To my little brother,
I never had any brothers or sisters so Magnum was the closest that I had. He
came to live with us in 1982 when he was only a few weeks old, we never knew
for sure when he was born, only thing we knew was sometime in early 1982. I
had wanted another cat because my first cat had gone outside one evening and
was never seen again, my grandmother knew a lady whose momma kitty had just
had kittens a few weeks before so she brought Magnum and some of his
brothers and sisters to let me choose, little did i know as soon as I
arrived one had already chosen me, it was Magnum, he crawled on my lap and
went to sleep, He was my best friend for over 15 years. Alot of times when
a family member was sick he would hop up on the bed and check on us often
times laying down close to us as if to protect us. He gave my family so much
joy over the years, he was alomost like a second son to my mom and dad. Over
the years he had various health problems mostly with his Kidneys then about
a year and a half ago after a sharp weight loss he was diagnosed with
Chronic Active Hepatitis, the vet gave him six months to a year to live,
thanks to help from my friends here on the internet, Magnum received
medicine that allowed him to live long past that time line. Then one
afternoon he had some sort of attack that left him in an state that we knew
he would not come back from after his courageous fight, Magnum lost his
battle with liver disease and now is among the other kitties playing near
the Rainbow Bridge, Magnum I love you so much and life without you will
never be the same again, never to see your smiling face, never to hear your
purrs until the day we are reunited again,
your Big Bruver Robert
October 26, 1997
is my birthday, but I won't be smiling. You won't be there to share it with me. Your basket sits
empty, the blanket still holding the gentle dent your body made. Your brothers look at me, with a
question in their eyes...I don't know how to tell them you're gone. How do I explain that where you
are now, there is no more pain, no more sickness or sadness. That you walk in love, with the others?
Josie will show you the way, my beloved Blackberry...you won't be alone. My tears can't wash away
the pain that I feel...did I hold you close to my heart too long? Did I ask too much of your frail little
soul? I listened with my heart instead of my head...like humans usually do. I promised to let go and
stop fighting with you when you didn't want to fight for yourself. This morning I kept that promise.
Know that it was so very hard to do; looking into those bright yellow eyes and stroking your silken
black fur for the last time. I'm heartbroken...how will I explain your absence to your mother? Will
she, with that innate wisdom all of your kind have, understand? Yes, because she knows I've acted
from love, and respect for your dignity, and your love for me.
I'll miss the gentle headbonks on my leg, to let me know that you need your morning pet before
taking that first bite, and your quiet meow, asking me to please hurry with breakfast, and most
especially, I'll miss the love pats on my ankle. I know one day I'll feel the gentle touch of your
whiskers, and you'll be your old self, ready to walk with me across the Bridge into peace, and love
and God's kingdom. Until that time, I'll keep you, as always, close to my heart.
In memory of Blackberry, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge this morning at 10:15.
November 19, 1997
December 23, 1997
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hobbes was a quiet cat. He never had to say much because his eyes did all the talking. In recent days, Hobbes had seemed so sad, and I couldn't figure out why. He was eating, drinking his water, otherwise observing his daily routine, and yet...
Hobbes had to be with me every minute. He wanted to be held and hugged and groomed, as though he just couldn't get close enough. This was the cat who eight years earlier had been my birthday surprise, a gift from my teen-age son and a woman friend who found Hobbes at the Topeka Cat Association. I didn't want any kind of pet in the house. They smell bad, they shed, and they tear up the drapes, and cats are the worst of the bunch. But, it only took Hobbes about 10 seconds to capture my heart and he clutched it tightly ever since.
Hobbes awakened me at 2 a.m., yowling and hissing as though he'd discovered an intruder. His pal, Stanley, was racing around the room, very disturbed by the sounds. Hobbes was lying on the hallway floor, as he often did, but this time I knew we were in terrible trouble. His back legs were limp. He'd struggle to get up, and then fall sideways.
I telephoned my son, and then called the vet. Mikkel drove while I cradled Hobbes as we headed across the city, chilled by fear but believing we could get help. When the vet examined Hobbes, and muttered an expletive, my heart began to ache. Hobbes had advanced heart disease, the vet said, and was throwing clots. I then remembered a mysterious incident 18 months earlier, when Hobbes had difficulty walking and the vet theorized that he'd chewed on a plant that didn't agree with him.
While there were marginal treatments, it was a matter of waiting for the next clot to hit, the vet said, and the prognosis was very poor. There would be pills and weekly blood tests and the potential that the back legs would have to be amputated. But, I could not inflict that future on my best buddy simply to spare myself awhile the pain of losing him The vet left Mikkel and me alone to comfort Hobbes, and each other. We talked about the days and times we'd shared with Hobbes, times when our relationship was so strained that all we had in common -- that we could comfortably discuss -- was Hobbes The Cat...the bridge between our hearts. So, as Mikkel and I stroked his glossy orange coat, and looked into his trusting eyes, we told him what a good job he had done all these years taking care of kitty business and how important he was to us. I kissed his nose -- pink with three little black spots that had come with age -- and then we let him leave the pain and fear behind.
Hobbes had such dignity. He reminded me of Walter Cronkite.
Hobbes was very loving. And, while it's an odd thing to say about a cat, Hobbes was dependable. He also was a little eccentric. A young friend who frequently came to spend a few days almost got used to the fact that no one could use the bathroom without Hobbes attending. "Why is it," he finally asked, "that Hobbes has to go to the bathroom with me, and then sits on my foot?" I have no idea.
I know that I will miss my best buddy a dozen times a day. He'd give me about 10 minutes to settle in my bed at night, and then he'd proceed to stroll across me to his spot where he'd curl up near my face so that I could hear his soft snore and feel his breath warm my skin. Sometimes, he'd clean my eyebrows. I guess they needed it.
When I drive up and park in front of the apartment, he won't be sitting in the upstairs window watching for me. When I turn on my computer, I won't feel him brushing against my legs before leaping into my lap. I won't have a dozen blank pages suddenly added to my project because Hobbes rested his paw on the page down key.
Most of all, when I'm feeling sad, Hobbes won't creep up next to me on the couch, stretching his right front paw up to gently pat my cheek, with unmistakable concern shining from his eyes.
I miss him now.
Epilogue...I decided that the best tribute to Hobbes and the value he added to my life was to give his space to another cat in need of refuge. Sebastian is just 18 months old and a sweetheart. Things will never be the same, but they will get better.
January 16, 1998