Guardian Angel: A Cat named Walley

by guest Author, Fay Stancliff

I have read many stories about dogs being very protective of their owners, but there have not been many such stories regarding the loyalty of cats.

Cats seem to only be affectionate on their terms. Usually they stay to themselves, coming around for an occasional pet on the head. But for me that changed after September, 2004.

We were given a beautiful kitten we named Walley in 1995 when he was just 6 weeks old. He gave us so many happy memories and joy the 12 years he was with us. Little did I know he would become my “Guardian Angel”.

In June 2004 I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Polymyositis and if that were not enough, also with another disease called interstitial lung disease (also referred to as Fibrosis of the Lungs). By the end of August my Rheumatologist decided to add Methotrexate to the treatment plan along with Prednisone. Due to the lung disease I had a severe reaction to Methotrexate after just 2 doses. On September 7, 2004 I went into pneumonia and respiratory failure. I was place on a ventilator for 5 weeks and was in the hospital for 8 weeks. During these 8 weeks, this cat, who was our dear friend, would each and everyday wake my husband up, knowing his routine was to be at the hospital from early morning till late in the evening. My husband never had to rely on an alarm clock as Walley made certain he was up and out of the house on time daily!

I was finally discharged on October 27, 2004 and from the first day home Walley was by my side.  I came home with a feeding tube in place, a walker and oxygen 24 hours, 7 days a week, due to the Fibrosis of the lungs. Also, my medications had to be crushed and inserted into the feeding tube. So the routine would be medications at 7am and then I could not eat until 9am.  My husband would rise around 7am, give me the first medications and then Walley would lay by my side until 9.  At 9am he would pester my husband because Walley knew it was time for my next medication. This would be repeated at 3PM and again at 9PM each day, Wally was right there. It seemed that our wall clock striking the time would alert Walley that it was time for the next medication. This went on for 3 years and he never failed to let us know what needed to be done.

On November 10, 2007 Walley became sick. He wasn’t eating or drinking and for the next several days he would just lay and stare; sometimes I felt like he was trying to tell me something like your health problems are no longer as serious as they were at the start of this journey.

Then on November 19th, we took Walley to the vet, not realizing how seriously ill he was. They took x-rays and we were both shocked to see what the vet was pointing out. His lungs were so inflamed that you could not even see where his heart should be.

And the eerie thing was in March 2007 after several tests and chest x-rays I was told that all the inflammation in my lungs was gone and the Fibrosis was very mild so I was removed from all oxygen several months before this exam. I had been on oxygen since Sept. 2004.

Looking back on all that happened that year I am convinced that God sent Walley into our lives in 1995 because he would serve as a special instrument in the miracle I was to receive in 2007!

We take our pets for granted and don’t usually consider that they can have a true value in what they bring to our lives.

Walley lived for 12 years and there is  still not a day that I don’t remember him and how much love and joy he brought to us!

The image at the top is not Walley; it is a stock image to represent the love of animals.

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2 Comments
  1. Author
    Fay Stancliff 4 years ago

    Not many have responded to my article and I appreciate your understanding and kind words, so glad you have had a similar experience! No, we have not replaced Walley, although I would in a flash but my husband does not feel the same. Mainly because how painful it was to loose Walley and because while I was at my worst he had to take care of me and do all that pets require and he says he doesn’t want to go through that pain again. so I honor his thoughts on this! And yet I know he would love another pet just as much. Hoping that someday a dear furry friend might turn up at our door and he wouldn’t be able to refuse!

  2. Maureen Hume 4 years ago

    I’m sure that’s true and a wonderful life Walley lived,in my early days of IBM I had two bullmastiff females and they were wonderful loving pair Mother and Daughter and daughter and I really hit it off she seemed to read my mind when I needed company,she would come over and put her great head in my lap and just wait while I patted he and cuddled her then she would lie on my feet until I said ok enough! Sometimes the Mother would come by herself if Misty was asleep, it was always when I thought a nice cuddle with them would help.Rosie was making sure I had the company I needed.If I went out and sat with a book they would both just sleep nearby..Animals sense an awful lot more than we know and your journey with Walley proves that,what a wonderful cat ,have you another one yet?Prayers and hugs xx

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