as companions over the years.

But the latter, Lily, well, she was the best.

Lily, whom I brought home as a kitten in November 1997, left this world and crossed the infamous Rainbow Bridge on Saturday April 22, 2017. It was a day I dreaded – a day that followed a week of gradual progression towards the inevitable.

As you know from your own experiences, these questions can be extremely moving, and Lily’s passing was the culmination of about a week of monitoring her final days.

When it became clear that she was not going to get any better, that she was so weak that she couldn’t walk and her soft moans indicated the onset of pain, I held her and spoke to her and told him it was about time.

When I got to Plains Animal Hospital I was early so Lily and I sat in the car and turned on the radio.

The song played was “96 Tears” from Question Mark and the Mysterians. From the mid to late 1960s, my dad and I would go to Philadelphia on weekends to visit my mom. She was battling kidney disease and had to be taken to Philly several times for treatment. During many of these trips, “96 Tears” was on the radio.

To this day, every time I hear this song, I think about those days and my mom. Hearing it again this Saturday morning, as I struggled with the decision I never wanted to make, hearing “96 tears”, to me, was a message from my mom that I was doing what needs to be done.

When “96 Tears” ended, the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” arrived – a song I sang to Lily almost every day – convincing me that Lily was being watched. I sang “God only knows what I would be without you”, and Lily listened.

After hearing those two songs back to back, I told Lily that if my favorite song came next – “Get Together” by The Youngbloods – I would take it home because a miracle was happening then. But before the next song was played, the hospital opened and we entered.

I have to tell you what happened when I got back to my Lily-less car.

When I started the car on the way home, “Get Together” happened, freaking me out. Now I was convinced that something was happening – that there was power at work here. I will believe it forever.

A little about Lily – she has never been sick for a day in her life, having the makeup of her grandfather, William O’Boyle, and the courage and compassion of her grandmother, Elizabeth Kraszewski O’Boyle . Lily also loved sleeping, having special seating on the couch, up the stairs, in the hallway, in her large chair upstairs and next to her father’s recliner.

As I wrote on Facebook, β€œInstead of flowers, gifts of any kind or whatever, Lily asks all humans to cherish your time with your pets and never waste a day with them. . “

Pennsylvania State Police are reminding pet owners, including those who keep pets outdoors, this week that they are required to provide pets with basic needs as defined by law. or face potential charges of neglect and / or cruelty to animals.

β€œBasic needs include adequate nutrition to maintain a healthy body weight, as well as clean, unfrozen water to prevent dehydration,” said Corporal Michael Spada, animal cruelty officer for the PSP Bureau of Criminal. Investigation. “It is important to note that animals need as much water in the cold of winter as in the heat of summer.”

Animals should also have access to an appropriately sized shelter that provides protection from the elements, keeps the animal dry and allows it to retain body heat. The shelter should also be clean and hygienic.

Veterinary care should be provided for animals requiring medical attention.

With the holiday season approaching, animals are often given as gifts and sometimes given to humanitarian companies or rescues a few months later. To avoid this, consider the following: their race and inherent behavioral traits; its size in adulthood and its needs as it ages; and animal care costs, including veterinary costs. Too often, β€œcute and cuddly” pets are overlooked as they grow older and older.

Consider supporting your local shelters and rescues with donations and even adopting an older pet in need of a loving home.

I will always miss my Lily. She would support this effort.

Contact Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle, or email [emailΒ protected]

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