Goodbye, my friend

We last saw you alive eight days ago. Your hearing wasn’t what it used to be. Your vision was nearly gone due to age-related cataracts. Your body was failing you. But I was still hoping it wasn’t your time.

We wanted to go on vacation. With new jobs and moves impending, we knew this would be the only chance we had for many, many months. So we took a risk and left you while we went on vacation. We left you on Saturday in hopes that you would be okay until we returned.

We entrusted our neighbors to care for you and Josie and Emma. They loved you like their own and took good care of you all week. We got progress reports that everything was fine.

I was dreading coming home. Coming home to the drudgery of every day life and the challenges that lay ahead. But we were looking forward to seeing all of you.

I walked in the door to be greeted by the wagging tail and uncontrollable excitement of Emma. I knew you were probably upstairs sleeping since that is what you do most of the time. You then make your way downstairs when your tummy tells you it’s time. I thought I would see you tonight.

I called out “Arnie! Josie!” and thought you might come down. A short while later, Josie came down and I thought you might follow. But you didn’t. Why didn’t I check on you? I don’t know.

And then I heard it, “HONEY! Can you come up here?” I heard the panic in his voice. I thought for a second that there might be some pet messes on the carpet upstairs. But then I knew. I recognized the tone. I knew before I went upstairs that you were gone.

I saw you laying in the hallway, not in a place where you would ever lay. I didn’t hesitate. I picked you up and cradled you. I held you. I was fine. It was okay. And then the floodgates opened. You still felt warm. I asked you to come back. Just come back long enough for me to say goodbye. But you were gone.

Sometime between 4:30 pm and 8:30 pm, you breathed your last breath. My only hope was that I would be there to hold you and say goodbye as you left us. But I didn’t go upstairs. I didn’t check on you. What if you were lying up there while I was home? What if you were waiting for me?

I don’t know. I can’t say. And I don’t really want to know. Last Saturday as we were leaving much later than our intended departure time, ever so typical for us, always rushed, I made everyone wait. I needed to see you. You were laying in your bed. I snuggled you in your blanket. I kissed you and hugged you and made you purr. And I said to you, “I want you to stay. I want you to be here when I get home. But if you need to go, it’s okay.”

I said goodbye again not really knowing it was my last goodbye.

I will miss you forever, Arnie. You were the best cat that ever lived. You were my forever cat.

I would love for you to read Arnie’s full story here. He’s the only guest poster I’ve ever had.

  • http://twitter.com/princesstimetoy Princess Time Toys

    Oh, I’m so sorry. (((HUGS))) I’m crying with you right now. Such a precious baby.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing tears and hugs. I needed both.

  • http://twitter.com/princesstimetoy Princess Time Toys

    Oh, I’m so sorry. (((HUGS))) I’m crying with you right now. Such a precious baby.

  • http://twitter.com/marciebarnes Marcie Barnes

    I’m so sorry Fadra. My own experience with recent pet loss probably won’t help you now, but know that you are a great mommy and gave him a great life. There are always “what ifs” with death of a loved one, and that’s a normal part of grieving. Godspeed, Arnie!

    • Anonymous

      I know you just went through it. I just don’t want to go through it anymore. Thanks for your thoughts.

  • http://twitter.com/dutchbeingme Julie

    Tears fill my eyes as I read this. I want to envelope you in a hug right now my friend. ((HUGS)) from afar… such a hard thing to lose a forever friend, especially when you just returned from being away.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll take whatever kind of hugs I can get. Thanks, Julie.

  • http://twitter.com/dutchbeingme Julie

    Tears fill my eyes as I read this. I want to envelope you in a hug right now my friend. ((HUGS)) from afar… such a hard thing to lose a forever friend, especially when you just returned from being away.

  • Nathania Johnson

    Oh Fadra, I’m so sorry :(

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Nathania. Really.

  • http://bywordofmouthmusingsandmemoirs.blogspot.com/ By Word of Mouth Musings

    So sorry for your loss, its so hard on everyone when you lose a pet, they are as much a part of your family as the rest.
    Glad you got that special hug in before you left.
    Much love to you xxx

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much. Maybe I knew somehow before I left but regardless, I’m glad I got to say goodbye.

  • http://twitter.com/guavalicious guavalicious

    I am so sorry my friend. Don’t beat yourself up. Remember all the good cuddles.

