There’s a quote that states, “A dog has an owner. A cat has a staff.” With our boy Romeo, he certainly had just that. While our staff was, of course, always taking care of the pets coming and going throughout the workday, there was one pet that always stayed. Romeo was a constant in our clinic. He could be found roaming the hallways of the hospital, lounging on the lift-table in the treatment area, or, if it was lunchtime, sitting WAY too close to us while we ate. Occasionally, someone would “accidentally” drop a morsel of food, because they just couldn’t resist that handsome face. He couldn’t have been more aptly named. He’d win your heart with his abundance of head bumps, his playfulness, and his obnoxiously loud meow. It was hard not to fall in love with him, and he’d fall in love right back. You see, in a veterinary office, emotions tend to run high.

Our team flips through an entire emotional spectrum from exam room to exam room. When busy days are winding down, and our team holds onto the feelings that flooded the hospital during working hours, it can be difficult to not take those feelings home. A long day can be hard to process, and even harder to talk about, but that was never the case with Romeo present. Each night, when our staff members prepared to head to our respective homes, a sacred ritual would take place. One by one, we would each make our way to Romeo. You didn’t have to tell him how taxing your day was; he already knew. His big, green eyes would track you throughout your shift, taking note of every rough, every happy, every trying, every frustrating, every amazing, every hilarious moment, of every day. Romeo provided us with a sense of peace that is always greatly needed at the end of every day. He loved you on his own time. After he felt that his job was done, he’d give you a love bite, shoot you his signature “I love you” squint, and send you on your way. We count ourselves lucky for getting to be a part of such a special animal’s life. For the few of us present when it was his time to cross the Rainbow Bridge, it was an honor to comfort him at the end of his days, as he had, every day for us, for years. We love you Romeo.