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Sunbeams Forever

I don’t usually delve into personal issues, but I had to honor her. And I won’t harp on those sad, unfortunate souls who dumped her in a sparse Florida field abutting alligator-infested lakes, to fend for herself. There are many of these, and I’d rather not give them the power of my words — I’ll bestow that upon the efforts of the rescue groups and individuals doing so much for the abused and abandoned animals of the world, in countless ways. Rather, I’ll thank whoever abandoned her, for bringing us together. Confused, starved, covered in filth, and physically broken — but still desperate for human affection.

She quickly grew to thrive in the alpha role of the household, not thoroughly appreciating the new rescues, but always maintaining a calm, steady, and queenly presence…. “You know, death in the animal world isn’t seen in the same morose light as death in your world. Just let them be; they’ll make their ways fine and dandy on their own,” she seemed to say, in her haughty and gorgeous half-Maine Coon self. Of course, if they came to me, I couldn’t ignore their plights.

But on the first day of the glorious month of June, I bid farewell to my little princess after 17 years — how old she was exactly, I’ll never know. Nineteen? Twenty? She was fully grown when we pulled her out of that overgrown field; an abandoned housecat surviving major injuries during her fight for survival, including broken legs — which we thank Cosequin and Adequan for their help in easing her pain — but which would prove to be too much at the end of her long life. And after surprising everyone, in beating diabetes and stalling kidney failure (with the help of insulin and natural treatments) — the final straw would prove to be a stroke or brain tumor, creating mental confusion, a personality shift, and even more pain and weakness to her already damaged legs — quickly prompting us to make a most loving decision. It never gets easier. They’re a part of our family, and it’s our responsibility to honor them in these most precious moments, as quickly as possible. I’m ever-grateful and thankful for my vet, who makes house visits to perform this final transition, in the comfort of the animals’ surroundings.

My darling girl, Puss-puss, may you forever bask in sunbeams, pouncing freely on objects unawares. And while there may now be more space on the bed (“perpendicular” was her favorite position), I thoroughly expect your expansive and ethereal self soon enough…. As fellow bloggers Pat Bean and Whitebird so perfectly re-quoted recently:

 “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” —Dr. Seuss

✿ ♥ ✿ ♥ ✿ ♥ ✿ ♥ ✿ ♥ ✿

Love is life.
All, everything that I understand,
I understand only because I love.
Everything is, everything exists, only because I love.
Everything is united by it alone.
Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source. —Leo Tolstoy

Princess Puss

Princess Puss

29 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautiful post – thanks for sharing.

    June 3, 2012
    • thanks so very much; i just had to share her beautiful being.

      June 3, 2012
  2. To nurture her and others like her, is a true measure of our humanity.

    June 3, 2012
    • Very beautifully said, and I completely agree… As difficult a process as this is, no matter how many times as I’ve experienced it — one can’t shut down to sharing love to those who need it.

      June 3, 2012
      • No, in fact, the opposite should apply – honor the bond by accepting the responsibility of being guardian to another living creature who needs you or knocks on your door, so to speak.

        June 3, 2012
  3. It’s never easy but we wouldn’t be without them. She’ll be over the rainbow bridge when you get there eventually. Thanks for sharing the story.xx

    June 3, 2012
    • Thanks so very much for your kind words… I always think of my guys as perpetually with me in spirit, regardless. It’s the process that just stinks, and the missing of their physical selves.

      June 3, 2012
  4. Cynthia #

    There are no words — but the fondest of memories will guide you through this. You already know how wonderful her life was by being with you! And she will be forever missed, but also forever loved!
    Love, Cynthia

    June 3, 2012
    • Thanks so much… As relieved and happy (if that’s the right word) as we were to release her of her pain and confusion, it’s so hard. Seventeen years, and I’m still thinking of her incessantly. It doesn’t get easier, and she was my baby. But you’re right, forever loved. ♥

      June 3, 2012
  5. My heart goes out to you. I lost my 15-year old cat in November, he too was abandoned when he moved in with us, although his experience not as tough as your kitty’s. But, I know how you must be missing her and am glad you have such beautiful photos to remind you of your time together. Your blog provides such wonderful warmth and support to all of your readers through your words and images; thank you for sharing this very personal moment so that we can strive to return some of that caring, compassion, and warmth to you. Big hugs. b

    June 3, 2012
    • Thank you so very much for such kind, supportive words… I’m sorry that you lost your little one also, after such a long time together (on the physical plane only, as I keep reminding myself!). How wonderful that your guy, being abandoned as well, found a loving home with you — I wish they all could be so lucky.

