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Angel came into our lives one afternoon when the man across the street rang the doorbell. I was shocked when I opened the door--the cat he was holding had a mangled leg hanging from her body. She had been stuck in his fence for a couple days. He brought her over because he thought she belonged to us. I called my husband and he agreed we had to help her. As I held her in my arms I talked to her calmly. Her eyes were unfocused and her leg smelled awful.

It turns out she was in shock and needed her leg amputated. We named her Angel and she came home a week later to become a part of our family. My son was born a year later and whenever he cried she hobbled over to calm him. Immediately, he stopped. They developed a special bond and I'd often find her lying next to him on the floor while he played.

One day I noticed Angel wasn't feeling good. She became angry when touched. At the vet it was assumed she needed a stool softener. Days later, she worsened and I took her to an emergency vet. After numerous tests it was determined Angel had cancer. We decided to leave her overnight and go from there.

Later that night I had the sudden urge to go visit her. Once we arrived we were taken to a room because the doctor wanted to speak to us. My heart sank. The vet explained that Angel had gotten worse and was suffering. It was up to me to decide. There, with my family and son who had become her best friend, I knew what I had to do. They gave us time to say our goodbyes and my 4-year-old son didn't understand why but he said bye anyway. Angel passed on to the Rainbow Bridge surrounded by family.

It's been a year since she's passed and we keep her photos around for my son. He still talks about his first best friend, Angel, and knows one day he will see her again.

Rialto, CA

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