Monday, January 16, 2012

Saying Goodbye

I lost a little Bear~ I found an angel.

Two weeks ago, one of my rescue kittens was run over by a car. One minute she was asleep on her favorite chair, and the next minute she had jumped the wall and was all alone in the middle of the street. Why didn't I bring her in, instead of giving her "just a few more minutes"?  Her death seemed so random and pointless and painful.
Baby Bear

Overwhelmed by grief and guilt, I couldn't do anything but cry for days. I knew I needed to accept it and put it behind me. But I just couldn't.

Then my friend Jeannie reminded me that we all have a certain role to fulfill while we are here. Bear completed her tasks, and she has moved on, closer to God.  I found comfort in that, and it really made me think.

One morning last August, we heard frantic yelling outside. I opened the door and saw a bedraggled little cat.  She was gray like a mouse, and the skinniest little thing I had ever seen.  She ran back and forth, looking at me and screaming, obviously in distress.  We gave her some food.  She was so little, it seemed impossible that she was a mama, but you could see by her boobies full of milk that she had babies somewhere. She let me pet her, and came into my lap for a few seconds. I felt so bad for her. She had been someone's pet. Someone that she loved and depended on, and they dumped her when she needed them most. Without help, she wasn't going to make it another week.  I held the door open, but she ran. She had only eaten a few bites.

The next day she came back.  She ate, and ran back and forth meowing.  I petted her and told her it would be OK. The next day we coaxed her into the back yard.  She ate, and took a short nap, safe and happy for a minute.

Mama Marcy

After about a week, she brought her kittens home.  One by one she led them into our back yard. Four tiny furballs, barely big enough to walk. We made them a nest in a box on the patio. Mama Marcy laid down in front of the box, and slept.  Content and safe, finally putting her worries aside, she was able to rest.

The morning after, we went out to check on them and heard baby meows.  Who could that be? All four were asleep in the box.  We followed the meowing, and there at the gate were Bear and Tessie. They had spent a whole day on their own.

Tessie was so small~ the littlest one.  And Bear was the biggest. I think that Tessie couldn't make it, so Bear stayed behind with her and kept her safe.

Bear, Tessie, and Millie
They were always together. Bear so strong and sure of herself, and Tessie so timid and frail.  All of the kittens looked up to their big sister.  She was the boldest, the explorer.  The first to venture out to each of the far corners of the yard. The first to climb on the red honeysuckle and the hibiscus bushes. The first to inspect a new toy to make sure it was safe.

Bear Bear

 So the days went by, and the kittens drank mama's milk, and played in the sun.


And Mama Marcy ate. She ate, and ate, and ate. "That's not a cat", my husband said, "it's a stomach with legs". As Marcy grew stronger, she got her energy back.  She was still a kitten herself after all. She would run and play and get feisty.  Sometimes, when the kittens wanted to nurse, she would growl and snap at them.  When she was too restless, Bear would slowly, so slowly, cuddle in next to her and purr and snuggle.  Then when Mama calmed down, she would start to nurse, and all of the kittens would come to drink.

Six beautiful kittens.  Looking into their eyes, I saw happy, silly babies without a care in the world. And that's as it should be.


But in Bear's eyes, I saw something more.  Bear was thoughtful and compassionate and wise. In her eyes I found an age old friend. Bear had an Old Soul.

I think Bear's job was to make sure Marcy and the kittens all made it safely home.  And I thank God that they did, for I needed them as much as they needed me.

Johnny and Rusty

Sleepy Millie

Bear finished her tasks. She has gone on to help another family now.

I will never forget her.


  1. Beautiful post, beautiful souls ~ to life!
    Another beginning is born for everyone :)
    XOXO to you, dear Rhonda...

  2. So sorry for your loss:( All of your wonderful memories will comfort you through.

  3. What a sad, yet beautiful story. I have tears in my eyes reading this.
    If you visit my blog today, you will see I posted a pic of our rescue cat. We don't know who rescued whom ;)
    Have a great week.

  4. Sweet Story, I hope you are feeling more healing.
    Gorgeous Portraits! Perhaps another career?