In Honor of Duchess


A couple of years after my wife, Pat Gandy, died; I donated most of her jewelry to AARF. They were kind enough to add a memorial page with her picture to their website. The link to the page is at the bottom of the pet pictures on the main memorial page.

At the beginning of her memorial statement, it is mentioned that she adopted an AARF cat in 1999. That cat was Duchess and was the last of ten cats we adopted together over a twenty-five year period. I am deeply saddened to report that Duchess passed away on June 2, 2012. She was almost 16 years old. Duchess was a loving and affectionate cat. She was such a comfort to me and Pat as we fought my wifeís ovarian cancer over about a four year period.

After Pat died, Duchess was a dedicated and loyal companion to me as a widower for over seven years. She often kept me company as I worked on the computer or did my reading. We would frequently watch TV together (at least she seemed to enjoy the images on the screen!). I would sometimes wake up at night and realize she was near me asleep in the bed. Duchess enjoyed leading the way down the stairs to the kitchen. She often accompanied me for meals at home and almost seemed to relish her cat food more so than I did with whatever I was eating. She always enjoyed visiting with family and friends. Patís brother, Bill, woke up one morning with Duchess lying on his chest.

Duchess especially enjoyed mine and Patís dear friend, Ginny. She always knew when Ginny was in the house even after Pat was gone and would have to be with her during almost all of Ginnyís visiting time. Then one day Duchess was diagnosed with a highly advanced form of cancer herself. However, as mentioned in my wifeís memorial statement, Pat and I were very spiritually oriented and I truly believe that Duchess along with Pat is now okay.

I feel blessed to have had this loving and affectionate cat as a companion in this life.


They will not go quietly,
the cats who've shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know
their spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think
we hear a meow at the door.
Or step back when we drop
a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place
the food dish used to be,
And, sometimes, coming home at night,
we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends
and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts
belongs to them. . . and always will.