Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saying Goodbye

It's been 17 years since this tiny, feral kitten came into our lives, urgently petitioning to be let into the house in the autumn of 1993.

Last night the time came for her to pass out of our lives and over the Rainbow Bridge.


Yes, I know the Rainbow Bridge is an invention of the author, but I think anyone who's ever loved or been loved by an animal companion can relate to the imagery; our friends no longer in pain, running free, enjoying each other's company and waiting for us to someday join them.

Those who've spoken to me on the phone have heard Cheetah's loud, insistent cry when she wanted something (usually more canned food) and many commented she sounded like a baby. Which of course she was. Our baby...

She was also our friend and companion, loyal and loving, and most definitely John's familiar. I remember very clearly in 1996 when he underwent several weeks of radiation therapy, little Cheetah didn't leave his side, except momentarily to eat and use her litterbox. If he walked up the stairs to the bathroom, she'd follow and wait outside the door, then follow him downstairs again. When he slept, she slept beside him. And this time last year, when John returned from a one month hospital stay following heart surgery, she began sleeping not beside him, but on him. It was as if she wanted to make sure he wasn't going anywhere ever again.

Making the decision to let a beloved friend go is never easy, but I know we did the right thing. With the help of our wonderful vet (who drove from home and opened the hospital at 9PM on a Saturday evening to do this), Cheetah's passing was peaceful and painless.

Goodbye, little girl. Run free, and boss all the other kitties around until we see you again. We'll miss you. ~♥~

15 comments:

sassypackrat said...

Our furry friends bring such joy into our lives. Their passing is so hard but their memories are wonderful. Hugs.

Crowsnest Pass Primitive Folk Art said...

That was a beautiful goodbye about your cat. I can relate completely & still think often of the two wee furries that I was blessed to have in my life. hugs Susan

Karin F. said...

Fur babies are more than just our children. Human children grow up and leave the nest. Fur babies are ours for life ....unfortunately their life not ours!
That was a heartrending post!
big hugs
Karin

Possible Impossibilities Studio said...

Sending Blessings and Love.

Becky said...

Hugs and blessing.I know I will have to face this one day.I have 2 dogs and 2 cats.Animals make life just so special.

Grandma Linda Crone said...

Thank goodness for the wonderful creatures who share life with us.

Anonymous said...

hello:-))
i read your blog, and i live in germany, i'm a witch and 42 years old. i love your work, and now i read that your cat/friend is gone. i feel with you. 2006 in december and a half year later my dogs are gone. my friends--more than friends lived more than 13 years with me. it's not easy...but we know-we will see us at the rainbow bridge. send you blessings...and feel with you. a reader from germany ...anke/sonnengewand^^v^^

http://iradas-klangoase.at or

www.leben-mit-klang.de

greetings....

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

My favorite Cheetah memory was the first time I met her. I'm thinking about 14/15 years ago. She was a shy cat and you said she wouldn't come out but by the end of the night she jumped up on the sofa and let me pet her. That cat had really good taste in humans. I am so sorry for your loss:(

D.Suplicki said...

Fur babies are such a joy to share our lives with and it is always difficult to say goodbye. Much love and many blessings to you and your family.

Rusty-Prim said...

Oh....I´m sorry for your loss...one year ago one of my cats went this way...I´m still kind of sad.
But we are lucky we had them.

Love,
Marion

Holiday Sparkle - Cyndi LaChance said...

I sit here with tears, feeling your sadness, and remembering my two furry boys who have also passed. They bring such joy to our lives.
Big Hugs,
Cyndi

Peg Woropay said...

What a very special cat, Cheetah was in her earthly life.... still just as special, just in a different way, now. I am sorry for your loss.

Createology said...

I am so sorry for your beloved loss. Thankfully you had 17 years of unconditional love and companionship. I am writing this with tears in my eyes as I know my time is coming soon as my little Sasha BooBoo kitty is almost 17. I cherish every minute I have with her. May your memories bring you happiness...

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Carolee, please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your beloved Cheetah. She was a very lucky cat to have found you and your family and I am sure that you must feel that your were a very lucky family to have found her. Our beloved pets leave their paw prints on our hearts forever and I hope that her memory will comfort you all in this time of sorrow. With my deepest sympathy, Deb

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

My heart aches for you and your husband. So hard to lose a loved member of the family.