Today they buried my friend.
I have been the family veterinarian for Tom and his family for 53 years. I have cared for all their animals as well as adopting them. Twenty years ago Tom began caring for cats. I remember it well when he thought his outside neighbor’s cat was hungry and I told the humane thing to do was feed it. Soon the cat adopted Tom. This was the beginning of a love affair that affected the lives of countless cats, Tom, and his family. Most were strays, abandoned, or feral. One by one he brought them in to be tested for leukemia and aids. All were vaccinated, wormed, neutered, patched up, medicated, and given a full measure of lifetime devotion. He cared for them until long after their time was up when he regretfully consented to put them to sleep.
Twenty years ago he asked me if I would care for his 20 plus cats if something were to happen to him. He said he had an insurance policy to help defray the costs. I agreed. Today Tom was buried and I am privileged to know that while he suffered terribly from 4th stage lung cancer, he knew his cats were going to be cared for. While many were strays, feral, fearful of people, all loved Tom and they gave love back to Tom in a heavenly way and this was his final reward.
Now I have twenty-two healthy cats coming. Some are extremely friendly, loving, and seeking attention while others will need special, understanding owners. They are being processed over the next few days and anyone wishing to help a dead man’s legacy, please contact me privately.
Today Toms viewing was private, limited to family members only due to the epidemic. I knew this and understood, however, I was later informed they would sneak me in as they considered me family. I did not go, but none the less, I was there in spirit. Goodbye, my young friend (54yrs), rest in peace Thomas Minchin, you are a good person and I wish there were more like you in this world.
Robert R Blease DVM