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We called him Charlie because that’s how he introduced himself. Our neighbors, Brandon and Allie called him Oreo. It wasn’t until last year that we found out his name was Pete.

Here’s my story:
When we moved into our place in June 2019, he walked right over and welcomed us in. His presence was sporadic at first, but after he made a hit appearance at our housewarming in August 2019, he was quite the regular.

Over the last two years, he has spent almost every day with us, just hanging about, happy for the companionship. He was a fixture in our garden, often supervising our projects. Oftentimes he seemed to want in, but when we tried, we found he didn’t actually like being in a room with 4 sides.

He would often wait in front of the garage for me to get home. Sometimes he was my co-pilot for a brief moment or two when I couldn’t get him to move and I had to back in. He did pretty well. He knew my car – even when I got a different one – and if he wasn’t in front of the garage door waiting, he was running across the lawn to see me.

In the last six months, he and I have become extremely close as I was his primary caregiver. He always seemed happy to see me no matter how badly he was feeling. He brought us so much love and joy.

I had brushed him (per our nightly ritual) and had smudged him with Palo Santo before the others got there. Our small group walked him around the backyard one more time before the vet arrived.

Because of circumstances and because Charlie was an outdoor cat, we had planned to have the service done under the tree in our front yard, but Charlie had one last burst of energy and walked over to the bench that he had sat in so many times, so we followed his lead. We even had a visit from Sophie, our regular hummingbird, so that was magical.

We were blessed to be able to say our goodbyes at home (thanks to Journeys Home and Brandon and Allie for suggesting them). The vet, Dr. Miranda Braithwaite (who, it turns out is one of our regular vets), was so compassionate and patient and helped us with paw prints.

It had been cloudy all day. Bryan said he kept hearing “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray” and as soon as he passed the clouds opened up and the sun shone through for about 20 minutes. Bryan said it was because the Heavens opened up and took Charlie in.

Once the others left, he was anointed with frankincense and myrrh, smudged again with white sage, and lovingly wrapped with herbs and flowers from the garden he wandered. He’ll still be able to wander about and his presence will be felt in the garden in more ways than one.

I am so grateful to Bryan and Bobi for their help these past few months in taking care of him. I’m grateful to Erika and Brandon and Allie who helped make it possible to say goodbye at home. I’m also thankful to my co-worker, Paul, who allowed me to deal with last-minute plans today while at work.

My heart is heavy. I’m going to go spoil my 3 little black panthers with treats and play with them and snuggle them if they’ll let me.

Safe travels, Charlie. Maddie is waiting on the other side of the Bridge for you. Thank you for your love and the joy you brought to us.

From: Michele Brucker
Madison, WI


My undying gratitude to Dr. Miranda Braithwaite for her patience, compassion, and sense of humor. She allowed us to say goodbye to our beloved Charlie in a way that allowed him to be home surrounded by those he loved. I’m so very grateful we were able to give him a gentle passing at home vs. other options. I would highly recommend Journeys Home and will continue to use them for all of my four-legged family members.
Michele BruckerMadison, WI