"Thou art the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods,
And the judge of words
And the president of the sovereign chiefs
And the governor of the Holy Circle
Thou art indeed,
The Great Cat.
-Inscription from pharoahs' tombs at Thebes, Egypt
Thanks to the soothing, the bliss
We seemed to understand each other.
We had crossed our species' boundaries
And had found the common center in each other
Where all creatures rest.
-Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Who can believe there is no soul behind those luminous eyes?
Her function is to sit and be admired.
-Georgina Strickland Gates
My old, scrappy alley cat Eddie had recently passed. ( see epitaph on Eddie)
I didn't think I would ever shed so many tears for my old cat but I certainly did.
Then I met Miss Daisy, whom I often nicknamed Princess.
I walked into the Humane Society of Santa Clara, in California, and I went into the room with all the cats in their cages. One cat caught my eye because of her beauty. She was a diluted tortoiseshell, with perfect black and orange ticking on her fur, an orange ruff like a lion's mane with a single stripe, and a round, large face with huge eyes of amber. She sat in her cage, aware that death was near for her as it was for all the other hapless animals that were not adopted. Her owners had given her up because 'they couldn't find an apartment that would take cats."
She looked at me, looked through me with those orbs of golden amber, and proudly sat, two paws crossed over the other with a dignity and a regal bearing worthy of the cat god Bastet, ancient revered goddess of the Egyptians. She then put her paw down through the cage and knew she had me hooked. I looked at the other cats, both feral and domestic, in their cages, meowing or staring back with fear and uncertaintly. Tears filled my eyes for I knew I could only bring home one. And the tortoiseshell queen entered my life.
Then I noted on her information sheet that she had had a back leg amputated due to an injury. She was seven years old and within me has always been an innate desire to want to protect those who were wounded, deformed, or unwanted. She both tore at my heart and filled me with joy. I took her home.
For many weeks, it became obvious she had once been mistreated, as she scratched, bit, and was tempermental. But through the months, given a good home, spoiled with good food, a warm bed, her special blanket, and numerous collars, she learned to trust me, and my mother, who loved her as much as I did.
She was clever and manipulative, and she knew she was a princess. She held her head high, and became quite fat and lazy. She was with me through the times of drug abuse when I camehome crawling on the floor, heart beating, vomiting, praying I wouldn't die from a cocaine overdose. She would follow me, purring, into the bathroom, into the bathtub where I lay exhausted. She was my beloved friend through these times of depression and difficulty, never once leaving my side while I was sick or overdosing or recovering.
She was jealous, and no other cat was allowed to be near her, to threaten her secure and safe home.She was 7 when I adopted her, and had five years of the good life. She never went out again nor desired to. My beloved Miss Daisy, I take comfort only in knowing that I was able to give you the best home you had out of the four you had previously lived in. I pray to the gods and goddesses, that your life with my family and I was a good one, for I wanted you to end your days in comfort. My home was your sanctuary and your last stop before you entered feline heaven, having used all of your 9 lives.
When you had the skin tumor, we took you to the vet to have it removed. You bravely endured a strenuous ordeal and came back with your usual strength and dignity.
I remember all the cute things you would do...for you were one strange cat. You reminded me of a wide load truck, fat and happy with that odd little pirate's thumping walk I would hear due to your missing hind leg. You had a strange meow. You liked to be near heater vents and you loved to play with other cats used toys. Never your own. You loved to steal them and hide them and play with them when no one was watching.
You were too dignified for that.
But I will always remember your spot on my bed, on your furry comforter, with your toys, or you sitting like a queen with tail lashing and paws crossed, guarding my door like one of the statues guarding the tombs of Egypt.
My precious friend Miss Dazey, you will always have a special place in my heart, as my faithful pet and companion, and I hope that you're in heaven where you can steal all the other cats' toys, drink the finest cream, and lounge in the sun like royalty on the St. Tropez beach.
Beloved Princess, you will always be missed.
