June 7th 2011 10:02 pm
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Your friend Marley went to the Bridge suddenly today. I know I don't even have to ask you to look for him to make sure he's okay. I'm sure that since he didn't have much time to prepare for his journey that he's feeling really lost and lonely. You've always had a special talent for comforting me when I felt that way, so I know you'll be drawn to the new cats that arrive at the Bridge so you can comfort them, too. One of Marley's mommies loved you so much she decided you would be her Patronus animal. Since you're not here, I'll have to protect her, but you can still protect Marley. I know you will take good care of him at the Bridge.
Remember when I asked Marley's other mommy to design a tattoo for me after you died? My friend Kate started a website collection of cat tattoos (aka "cattoos") and we were one of the first ones she featured! I talked about you and how losing you inspired me to get the tattoo.
Your sisters and brother have a couple of new cousins. Last summer, I fostered a kitten because she was supposed to be adopted out with her brother, but he had ringworm and was in quarantine. Rather than make her spend the next several weeks at the shelter, I just took her home to keep your new brother company. It turns out that not only he liked her, but all your sisters liked her. Even the bitchy ones! Other Mommy really liked her, too. When I took the kitten back to the shelter to be put up for adoption, Other Mommy decided she missed her too much and went to go adopt her AND her brother, even though we had never met her brother! They've almost been here a year now, and it's really not that bad having 6 cats at home. Maybe we have room for a few more. Just kidding!
I wish you could be here to be a sweet grandpa cat to the new kittens. But you belong at the Bridge, helping the new arrivals get past their shock and grief so they can enjoy their beautiful new pain-free lives.
September 24th 2009 6:43 pm
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Life is very different without you. No one greets me right at the door when I get home or tries to barrel out past me when I open it. Your sisters come to the entry hall when they hear the door open, but you used to be already at the door when it opened because you always listened for me to open the front gate.
It didn't take me very long to adjust to not giving you cares every morning and night. I think I was too sad to have noticed the change in routine. I cleaned out the drawer and hid everything that would remind me of giving you cares right away so it wouldn't make me sadder. Your meds drawer is still empty. I haven't had the heart to find something to fill it with. I cleaned it out and donated all the leftover stuff to an animal shelter for their sick kitties and doggies. It's the same animal shelter that I now have a job at, taking care of kitties and puppies and making sure they are fed and cleaned up after. It's an amazing job. I get to be with cats and dogs all day and know that I am helping them with their second chance.
I met a kitten at the shelter that could be your clone in looks and temperament. His name even has an "x" at the end of it like yours. He got the name Clorox because he had been found in a car engine and someone had tried to pour bleach on him to get him out. He got to the shelter and didn't have any fur and was in really bad shape, but you'd never know it now. He's fluffy and sweet and chunky and likes to plop down on my lap or the floor for purrs. He is in the infirmary right now because he has ringworm, but I'm thinking of taking him home when he gets better. I don't know if that's a good idea or not. Is it unhealthy to get another cat that's virtually identical to you? I know he's not you, and I'd never try to make him replace you. And you were such an amazing cat, how could I not want to have another amazing cat with all the same traits I loved about you? Will your sisters be okay with another cat around? Will he be okay with your sisters? I have a lot of things to think about in the next few weeks while he's getting better.
There's another black kitty in the infirmary with ringworm that also makes me think of you. Her name is Kaitlyn. When I interviewed for the job, I got a tour of the vet clinic on site and she was there. She had something around her neck and they told me it was a feeding tube when I asked about her. She had been adopted and stopped eating and when she was finally returned, she had hepatic lipidosis and had to be fed through the tube. She was very very friendly and when I petted her and felt her skinny, bony spine, it reminded me of you in your last months. I told her, "You need to get better. You have to survive because Onyx couldn't." I think she listened because she was released back into the cattery about a week later. She remembered me and seems to favor me. She loves everyone's lap, but she jumped off someone and ran to me one day when she saw me come through the door. Now that she's in the infirmary, I visit her as often as I can, with Clorox, so they get some love and can get better faster. They're both going into a foster home this weekend with a really nice woman who fosters ringworm cats so they don't have to be locked in cages all day. I think if I ever have my own house again, I'll make sure I have a room with no carpet so I can do that, too.
