EraA long and distinct period of history with a particular feature or characteristic.

For us, that would mean having house pets since 1981—all but 5 years of our marriage. Coming home this afternoon to an empty house from the vet’s didn’t feel right. To put it bluntly, we ache over losing the last of our menagerie. This last one, originally our son’s, Bevo was named after the University of Texas mascot because Chris was headed to Austin, Texas, for grad school August of 2005. As he decided to leave her behind, we adopted Bevo and her sister Bewley, Valerie’s kitten.

That summer before college beckoned, the two kitten sisters livened up our household. I would pull Bewley off the window screens and watch them jump into the open dishwasher to play hide-n-seek. They were a bit naughty but sweet. Bevo, being the smallest, couldn’t make it up the stairs so our son carried her up every night. From September on, their presence made the child-empty house much more lively.

These sisters reminded us of the two sister strays we adopted in the mid-1990’s so the kids could have their own pets. Itsy and Bitsy, two colorful tortoiseshell kittens, had been thrown out of car on Runyon Road. Chris’ cat Bitsy died at ten years old in 2003 from renal failure while Valerie’s cat passed with cancer in 1995. Inky took her place that same year and disappeared from the house Easter 2005.

So, we’d never had cats live past 10 years until Bevo and Bewley. Both eventually died of renal failure with Bewley passing June 21, 2021. Bevo was first diagnosed in January 2016 and given two weeks to live. We decided to give that meowing cat scratching at our bedroom door her desperate final wish—to sleep in the comfy bed with us. But the IV jumpstarted her system, giving her 7 ½ more years.

As animals do, each of the above gravitated toward her special someone. Our first adopted stray and my running partner/home assistant, our dog Scruffy helped raise my children, even teaching Chris how to crawl by pulling an old tennis shoe in front of him.

But these last two, Bevo and Bewley, were our empty-nest companions, nursing us through the loss of my parents and the loneliness when our kids moved away. Cuddly Bewley favored me, and spunky Bevo was definitely Al’s shadow, who slept staring at him all night long or followed him around like a puppy.

So here we are, totally alone for the first time in a long time. We’re hurting a bit, but we will always love these furry friends God has given us.