When Jerry brought you home, you were this big ball of fur. Jay said, "Here he is. If you don't want him, I'll take him!" Bailey you made this your home almost at once wiggling your tail and getting to know everyone. You are gone now, and I don't think I'll ever get over you! You were always there for me. Now all I have is your happy face. Jackie called you dopey-dopey dog. I'm filled with such sorrow Bailey. You gave unconditional love. No more pain my furry friend. You gave me such pleasure. If there is another side, I will meet you there. I hope the Rainbow Bridge is true! I will always remember your face as the Vet was holding you by the leash and even then you were smiling saying, "Time for me to come now mom??" Bailey I'm so sad. I love you and miss you terribly. MOM
Danni Kramer (? - 1998)
Danni was my very first very own dog. I found her on my uncle's farm in Michigan while visiting my dad. It was love at first sight for me. I never thought about having a Beagle, but one look at Danni and I knew she had to come home to California with me.
Danni was an odd Beagle, quiet, never barked. I don't think she was used to much human companionship, so it took a while to teach her that her job was to be with me whenever I was home. I spent many nights convincing her she should sleep on my bed. I'd carry her into the bedroom put her on the bed, five minutes later she would jump off and leave the room. I would do this over and over every night until she figured it out.
Danni didn't like men much, not even my boyfriend Joe who's home she visited four days and nights of the week.
Dannis was pretty much a lemon of a dog. She had a lot of trips to the doctor. She had to be treated for heartworm, had to have foxtails removed from up her nose twice, got a gash on her leg (we have no idea how), other minor things. She cost a pretty penny, but worth it. She was my girl.
I only had Danni for six years. She started showing changes in her personality, stopped greeting me at the door, walked into corners of the room and couldn't get out (as if she had lost "reverse"). She was diagnosed with an inoperable brain lesion. It was very sad. One good thing that came of it is that during this time she decided she liked Joe! But when she had a siezure, I decided it was time to let her go. That was over three years ago, and I still think of her and wonder if I was too hasty in my decision. My loved ones say I did the right thing in sparing her any future pain or suffering. I guess I just still miss her so much that I wonder about it.
Even though I have other dogs now who I adore and love dearly, there will never be another Danni, my very first very own dog.
I will always love you my little sunshine. I look forward to seeing you and hugging you again someday.
Jenny Kelleher-Davies 11-20-87 7-26-01
Jenny the 2 month old puppy, was left in a cardboard box on the steps of the animal shelter in Melfa, Virginia. We figured her birthday was around November 20th. We’d never had a dog and she wasn’t exactly planned, so I got a book on puppy training and tried to follow it. I had cats so was unprepared for the devilment a puppy can get into. Why do they like to roll in manure? The first night we had her, I made her a nice bed in the kitchen and my husband and I went upstairs to bed. We could hear her crying but she stopped after a while. I said to my husband, “I guess she’s getting used to being alone at night.” He laughed and said, “She’s sitting here by the bed.” I couldn’t believe the puppy climbed all those steep wooden stairs in that old house. She was quite proud of herself too. She cried by the bed and my husband said, “Put her on the bed, I need to get some sleep.” I told him the puppy book said that was a bad habit to start, but he said it was only one night and leaned over and picked her up. Jenny did her three turn-arounds and settled herself on the bed where she slept every night for the next 13 & ¾ years. She hogged the covers too. Jenny traveled all over the U.S. since we had to move whenever my husband got orders. She’s been through the Canadian wilderness, has taken a floatplane on a fishing trip in Alaska and has even been out on a boat. She liked the boat, but she hated the gangway because she could see the water through it. Jenny had her own plastic pool, numerous dog toys, homemade food and biscuits and even a birthday party or two. The neighborhood kids came and brought her cards and presents. She spent many happy hours hiding her chewsticks from the cats who couldn’t have cared less. Maybe she was a spoiled dog, but, she loved everybody and everybody loved her. The last couple of years she developed arthritis and her hearing and sight were going. She was also having ‘accidents’ and frightening panic attacks. We tried various medications but the truth was that at almost 14 years of age, she was old for a big dog. When her life became too much pain and fear, we took her for the final injection. The house is very quiet without doggy toenails clicking on the floors. And I really didn’t mind that she hogged the covers. We miss you, Jenny. Go with God, little love.
