Hello from Heaven

Hey it’s me again, Benson.  I know, I know I am not suppose to be able to communicate since I crossed over on Monday morning but I have a few things to say before I get too busy.

First crossing over that rainbow bridge is not so bad.  Not really.  Oh yeah, it is tough to leave those who love you behind and all those fun times, toys and such.  The bridge is actually rather cool.  There are these gold bricks that glow as you step on them.  Not a garish gold or glow like that broom head has in his apartment, rather a soft welcoming gold and a glow more like a halo.  There are cardinals to show you the way and angel cats waiting on the other side of crossing over the bridge of that big big sky to climb ever so high to heaven.

Oisie and Vester were there waiting for me.  Even though I had only seen them in person briefly, I knew them well from our conversations and touching paws through the door.  We are now roaming around together and reminiscing about our time with our Lady.  We talk about how we drove her crazy at times not liking this food or that.  That she would still go out and find something new for us to try or even better bake turkey thighs for us.  And oh those cans of tuna and salmon that we so love.

Well we all know that was a good life however here in heaven, there are long low tables of every kind of food we could possibly ever want.  There are mice covered in chocolate which on earth we are not suppose to have.  Here though everything is ok.  There are big bowls of treats that we can have any time of the day and not just after dinner to clean our teeth.  So we are quickly returning to our fat ol selves we once were before we became ill.

There is an abundance of toys and an ongoing supply of catnip which keeps us all high as if we are ol hippies.  We cruise around.  Climb big beautiful trees. Take a cat nap on huge cozy pillows.  It really is called heaven for a reason because everything is so nice and there is no fighting just peace and love.

I have encountered one or two of my ol chums and a couple of enemies from the alley.  They did not end up with the good life as I did.  Rather their life was much shorter then mine and not so comfortable.  They are here now and all is better because now they have a really good, safe life with everything they ever longed for or missed out in having.

We all want you to know, we look down over you. We each have our people we look after.  The ones who gave us homes and then the others, who did not get homes like the guys I know from the alley, help us look out for you.

Today we are sending as much love and hope as our little hearts can send because we know so many, so very many are concerned about the broom head.  Please know we are going to mess with that broom head.  We are going to send fleas to be all over his head.  We are going to send mice up his pant legs even though the mice will turn around and run back down because of the awful sight they encounter.  We are going to curl snakes around his waist so he can’t really breath very well and finally we are going to scratch the hell out of those damn ugly gold chairs.  You know the kind of stuff cats love to do yet don’t because they are grateful for their home.  Now we are free to do it to the ones who act so badly.

So know we are up here even though we miss you and we understand how sad you feel because we are gone but don’t do that because we loved you very much while we were with you and all is so lovely here.  We will wait and watch for when you cross over the rainbow bridge just as the others did for us.  The cardinals will sing happily because we are together again.  For now though find peace in your heart and treat everyone as if they were your favorite cat….well maybe not the petting and kissing part but the other stuff.  Share your food, give as you can and be as kind as possible to everyone because just like me, some are rough and tough because of their lifestyle, not because of their heart.

That is it for now….maybe I’ll swoop in with a few wise words from time to time.  Oh and by the way, I am back to creating a bit of art, so I may toss something at you from time to time….so long for now.  Paws up with love.  img_1003





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Seeking Roots

Whether or not one’s childhood was stable, good or not so favorable, we sometimes find ourselves seeking the roots we knew.  Even the unstable ones because somewhere in all that there was something that held us.  Some form of cohesiveness.  Again good or bad.

When life feels so off balanced and unsettled we long for that sort of footing.  Something that we knew.  That feeling of belonging to a place or a family.  They say one can not really go back yet I think in many ways we can.  True a place may have evolved and family may long have gone away, yet the memory holds solid.

It is in that memory, one can find the old roots that still hold deep.  The very sense of the basis of our beginning.  The foundation of who we became.

I am finding myself, this seeking of roots, to be with me recently. After so many losses of late and through the eleven years of living where I do now, I am longing to walk the streets with familiar names of my past.  To sense the old memories even if all has changed physically.  To stroll that old beach I knew both as a kid and as an adult.  To drive by the old house where my aunt lived, my grandmother.  To visit the old church where my Dad sang as a young man.  A paid talented tenor.  To savor the lovely traditional interiors and rituals. To hold onto the comfort for a while and perhaps find those old roots, settle down into those and thrive.

