If you've stumbled across this page, then you might want to read my post on euthanising pets - why it's important to safeguard the memory of our furbabies, plus an article on what you should know before you say goodbye.
This article is reposted from an old personal blog in 2009, the year Pepper turned 10. It's short (like his life) and sweet (like his lovely personality).
The house where I first saw Pepper was a sad sight. Dozens of dogs and cats ran throughout the small grassless yard and more could be heard inside. Pepper was the last of the litter to go, but by no means was he the runt: right from the start you could tell he was going to be a big cat. He was passed over because he was covered in muck.
A common misconception about cats is that they need to drink milk. Far from it – many of them are allergic to the stuff. I’d owned such a cat before and recognised right away what the problem was with Pepper. This pitiful, filthy ball of black fur was literally being poisoned by kindness. But the little kitten was not about to suffer that chaos any longer. He had a plan.
As soon as he was placed in my hands, he squirmed around until he faced me and then latched onto my shoulder. Immediately he began a purr to rival a chainsaw, with his whole body vibrating as hard as it could. He rumbled his way into my heart right then and there, which was just as well because he wasn't about to let go of my blouse.
It didn’t take much to clean up this little gem. Ten years and 15lbs of muscular bulk later (no excess fat – the vet says he’s buff), he still purrs like a chainsaw and has been a source of fun and many laughs. Here’s to another 10, mate.