Buckwheat: my beloved bunny! 2/14/91-7/24/01
After 10 1/2 years of loving you as the one constant in my life, I had hoped to be prepared for your death. How untrue that is! "We" had decided that when you were ready to leave, you would somehow let me know; and that I would be home and be with you when you left, and that all came to be on July 24! Thank You for your unconditional love and friendship. You listened and were there to cuddle, kiss, and hold. I see reminders of you everywhere: from bits of fluff and fur, to pulled carpet, to all the whiskerless stuffed bunnies you left behind; but none of those makes up for the huge hole in my heart. How I love you and miss you lovey! God blessed me with you, and I long for the day in Heaven when you run to meet me again! Look for me honeybun! No one can ever replace my Buckwheat! Martha
Jessie died on Wednesday, July 11th, 2001, and I can't stop crying. In 16 years, she grew very close to my heart. I would do anything for her, and she I know loved me. She was my shadow those last few months as she grew very frail and wouldn't let me out of her sight. All she wanted was to cuddle and sleep, she didn't have much appetite.
At 4 am she followed me back into the bedroom and gave her cat call noise, as she often did when she wanted my attention, and walked down to the bottom of the bed. I found her 20 minutes later, paralized but not dead. It was my painful duty to have to take her to that final visit to the vet.
The worst day of my life, it was not as peaceful a death as I expected, but I was there to the end, and now she rests in my garden and I can't stop crying even as I am writing this. I never felt like this even when my father died, there's not a place in the house that doesn't bring back memories after so long and it hurts. I love you Jessie.
Max the Cat
You were a Christmas present from our friends, the Maxwell's. They rescued you as a kitten on a cold winter night before Christmas from a parking lot. We took you home the following week and you would not go near anyone, not even me. Over the next 6 years, you learned to tolerate other people near you and even talk back to them. But, you were always my cat. Either running to the door to say 'Hello' to me when I walked in from work. Or when sitting on the Front balcony looking and talking at me as I walked up to the front door saying 'how glad you were to see me'. One of the handsomest cats I ever knew. Long black fur, with white patches across the belly, paws, and face with a black chin. A lion's ruff of white fur around the neck with furry rear legs and a bottlebrush tail with grey hairs that stuck out a little longer than the black hairs. When I worked on the computer at night in the office, you would climb up behind me and sleep on the headrest.
We adopted you even knowing you had feline leukemia. In the end, when the vet couldn't do anything for you, I had to make the hard choice of either giving you a few more hours before your lungs drowned in their own fluid, or to ease your pain and put you to sleep. I stayed in the room holding your paw, stroking your fur and calming you, until the end, figuring I owed you that much. Momma couldn't take it and left, but we both loved you and miss you.
We're going to adopt another kitten soon and let him know all about you and that we will love him just as much as we loved you.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." -Immanuel Kant
Silverise Time Traveller (Tim-Tim)
Timmy was a part of my life for only a month, I loved him dearly. He was a recently retired stud Lilac Point Siamese, he pulled out his fur making him look like he had extra points.
Tim-Tim enjoyed living,I occasionally gave him and Curieux (my other cat) some raw chicken legs to chew on and Timmy would steal them away to the corner and growl if anyone tried to get them. When we painted the house, Timmy took advantage of the opportunity to jump on all the misplaced furniture and attack your ankles when you walked past a sheeted chair.
He had a special way of greeting me, he would put one paw on my chair, then the other, then his nose would appear. He would let out a small mew and then jump up after I had patted his head. This ritual became routine over the month that I had him and even three years later I still miss it.
One Tuesday morning I had a meeting at Uni and I was in a hurry, Timmy got outside and I did not have time to catch him. Since he had been out with me the day before, I thought he would be okay for a couple of hours. When I came home later that afternoon, I was met by Curieux acting very strangely. I looked everywhere, Curieux kept fluffing up every time we went out the back, and then I found the broken glass. I rang all the neighbours I asked them all to look, I crawled under their houses with a torch. I had to babysit that night, when I came back, the next morning I started again. I called every radio station and TV station, I called every vet in Adelaide. It was my sister's birthday and I completely forgot about her I was so worried. I had to babysit again that night.