My soul longs for that and in someways perhaps it would help to fill the void of so many losses, even if just a little.  We can not bring back the past to change it or have it, yet we can savor the moments in our hearts that were pure and good.  We can walk those ol familiar streets as a different person yet enjoy the comfort the memory of those streets bring.

We can even find a house in this place of familiar streets and somehow I think it can become a real sense of home because we have returned to what we know.  As I look at what is ahead with real concern, it is that sense of comfort and home I think so many of us need at this time.  The ol sense of those roots.  Perhaps in our seeking, we can find as well.


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The Void

img_1752Over the past four years I have written blogs about Benson and my other cats.  Two of which just passed within the recent three months.  Then early Monday morning at close to 1 am, 12.53 to be exact, Benson joined them in his travel across the rainbow bridge, as some say, when a pet passes.   Cardinals had surrounded the house all day so I knew the end was near.

Even though he had been ill and begin to really digress over the past week and I knew the end was ultimately near, it still has been a difficult loss.  It may have been even more upsetting if I was not still numb from loosing two of my other older and long time cats.

Benson stood apart from all the others.  He came to me as I have written as a battered cat from the alley in the small town where I live.  Cats are not regarded in the highest manner here nor I guess are they really anywhere.  His ears were frayed from having to fight probably for food and to protect himself.  But those ears were endearing.  They touched my heart because I understood his past even though I did not totally know the details.  I could sense the wiseness in his soul.  The tough edge he had gained from the street smarts he was forced to know.

When we loose a pet or someone close, we go through the motions of the day.  We eat breakfast because we have to. We make the bed because we must.  We find ourselves doing the little things to keep us in motion.  Busy work so our mind does not melt into a soaked mess.  We review our time with the one who has passed.  We try to focus on only the good yet there were times when anger or upset occurred and in our sadness we regret those times.  Wishing we could somehow take those back.

Benson came to me when I was already a bit overwhelmed with five other cats and soon after loosing a special cat much like Benson just a previous month or so.  He was a challenge and feisty.  We had many moments of spats, bites and scratching.  I did not back down in trying to gain his trust or to let him know all would be ok.  Fortunately I had a very large space, the master suite of my house which I do not use which I gave him as his living space always hoping to bring him out to the house with the others.  That never happen although he did have time each morning and late afternoon to come roam the rest of the house.  We established a routine, as life goes.  We all have our routines.  The other cats began to know about what time was Benson time and they would wonder off to a bedroom to be closed away while Benson was out.  He was aggressive with the other cats and two, the ones who passed recently prior to Benson were older and really not up to standing their ground with him.

So we settled into our routine which grew to everyday for the past four and a half years.  The timing of giving them all breakfast and dinner was the same.  The time I ventured into Benson’s space in the afternoon to spend time with him watching travel or cooking shows…he probably knew quite well how to bake a cake, or make a delicious lasagna.  We sat close together watching these.  Sometimes a nap was in order after yard work or what ever.  Sometimes just because it was a rainy day and warranted the nap.  He would cozy close, sometimes deciding to just curl up on top of me.  A heavy weight because he was a large cat.  It was endearing to have him seek the closeness.  The love.  We were very bonded in so many ways.  Alike in so many ways.

To walk into the room today even though I removed his bowls and place mat yesterday thinking it would help with the loss, there is a huge void.  My heart is heavy from the loss of him.  I think about how I use to look at the back of his little head and those battered ears realizing just how far we had come.  The reward of it all.  I wondered what he thought sometimes, as we always do with our pets.  He loved me dearly I do believe, as I did him.  Oh yes he took some big chunks out of me when he wasn’t happy with me and at times I yelled at him because he did so.  Yet we had that bond that one doesn’t always have.  That bond that creates a huge void when it is gone.

One has to move on with life as he would have had to do if I had gone away.  There are things I wish could have happen for us.  Like the sale of the house and a move to a smaller one with a screen porch where we could have all been together rather then the separation as it existed.  I always felt if that could happen then everyone in a new place would get along. There would be no territories or threat.  Just common ground and happiness.  It wasn’t meant to be and now I have the void of Benson on top of the loss of the others.

Those voids take a little of us away.  We grieve yet we still feel the loss, the void that is left.  We continue on with life although somewhat different.  We are grateful we had the time with them.  That they came into our life and that we had the routine even if at times it limited doing other things.  A look back though says it was all good and made us a bit richer through the experience.

