When I was 10, my family lived on Covell Road, with fields, a stand of trees and a meandering stream.

Among my close companions of my youth was a gray cat, Trotsky, named by my parents for the Russian revolutionary Marxist, which tells you something about their sense of humor.

One day, I was home alone when I heard a terrible shrieking from the front yard. There was Trotsky, pulling himself down the driveway with his front paws, his back end unable to function. Shaking, I called a neighbor who drove my mortally wounded friend and I to see the veterinarian, Dr. Alan Slack, who died Dec. 12.

On that day 27 years ago, however, Dr. Slack’s calm made me feel less sickened by the helpless creature writhing in my arms. He took the cat and disappeared, returning moments later to reassure me Trotsky was now comfortable.

I don’t recall ever having an adult conversation before, but Dr. Slack took the time to explain that the cat was quite ill, and probably wouldn’t survive, and what would I like to do about the situation. I told him I needed to discuss it with my parents, and he respected my wishes.

Looking back, I believe something important transpired on that day. I want to thank Dr. Slack for what he did. I hope he is comfortable.

Jeremy Silver


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