I was fortunate to grow up with animals in my life. Their love, total acceptance, and loyalty are traits most pets possess, and we love them for it. When we lose a treasured, beloved family pet, it leaves a void in our lives and hearts. But we don’t always consider there might be other people who love our pets too.

Scott Ewels was the proud owner of two felines; Bear and Teddy loved playing with each other and exploring their neighborhood. One day last month, Ewels was heartbroken to find Bear deceased not far from his home. The poor cat had been struck down by a passing vehicle.

Teddy, Bear’s brother, and Scott were both saddened by Bear’s death. But two weeks later, Ewels discovered they weren’t the only ones who loved Bear. When Teddy scuddled through the cat door, Ewels found a note attached to his collar.

“Dear Owner: I’m your neighbor, living in 4,” it read. “I’m also your cats’ close friends (sic) as they (2 cats) are used to coming to my room every day. But one of them, a bigger one has disappeared for two weeks. Is he OK? I’m so worried about him. He is such a lovely cat and always touched my heart. Wish he is fine.”

Moved by the note, Ewels penned a response. 

“I wrote a note back to number 4, and posted it straight away, even as it was late in the evening,” he said. “I mentioned that Bear had passed away, and was so glad that he had brought joy to their lives too. I included my email address, and she has since emailed us with pictures of Bear (and Teddy) in her house, and stories of their adventures with her.”

The woman shared how Bear had helped fill a void in her life. “He made an impression with our neighbor,” Ewels said. “She rehearsed her university thesis to him, and she had no one else to talk to. It makes his death even more poignant.”

It’s heartbreaking that Bear is gone, but one of the last things he did while alive was bring two people together who would have otherwise never met.

“She is now coming over tomorrow to visit Bear’s grave,” Ewels said.

There’s beauty in how love for a special animal can bring total strangers together. Bear might be gone, but the memories Ewel and his neighbor have will last forever.

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