The five cats that remain are all ones of privilege by that I mean, they were young, kittens mostly.  They did not have the tough life of the others so they do not have the character traits as those who have had the hardships.  They act like some children of wealth as if they are entitled to all they have.  Not willing to accept others less fortunate.  I will go through life with them for as long as either of us live yet there will always be the void made by the ones I so loved with the tough lives.  I related to them.  I have walked their path which I suppose that is why they came to me knowing I would understand their past and do what I could to make life better.  I only hope I did.

So the void will live on and as time goes, I suppose it will get a little smaller, a little softer yet when I remember them, see the back of Benson’s little head, the battered ears, I will always feel the loss of the pure love.  That is the void….the loss of the pure love.




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New Year….breaking traditions

Most of us are very glad to leave 2016 behind.  Closing the door and padlocking it with hopes it is never repeated.  At least that is how I feel about the year.

It was a year of set backs, hardships and loss.  One right after another and sometimes all at the same time.  It was difficult to keep hope in the heart and lift the head to weather the storm.  It was a year that tested spirit, braun and faith.

I have had many, many awful years in my lifetime however it seems that 2016 was one of the worse, if not the worse year ever.

My  heart remains heavy in many ways for the losses which I know from experience, in time the heart will heal even though the scars will remain.  Sometimes there are lessons to be learned from the losses yet I can not think of one lesson to learn from the losses I had in the past year.

There are many matters I am grateful for that came about in the past year.  The revealing of the true self of long time friends when the election became a full on heated mess.  I had to face betrayal yet again and this time I did not accept it.  I did not say to my self oh well, just let it go.  This time I let them go and for good.  A Christmas card arrived from one with her usual self focused woes of her “life in the toilet” and not one word other then what was the message of the card to me.  It demonstrated to me as with so many others I have known, that I have been nothing of importance to them other then a source to meet their needs of some sort or another. As it goes with deceptive people.  Another card arrived with no signature which is ok, I suppose yet sends a message.

With the new years I am breaking away from all those old set in stone traditions.  I am no longer going to tolerate or put myself at disadvantage for other people.  I won’t be giving as much as I have in the past emotionally, financially or otherwise.  I am going to bank more on myself, it may be wise that we all do.  Of course not in a harsh or harmful way and not without regard for those in need however with a stand against those who use, who take for their own gain, who manipulate with a sob story of “can’t pay the rent” when they have gone out to dinner the previous night or whatever it is at the moment.  I will be standing up against those and while it may mean I am even more to myself, well so be it.

Today I am breaking that age old tradition that was engrained in me as a must.  I will not be having the silly black eyed peas for good luck.  While I love those little odd peas, I no longer think they can bring luck.  They have yet to do so any year of the past.  And that cabbage that is suppose to bring wealth, well it is not happening today either.  My Mother may be looking down in concern however I don’t think she really watches over me anyway.  My sister needs too much for that to happen.  So if she slips a look in and sees that there is no black eyed peas or cabbage on the menu today well she may just have to think she is elsewhere in another country that does not have that tradition.

Traditions that have kept a tight hold are being tossed out and a wide open stage is set for a new take on life.  The year ahead at the moment with the new governing of the country offers a lot of concern yet I am going to set out on my path to find peace, to be more aware, more in tune and use my instincts more readily then I have this past year.  I am going to continue to be strong as I have yet in a different way that is less accepting of the treatment of others.  Of circumstances.  Of others opinions imposed on me or of the words “there was not room for you”.

It seems that we all need to raise our heads, stand tall, be true to ourselves while kind to others and by all means not accept the status quo or that we have to accept something, well because it is what it is.  It isn’t and doesn’t have to be.  Change can happen and may it come about in the best way possible for this New Year.  May the old accepting mold be broken and new directions taken.

If there are storms ahead, I am ready. If there is peace ahead, I am really ready.  If there are better more prosperous times ahead, bring those on.  For today though I will begin the new path of a new year breaking away from tradition and that in itself is freeing.

Happy New Year to all.  Peace….because it brings to much to the world and each of us….Peace.





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Strong girl, sweet heart

released from earthly bonds this soul is free once more to travel further….

Known to me and others as Oisie, a take from the name of Eloise which she was originally named,  went away earlier this week.  Not something I was prepared for that day nor would I probably be on any particular day yet Dr. Welch said it was necessary.  I even said I will bring her back next week, thinking I could have a bit more time with her because I was not prepare for such a loss. When I took her to see him that morning,  I thought she had a few issues which could be treated yet and that she was becoming a very elderly ol girl however I was not prepared to be told she had to be put to sleep.

