My sweet baby
So many wonderful memories--where can I begin?
Hello was my baby, my heart, my soul, and her sudden loss has left me broken and shattered. I adopted Her in July of 1998. I already had one cat (just one!? Now I am a cat lady!), and didn't want another, but when I saw Her, I knew I had to have her.
I brought her home to become MY special cat, and she fulfilled that need with love to spare. I used to let Her outside. I live in the country, and she liked to explore and hunt, though after a while she just waited for one of the other cats to catch a rodent and then she would steal it. Whenever she did decide to exert herself and catch a mouse, if I was outside, she always brought it to me. She wouldn't eat it herself until I told her what a great hunter and provider she was, but no thank you, and I pushed her victim back towards her.
Whenever I had to walk the fence, Hello went with me, though she wouldn't last for long. She'd want to be picked up and carried on my left shoulder, and though I had fencing tools, I always obliged. I considered it an honor to have her perched there.
When I was at the barn (before I had the cat fence built) and my girl was on the side deck, she would always get up, stretch, and come trotting down the path to meet me. She just wanted to jump into my arms and be carried up to the house. She was so funny, trotting all that way for a ride. If my daughter was with me, she'd sometimes try to trick Hello, imitating the way I'd say "Herrrr???" and holding out her arms, crowding in front of me. It never worked, and Hello would just walk circles around us till she could leap into my arms to ride my shoulder home. I used to delight in it, laugh and tell her it was an awful long walk for her to catch a quick ride on the bus.
Inside or out, I loved the feel of her furry body, curled so softly and confidently , my angel on my shoulder. I would bury my face into her side and breathe her in, listen to that magnificant heart--not knowing that that heart would be letting her down. If only I had known--maybe I could have done something before it was too late.
Hello loved to play, but as she got older, she seldom was in the mood. Plus, she knew she was the queen, and was too dignified to bat a mouse--though sometimes she did forget herself and go a little crazy with a catnip toy. She'd have a youthful surge of energy, and I'd laugh at her and say "Awww, Herrr..what are you doing, silly baby?"
When I first started bringing other cats home, my girl was a little miffed. After a while, she didn't mind. She just ignored them anyways, and was never interactive with them. She knew she was special, and her place was beside me, above any feline antics.
She wore her statelihood well, my girl did. Hello loved to sleep in my top dresser drawers. Often she'd ask me to open them before I went to work, and she'd be in the same spot waiting for me when I got home. I guess she liked being on my things, because she would also plop her fuzzy body on the outfits I'd lay on the bed as I got ready for work. She didn't want to move off them; I think she knew once I was dressed I had to leave, and she wanted me to stay home.
Above all other places, Hello's very favorite place to sleep was on my chest, right over my heart. Whenever she was in my arms, whenever she was on my chest, I felt the deepest sense of calming peace. I miss that so much. I would sigh, and she would, too. All was right in our worlds when we were together. I felt so empty till she jumped up and waited for me to pull back the covers so she could take her place. When she did, I would say to Her: "That's what I've been missing."
At night, she would wait for me to lay on my back and open the covers, and then she would snuggle inside the tent I made for her. When I needed to turn on my side, that was okay with her too. She only wanted me to stick my arm out of the covers, then she would lay on top of it, wrap her paws around my wrist, and rest her sweet powder sugar chin on my hand.
Often, I'd wake up and she would be laying on top of me, whether I was on my side or back, looking at me, happy to have me awake. She would stay beside me (or preferably on me) till I got up.
Whatever room I was in, she was there watching. Wherever I was, she was too, waiting for me to sit down so she could curl on my lap.
Hello loved her fountains. She would knead in front of one, and my rug will always have those precious scars left by her claws. She also liked her Cat-It fountain, and would lap water off the dome, but her very favorite was the bathtub faucet. Whenever she asked, which was at least every morning, I would turn the water on just a trickle, and she'd jump in the tub and lick it, and just spend time watching the stream, sometimes playing with it. I'd never rush her and let her spend all the time she wanted to in the tub.
Hello was an accomplished leaper, and would catapult herself into my arms, especially in the mornings when she knew I was going to work. She would tell me she was coming with those expressive eyes of hers, to make sure I was ready to catch her. Once in a while my back was turned, but up she jumped anyways. I never minded; she just wanted to get cradled on my shoulder, and would stay there awhile I puttered around getting ready. I always found it slightly amazing that she would look so smug and proud to be held and carried up there. I felt so blessed to be loved by Her, and that she felt the same way about me, well, it really did blow me away. When it was time for me to go, I'd bend over by the couch and she'd step off.
