Thursday, February 12, 2009


When we were little, my sister and I really wanted a pet. We both loved animals so much. A coworker of my dad's had a cat who had kittens in the fall, and right around our birthdays, he brought one of them home as a present to both of us. He even helped us name her, for the holiday that fell between both our birthdays, Halloween. Weenie or Weenster for short.
We loved our kitty. We played with her all the time. She loved to chase strings or ribbons or a laser pointer dot. We tortured her, as kids do, putting her in enclosed spaces, lifting up her front legs to make her dance, or trying to walk her outside on a leash.
She got into the strangest spots. Like all cats, she liked enclosed spaces and would step into any box make herself comfortable. I don't remember how she got on top of the ladder, but I suspect it had something to do with my dad.
We had a voice for her. It was like Roseanne's voice. My mom does it best. As cats tend to be, she always seemed annoyed with anything that wasn't exactly what she wanted.
She lived with an old dog that predated her, an excitable border collie, and my own adopted stray who came into her life after she was established as the Queen of the House and would hear no challenges.
Like most cats, napping was an art for her. She always found the best places to curl up. As we grew up, she became our mom's cat, as kids' pets tend to do. My mom always took the best care of her and made sure she was petted and warm and cozy at all times.
She lived to be 21 years old. Earlier in the week, she succumbed to kidney disease and last night we let her go. We all took a turn holding her and petting her and telling her we loved her. My mom sang the silly song she made up about her when she was just a kitten. And then she went to sleep.

I like to think she'll go to the guy who first brought him home and keep him company. Farewell, Weenster. I hope where you are there's a soft blanket, lots of petting, all the soft salmon cat food you want, and someone to dangle a string or point a laser pointer. I love you, kitty.

Just this side of heaven is a place called the Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, they go to the Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all 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 made ill or 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 eyes of your trusting pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...

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