Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day 2019

I've sort of been at a loss over what to write about for this year's Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. After all, just last month we honored Tara and Truffles on the anniversary of their journey to the Bridge, and last week saw the celebration of what was Truffles' Gotcha Day. Besides, everyone knows their stories by now.

In the past 4 years on this special day we've featured poetry, a short story, and a Purrfect 10 post. I finally decided to focus this year's post on the cat that started it all for me, my best friend throughout my childhood, Patch.

As I've often said, as a little girl in my playpen I had a cat in one corner and a stack of books in another. Patch was that cat. He was my parents' "first child," as he came into their lives a year and a half before I was born. He was abandoned as a three month old kitten on my father's family dairy farm and my grandmother, knowing how much my mom loved cats, asked if she'd like to take him home. Prior to Patch my mom had been over a decade without a cat in her life! Once I came into the picture, Patch wasn't about to give up his spot on mom's lap without a fight, so when she would hold me in her arms, she would have to put her feet up so he could nap on her legs.

Patch was the only cat I've ever taken outside on a leash. Back in those days it was quite a novelty, and my family was likely the talk of the neighborhood, but I loved taking him out in the backyard, enjoying quality time with my best friend.

We lost Patch to a brain tumor at age 15. Other than when his own parents died a few years before, the night we lost Patch was the first time I saw my father cry, I think because he knew our hearts were breaking. I know for a fact that Patch was my mom's "heart cat," and I've always felt that she never again let herself love a cat as deeply as she did him, knowing how much it would hurt at the end.

I've experienced a lot of loss since that first heartbreak, just as anyone does who can't imagine life without cats, but no matter how many times you say goodbye it doesn't get any easier. In ways I think it gets harder. But as the saying goes, grief is the price we pay for love. 

“We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.”

― Irving Townsend


This special day was created by Deborah Barnes – author, award winning blogger, and cat advocate in tribute to her cat, Mr. Jazz, who she had to say goodbye to on August 28, 2013. She shared the journey of letting him go in her book, “Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond,” a warm and heartfelt book that is written in the wise and comforting voice of Mr. Jazz himself as he shares his life and death journey to offer guidance and understanding through a cat’s perspective as to why sometimes letting a pet go can be the greatest gift you give them.

A special event page for Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day has been created on Facebook so that people can share blog post links, pictures, poems, favorite memories, etc. Please click here for the link.


Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty said...

Lovely post and cat!

Purrs xx
Athena and Marie

Summer at said...

It's so hard to lose a heart cat, like your mom did. My human lost hers in 2002, about 8 months before she brought Sparkle home. She still misses her lots. Funny enough, her heart cat and I are diametric opposites! I should do a blog post about that someday.

The Island Cats said...

We can see how special Patch was.

Fur Everywhere said...

Awww, Patch was a handsome guy! What precious memories you have of him.
Saying good-bye certainly doesn't get any easier. Your kitties are very lucky to have you as their loving human. <3

Brian's Home Blog said...

Such a special kitty. Hugs as you remember dear Patch.

ZOOLATRY said...

How adorable little Patch was, and we thank you for sharing his story ...
hugs to you.

Timmy Tomcat said...

Patch is a good looking kitty and we know that he will never be forgotten. It is amazing how much space a little cat can take in our hearts and isnt it also wonderful

Patricia T said...

Hugs. The losses are so hard and some you never get over.

Eastside Cats said...

We love our animal friends, and they love us right back!
Hugs and purrs on this Remembrance Day.

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

Oh Melissa I LOVE that you shared this story about Patch! I think it is so cute that you had a kitty when you were little. My Mom always hated cats so I never had a cat of my own until I was an adult. (((hugs))) to you as you remember

pilch92 said...

Patch was a cute kitty and it sounds like he was a sweetie. XO

catladymac said...

Purrs to you and Mudpie as you remember sweet Patch and your other furkids !

Cathy Keisha said...

Aw, TW was terrified of cats as a baby even though she never saw a real one. MOL! The family didn't have a cat until Faith cos Gramps owned a house and wouldn't let his tenants have pets so we had to set an example. TW tried taking Faith out on a leash but she was a cat who just fell over and refused to walk. Thanks for sharing your heart with Patch and sharing him with us. He'll always be with you and live in your heart.

meowmeowmans said...

What a beautiful remembrance of Patch. Thank you for sharing about him with us, Melissa. XO

Chirpy Cats said...

What a beautiful tribute and photo of Patch. You’re so lucky to still have one after all these years. And, you’re lucky to have grown up with cats since a baby. I only got to really know cats with my first one at 10 years old. Thanks for sharing Patch with us. xx

The Menagerie Mom said...

This is such a beautiful way to remember your sweet Patch. As animal lovers, we certainly love all of our furbabies so very deeply. That being said, I often think there's an extra special spark of love that we share with the furbabies who guide us through our childhood. Purrs and prayers to you as you remember Patch and all of your angels.

Three Chatty Cats said...

Patch sounds like he was a very special cat.