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Remembering Sally

May 9th 2012 11:01 pm
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My dearest Sally Cat,

Today marks 4 years since you made your sudden and unexpected journey to the bridge. It was the worst day of my life, I've never experienced fear, trauma, and heartbreak like I did on the day I said good-bye to you. The grief was nearly unbearable and brought me to my knees. You seemed fine and healthy that morning. I remember waking up and finding you cuddled on the pillow next to me. I stayed in bed for awhile and loved on you. A true blessing on our last morning together, I just didn't know it at the time. Maybe you did?

When you got sick and I got you to the ER hospital, I knew you were dying. I kept saying to the ER vet, "But she was fine this morning. She was fine this morning." I made decisions for you that day, on your behalf, even though it was the hardest thing I'd ever done. But I would have done anything for you and I know that you know that I didn't want you to suffer and it was my love for you and your love and trust in me that guided me.

You were so sweet and so smart and so beautiful. So strong and courageous. I didn't know that your heart was so sick. Looking back, there were subtle signs that I missed. I beat myself up about that for a long time. Now I wonder if it was better that I didn't know? There was no cure, no way to fix your heart and make it healthy. By not knowing, we had up until your last morning together without fear, without knowing of what was coming. Love and normalcy and routine.

I miss you so much, Sally. I close my eyes and picture you and Sophie together, you are with family again and I find some comfort in that. I miss you both so much. It's hard for me to go to your Catster page, to see your photos and the few brief videos I have. It's hard for me to think of you because my heart is still broken. But I would never have traded a single moment with you, I was so lucky to have you with me for 9 years and 10 months. I love you, baby girl. Please give Sophie whisker kisses and a love tap with your paw for me. And take care of each other.



1096 Days

May 10th 2011 8:49 pm
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Dear Sally,

Yesterday was your 3 year anniversary at the bridge. I composed a million letters to you over the last day, the last week, the last 3 years. I miss you every day. I still feel like you were taken too soon, I wasn't expecting it and I wasn't ready to say good-bye. I know that no one is ever really ready to say goodbye but I *really* wasn't ready to say goodbye to you.

Sophie just joined you at the bridge. As I was saying goodbye to her I told her to look for you. As sad as it is to now have two sweet angels, it brought me a tiny bit of comfort to think of you and Sophie together again.

Take good care of each other (and don't eat her dog food, it's not good for you! Okay, you can bat it around and play with it but don't eat it!).

I love you, baby girl.



Valentine Dream

February 14th 2011 8:54 pm
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Dear Sally,

Thank you so much for the most wonderful Valentine. I'm home sick today and took a nap this afternoon. You visited me in my dream; it felt so real! Thank you for the cuddles and love in my dream today. It was so wonderful to hold you again and see your face light up when you saw me. I'm sure you could feel how my heart lit up the moment I saw you and reached for you.

Happy Valentine's Day, baby girl. I love you and miss you.



Dear Sally

January 4th 2011 11:49 pm
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Dear Sally,

Merry Christmas, baby girl. It's a new year and I can't help but think of you, always but especially this time of year. Catster friends have been visiting your page and sending pmails, leaving comments which is very sweet and thoughtful. I wish I had more video of you so that they could really get to know your adorable personality. It's hard for me to look at photos of you and to go to your page. I just miss you so much.

I was so naive. I really expected to have you with me for at least 20 years. I never expected to lose you so suddenly.

Lucy and the kittens are doing well. I don't know how much longer I can refer to the boys as kittens- they are almost 2 years old. Sophie is showing her age and some days are better for her than others. When her time comes to cross the bridge, I hope I'll find some comfort in knowing that you two are together again. Until then, Lucy, the boys, and I will continue to give her lots of love and peace in her golden years.

I love you.



Lap Cat

November 30th 2010 11:39 pm
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Dear Sally,

I've composed a thousand letters to you in my head since the last diary entry. I think about you, miss you, and love you every single day.

Tonight as I was doing paperwork on my laptop with Leo curled up next to me, I thought of you. Whether I was on the laptop at the kitchen table or the couch in the living room, or if I was on the computer upstairs, you were always right there with me. But not just with me, on top of me! A true lapcat, always wanting to be with me, touching me, connected to me. I loved that about you (and everything else). Next week marks two and a half years since you died. I can't believe it's already been over two years and at the same time, I can't believe it's only been two and a half years. You feel so far away from me some times. I miss you, baby girl.




