A Tribute to Reuben

We first learned about Reuben and his story when a family member contacted Our Companions about his owner sadly passing away. Reuben had been with her until the very end and stayed with her until they were both found. No family members could keep him and he was in desperate need to find a place to live. Hearing of his story and knowing this sweet boy’s need of a safe, stable environment, we welcomed Reuben to our Sanctuary in September of 2023.

Estimated to be about 12 years old, Reuben had a history of UTIs, potty accidents, and tenderness/pain in the hip area, which we suspected could be the cause of some arthritis. We also found that he was diagnosed with diabetes about three years prior, but the diagnosis went untreated. Given all that he had been through, it was very clear Reuben was in need of healing, rehabilitation, and a safe space to thrive. Our team was determined to help Reuben receive the medical care and love he needed to feel happy and whole again. He responded to treatment quite well and his appetite was consistent. It was possible that his eyesight wasn’t that great, but he adapted well with us at the Sanctuary. We eventually inserted a glucose monitor and carefully evaluated his glucose levels to ensure we were on the right track. Day by day, he kept showing small signs of feeling better and getting stronger.

As Reuben’s health was showing signs of improvement, his mental wellbeing was improving as well. He loved his quiet room all to himself and soaked up all the attention from his friends! Once you sat down in his room, he would be right next to you and would never leave your side! He always had this lovey-dovey look on his face, purring loudly to let you know how happy he was to be with you. He even enjoyed his bed outside on the catio, watching the day go by and napping contently.

Given he did have some sensitivities to certain parts of his body, our staff and volunteers made sure to go slow with petting and find the spots that he did enjoy. He absolutely loved brushing time, which was a great relief to help get some of the small mats of old fur out. He even surprised us with showing his feisty side during playtime! He loved catnip kickers and batting around a mice toy before picking it up with his mouth to go off and enjoy his “prey”.

Reuben’s first couple of months at our Sanctuary truly showed he was on the right track of living a happy, healthy life. However, staff started to notice him having decreased appetite and seemed more tired than usual. Despite their best efforts of getting him more interested in food and interacting, it was clear something was off and we took him to the vet to evaluate him. At that time, we discovered that Reuben actually went into diabetic ketoacidosis. He unfortunately wasn’t responding to treatment after the vet visit and he was brought to the hospital the next day. An x-ray revealed a mass on his liver and we opted for him to stay at the hospital for the weekend to rehydrate and stabilize him. During that time, they concluded that the mass was cancer and an ultrasound showed that the cancer had spread throughout his whole body. They let us know that he most likely only had less than a week to live.

When we went to come pick him up after that weekend, he was stable- eating fine, alert, and in good spirits. We decided to bring him back to the Sanctuary, a familiar place where he had found safety and love. During his last few days, we gave him lots of cuddles in his favorite blankets and gave him lots of kisses from his favorite friends.  We told Reuben how much we loved him, and how beautiful his soul was and forever will be. After a couple days, we knew it was time, and we helped Reuben pass surrounded by the people that loved and cared for him since the beginning of his chapter with us. Reuben wasn’t with us for long, but he still left a big impression on our hearts. Thank you to our beautiful community that give out constant love and compassion to special animals, like Reuben, especially towards the end of their days. Reuben, we know you’ve finally found peace and will be thinking of you always.


  1. Denise on January 16, 2024 at 10:55 am

    May Reuben enjoy eternal rest in an existence where all his faculties have been restored. Once again I’m reminded of how much good Our Companions does for animals in need of special care and attention. As the mom of three rescue cats, I’m grateful for all that you do for animals who need a safe place to live out their remaining days.

  2. Christine vagell on January 16, 2024 at 3:21 pm

    Reuben was a sweetheart, affectionate and responded so strongly to any attention given him.
    So relieved that Reuben had his last days where he had love surrounding him ❤️