It’s Valentine’s Day, so it seems like a good day to share a love story. This one is all about my true love, my soulmate.
Let me begin by saying that I am madly in love with Miss Nike Jayne, the dog that inspired this blog. But my true soulmate was a cross-eyed, crooked-tailed Seal Point Siamese named Spooky, who was a month and a day shy of eighteen years old when he departed for the Rainbow Bridge in 2002.
He was riddled with health issues over the last couple of years of his life, and finally we reached the point where our wonderful vet said that it was time, that Spooky was ready.
I wasn’t ready, but on a bright, beautiful May afternoon, we said good bye as Spook took his last breaths in my arms. It was one of the worst moments of my life.
We’d been together, Spook and I, since Halloween 1984. He was 4 months old and I was 2 days away from my twentieth birthday. As a young girl just starting out on her own, I didn’t need a cat, but something told me this one was destined for me.
During the tumultuous years of my early twenties, Spooky and I moved around. We lived in 9 different places before I got married in 1991, and although my new husband claimed to “hate cats”, he knew that Spook and I were a package deal.
Spooky and my husband became best friends. Funny, isn’t it, how the right cat can turn even the most staunch cat hater into a fan.
I’ve had pets my entire life. In fact, I don’t remember a time when there wasn’t a cat or two, or a dog, in the house when I was growing up. But Spook was different. He wasn’t just a pet; he was a companion, a friend. Losing him was truly like losing my best friend, and even now, almost 12 years since his passing, I can honestly say there’s not a single day that passes when I don’t think of him and miss him in the deepest parts of my soul.
It hurts me when I hear of people dumping their old, worn out pets in shelters. “He’s too old” and “We can’t afford the medical bills” and “A younger model would be so much more fun” are just pitiful excuses people make for walking away from a creature that’s loved and depended on them for years.
How can they do that? How can they discard a pet they once claimed to love? It can only be because they’ve never experienced the loss of a beloved pet, and they can’t imagine what it’s like. They can’t imagine what I’d give for more time with my old cat.
I’d never heard the Rainbow Bridge story before that day, May 16, 2002. But since then, I pray often that it’s real, and that my cross-eyed monkey boy is there waiting for me, alongside an army of shelter dogs I wasn’t able to save but promised I’d meet at the Bridge one day.
Treasure your ruffled old kitties and pups while you can. The day will come when their spot on the couch or next to you in bed is empty, and you’ll wish you could turn back the clock. I know, because I do.