Mornings were special to us. I would rush to get my barn chores done so I could have a few minutes sitting on the couch, watching CNN with my girl. She would watch expectantly while I finished my toast and put the plate down, and as soon as I did, she'd crawl onto my lap to settle in. She preferred her orange pillow on my lap first, but she took me any way she could get me. I always hated having to get up and leave her. Hello loved weekends, and summer breaks were her happiest times. I was home and we were always, always together. I couldn't go from one room to another without her checking to make sure I was okay, and not getting ready to go off anywhere.
Hello would become very distressed if I cried, or pretended to be upset in any way. She'd come trotting, eyes wide and worried, and jump into my lap to give me comfort. She was my protector, and took the kind of care of me that I hope I always gave to her. If she heard a strange vehicle pull up, she would bristle and growl and stare out the window. She was better than any watchdog. She would also get upset if I had a bandaid on. She knew it wasn't part of me, and much like a momma cat grooming her kitten, she would wrap her paws around the finger with the offending bandaid and would very gently and carefully try to gnaw it off.
Hello loved her Whiskas in a pouch, especially the whitefish variety, and the only dry food she'd eat was Kit and Kaboodle. Everything feline I had--the food, the trees, the beds, the toys, they were for her. I had a dish with her markings on it; my internet name was always Hello. The other cats benefited, but it was all always for Her.
In November of 2004, Hello disappeared for 4 days and 3 nights. I was devastated--that was like WEEKS for Hello. She was never away from me for long. On the third night, I walked down to the woods, calling and calling her name. She always came to "Herrrr", and I trilled it over and over again, along with "Has anyone seen my girl? Where is she? I can't find Her anywhere!?" That always brought her running, especially if I hid my eyes so I couldn't see her. She would get so worried and jump onto my lap, comforting me, as if to say "Oh, Momma, I am right here". The wind was blowing through the trees and the creek was flooded and running loudly, but I walked and walked and called and called, crying.
The next morning I got up and opened the front door--and in walked Her, looking fine, acting like she had been gone just a couple of hours!! I cried with joy and vowed she would never go out again. So, I had a cat fence put in. It is very large and high, and in the middle of it is a fat tree. I put a catdoor in on the porch, and Hello, as well as the others, were able to go out, to run and play and watch the creatures, without being in danger of cars or predators. I felt happy, knowing my girl was safe and nothing from the outside could hurt her.
I didn't know the hurt would come from inside her. I didn't even know she was sick. She protected me from that, I think. Even the day she died, she jumped into my arms and ate a couple bites of Whiskas. She jumped up on the stand so she could see the birds at the feeder outside the window. She also got on my belly, kneading it, and licked my hands.
Hello died at Cornell Companion Hospital the evening of February 25th, 2007. She was eight and a half. Part of me--a very large part--died with her.
Now, I look for Her--but I really CAN'T find her anywhere, not physically, but oh, she has a huge hunk of my soul. She was my Heart Cat, and I will miss her for the rest of my life. I have her ashes in an urn, and I carry it around, put it in her favorite spots, and sleep with it. When I die, our ashes will be mixed together and spread towards the back of my property, right under the big shagbark hickory under which my beloved mare rests.
I have a silver heart locket I wear next to my heart--her favorite spot to sleep--and in it is a lock of her multi colored fur and her photo. I miss her so much. She was my girl, my Her, my Hello, and so much more than that. I cannot even begin to put into words what that furbaby meant to me.
Update--on Friday, August 11th, I went and did something I'd never dreamed I'd ever do--I got a tattoo. It is a small purple pawprint and it sits forever right above my heart.
"There by the fire, I loved being by her, when there's no one else around." Someday, my sweet angel kitty, we will have a fire that we can sit together in front of for eternity. I promise. The love we shared cannot be gone; the bond never separated. You are here, girl, beating in my heart, a part of my soul. Forever. Always, Her--always.
My girl in the sun
NOTE FROM THE BRIDGE author unknown:
To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say. But first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from the Bridge. Here I dwell with God above. Here there's no more tears of sadness. Here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight. Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through, God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you. It's good to have you back again, you were missed while you were gone. As for your dearest family, They'll be here later on."
God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do. And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night the day's chores put to flight, God and I are closest to you... in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years, because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry, it does relieve the pain. Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.
I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned. If I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er. I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.
There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb; But together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too; That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain; Then you can say to God at night... "My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented... that my life was worthwhile. Knowing as I passed along I made somebody smile.
So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low; Just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street with me on your mind; I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.
And when it's time for you to go... from that body to be free. Remember you're not going... you're coming here to me.