July 3rd 2010 1:43 pm
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Dear Sally,

I’ve thinking about you (as always). 11 years ago this week you were a newborn, living under a trailer in a heart-breakingly impoverished neighborhood. I’m sure it was fate more than chance that made our paths cross.

My work as a social worker brought me to the neighborhood where you were born, southwest of Phoenix. The poverty in that neighborhood was some of the worst I’ve ever seen. No trees for shade, dusty desert ground with nothing green in sight. Air-conditioning was a luxury that few in that community could afford. The family I was working with lived in a trailer that didn’t even have stairs; I had to climb the 4 feet to get in the door and then jump out at the end of my visit. Many of the people in the neighborhood were nice, kind- always giving me a hand on that jump out of the trailer (which I needed!).

My love of children and concern for their well-being gave me pause one day, when I saw a group of young children playing outside (outside! It was so hot!) between the rows and rows of trailers. They approached me, smiling and laughing, and one little girl had something so small in her hands. It was you, a tiny baby. I’d never seen such a small kitten before. I held you for the hour that I was there. You curled up on my chest, snuggling in, and slept there. The kids told me I could have you if I wanted.

I’d never had a cat before. I didn’t know the first thing about cats, much less tiny kittens! I didn’t take you with me but I couldn’t get you out of my mind. I knew almost immediately upon leaving that when I was back in the neighborhood, I would take you home. And when I came back, you were still there. Your siblings had all passed and you were so sick. Sometimes I think back and wonder if I could have saved you all. I would definitely have done things differently, knowing what I know now. But at the time, I didn’t see clearly the need of all those little kittens. How amazing to know that you survived (waiting for me to come to my senses?). Thank goodness you did, it changed the course of both our lives.

Thinking back, I’d like to imagine that I made a difference in the lives of some of those children and families. I know, without a doubt, that two lives were forever changed in the most beautiful way that July: yours and mine.

I miss you, baby girl. I love you. Happy Birthday.



A Lifetime and Only a Moment ~ Two Years Ago

May 9th 2010 1:38 am
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Dear Sally,

May 9th, 2008, you took your last breath and crossed over the bridge. Some say that time heals all wounds. Many people said those words to me two years ago. I wanted to believe that with time, the heartbreak and pain that I felt at losing you so suddenly would eventually fade away. It didn’t. I don’t believe that time heals all. The grief I feel at losing you hasn’t ended or faded away and it never will.

For a long time, I thought the grief that I felt was it’s own emotion, it’s own feeling state, separate from and overshadowing the love I felt (feel) for you. Intruding on my happy Sally-memories and flooding me with the painful memories of your last day with me.

But in the past two years, I’ve come to realize that grief and love come from the same place and are completely interconnected. You can’t have one, feel one, without feeling the other. Someone said to me that grief is a reflection of love and I truly believe that. Because when I think of you, I feel *something* so deeply in my head, my heart, throughout. My love for you is so deep and my grief comes from that same place, deep and intense AND full of love. It’s an endless place and my love and grief are endless, too. Now that I understand my grief IS a part of my love, it doesn’t hurt quite as badly as it did. It doesn’t overshadow or flood my memories of you, it reminds me that those memories, good and tragic, are precious. My grief will never go away because my love will never go away. I miss you, baby girl, and I love you.

~ My first letter to you (May 23rd, 2008) ~

I miss seeing you in the mornings. I miss stepping over you, all sprawled out, on the stairs.

I miss how you scratched at the back door to let me know that Sophie was ready to come inside. And anytime I was petting Sophie, you joined right in on the loving (and vice versa).

I miss hearing you meow while I am on the computer, right before you jumped up into my lap. I miss your little paw tapping me on the shoulder when you wanted extra attention.

I miss that silly clicking sound you made when you were watching birds fly by the window. I miss seeing you all sprawled out on the back of the couch- I keep finding myself reaching to pet you- you were always so close by.

When the next thunderstorm comes, I'll miss seeing you bravely watch the rain from the window seat (while Sophie and Lucy hide!).

And even though it happened so rarely, I miss seeing you and Lucy cuddle together and groom each other.

I miss how you would wait around the corner when I opened a can of wet food and then meow until I brought your plate to you. And how you would eat yours and wait patiently until Lucy was done and then finish hers, too. And the funny thing is, Lucy misses that too. She looked for you the other day- first when I got the food out and then when she was done eating. She's really been missing you.

I miss how you would sometimes swipe Sophie's food and bat it around the house. Sometimes you would eat a little bit of it, but usually it ended up rolling out of your reach, under a door or the dryer.

