Many of us take our pets for granted, but it’s not until they get sick do we really feel how much they mean to us.
For Andrew Bernhard he’s got through all his major life milestones with his cat, also called Andrew, by his side.
His sweet cat Andrew held his hand through “high school, undergraduate, medical school, and residency graduations,” he wrote on Reddit.
Sadly, the time came when Andrew the cat reached the ripe old age of 15 and his loving owner had to make the tough decision to have him put down so he was no longer in any pain.
Bernhard wrote on Reddit that over the past year his cat became noticeably sick. “He purred every day of his life and when he lost that, I knew it was time. It’s always sad to lose a friend. Sorry for everybody else’s losses as well.”
On the way to the vet his cat reached out a paw and held Bernhard’s hand as a last goodbye to his beloved owner. Bernhard took a picture of the touching moment and shared it online.
The image touched the hearts of so many people it went viral.
“Andrew was my little boy. He was a great guy. He was always happy to see everybody, always won fights with the dog and just wanted you around all the time,” Bernhard tells PEOPLE. “He just finally got too weak to keep up.”
Bernhard is glad that Andrew’s memory will live on thanks to his image going viral.
“I’m just so happy his story has continued. He brought such happiness to me and I hope he continues to make others feel good about their own pets,” he says.
Such a heartbreaking time for any pet owner; our animals are such an integral part of our families, bringing joy and comfort during tough times. Rest in peace sweet Andrew.
Please share with all the animal lovers you know.