Man Credits 'Savior' Cat for Helping Him Through Two Deaths and Chronic Depression

Man Credits 'Savior' Cat for Helping Him Through Two Deaths and Chronic Depression

This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Submit your own rescue story here. Your story just might be the next to be featured on our blog!

I truly believe that I met and adopted Riley through the hand of God. My beloved cat Sam succumbed to feline leukemia in 2010. I was emotionally shattered. But soon I knew I needed another cat in my life, so I began scouring the internet. I saw one shelter cat that looked promising, but when I went to see her, she kept running away and hiding from the staff.

After a few minutes of this, I thought she may not have been the best choice, so I started to leave the shelter, which had probably half a dozen different aisles to the door. I was walking down one aisle when something caught my eye. Right there, to my left at eye level, was a very handsome cat on a perch. I reached out to pet him, and he gladly accepted my hand, even purring a bit. I asked if I could take him, and soon we were driving to his new forever home. He was three years old.


When we got home, he "disappeared" for a few days but gradually began to realize, I guess, that he was being fed and no one was going to harm him. Four years later, we moved to a different state. Once again, it took Riley a while to get adjusted, but in no time, he was settled in. My wife passed away just nine months later. Now it was just me and Riley.

Two years later, I fell into a chronic depression. I was told it was likely caused by grief and anxiety. It was a very strange ordeal that lasted eight months. As is common with depression, I totally lost my appetite, as well as interest in just about everything. I eventually lost 36 pounds. But I didn't lose interest in Riley. We would play ball with golf-ball-sized nerf balls every night, which he loved. It wasn't long before I realized that Riley was making me laugh and smile inside. I called him my little savior because I knew he had helped me greatly to recover.

Later, I couldn't help but think that Riley was a divine gift, that God knew I was grieving terribly after Sam's death and He decided to help. He led me down that aisle to my little miracle. I just knew it. Three years later, Riley fell ill and was diagnosed with cancer. Soon he was just skin and bones. I kept him at home as long as I could. We never played ball again, but at least I was able to hold him or lie by his side.


Soon the vet told me it would be best to let him go because his quality of life was zero. I brought him to the vet and stayed with him and petted him in his last moments of life. The grief was unbearable. I was getting on in years and felt Riley would be my last cat. I soon realized, though, that I would get another cat. Within a month, I found three-year-old Enzo and welcomed him into his new home.

He's a beautiful and loving companion. Yet I can still feel Riley's presence deep in my heart. When I think of him, I try mostly to remember the good times, like the fun we had playing ball and just being together. I thank God every day for sending me my little miracle. And I often think that maybe - just maybe - we may someday meet again at Rainbow Bridge.

Story submitted by Richard LaChapelle.

This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!

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