Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving

Or an Ode to two beautiful cats...

Wednesday was a teary and somewhat stressful day here. Mid-day while all of us were trying to work through our get ready lists for big sister Jenny coming home - a very sad discovery was made. One of our cats was discovered dead in the barn. Miguel and the two younger boys, Teddy and Noah were taking a break from their lists and while taking a detour through the barn, they discovered Harlie. She was a very beautiful and striking looking cat and was pretty even in death. However - that did not eased the pain of her passing for the little ones.

They all declared though that they would be brave and try not to be too sad since it was Thanksgiving and they did not wish to spoil Jenny's visit. I believe God assisted them with this unexpected cross as I heard more than once the comment that God seemed to be helping them as they did not feel as sad as they did this summer when we discovered that Cappie had passed away in the night. (Pictured above) This does not mean that tears were not shed, nor that they did not slip out often during the weekend to sit by the double graves in the back field.

I had promised Gabriela, the owner of Cappie, an ode to her beloved pet and now before I have managed to post what I wrote this summer for Cappie, I have need for two obits. However, Aimee has done such a wonderful job writing about Harlie, that I will simply include the link to her post here.

Rest In Peace Harlie

I will never forget the day we adopted Cappie about 6 years ago. We had stopped by Pets Smart and unbenownst to me they were having an adoptathon. While I shopped for doggie treats, litter and general pet needs the girls, Jenny, Aimee and their little sister Gabriela were cuddling with cats and kittens. Once I caught up with them I was assailed by Aimee and Jenny to check out Gabriela, who had crawled into the cage with a tiny, though full grown, male cat. He was tawny coloured, like a mountain lion, with a touch of cream on his tail - like the froth of a cappachino.

'Look Mummy, look how gentle he is, and how much they love each other!", they purred into my ear.
'Please let Gabriela bring him home. Pleeeease, she doesn't have her own pet yet and she really wants him. Pleeeeas
Gabriela said not a word, but pleaded with me silently with her big blue eys while Cappie continued to melt into her lap.

I relented. "Your father will kill me, you know. We already have four cats! But, alright, we can take him. For a trial period." I tacked on, semi hoping maybe that gave me an out. We filled in the papers and brought home our "foster son" and a new member was added to the family. Permantly.

Cappie had a way of kneading your head that drove one crazy and he was hilarious to watch playing hide and seek with the "other boys", Sam and James who immeadiatly took to their new brother. He loved Gabriela most though, and she was on the only one who could safely carry him out of doors. Anyone else attempted to carry him, and you risked 4 sets of very sharp claws implanting themselves in your chest or arms. Until Emma that is. In his last year with us he endeared himself to all the adults; as we watched this cat, who turned into a wild scratching fur ball if we tried to carry him, turn into putty in Emma's chubby 2 year old arms. In her arms he was the story book cat that everyone could dress in doll clothes, and drag about in any manner of ways. All of the other cats steer clear of Emma when she appears on the scene. She can clear the room of cats in under a nano second. But Cappie would sit down and stare into space while Emma bent over, grunted and hefted him up into her arms. Once released he did not dive for cover but would, with great dignity, begin to stroll away and immeadiatly stop if Emma decided it was time to carry him again. Which she invariably did.

The morning we discovered that he had died there was great grief. Not just for Cappie, but for Gabriela and Emma. The older boys (Jonathan and Miguel) who had no great love for him quietly searched for our shovel. Discovering that it had accidently been left in a rental truck, they pick up a post digger and took turns in the 90 plus summer heat and thick humidity digging a grave for Cappie. It was back breaking work and took 3 - 4 hours, but their love for their younger, grieving siblings kept them at it.

And once again this past week, these two boys showed their love for their younger siblings as well as their oldest sister this time. Quietly without a word; they went to work digging a grave beside Cappie's, in the rain and the cold. I had hoped to say a second Good Bye to Harlie before she was buried, but they were too quick for me.

While it is hard to lose a animal, it is harder to see the children grieving over a beloved pet, esp during the Holidays. But it was eased greatly, both times, by seeing the love the children showed for each other as they supported one another. I know they were only animals, but they were loved and cherished by the children that I love and cherish. It also served as a reminder for us all - that you never know when our Maker will call us. We need always to be ready for this time, whether it is our's or that of someone else we love. We must always remember to give our loved ones a hug, to smile as they pass you the salt, to listen when they speak, and especially to pray for them.

God Bless you and God Bless our pets... Read more!