Next morning I put out mailbox drops as a final call. My neighbour Marlene brought him to me, we think someone came into my yard and beat him. I could not stop crying for weeks. Ilost fifteen kilos over the next three months, blaming myself for his death. How any person could be so cruel to a helpless animal, I will never know and there is a small knot of hatred reserved just for them in my heart. To Timmy: I am so sorry that I was so careless, I loved you so much, you were my little baby, how I wish you were still here. Curieux was so lost after you went. My new boy Oliver Cerise Buderim was given to me only a few weeks after you died, it took me a while to love him as much as you because everytime i looked at him i remembered you were not there. Please forgive me and I hope that you get lots of chicken to chew on up there in heaven. Love you, Mum.
May 24, 2001 - Sept 13, 2001
I wasn't even looking for another dog, let alone a puppy - just by accident my sister and I ran across a couple of litters all together in a pen - 20 pups total. You kept following me down the fence, yapping directly at me, you were relentless. When I finally picked you up that was the last yap I heard until you were a little older and started in with my other dogs.
You were one of the sweetest dogs I had ever met - I was also very curious about your breed mix - Great Dane (Harlequin) and Doberman (Liver). You were only 4 wks old but I remember stopping at the river to let Sam ( 8-1/2 yr Germ Shep/Lab) swim & cool off for awhile - you just took off swimming and I knew you would fit right in. I hadn't had a puppy in 8 yrs & had to start looking for work again but I did not regret for one moment picking you up that day.
There was something very special about you - I liked it when you use to whisper in my ear and I would talk back & you perked right up. You loved the older dogs more than they gave back but I hope they miss you as much.
I could go on for a long time here but you know I talk to you all the time. I will always miss the times we could have had together as you grew up - I only had you for a short time and even though it was very difficult watching & experiencing the pain you dealt with that last week of your life, I do not regret a single moment I had with you, even though your teeth were pretty sharp. I wish you had been with me longer and I wish I could have done more to help you - distemper is an ugly virus & I regret taking you in for the vaccine, I'll always live with that decision and wonder if you would still be here if I hadn't. I hope I see the soul behind those eyes again someday.
I hope you know how much we always loved you. You were such a pain when we first brought you home from the pound. We were glad to save you, but your gratuity was never shown well. Who would have thought that your affection for the toilet seat was the way into our hearts. Our little "pot-sitter". I know that moving to the farm for you was rough, especially with your big brother watching from home. You were a happy, healthy 12 years old when that car hit you, and I am so sorry that you died on that street alone. I would have held you until you passed in your own time. Loving you and comforting you all the while. I hope you are sitting on God's lap, purring for him. We love you.
August 1999 - July 2001
Gin Gin was a homeless stray my husband and I found in the summer of 1999. He was wandering around our antique store, "The Old Tin Gin" (which is how he got his name).
He was nearly starved and gravely ill from an infected wound in his neck caused by a parasite. After a visit to the vet and a few good meals he quickly became the healthy, happy and playful kitten we had come to love. He was a house cat with some outdoor privileges (when we were able to keep an eye on him) There were a few vicious male cats in the neighborhood that really enjoyed bullying "the new kid." He really loved his outdoor time and as time went by and he grew and was able to defend himself, we became more lenient and allowed him to go out unsupervised. He was very smart, he could fetch, roll over, and speak as well as any canine I have ever seen! Unfortunatley, the same type of parasite that we saved him from in the beginning became the cause of his demise.This time the parasite had gotten to his brain and we were forced to make the unbearable decision to have him put to sleep. There was nothing that our vet could do for him and he would have suffered immensely until he would have eventually died. We speak of him often and his memory shall remain alive in our hearts forever.
May you be happy running free in "The Ultimate Great Outdoors" as you please... We love and miss you
Beverly and Michael
Sunny Bell Star
April 11, 1976 - Sept. 27 2001
My beloved horse and companion of 10 years,you were that special horse that came into my life and the wonderful gift of god. We were a good team. We both liked the same things when riding we were one. Shine on my sunny bell star . The pain you were in with the athritis is gone and you can run and play until we meet in heaven shine on my love.
My Friend and Companion
On September 30th I lost Rocky to cancer.
He was my friend, my companion and so much more for over eleven years. Almost a third of my life. He taught me so many lessons in the time that I knew him, and in his honor I will try harder to learn (or relearn) these lessons as I try to move on without him.