She had been with me for years.  Thirteen years.  She ate her breakfast and dinner off the same pretty little saucer for all those years.  Somehow knowing it was her plate.  She wasn’t friendly at first.  Well actually for years she wasn’t friendly.

Her life had not been easy.  She lived between fences, under a neighbor’s shed and probably where ever she could find that felt safe.  Her many kittens lived with her which she ferociously protected and provided for in ways most of us could not.

I first met her while watering the plants on the patio of my town home.  There were tiny little kittens tucked with much care under the protection of a plant against the wall of the patio.  No one could see them nor was it likely a predator would find them.  She was smart, my old Oisie.  A wise ol street smart girl.

I began placing food out for her with the hopes of catching her soon and of course saving her kittens.  Saving the kittens became something much more easy then catching her. She more or less allowed me to take the kittens while offering a watchful eye when they were at the age she would be walking away from them to encourage them to make their own way.  This went on for close to a year.  She having her babies on my patio.  Me saving them and trying to catch her in a nice way.  Not with a trap or meanly.  I felt her trust was building however to betray her with a trap was not what I wanted to do.  It may have been the best way in the short view, however I wanted to be kind to her.  She really did not know kindness at all.  I so wanted that for her.

Two other cats lived with me in my town home, brother and sister….Barnum and Bailey.  They came to me at six weeks old when a neighbor brought them saying their Mother had been killed.  I wasn’t going to keep them yet they begged for a home.  So they became my family.  They would sit and watch Oisie come for her food which became a routine at the same time B&B were fed…breakfast and dinner. Plus I left dried food for Oisie to have and know it was there all day and night so she didn’t have to work so hard to feed herself and her babies.

I watched her with great respect and felt a kindred spirit with her.  In fact I felt we were a lot a like.  I had been a single mom and knew what it was like to have to get up in the morning to the responsibility.  To do what I could to provide a safe home and food.  Not everyone is capable of getting up in the morning after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, to do what needs to be done to feed the children.  It takes great strength and when the means are meager, courage.  Some times a mother feeds her children to grumblings in her own belly knowing there is not enough for her as well.

To be able to provide for Oisie meant a lot to me.  I knew to the core her trust issues. To the core the lack of support.  To the core the aloneness of survival and the instincts one musters to do so.  We seem to walk the same path although differently from animal to human, yet parallel in many, many ways.

Once she came to live with us, I watched as the privileged ones, Barnum and Bailey treated her so distastefully even though they were reprimanded.  Instincts somehow made them think they were better.  They had not experienced any of the hardships as Oisie had so they could not relate to her.  To them she seemed less then worthy to be dining at their table so to speak.  Being the wise one she was, she let them be and quickly enjoyed her meals and returned to her solitude under the bed.  There she had the comfort of a small afghan my Mother made many, many years ago.  It was something she knew because I had placed it on the patio bench for her to find comfort and eventually she did.  Under the bed was safe.  She only left to seek out the litter box and come when breakfast and dinner were served plus the periodic visit to the dried food bowl and water.  She bothered no one nor did she want to be bothered.  She had in her way found a safe place.

She was comfortable with the solitude.  The aloneness.  She had the essentials and thus was happy and grateful.

Then one day, Sylvester known as Vester to me and others came to live.  He must have said to her “hey girl come on out and enjoy life.  We have it made here.  Sofas, bed, chairs and all the food we want, plus toys.  We never have to chase a mouse or catch a bird again”. She would seek him out.  Lay close to him day and night. He was very kind to her.  Bath her and allowed her to nestle close to him both venturing into to safe deep slumber.  It was so touching and rewarding to witness. Oisie came out of her safe haven under the bed.  The afghan was moved to a basket and both Vester and she enjoyed the comfort of that little nest.

It was those times that I would be able to pet her.  To stroke her head.  It was a long, long time though before I could actually hold her or even comb her.  She trusted me just so far and I learned to respect her space.  She touched my heart from the very first encounter with her on the patio and each time I could venture into her world of stroking her head or watching how comfortable she was after so much strife, my heart would feel very full.