    • Anonymous

      I’m trying, I’m trying. Thanks, friend.

  • http://twitter.com/mommyneedsvaca Rachel Voorhees

    Oh Fadra…I am so sorry. Losing pets is so, so hard. Thoughts with you my dear.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Rachel. And thanks for my FB message. I love knowing you care.

  • Anonymous

    I am sitting here in tears…so sorry for your loss.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Melisa. And thanks for sharing your tears with me.

  • Faye Pembo-@fayezeewayzee

    SO SWEET, SO SAD. :0(

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Faye. Definitely a bittersweet goodbye.

  • http://bywordofmouthmusingsandmemoirs.blogspot.com/ By Word of Mouth Musings

    Wanted to share a post with you, with a great book called Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant.
    http://alturl.com/osx8b
    Much love and thinking of you xxx

    • Anonymous

      Oh thank you for sharing that post. I’ve encountered those that say pets don’t go to heaven. That’s fine. They don’t have to go to THEIR heaven. I’ll keep them all in mine.

  • jenny

    That’s so incredibly sad. “What if you were waiting for me?” brought me to tears. And you were on such a Disney high, just hours ago, too. It’s not fair. I’m so sorry, Fadra.

    • Anonymous

      Jenny – so much in life isn’t fair, is it? So many reasons, though, that I know this was the right time for him. I wish for ME that it could have been different but I know Arnie was ready and I am happy he is at peace. But I’ll never stop missing him.

  • Mjgolch

    Arnie,is waiting for you at the rainbow bridge,Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for that. I know that poem all too well…

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  • Tonya

    Oh Fadra. Now I’m crying too. Arnie was a wonderful cat — your little buddy with the giant saucer eyes that always made me think he knew a little more than he ever let on. You gave him a great life and as much love as any kitty could ever hope for. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Anonymous

      Wow… “your little buddy with the giant saucer eyes that always made me think he knew a little more than he ever let on”

      That’s the best characterization of Arnie I’ve ever heard. He wasn’t like other cats. He was special and unique, and not just because he was mine. There will never be another Arnie.

  • Sandi

    I am very sorry. :(

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Sandi.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540817011 Jana Herbert Anthoine

    I’m so sorry Fadra. (((hugs)))

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the hugs. Much needed.

  • Dauneobrien

    I will miss hearing about your sweet forever Arnie. And i will miss seeing his photogenic velveety face. He was that kind of special cat that you could adore having never met. Sending peace, love and hugs to you as I wipe away my rolling tears. :(

    • Anonymous

      Maybe he’s up there playing with Sir George? Thanks, Daune. Love and hugs right back to you.

  • http://www.mamaknowsitall.com Mamaknowsitall

    Oh, Fadra! I’m so sorry.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much.

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaUpdyke Andrea(LilKidThings)

    I am so sorry Fadra,.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Andrea. Truly.

  • http://grabbingthegusto.com Deirdre Reid

    Oh, Fadra, that’s such a loving story. I’m wiping my eyes here. I’m so sorry about your kitty. Virtual hug heading your way.

    • Anonymous

      Thank God I have writing. It was therapeutic for me to write this and now I’ll have that story etched in time forever. Thanks for the hug.

  • Meangirlgarage

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you. Means a lot that you stopped by.

  • Nichole

    Oh, I’m so sorry, Fadra. I’ll be thinking of you today.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Nichole. Tough day but I know it will only get easier.

  • http://twitter.com/definitelydeb Deb B.

    I know how painful losing a cat is. Pets hold a special place in our hearts, don’t they? Sending you love today… and always!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Deb. I wish they didn’t but they do. Pets take a piece of our hearts when they leave yet somehow I can stop loving them.

  • http://www.marriedmysugardaddy.com Melissa Chapman

    Fadra I can feel your love for Arnie in every word you write in this post… you are echoing and saying all the things I am dreading I will have to say one day about my first baby- Mellie, who is going to be 12 in March and is such a bright shining part of my life.

    • Anonymous

      Melissa – I can tell by all your words today that you get it completely. Don’t dread anything. Have fun with Mellie and live in the moment. I didn’t get Arnie until he was 6 and we had 14 wonderful years together.

