Beethoven Memorial Tribute

October 6, 1993 to February 15, 2011

"The first time I laid eyes on you, I knew right from the start, That you were meant for me alone: you left pawprints on my heart."

I made a visit to Pets Unlimited Shelter & Adoption Center on Filmore Street in San Francisco, CA the day before Mother's Day in 1995. I saw a number of very cute felines in their cages awaiting a home. A beautiful male Tabby named "Randy" caught my eye. The next day I decided to make a return visit to the shelter. During my visit on Mother's Day I went over again to Randy's cage and got in it for a brief visit. Randy wasted no time coming up to me and letting me know I was the one for him. I adopted and took him home to my studio in San Francisco. I renamed my new found friend "Beethoven". Beethoven somewhat reminded me of the dog on the movie "Beethoven". Beethoven and I took little time to bond and he was purring and sleeping on my lap within an hour after I arrived home. We connected instantly and he adjusted to his new home. He was most playful in his young age and full of energy.

""You left hoof prints on our hearts"

On February 7th, 1999 Dennis and I made a visit to Pets Unlimited to look for a female companion for Beethoven. We chose a beautiful female mutt and named her "Molly". Molly was approximately 5 years younger than Beethoven and it took a couple days before Beethoven allowed her to be a part of his life and share his castle. Beethoven and Molly really enjoyed living together and Beethoven often took care and licked Molly. Beethoven was the outgoing one between the two and got all the attention when we had company at home. Everyone who saw Beethoven loved him because he was always most affectionate. Dennis and I always shared that Beethoven had more of a dog personality then a cat personality. He loved to socialize with humans. Molly was the opposite and went to hide when visitors came to the house.

Dennis and I recall a lot of funny things about Beethoven and how he took charge of things relating to Dennis, Molly and myself. He was the king of the house without question. Each night at about bed time Beethoven would meow and tell Dennis and I that it was time for bed. He would jump onto the bed and sit on his pellow until we fell asleep. Once Dennis and I were sleeping Beethoven would go get Molly and allow her to join us in bed. Molly never went to bed until Beethoven gave her permission to do so. We discovered that each morning Beethoven had Molly get off the bed before we woke up. Each Saturday morning Beethoven would wake me up early to feed him and then allow me to go back to bed. He treated Dennis differently and woke Dennis up at 7 am each Saturday and made Dennis follow him to the kitchen to watch him eat. Then Beethoven would run back to the bed and take over Dennis' spot on the bed to sleep with Dave. During our weekday evenings at approximately 7 pm Beethoven would make Dennis beg for him to jump on the sofa next to Dennis so he could get petted under his chin. Beethoven would next lay on Dennis' couch pillow and have Dennis use his head as a pillow. This ritual took place every night. During the first 13 years that Beethoven and Molly were together, Molly never chose to jump on my lap like Beethoven did on a regular basis to sleep, etc. Beethoven was funny in that every time we made up the bed he would jump on the bed so we could get the sheets on. One of the pictures below shows Beethoven laying the the mattress. I think Beethoven was telling Molly that my lap was reserved for him. Things changed in a big way during the last month of Beethoven's life when his health was starting to go down hill. Molly suddenly started coming on my lap for me to pet her and take naps. Beethoven would allow her to do so and sometimes join her. Beethoven apparently gave permission to Molly to come on my lap to sleep, perhaps his way to tell her to take care of me.

"If tears could build a stairway,and memories a lane. We would walk right up to heaven, and bring you home again."

On February 15, 2011 Beethoven passed away. The last two weeks of Beethoven's life his health went down hill quickly. Our last few nights with Beethoven, Dennis and I took him from his hiding spot in our bedroom and held him close for extended periods of time. We told him we loved him and did not let him die alone. Molly is now the queen of the house.

-- Dave McGrath-Wagner

The pictures below were taken of Beethoven during his life with us. He was a big ham when it came to pictures and knew how to put on that perfect pose for the camera.

(descriptive comments regarding photo appear by running cursor over image)

young Beethoven soon after he moved to the studio in San Francisco Beethoven liked to sneak a drink out of the glass when Dennis left the couch

Beethoven kicking back
Beethoven giving the eye, he displayed some attitude as the King of the House Beethoven loved to hang out with our teddy bear named Beethoven jumps on the bed just as Dennis and I try to make up the bed.  He saw it as a game and enjoy every minute of it.
Beethoven's last night with Dave and Dennis before he passed away the next morning. Beethoven spends his last moments with Molly on my lap Dennis and I celebrate New Years Eve 2011 with Beethoven on Dennis' lap.  Beethoven took the fear of cats away from Dennis due to a bad experience Dennis had with a cat at a young age.  Beethoven was very special to Dennis

A good friend of ours recommended we read the "Rainbow Bridge". This writing is beautiful and helped us cope with our loss of Beethoven. We hope if you are experiencing a loss of your favorite pet that the writing will be helpful to you.

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...


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