So we just lived our lives for years enjoying the comfort and ease of life with one another.   Other cats came to join us. Bailey eventually from time to time would try to rub against her in a moment of gentleness.  Oisie would let her never treating her badly as Bailey originally had her and on most days continued to do so.  She just accepted the nudge and went with it.  I feel sure she knew it was short lived yet somehow would rise above it all.

The years of age and wear and tear began to show on Oisie and me as well.  We were aging together in many ways.  Yet she had endure far more then I had and her body was beginning to show it.  From time to time she would fall in a deep, deep sleep and forget to get up to go to the litter box.  Furniture, rugs began to be ruined and I learned to just clean and then cover to accommodate her.  All the while feeling maybe I needed to take her to a vet.  The rescue woman I know who deals with a lot of cats, said just let her live her life.

Having had a very bad experience with the local vet, I felt that may be best.  I did not want to put her through major ordeals of long times of discomfort induced at the hands of an uncaring vet.  I mentioned this many, many times to someone I know and not once did they share where they took their animals.  Only stating they took them to La Grange, the next town over.   It seemed to send a message that it was for a chosen few.  The privileged ones perhaps.

Then I saved another small kitten and took him to a vet I knew of although thought would be expensive like the one where I live.  He turned out to be a gem of a vet.  Caring and extremely reasonable making it possible to provide care to one’s animals without going bankrupt.  Soon after that Vester, Oisie’s bud, became very ill.  How I missed the indications, I have yet to know.  My attention turned to trying to save him which as I have written a blog or two about, did not happen.  He was hands down the sweetest cat and I so relied on him.  So did Oisie.

She became very forlorn however sought me out in the mornings as I sat drinking my coffee on the sofa.  She would not jump on the sofa, just rub the back of my legs.  I would pick her up.  Pet her head, rub her tummy and hold her for a while.  Sometimes she would offer a soft purr,  however always a sweet loving face of appreciation.  If you know animals at all, they can exhibit great emotions and she did.

It all seem to happen quickly.  I was slammed with the wildest vertigo I have ever had and could not leave the bed to feed the cats at 5.30 in the morning as I always did nor could I manage to clean the 7 liter boxes.  I phoned someone who said if you ever need anything “call me”.  She didn’t answer my call nor has returned it yet now a couple of weeks later.  As it goes that old one must get up to feed the children regardless….I managed to do that at 1 in the afternoon holding onto counters, walls as if in a storm at sea.   Oisie waited in the kitchen greeting me with a soft meow and tears running down from one eye.

I thought it must be allergies since she had sneezed a bit the week prior as had all of them. As the week moved along and the vertigo somewhat improved yet not well enough to drive anywhere, her eye became worse.  I had no one to call to take her to the vet.  As soon as I could I managed to make the call to schedule an appointment which could not be for another three days since it was Christmas weekend.  I gave her lysine in her food.  Washed her eye and it improved.  Then the morning we are scheduled to go to the vet a huge bump appeared above and beside her eye.  When she came for a morning pat, she had a bugle in her abdomen which had not been there.  How all this came about so quickly I don’t know.  And the bugle on the abdomen could not have possibly been an overnight type thing yet I didn’t feel it when I would rub her tummy in the mornings.  She was of course laying on her back.

To loose her as I have, I question how I missed the issues she had and feel I let her down.  There is so much I would like to offer her.  So many more rubs.  So many more brushings which she loved.  So many more dinners of tuna or salmon her favorites along with freshly cooked chicken, not the canned kind.  So many more glances to catch her relaxed at long last taking in the sun.

Yet I know her heart was empty with out Vester and I know she knew that her life had reverted back to the aloneness of when she lived under the bed although she no longer sought that refuge.  She sauntered around more slowly as one does in grief.  She wanted that one more chance of comfort from Vester yet her street smarts told her those times were not coming back.

Whether or not she was ready to cross over I don’t know.  I certainly was not ready to let her go yet what would her life continued to be with such a void.  When the others like people sometimes do to those they don’t want in their group, letting her know “there was no room for her” yet she so wanted to be part of it all.  To me she was the world and even though I have others who are sweet cats none will ever embrace my heart as Oisie did.  If animal and person can be soul sisters, then Oisie and I were that.

So long brave ol girl, so long.  Fly high and wide with a song in your heart.  So long…img_0148










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Sylvester – The Best

img_5471Sylvester was his formal name.  He was known to the family and me as Vester.  Sometimes Vesty-Vest.  It has been a few days since he left us and I have had difficulty writing about him.