  • Mom(mie)

    I awoke with a tear…Arnie arrived at the Rainbow Bridge last night. Arnie was special, but most of all, Arnie was loved, gave love and will be missed so much. My heart so shares your grief. Sending my hugs to you across the miles. Love, Mom(mie)

    • Anonymous

      He was a one of a kind kitty never to be replaced in my heart or my home. Thanks for the hugs, Mommie.

  • http://www.crazyadventuresinparenting.com/ LisaCrazyAdventuresinParenting

    What a BEAUTIFUL cat, sweetheart. Hugs, honey. So sorry for your loss.

    • Anonymous

      He looked different than any other cat I had ever seen. Huge eyes! Thanks for the hugs, Lisa.

  • http://twitter.com/snarkymomma Tiffany

    :( Everyone should have a forever cat. Giving my kitties extra snuggles today.

    • Anonymous

      No doubt in my mind that Arnie was and is my kitty forever. Give your kitties some snuggles for me too.

  • http://beforethebabywakes.com Alexandria Campbell

    aww i’m so sorry for your families lost. :-(

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Alexandria.

  • http://www.adventuroo.com Adventuroo

    Awwww. I’m so sorry to hear this. I’m glad you got a nice snuggle in before you left. I’m sure Arnie remembers that, too. ((hugs))

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Mel. Bittersweet times over here. I appreciate the hug and hope to catch up soon.

  • http://cherylbudge.com Cheryl

    I am so sorry Fadra. I wish I could give you a big hug right now.

    • Anonymous

      I think you just did. Thanks, Cheryl.

  • Lifewithoutpink

    I’m so sorry…I know pets are like our children and I feel for you. Big hugs!

    • Anonymous

      Not for everyone, but for me (and clearly you), our pets are definitely part of the family. Big thanks for the big hugs :)

  • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

    I am so sorry. Sending hugs your way.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the hugs, Tracie.

  • Mary Davis

    I’m so very sorry, Fadra.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Mary. I appreciate it.

  • http://www.betterinbulk.net/ Lolli

    I am so sorry for the loss of your precious cat, Fadra!!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Lolli. I miss him!

  • Ciaran

    This post brought tears to my eyes Fadra! We lost our cat a yr and a half ago and I felt the same way. He was a perfect pet in every way. We’re only now looking into getting another cat, for my son. We’ve never been petless before. I saw the instagram of your cat the other day and just thought he was so beautiful. I think your guy was waiting for you, and wanted you to have a good trip, and get home safe, and then he could rest. Hugs to you. You’ve strengthened our resolve to adopt an older cat from the shelter.

    • Anonymous

      Oh Ciaran. It’s so much harder than I thought. I;m still bawling like a baby. He was my companion for 14 years! He was 6 when I got him but I’m quite sure I got the best years of his life. Thanks for the hugs. I need all I can get.

  • http://mommysnest.blogspot.com MommyLisa

    Oh huge hugs for you. This makes me cry so much…I lost my dear baby Lucky a few years ago in February. He had a tumor in his nasal cavity. It was awful. He was my forever kitty, my best friend for 17 years. I still miss him sooo much.

    • Anonymous

      Wow. 17 years? I always wished that I had known Arnie as a kitten. I would have loved to see that super playful side of him. But I am eternally grateful for the 14 years I did have with him. Thanks for the hugs. I guess I’ll always miss him.

  • Chris

    Fadra, my heart is breaking for you. I’m so very sorry about the loss of your beloved Arnie – I understand all about forever cats. Your sweet boy will always watch over you from the starry skies…until you can fly with him!

  • Kelly

    Fadra! I love your cat story! I wrote one of a similar nature in March 2009 when my dog Jasmine passed on after 16 years of being “my girl”.
    http://kellyswords.blogspot.com/2009/03/goodbye-my-friend.html

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  • http://reallywhatwerewethinking.blogspot.com Dana K

    :-( I’m so sorry. We just had a scare with our almost 18 yr old cat. She’s okay now but I know my time is limited. This is making me tear up. People who haven’t loved an animal just don’t understand.

  • nathashaalvarez

    OMG that’s so sad. You have me crying as I remember the death of my favorite dog, Scrappy. Even when I go to my blog to read about him, I cry. Have adopted another cat? Sorry for your loss.

    • FadraN

      Losing Arnie left a big hole in my heart. It was like I could physically feel the loss and I never thought it would be replaced. In February of this year, I adopted a 5 year old kitty who actually looks similar but has a very different personality. Still, he has definitely helped close some of that hole in my heart.