      Countless thanks again for your sweet thoughts and words — they truly mean very much.

      June 3, 2012
      • Glad to be there, even if so remotely.

        June 3, 2012
      • June 4, 2012
  6. Thanks for sharing this… sorry for your loss, too. We recently said goodbye to a beloved feline, too. Marty (who was almost fully a Maine Coon and a doppelganger for your princess) was only 8 years old, but we ended up having to make the same loving decision. Even though we’d tried everything, it took a long time for me to accept the fact that I’d not failed him.

    June 3, 2012
    • I’m so, so very sorry for your loss as well… My guy’s now suffering the failure-feelings, but I’m trying to help with that. We try so hard to help these guys (even the strays!) — but there comes a point when a humane decision is the most loving one. She — and obviously your guy, since they were of the same breed(s) — was such a little beauty.

      June 3, 2012
  7. She had a sad beginning but a happy life nonetheless. Love the quotations. ❤

    June 4, 2012
    • So many critters have tough beginnings… My other guys did, as well. She was very loved, that’s for sure. Many thanks for the kind words. ♥

      June 4, 2012
  8. Such a sad little post, but what a lovely tribute. I love cats, and their funny little ways. It sounds like she lived a long and happy life 🙂 x

    June 4, 2012
    • I know… I wasn’t going to even post it, truth be told — just be happy with writing it. But I really felt like I had to honor her and her story, in whatever tiny way. She was a beautiful little character…

      June 4, 2012
      • Well thank you for sharing 🙂 I don’t own one at the moment, but the cat who lives a few houses away comes and says hello when I am out in the garden….. 🙂

        June 4, 2012
      • I have some VERY FRIENDLY and needy strays in the neighborhood (more abandoned critters)… I’ll fly one over for you!!!! 🙂

        June 4, 2012
      • Yes please! 🙂 (But shhhh don’t tell my boyfriend, he won’t let me have one yet) x

        June 4, 2012
      • Hee! Sounds vaguely familiar… He’ll never know. Kitties are easy pets. 🙂

        June 5, 2012
  9. I’m glad you honoured her this way. She was lucky you found her. My hankie is wet! In the end, it’s a happy story of love. Though I feel the loss, too, as I had two sisters who are now where ever you go next. 🙂

    June 4, 2012
    • The happy face there is way too chipper for what I was intending. oh well….what can I do. If you can edit my reply and delete it and this, that’d be great. Otherwise….

      June 4, 2012
      • Oh, I understand your intent! MANY thanks for your kind thoughts and words. I’ve had to go through this process more times than I care to count, but as stinky as it is — I truly believe it’s a joyous one in the end. An end to their pain (and dementia, in her case). For us humans, it’s the missing part of their physical selves that’s extra-sad. But as much as I wish (now) that I don’t want to do this again…I know that won’t be the case. There are simply too many like her who can use a bit of help.

        June 4, 2012
  10. I’d like to get another or even a couple more 4-leggeds (cats and maybe dogs…other?) but we’re not quite settled enough to embrace the commitment. My Partner is also uncertain of it because it is so difficult when they pass on. I’m hoping though, some day. And as you say, there are many that could use a loving home.

    June 4, 2012
    • DITTO! That’s exactly where we’re at, right now… Waiting to be a bit more settled before adopting a doggie, as they’re much more hands-on. The transition/passing is obviously heartbreaking beyond compare (as my waves of grief can attest to), but when I think of all the love they provide — and all the critters desperate for homes, full of such love — it’s easily and quickly put aside, for me. I look at me abandoned stray kitties, and I see it in action. Good luck with your own process, as well.

      June 5, 2012
      • Thanks and you, too.

        June 5, 2012

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