Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.
HomeManifestoePublishingCreditsPast Issues

By Christine Baker
Off the Trail, USA

Christine Baker and Linus

This morning when I woke up, I was blessed to have two cats in my life. Tomorrow morning when I awake, there will only be one.

Eleven years ago, after September 11, I adopted two Burmese cats that had been in two abusive homes before somehow finding their way to me. I decided to name them Linus and Lucy, after the brother and sister in Peanuts. They were the first pets I ever adopted and did not have as kittens (or puppies). They were severely malnourished and mistreated. It took Linus months to trust completely. When he finally opened his heart to me, I saw that he was an incredible cat – affectionate, smart, and playful – all the things one hopes for in a cat.

For the past year, he suffered from kidney disease. The time has finally come to make a decision to end his life. As I write this, I continually look at the clock. The vet will be at the house in three hours. Just three hours and it will all be over and he will be gone.

The decision to euthanize him was not an easy one, but it is for the best. He has no quality of life. He is suffering. And so it is my job as his friend to end his suffering even though it will break my heart.

I believe in spirit guides. I believe if we are open to it, animals can teach us a great many lessons. Linus and I shared an incredibly special bond. There is not enough room in this column to share the stories, and all he taught me about forgiveness, hope and the power of unconditional love.

Lucy and Linus

As close as Linus was to me, he loved my dog Jessie with all his heart. I have never seen a relationship between a dog and a cat be so close and so loving. And I don't care what scientists or researchers say, those animals communicated with one another and shared a bond most people don't have the chance to experience.

C.S. Lewis wrote in The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe:

"He'll be coming and going" he had said. "One day you'll see him and another you won't. He doesn't like being tied down--and of course he has other countries to attend to. It's quite all right. He'll often drop in. Only you mustn't press him. He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."

I knew from the moment I met Linus I did not own him. Ownership is just not a word that people use for cats. Linus shared his life with me. Together we walked side-by-side. That was always enough. Although he was afraid of strangers and could be shy, I always told him he was a lion, a lion in the jungle. Linus had the heart of a lion. He was fiercely loyal. He was a good friend. Today he will be going, but I know that I'll see him again one day.


Linus Video
Facebook: walk4good
Twitter: @thewalk4good
YouTube: walk4good
Tumblr: walk4good
800 Miles on YouTube


Christine Baker is the founder of Walk4Good and president of CB Creative, Inc., an integrated communications consulting firm in Nyack, NY. She is the author of Why She Plays: The World of Women's Basketball (University of Nebraska Press 2008), and was inducted into the Middletown, Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame in January 2011.

All opinions expressed by Christine Baker are solely her own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

Thirsty Home

Stay Thirsty Store