He had a rather complicated past which I guess began in a run down building in the small town where I live.  A woman who lived in a nearby building began feeding him and then eventually took him in.  She did the right thing and had him neutered.  The necessary vaccinations and he began his life with her, her son, an older white cat and an old dog. They called him Squirt…an awful, undignified name. That was all before I move to the town in a building near where they lived.  A year later, she married and it seem to all change for Vester.  He began hanging out by the side door where I parked my car and came and went.

Most mornings I would walk a couple of blocks to the post office to get my mail and Vester began walking with me.  Oddly like a good gentleman he stayed on the traffic side of the sidewalk.  He kept pace with me and when we would reach the traffic light, I would tell him to go home and not cross the street.  When I would return through the light, he would soon show up having waited for me.

I watched him carefully guide the old dog out of the street and walk him back home to their small yard behind their building.  He did the same with the old white cat, grooming him and nurturing him.

The woman would lock him out at night so I would see him running home to get breakfast only to watch her drive away as he almost made it home.  No breakfast for him.  So I began going down from my apartment and giving him food.  It seemed the right thing to do.  Then it became dinner as well and a pan of dried food for him to have during the day if he wanted.  All tucked by the side door of the building.  We did this for about a year.

Another cat showed who was in really bad condition.  Vester began graciously sharing his food sensing the poor guy needed it desperately.  They did not fight over the food rather simply shared.  I soon put out two plates of food for breakfast and more food in the pan.

They seemed to become buddies and hung out together in the flower bed beside my building.  Then one morning I noticed the other cat was in really bad condition and need ed attention by a vet.  So I took him in and to the vet.  Had him neutered and all that goes with a new rescue.  He lived in the downstairs of the building and really blossomed.  No hair became full on long hair and the markings of a Maine Coon cat.  They are very loving and great cats.

I continued to feed Vester thinking he belonged to the people where he had been living and not wanting to take their cat even though he definitely was not getting any care. I don’t think her new husband much liked the cats or even the old dog.  He wasn’t a nice man.  It wasn’t until Vester showed up in my flower bed just laying there very ill that everything changed.  He had a huge cut on his side. Fever and no energy to move to come for breakfast.  So I took it to him and he ate what he could.

I went to speak with her about him and her response was that she no longer felt he was her cat and that if she saw him she would put hydrogen peroxide on the wound.  How can people turn their back on a cat that had been part of their family.  It is beyond my comprehension.  So I swooped him up and immediately took him to the vet.

He recovered in a separate room from where the other cat Bernard was living because he needed to be quiet and not disrupted while his wound healed.  He rallied soon and began living downstairs with Bernard or Nardy as he came to be known.  The routine continued of the feeding ritual now simply going downstairs to feed them each morning and then spending time with them while I had my shop open.  They were very good together and seemed extremely happy to have the home.

Eventually they moved upstairs to the apartment when my sister came to stay while evacuated for a storm.  They fit right in with the other cats.  Vester much more so then Nardy.  Vester was such a gentle soul that he did not provoke confrontation and would do all he could to solve it if it occurred.  He nurtured all of the cats with the exception of the one bossy female, Bailey.

Some years before I rescued a feral mother in Florida who lived most to the time under my bed.  Coming out for breakfast, dinner, the litter box.  She did not like to be in contact with anyone or any other cat.  Then Vester showed and all that changed.  He must have said to her, Girl come and enjoy life.  This is great.  Let’s have some fun.  There are toys.  Sofas to lay on.  The sun shining in the big windows to soak in.  Soon she was out and about.  An entirely different cat.  He had worked his magic with her.  To this day she is more approachable and certainly not feral, thanks to whatever counsel Vester provided to her.

He became my steadfast and reliable cat.  He was the one I counted on in some odd way as we do with the stable ones in our life.  Not really noticing that we are relying on them, yet we are.  And so I was comforted that Vester was there to keep the cats in line.  To more or less rein them in when need be and to offer comfort to Oisie as she needed it.  He groomed most of them and tolerated others.  He would wait until Bailey had her turn at any of the bowls of food and he would not barge in on another while they ate their breakfast or dinner from their individual plates.  If there was anything left then he would go for it but not until they walked away.

