I've been ever mindful that this book will close soon, knowing for the past year that I mustn't let it go without adding a few thoughts. It has seemed a daunting task. What does one say when one's world is shaken by the shock and heartbreak of losing someone who was such a crucial part of that world?
Last April I posted of Dr. Nero's passing to a small group of people who are especially thoughtful and caring. One replied (and I'm sorry to paraphrase, because he said it so beautifully) that sometimes the sudden loss of someone in your community, particularly a deeply trusted support person with whom you're very familiar, though not necessarily a close friend, can be more shattering than other losses. There's something about that loss that deeply rocks one's sense of stability and comfort.
I started with Dr. Nero a year after Cat Clinic opened, and from the first moment, I knew I was in the right place. Through the years of routine checkups, a few illnesses and treatments, and the inevitable sayings of goodbye to our precious friends, his calm expertise was of supreme comfort. I treasure the memories of our all too brief conversations whenever he had a few extra moments -- about cats and their ways, about their (and our own) nutrition -- and while it would have been wonderful to discuss flying and other mutual interests, there was just never quite the time for it.
To Betty Nero, I want to say that through the sadness of last April, I thought then, and I still do, that the most important thing in the world was to preserve Dr. Nero's gift to the community, that any loss of the Cat Clinic he created and believed in would have left a crater at the heart of Danbury. We will never be able to thank you enough for keeping his vision alive. We loved him, and had the highest regard for his practice.
With condolences and best regards always,
Charles, Nathan, and Kristi
And of course: Muffin, Taffy, Jack, and Barrett, who have passed on -- and Poe, Mikey, and Kali, who continue to enrich our lives every day.