Goldie Boy's Last Visit with David
Animal Stories from

FROM Stephanie Zito
December 2019

The hospital where David lay dying said that the only animals allowed were official "comfort animals," not "pets." It is really outrageous for any hospital or nursing home to deny the sick and or dying the right to see their furry children. Thanks to a kind security guard, David was able to say goodbye to Goldie Boy...

Through the years David always spoke very strongly for Animal Rights and told me about the many cats who he had rescued throughout the years as well as books he had written. [See review of David Irving's The Protein Myth.]

A few weeks before David died, he had requested that I take his cat to live with me. And he asked me to bring his cat to the hospital so he could say goodbye to the kitty he had rescued several years ago. He was at a local hospital at the time and they were going to transport him to a NYC Hospital. So the night before he was transported to NYC , I had to make the one hour drive to his house and catch his cat Goldie Boy and put him into a carrier. The poor kitty did not want to go into the carrier. It took me two hours to finally get him into the carrier.

Cat Goldie Boy
Goldie Boy... now Puddy...

Because David spent most of the year in the hospital, I had been going to his house weekly to bring my cat food and cat litter plus clean out the cat litter boxes. His neighbor was feeding the cat daily. But still I always felt so sorry for his kitty being alone in that house and leaving him there because David insisted he would get better. So we put the idea of my bringing Goldie Boy to my house until finally in October he told me to bring him to the hospital and then to have him live with me.

The hospital told David no he cannot see the cat in the hospital. They said only “comfort animals” are permitted in the hospital. Based on the fact they knew David was dying with Leukemia and Lung Cancer I found it too outrageous that the hospital said they would wheel David in wheelchair to outside so he could say goodbye to his cat.

When I got to the hospital and had his cat in my car it was pouring rain outside. Yet they insisted I could not bring the cat inside. Then they said David could say goodbye to Goldie Boy in the entrance doors. Once they wheeled David into the lobby of the hospital where security was, I ended up in tears telling the security guard David cannot go out into the entrance doors and is dying and needs to say goodbye to Goldie Boy.

I was so thankful that the security guard kindly told me to bring the cat into the lobby for David which I did do. It was a major tear jerker to see David so happy to see Goldie Boy. He kept wanting to open the carrier so he could hold the cat. But I said no because I was afraid the cat would run around the hospital and then be lost. So the security guard kindly took over and opened the top part of the carrier so David could stick his hand inside and pet Goldie Boy and talk to him.

Three of us, the security guard, me and the aid who had wheeled David to the Lobby ended up in tears watching this sad event realizing this was David’s final moment with his dear kitty.

After that David told me to take Goldie Boy home and thanked me for bringing him to the hospital. Since then Goldie Boy now has a new life here with me and I renamed him “Puddy”. My two dogs like him and my Lab is still learning not to bark or run after him. Puddy has his own space plus access to another room via a cat door. I bought him lots of fun toys that are on a stick and one is a birdie that chirps and the other one is a mouse that squeaks.

I also have toys in a top dresser drawer so the doggies cannot get Puddy’s toys. But it is so sweet to see Puddy stick his paw into the top drawer when I open it and pull out his toys. I love Puddy very much and am thankful that he is in my care.

Before David died and was in the NYC Hospital, I called him daily and he was always so happy to hear about Puddy and he thought that it was great I had given him a new name.

What I want to point out is that pets are very necessary for all of us, especially the sick and dying. The hospital that said only “comfort animals” are permitted in the hospital was wrong. Based on the fact David was dying, he needed the comfort of seeing his kitty again. So I am very thankful that I was able to jump over the heads of the management nurses and doctors at the hospital who said only comfort animals are allowed in the Hospital.

It is a known fact that our pets are our furry children and they do comfort us in every way. The sick and dying should not be denied the right to see their pets brought to them in the hospital when they are ill and or dying. So I am a huge advocate for pets and their owners who want to see their pets when they are in the hospital yet they are not certified as comfort animals. It is really outrageous for any hospital or nursing home to deny the sick and or dying the right to see their furry children.

Return to: Animal Stories