A year ago, a small kitten showed up and continued to hang out in the middle of the street in front of my house.  I had buried a kitten a few months prior so I knew his chances of living without being hit by a truck or car were slim.  I brought him in hoping to find him a home which did not happen.  He took to Vester immediately I suppose sensing he was the kind, stable one who would look out for him.  Vester seem to teach him the ropes even though at times he was a wild little guy…not wild in the sense of feral however wild in the sense of  I have a home so I am happy, happy, happy.  He flew through the house many times breaking stuff as he went.  He would jump on Vester who was by now a rather old fellow so not up to the intense play of a growing kitten.  Yet Vester tolerated it.

They bonded though and Seb, the new guy would sleep next to him as Oisie did.  Always seeking him out and staying close to him.  Vester sought refuge in the cabinets something he had never done.  Soon Seb discovered how to open the cabinet doors and there was no peace for Vester.  That continued for some time.

Vester by now was showing his age or so I thought that was what it was.  It is tough to know what is happening with a cat because they conceal so much by pure instinct to do so. Then just two weeks ago he appeared to not be feeling well at all.  So we went to the Dr. Welch…a really great vet.  X-rays revealed he had fluid build up in his lungs which had caused his breathing to be compromised and the infection compromising his body thus the weight loss.  We began the treatment process.  Soon because of the inflammation he could not eat so I created a brew to give him by syringe and did so several times a day.  He was trying so hard and wanted to live.  I wanted him to live as well and kept promising him a screened porch when we moved to a new house.  He was the one I wanted a screened porch for the most.  I knew he would love every minute he spent there.  All through this digression Vester would pull himself to the litter box.  Never once taking the convenient method of just going where he was.  By this time though he had a litter box near him yet others would have forgone the effort.

We made several visits to the Dr. Welch…each time he would say I am not sure we can get him well but we can try to keep him comfortable.  I worked so hard and so did Vester to keep him living.  He was a huge part of the family and we needed him.  Yet on the next visit to the Dr. Welch, the news was not so good and the recommendation that I let him go, came.  It is not an easy decision to make, yet as Dr. Welch said it is the best thing to do and we do it quickly with care.  So reluctantly I signed the papers for Vester to travel beyond and to another life.  It is heartbreaking on all fronts.  He was my best ever cat because he was so reliable and stable.

There is a huge void in the house now. The other cats are so quiet and solemn.  Seb looks for him.  Oisie is unsure what to do.  Even Bailey is searching.  We go about our day with breakfast and dinner.  The nibble now and then of dried food from the many bowls set out. We continue on yet the void is so glaring and the silence so loud.

He is sending a message now and then.  Yesterday while mowing the lawn a huge black butterfly hovered around me for a long time.  No flowers anywhere nearby for it to enjoy…just hovering over me.  I knew it was Vester.  The sky the morning after he passed on a drizzly raining day, was so rich in colour.  So unusually beautiful.  I knew it was him saying it is lovely here.  Then I saw a pure white cat when I ventured to the town center much like the cat he cared for before he came to live with me.  I have always felt for some odd reason that white cats are an omen of good.  So that too was a message from Vester.

He will always be in my heart and it is so difficult to sit having my coffee in the morning and have the absence of him next to me.  A morning ritual of all the nine years he lived with me.  Like so many things that can never return we wonder if we showed enough love. Enough caring.  If we did the right thing.  I hope that Vester knew how important he was to the family and how much he was loved, not just by me, by the other cats.

He was indeed a very kind, gentle soul who did not judge another cat.  Who helped out those who seemed in need.  Who encouraged an afraid girl to discover herself and life. Who provided me with a lot of support, love without question.  I am going to try to be more like Vester.  If I can be as a person half of what he was as a cat then in my remaining  years I may at long last accomplish something of importance.

Rest in peace my sweet Vester.  Rest in Peace.








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Where, How, What

img_5471Yesterday it was grey overcast skies with a mist of rain for the better part of the day.  I woke early to check the results of the election.  It was four o’clock in the morning.  I was too tired to stay up the previous night and too emotionally drained as well.  The most wonderful, sweet cat of my feline family was extremely ill.  So knowing I had a difficult day to face I turned the light off and favored sleep over the election results.

I was shocked when I saw that the most deplorable man that I know of running for office was elected.  Not by the majority however by that odd little arrangement to prevent someone unacceptable making into office, called the electoral vote.

