Andrew the Cat was a devoted feline family member to Andrew Bernhard (the human) for over 15 years. Unfortunately, last month, Bernhard and his wife were forced to take their beloved Andrew to the veterinarian to be put down.
“He was by my side for a long time and just had been running out of gas,” Bernhard told BuzzFeed News. “He wasn’t eating or drinking, stopped purring, and just wasn’t himself. It would’ve been selfish to keep him just because I didn’t want to lose him.”
On Andrew’s last trip to the vet, however, Andrew demonstrated just how aware he was of his circumstances, and seemingly attempted to offer comfort to his humans.
During that fateful car ride, the cat put his paw between his humans’ hands in a seemingly cognizant moment of acceptance and reassurance — because animals are better than people, and too pure for this Earth (*sob*).
Bernhard managed to capture a snapshot of the touching moment, and later posted the photo to Reddit. “He held our hands on his last trip to the vet,” Bernhard wrote in his Reddit caption. “Little Andrew was much stronger than his mom and I.”
Not surprisingly, the photo shook up some serious emotions in the Reddit community, and many commenters responded with words of comfort and empathy — or, simply appreciation for Andrew’s story. “Suddenly in a room full of onions … Great picture. Sorry for your loss,” one Redditor wrote.
The outpouring of sympathy from a notoriously critical online community was heartening for Bernhard.
“Thanks all. Little Andrew was my junior,” Bernhard replied. “He was 15 and a half and loved everyone, but just got old and sick over the last year. He purred everyday of his life and when he lost that, I knew it was time. Always sad to lose a friend. Sorry for everybody else’s losses as well.”
Bernhard tells BuzzFeed that, though the loss of such a precocious and loving cat is painful, sharing Andrew’s story has been a cathartic part of the healing process.
“I knew Andrew was special, but didn’t expect others to necessarily see that. He’s now touched a lot of people and it makes me real happy,” he continues. “It’s still weird without him, for sure, but I’m happy to have my wife and dogs around … I hope everyone has the chance to have an Andrew cat in their life at some point.”
Now let’s all go cry and hug our pets, and bemoan the unflinchingly steady wheel of time as snot drips down our face!