I miss your purrs. And your kneading. And cuddling with you. And how sweet it was when you would lay on me and press your forehead on my cheek! I loved how anytime a blanket was brought out or clothes or a towel were left on the floor, you were there within moments, lounging on top of it.

I miss catching you opening drawers and cabinets- you always looked so cute standing on your back legs! And you were so smart. A genius, really. And so beautiful. And so sweet.

I miss your beautiful blue eyes. And your sweet little white paws.

I miss everything about you. I loved you so much and I can't believe you are no longer here. I miss you, Sophie misses you, and Lucy misses you. I keep expecting to see you in all of your favorite places. And although you were a quiet cat, the house just seems so (too) quiet without you.

Love always,


Loving (and Sniffing) Your Doggie

January 31st 2010 4:54 pm
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Dear Sally,

Leo reminds me of you. He does so many of the silly things you used to do and he loves to lay on top of me in the same spot that you loved. Sometimes I close my eyes and pretend it's you- just for a moment. I don't think Leo minds; I tell him and Charlie about you all the time. Lucy is doing well. I know she misses you. The kittens drive her crazy but no more than Lucy drove you crazy when she was a kitten!

Sophie is now nearly 15. That's 105 in dog years and she is finally starting to show her age. She has a hard time standing up and walking is a little uncomfortable for her. She rarely goes up the stairs anymore, mostly sleeping in the living room and kitchen. I bought an area rug today for her; the hardwood floors are very difficult for her to manuever so I'm hoping that a bigger rug will help make her more comfortable.

I remember how, every morning, when Sophie and I would come back from our morning walk, I gave her a treat. You loved this routine; as soon as Sophie was busy chomping on her treat, you always ran over and sniffed her all over! Every morning like clock work! Leo does that sometimes, it's so cute and funny.

Sophie is close to making her journey to the bridge. I see it in her eyes and in my heart, I know. I'm so lucky to have had her for so many years. She really is the sweetest dog. It's not her time yet. Her blood tests are not good but she's still eating and drinking and not losing any weight. She takes medicine to help her joints and ease her arthritis. Still, I know the time is coming. And I know you will be there to meet her. And I bet she won't mind if you want to give her some good sniffs in between head bonks and loving.

I love you, baby girl.



Sally's Voice

December 29th 2009 8:29 pm
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Dear kitty friends,

Thank you to sweet Hannah for including Sally in your *Angel Diary* entries. Sally was such a sweet, loving kitty and it truly touches my heart any time someone thinks of her or mentions her. It's been 18 months and 20 days since Sally unexpectedly made her journey to the bridge; it's still so hard for me to believe that she's not going to come bouncing down the stairs and jump into my lap at any moment. I miss her deeply.

I've tried a couple of times to write diaries from Sally's point of view. It's too hard for me still. I didn't start Sally's diary until after she passed and it makes me sad that our Catster friends never really got the chance to *hear* her voice. I think her diary entries would have been sweet and thoughtful with a bit of sillyness and, of course, moments of irriation with her sister Lucy. But my grief at Sally's passing is still very raw and I just can't seem to give a voice to her life at the bridge. I know you kitties and kitty people understand : )

Sally's mom



December 18th 2009 8:53 pm
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Dear Sally Cat,

Hi baby girl. The holidays are almost here and I'm missing you like crazy. It's only been 18 months and 9 days since you passed on. Today for some reason it feels like only yesterday when I suddenly had to say good-bye. I wish you were here (although these kittens would be driving you crazy!).

Charlie reminds me a lot of Lucy as a kitten. Half the time he is a completely incorrigible turkey and the other half he is a little baby, nursing and kneading on his favorite blankie. He drives Lucy crazy and he reminds me of how Lucy used to drive you crazy. He's got a ton of energy and he's so curious and talkative.

Leo reminds me of you. His long, soft fur, white paws, and gorgeous markings of course. But even more so, his sweet, quiet nature. His persistent headbonks and drooling. He falls asleep in my lap in the most ridiculous positions. I try not to move because he looks so sweet and cute and I don't want to wake him up. He reminds me of you, another lovebug.

Sophie is doing okay. She’s having some trouble walking and she’s definitely a golden girl. I worry about her and I worry about the kitties. It was so hard to lose you and even though I know that we all move on in the circle of life, there are moments in time that I just want to freeze and live forever.

Merry Christmas, sweet Sallymander. I love you.

Your Mom

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”
-Vicki Harrison

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