The cat helps family heal after unimaginable loss
On November 2, 2013, Ann Rowley and he husband were looking for a cat to add to their family. Ann and her husband sat down and immediately a black cat with one tuft of white hair on his chest stole Ann’s family’s heart. They knew we had found what they were looking for, but they didn’t yet know how much he would mean to them.
They named the cat Bruce because in the first photo they took of him he looked like their favorite superhero.
After Ann’s daughter was born, living in such a small space with an infant and two cats overwhelmed her. So her dad offered to take in Bruce until things settled down.
In January of 2016, doctors diagnosed her dad with cancer, a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma that took his life just two months later. He came home on hospice for about two weeks and during those two weeks Bruce never left his side. There are only a few pictures they have of her dad during that time.
Eventually, Ann’s mother would move from that home and Daniel, her younger brother, struck out on his own. When he moved to his own place, he took Bruce with him. They knew that Daniel needed Bruce most, as he suffered from untreated bipolar disorder and was prone to periods of dark depression and loneliness. There were many times that Bruce’s companionship got him through the heavy fog of depression. Eventually, Daniel’s depression became too much for him to bear and he decided to end his life in December of last year. Losing Daniel devastated their family. He left behind, he dedicated a paragraph to Bruce and how he supported him through toughest times.
Bruce moved to his next home of healing, that of Ann’s mother who had already lost so much. She’s seen the way that Bruce has given her purpose and joy in the wake of unimaginable tragedy. She’s seen the way that Bruce’s purr, when curled up on any given person’s chest, seems to defibrillate broken hearts. There is something unmistakably miraculous about their little black cat. He is the luckiest thing to have crossed Ann’s family’s path.