My heart sank because I am older and I could see the how precarious the future was going to be under this guy in office.  He has no regard for women.  He has no regard really for anyone except himself.  He doesn’t seem to care if someone struggles due to his actions or if they starve.  He is not who the country needs to be in office.  He ran a campaign based on fear and now I was falling into the fear of my own future which I had not felt previously because I felt sure the people of this country would be wiser.  See through the it all. I had no clue that so many people had such awful values.  So many with so much hate.  So many thinking that someone like this guy could actually save them.  And surprising so many women turning their heads not accepting that he holds so much contempt for women.

That was the beginning of the day.  I pulled myself to move forward because I had a very sick cat and others that demanded their breakfast.  My sweet Sylvester was not doing well and my heart was breaking even more then having to think about the impact of the election.  I will write another blog about Sylvester…Vester as I called him.  Sometimes Vesty Vest.  As one does with their pets.  He deserves that of me.  Actually he deserved a blog just of his own long ago.

We had a veterinarian appointment later in the day.  I was hoping for the approach of fluids to help him rally.  He so wanted to live.  For what I am not sure.  He had to share the house with other cats and most were so demanding.  He just calmingly lived with the others.  Taking care of an old female who no longer groomed herself.  He groomed the youngest one that came to us out of no where and kept laying in the street so I brought him inside hoping to find him a home.  Homes never come or at least that has been my experience.

Between the times of caring for Sylvester during the morning, I checked the internet, particularly Facebook where my like minded friends are.  Everyone was reeling.  Everyone was in shock.  Everyone not quite panicked however bordering on it.

The time came for me to take Sylvester to the Vet…that ever so dreaded time. He had wrapped his little paw around my finger and held his head up a bit to look at me although I think his focus was no longer there. It told me he knew however wanted to live.  I somewhat instinctively knew what the vet would suggest even though I hoped for a different approach.  On this trip, he did not talk to me through the window of the carrier…he just layed quietly.  He was always a good traveler.  Actually he was a good everything.  Truly the best cat I have had.  Never cried or demanded anything.  He would periodically talk loudly to me and was so cute doing so.  So expressive.

We weighed him.  He had lost yet another pound.  No surprise since he was only taking liquids and no solid food due to the lung infection.  It was difficult for him to eat.  So I created a brew and gave it to him every hour or so.  It had sustained him however not well.

They took him back to the exam room to check for a temperature.  I thought they would bring him back to him rather the vet came out.  Sat down next to me and gave me the sad news that it was time to let him go.  That he could give him fluids however that really would only sustain him for a few more days.  There was so little temperature which of course isn’t good.  So we agreed that it was the best thing to let him go. I asked the vet if he could do the same to me. He looked at me with a question in his eye.  So I said the election results do not offer us much hope. He smiled got up and went to take care of my sweet Vester.  It is difficult to sign that release paper knowing by doing so you are ending a very dear life.  A life that you have cared for and been involved with for many years.

I sat there wondering where this was going.  How this really happen and what to do next.  Not just about Vester about the entire news of the day.  A very heavy day.  Very heavy day.

Soon they brought Vester out in a nice little white box which I was grateful they did.  Other times the body had been presented to me in a bag which made it ever so difficult.  They showed so much respect to Vester and to me by offering him dignity.  Which is so important at all times.

As I paid, the vet picked up my carrier and took it out to my car. Waited for me.  I carried Vester in his new home and set him on the passenger seat.  Then the conversation turned to the election results and he too was reeling.  Unlike me, he stayed up most of the night to watch the results.  Like everyone I know, he was in disbelief and concerned.  Yet he made a good point.  He said we must accept that he is our president.  Treat him with respect because of the office and do what we can to make our lives ok.

Then he told me I know this is a loss however it is the right thing to do.  It is nice that we can take away the pain and make it quick so that they do not have to suffer.  I thanked him and got in my car to drive home with Vester now in a different place yet physically on the seat next to me.

It was still early enough in the day when we arrived home for me to bury him.  So I found a place.  The first one did not work due to the roots of the tree.  It was where he watched the squirrels and birds.  I thought he would enjoy being there.  So I opted for another cozy place in the courtyard where a buddy of his who passed several years ago lays.

As I do, I gave him a little funeral and wondered if he knew he was loved.  If he knew how much I appreciated that he was such a good, sweet cat.  A cat that presented no issues until he became ill.  I wondered if he knew what we are in for as a nation and what I may be in for so he elected to reduce some of my burden.  I wondered what will become of us now without him.  He was the steadfast one.  The reliable one.  The wise one.

And so it is where, how and what is the future.  Only time as it always does, will tell.  img_5471



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