First, Rocky taught me loyalty. He was always loyal to his friends, especially me. Always and forever, in good times and bad, he was there for me. When my father passed away he was the one that sat by me the whole night long. And when I was alone, afraid or crying he would come and curl up next to me, his head on my pillow. He has even placed a paw on my cheek from time to time, as if to say "I'm here, please don't cry". He never left me or hurt me. He just loved me. Rocky taught me trust. He always trusted me, even on that last, and most horrible trip to the vet. He trusted me to do the right thing. And at that final moment he trusted me enough to reach as far as he could to place his head in my palm and his paw on my arm. As if to say "I'm scared, but it's ok, I trust you" his eyes never leaving mine. Rocky taught me perserverence and determination. Even in those last days when even standing up took all his energy, he kept going. Rocky taught me the meaning of unconditional love. No matter what I did or didn't do, his love for me was always there. He loved me just because I was me.
Rocky taught me it's ok to accept help. He was never bothered when I had to carry him or help him clean himself. He just accepted my help for what it was.
Rocky taught me it's good to accept and give affection. It's what he lived for. Rocky taught me the joy of play. He suffered so much when he no longer felt like playing, and didn't even want to watch the birds outside.
Rocky taught me simplicity. He lived a life uncomplicated by all the seemingly important things that so occupy humans. He just lived his life, simply and beautifully.
He didn't need any of the material things that humans crave....he just needed love and affection. Rocky was a best friend, and I will miss him with all my heart.
SAVANNAH August 1st, 2001-November 28, 2001
Words cannot express the sadness I feel in my heart without you around, Savannah. You were only 31/2 months old when that horrible, horrible disease took you away from me. I don't know how you caught FIP and I don't know why God would ever want to take you away from me, or take me away from you. I loved you so much- we all did- Jess, Suzie, Karl and Derek. We all saw you every day and you never failed to put a smile on our face. Letting you go was the hardest thing I have ever done and I feel as if I lost a piece of myself when I walked out of that door. This is so hard for me, and I don't know how to deal with you not around. I love you. We all love you. You were the best cat I have ever seen and you couldn't of made me more happier. I love you. Rest in Peace Savannah- I'll never forget you.
RAINA'S RAGDOLL (10/15/01 to 11/21/01)
"but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it , and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him." 2 Samuel 12:3
You were born crippled and without a tail, but your Mama loved and nourished you. Your brother and sister littermates treated you protectively, your big sister even trying to carry you like a ragdoll. Although your hindlegs were useless, you skittered around the house like a furry spider. You wanted us to carry you about so you could see everything, and we did, nestled in the crook of our arms. You wanted to be held and petted and we cuddled you for hours on end. You had learned to eat chicken from a bowl and what a ravenous appetite you had. What a mournful night when your tiny 6 oz. body succumbed to all its internal and external deformities. We only had you 5-1/2 weeks, but you taught us a lot about trust and courage. I will never forget those huge blue sensitive and intelligent eyes looking up at us so lovingly.
August 24, 1992 October 7, 2001
Kinsey was named after the famous detective and she came from a pet store. Though our other critters had always come from shelters, that day when I went in to buy the dog a new collar and saw the little black and white kitten in the cage, I knew I was in trouble. I bent to peer into it and the kitten reached through the bars and patted me gently on the face with one paw. How could I not take her? The dog didn’t care and the other two cats at first ignored her and then gradually became her friends. Kinsey was very fragile emotionally so it took many years to get her to trust people and when I look at the many photos of her I notice she always looks startled. Her favorite place was the hamper in the back bathroom. I guess she felt safe there. So, we dropped our dirty clothes on the bathroom floor because the hamper belonged to Kinsey. Though, there were a couple of times I’d forget and throw some article of dirty clothing in there without looking. Then I’d remember and run back to look in and see Kinsey laying there with a pair of underwear on her head. She had one bad habit. When she was afraid, she’d pee on my small bookcase. I had to replace books and scrub the case several times but what the heck. Earlier this year, Kinsey developed diabetes and it was a struggle to get her blood sugar balanced. Then just when we thought we had it, she began to fade quickly one weekend and so I had to try to reach a vet to see her on a Sunday morning. By then she was having trouble breathing too. She had cancer. I asked the vet give her the shot to stop her pain. Kinsey was nine years old. Even though she was our little wacky reclusive cat, we loved her. When I told her to go towards the light, I hoped she knew that she took that love with her--forever.