09/03/2014 AT 2:30 PM ET
Labor Day weekend turned into a labor of love for one terminally ill Utah man.
He walked into the Humane Society of Utah with his best friend of 13 years – a cat named Nefertiti – and did something that would break any pet owner’s heart: He gave her up.
The man, whose name is being withheld by the shelter, told a rescue worker he was dying and that his biggest fear was passing away in his home and leaving the cat uncared for, be it several days or more.
“He said this cat was his only companion for 13 years, so you can imagine what it meant to him,” Carl Arky, director of communications for the shelter, told PEOPLE. “For him to look at his situation and access it and do what was in the best interest of the cat just says so much about him.”
Salt Lake City’s FOX 13 first reported the long-haired tabby’s story, which has been shared nearly a thousand times on the Humane Society’s Facebook page. Arky hopes they will be contacting the man with adoption news very soon.
“She’ll be fine and comfortable here [until then],” says Arky. “We hope to bring him some peace in his final days.”
Potential adopters should contact the Humane Society of Utah at 801-261-2919 ext. 227. To read more about the cat, named for the Egyptian queen, click here.