Just over 12 years ago, a beautiful, lean and well-muscled orange tabby boy skulked and slinked low to the ground into our back yard—and started visiting our home. He was hungry and living outside during an exceptionally cold, wet winter when we were visited with constant storms and pelting rain. For three nights in a row, this orange beauty slinked across our patio to where our feral food bowls were located, right in front of our French doors, and scarfed up as much food as possible, before pivoting and discreetly walking away as quickly and quietly as he came. My first thought was that this orange tabby was a new feral joining our small band of neighborhood feral cats that I had taken responsibility to feed outside every night. These cats had come to depend on us for their nightly repast for many years now. But on second thought, I knew it was even more likely that this adult orange boy had probably been callously dumped and abandoned by some thoughtless person who decided to move away with one less belonging—tossing this helpless creature to fend for himself, while she or he went on their merry way. It was evident that he had been living outside for some time, as the tips of his ears were well chewed on—healed scars and wounds from cat fights that left him tattered, but alive. He was extremely fearful of seeing us in the window—so his physical contact with humans appeared to be long forgotten and now we were something to be feared. We were enemy number one for this boy.Continue reading A Tribute to my Beloved, Beautiful CAT Marcello
On Monday, December 3rd, we sadly said goodbye to our sweet, dear old cat Dusty. At 21 years of age, Dusty’s body had just given out. His health had been slowly deteriorating, and in the past two years he was suffering from arthritis, hyperthyroid disease in recent months, kidney disease, muscle wasting—but the final straw was an upper respiratory infection that he could not overcome with antibiotics. The infection worsened, and when Dusty started to have difficulty breathing—we knew we needed to let him go. But Dusty put up a hard fight, he had fought valiantly to live, and didn’t want to leave his loving cat mates and his humans—but his body had other ideas.
Dusty was the dearest, sweetest boy imaginable. He had a heart of gold, was gentle and kind to all of his cat friends, and was dearly loved by his best friend Angus who stayed loyally by Dusty’s side—licking him, cleaning him, care-taking him and cuddling him. Angus thought of himself as Dusty’s big brother even though Angus was many years his junior. Angus would hold Dusty in his arms, his legs extended cradling his body, and he would give Dusty this loving embrace for hours. Dusty could not have been happier and loved Angus back equally, and felt secure in Angus’s strong arms.
On Sunday, December 10th in the early morning hours, I lost my greatest friend, my sweetest love, the most beautiful soul I have ever come to know on Earth. My Angel was beyond beautiful, she exceeded all definitions, and words can hardly describe her most profound and deeply beautiful spirit, but I will try in words to share our story and honor my beloved Angel in this written tribute to her. With a broken heart forever at her passing, and the deepest grief I can possibly feel, I want to share Angel’s deep soul, beautiful spirit and most profoundly loving being.
Angel came to bless our lives when she was brought to our home in early spring of 2004. We bought our house in June of the previous year, bringing two rescue cats, Pumpkin who was homeless in Seattle and Red who was rescued from being dumped at the Oakland Airport. With our new house, in August, we decided to adopt another rescue cat, which quickly turned into two rescue cats from Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek. We were sure that — that would be the end of our kitty family!
Yesterday we regretfully had to say goodbye to our loving, beautiful boy Simba. This farewell caught us by surprise and was very unexpected. Although Simba had a long history of health issues, I never imagined having to say goodbye to him so soon, or so suddenly. So it is with great sadness that I have to let go of this gentle, beautiful life and soul and say a final farewell to our dear boy.
Simba was born feral and came to live in our backyard permanently in 2004. Because he adopted us, we built a shelter for him against our fence to protect him from the rain and added soft blankets to keep him warm and dry. He ate his food every morning and night on our patio table and when darkness fell he would take himself to his shelter, and go to sleep. He knew that we were now his home and he became increasingly comfortable with us and trusted us. Though at the time, I could not touch him, I would go out and say goodnight to him in his shelter and he would stay and listen. I felt honored that he let me sit so close to him, though he watched me cautiously.
I wish more than anything I could change what happened to you. I wish that I never went away. I wish I could go back and change everything and do things differently so you would still be here with me. I wish that I could have protected you and prevented what happened to you. I wish I was there for you so you never suffered. Oh, how I wish.
But nothing will change what happened. But I miss you. I will always miss you. I will always look for you in all of your special places—lying in the garden, under the trees, on the grass, curled up on your chair, and always sleeping on my pillow. I will never get used to you not being there—those places will never be the same without you. They are empty now.
Our sweet, darling Red passed away almost four months ago to this day, the day after Christmas. We cared for him up to his last moments, and honored his death with his cat friends and proper burial in our backyard.
I wanted to honor our beautiful Red by writing about him and sharing his story of survival, challenge, and incredible transformation. Red touched us everyday of his life with his beautiful soul, his profound courage, his hard earned trust, and his huge heart and unending love. I believe we were meant to find each other on that fateful day thirteen years ago, and I’m forever grateful for crossing paths with Red and having the honor of knowing him and sharing every day of his life since. Continue reading Caring For Our Dying Cat in His Last Moments