Onyx, I think of you every day and miss you every second. I still don't know how I got to be so lucky for you to share your life with me.
July 7th 2009 7:49 pm
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I miss you greeting me with your insistent meows when I came home from work every day.
I miss how big you were before you got sick. According to the charts, you were "obese," but you were so tall that you never seemed disproportionate to me. Remember when the satellite installer saw you curled up in a corner and asked, "Is that all one cat?"
Your size and warmth was always a comfort to me when I was sick or sad or in some kind of pain. You always knew where I was hurting and that's where you would lay down to purr it all away for me. I still laugh when I remember trying to keep you from plopping down on my face when I got my wisdom teeth out! I wish I had you to lay down on my heart right now, because it's breaking from losing you.
I miss how you would stick up for Mi'ja when Speck or Misty went after her. You were a protective, supportive brother for her even when she was bitchy to you. But when it really came down to it, you know how much she loved you. Remember when you'd have to get baths and she was right there on the other side of the door yelling at me and sticking up for you?
I miss how you would crawl up on my chest while I was sleeping and nuzzle the bridge of your nose into my chin and nap. I would wake up in the morning and realize I had been petting you in my sleep.
I remember the time I poked myself while I was giving you your cares. I didn't even realize it hurt me so much until your cares were all done with. You followed me into the bathroom to check on me while I cleaned up, even though you had just had pills forced into your mouth a needle stuck into you, too. You had to go through that twice a day and you were still concerned about how I was doing.
Remember when you were younger and used to chase wadded up paper balls? You'd get so excited just hearing paper crumple. Sometimes you'd even bring them back for me to throw.
What about before I got you the big free-feeders and you'd get anxious when you could see the bottom of your food dish even if it were still 3/4 full? I remember how you'd happily go back to munching away once someone came to shake the rest of the food down into the empty spot.
I wish you were still here so we could hang out together in the courtyard. I could sit in the little pool I had bought and you could nap in the flowerbed after I watered it and we could just relax. So much stuff is going on, I wish we could go out there together and you could help me clear my head.
It's too sad for me to sit outside without you, so I gave the pool to Robin for her kids to play in. But I still water the garden every day. I decided it would be too sad to see a dry empty flowerbed at the same time I'm grieving the loss of you. The flowers are doing okay, especially considering the extreme heat, but the tomatoes and basil and pepper plant are doing well. Not a lot of tomatoes still, but we'll hope.
Onyx, I'm so proud of you. You lived your life all the way til the very end with such grace. You were compassionate, sensitive, hilarious, and had so many amazing traits that most humans don't even have. You were one of the precious rare constants in my life for the last 12 years. Everyone always says cats stress out so much during moves, but with each move, you came out of your shell even more. Roommates, boyfriends, jobs, friends, houses, apartments, bratty dogs, all of those things came and went, but you were there through it all and with each new adventure and each new challenge, our bond strengthened. Again, that's such a rare thing to find even among human relationships, I don't know how I got so lucky to have found you.
You were so brave and patient through the last couple of years while you were sick. You never struggled or clawed or scratched or ran away when it was time for your cares. You just came when I called you. But sometimes you were using the litterbox and you'd give me a, "Geez, Mom, hold your horses. I'm busy here!" meow if I kept calling you. Sometimes you'd even be the one to remind me when it was time for your cares because you loved having a routine so much. I know toward the end you were getting very tired of them, but even though you'd give a little growl and a huff through your nose, you'd still tolerate them and you never ever made it difficult.
I don't know where you are right now, Onyx, but I like to think there is a Rainbow Bridge, and that (as Meg said) you're King of it right now. I bet there are tons of things to see and smell and roll around or nap in and all the outside-time you want and all the tuna juice you want and, like Molly said, I bet there's some big waterfall that you're so excited to get to drink from and you just can't understand why the other cats don't love it as much as you do.
I imagine that you've volunteered for a job up there, too. I'm definitely sure you'll be an official greeter, since that's what you always did for everyone while you were here. But in addition to that, I know you'll gravitate toward the kitties that left here before they were ready and you'll want to help make their transition easier. You'll be able to tell who is really sad or really scared and you'll watch out for them and be their friend. I like to think of you curling up with them to purr their fears and pain and sadness away, just like you always did for me while you were here.
I love you so much Onyx, and you will always always be in my heart. Forever.