Photos and Text by Steev Riccardo
WEBSTER – When the Berard family lost their beloved Maine Coon Cat “Blue” in December, they knew they had lost a family member that would be had to replace.
“My wife immediately started searching for another cat for the family to go along with our German Shepherd retriever mix named Kelly and our other cat named Amber”, said Paul Berard, of Newtown CT. “She looked everywhere and the minute she saw the pictures of “Muffy” and “Fluffy”, she said oh my god they look like “Blue”.
“Muffy” and “Fluffy” were two part Maine coon cat kittens that Webster Animal Control Officer Michelle LaFleche found on the street in Webster and put up for adoption on the Pet finder website.
“We had “Blue” for 15 years, he used to sleep on their beds every night and was very friendly so the kids were very upset and still are to this day because he was their best friend,” said Berard.
Berard’s children Ryan, 11, and 9 year old twins Stephen and Matthew were still reeling from the loss of their cat, when the Sandy Hook elementary tragedy hit very close to them.
Although his twins did not attend Sandy Hook they attend an elementary school about a half hour from Sandy Hook and knew the little sister of one of their classmates who was killed in the tragedy.
“The kids knew what was going on because they were in lockdown, we have talked about it, and the schools were really helpful. The outpouring from everywhere has been amazing, it still gets to me,” said an emotional Berard, who had tears in his eyes.
“Its different, things had calmed down considerably until this past Monday when the news crews returned because there was a press conference in the town hall and that was very unsettling. There are police officers in all of the schools wandering the hallways now which is different”.
Berard hopes that “Muffy” and “Fluffy”, who may be renamed, bring some joy to his family.
“I think its awesome that we can use Pet finder and reach out past the boundaries of our state and bring some happiness to other communities that are looking for pets,” said Lafleche. “So hopefully these kitties will bring some heeling to the boys in the family.”