"Noon Cat Nick" > wrote in message
> Strange that so small mortality should leave
> So large an emptiness: for as we grieve
> Your little life of few but happy years
> Ended for us, one who could understand
> Each subtle word, and answer hand with hand
> Had hardly taken greater toll of tears.
> Yet why should we not mourn for as a friend?
> That name was yours: if every man would spend
> His life as well, earth were not hard to save.
> Grant that God made your heart and brain but small.
> What more has an archangel than his all?
> Amd all God gave to you, to us you gave.
> --Amelia Josephine Burr
> Our rooms are very still today,
> The loneliness...a void;
> That dented pillow mutely mourns
> That fluffy ball of purring fur--
> My comfort--subtle teacher--
> Has left a tender tolerance
> For ever living creature.
> My traints and faults were audited
> By questioning, loving eyes;
> All tests of friendship were fulfilled
> By trust that verified.
> --Nellie Baldwin Rudser
> Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
> --Anatole France
> True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore
> only when its recipient has no power. Mankind's true moral test, its
> fundamental test (which lies deeply from view), consists of its attitude
> towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind
> has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all
> others stem from it.
> --Milan Kundera
> 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 still would live no other way. We cherish
> memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the
> necessary plan.
> --Irving Townsend
> I believe that the loss of a beloved companion animal is like no other
> loss because our relationships with animals are like no other. Our
> culture tells us that an animal companion is an engaging toy, and that
> our grief over its death is alarming and ill-paced. And our culture is
> just flat wrong....Animals are more to us than we know. Their
> partnership with us is a holy one that endures across a lifetime and
> possibly beyond.
> --Susan Chernak McElroy
> With you a part of me hath passed away;
> For in the peopled forest of my mind
> A tree made leafless by this wintry wind
> Shall never don again its green array.
> Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,
> Have something of their friendliness resigned;
> Another, if I would, I could not find,
> And I am grown much older in a day.
> But yet I treasure in my memory
> Your gift of charity, and young heart's ease,
> And the dear honour of your amity;
> For these once mine, my life is rich with these.
> And I scarce know which part may greater be,--
> What I keep of you, or you rob from me.
> --George Santayana
> I say hello, but sadly good-bye,
> as I hold you in my arms.
> You, who I have known,
> deep within my heart.
> You are so real to me.
> For moments, yet for all eternity.
> I ask,
> must this be?
> To endure in pain
> is to ask for answers.
> Why must this be?
> Does God know why?
> Will He enlighten me?
> Will He strengthen my faith,
> my beliefs so I can endure?
> Will I ever know the answer?
> --Julie Fritsch
> I shall walk in the sun alone
> Whose golden light you loved:
> I shall sleep alone
> And, stirring, touch an empty place:
> I shall write uninterrupted
> (Would that your gentle paw
> Could stay my moving pen just once again!).
> I shall see beauty
> But none to match your living grace:
> I shall hear music
> But not so sweet as the droning song
> With which you loved me.
> I shall fill my days
> But I shall not, cannot forget:
> Sleep soft, dear friend,
> For while I live you shall not die.
> --Michael Joseph
> Comrades of our past were they,
> Of that unreturning day.
> Changed and aging, they and we
> Dwelt, it seemed, in sympathy.
> Alway from their presence broke
> Somewhat which remembrance woke
> Of the loved, the lost, the young--
> Yet they died, and died unsung....
> Fare thee well, companion dear!
> Fare for ever well, nor fear,
> Tiny though thou art, to stray
> Down the uncompanion'd way!
> We without thee, little friend,
> Many years have not to spend;
> What are left, will hardly be
> Better than we spent with thee.
> --Matthew Arnold
> THE BRIGHTEST STAR
> by Sarah Hartwell
> There is an old belief that the stars shining in the night sky are the
> spirits of those who have died. They have shed their earthly bodies and
> exchanged them for bodies made of light, thousands upon thousands of our
> dear departed friends all promoted to glory in the night sky. There is
> another saying that the brightest flame burns the shortest.
> My Friend, you were the brightest star in my own universe. While I burn
> on, my flame dimmed by grief and despair at your passing, the stars are
> watching me. They are too far away for me to touch, just as you have
> gone somewhere I cannot follow until my own star-time comes. They cannot
> be held close for comfort, just as I can no longer hold you close, though
> I held you close to comfort you in your final moments. We
> were together for such a short time, but the stars will burn forever.
> One day when I grow tired of this earthbound body, my own star-time will
> come and my spirit will soar into the sky to burn with all those friends
> who have gone before me. On the inky cloth of space we will be reunited
> in constellations of joy. Until then, my flame burns low and dim and
> cold without you. Through my tears I look upwards to see if you are
> watching me and what do I see?
> There is a new star shining in the sky tonight.
> THE FOURTH DAY
> by Martin Scot Kosins
> If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will
> always remember.
> The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your
> young new friend.
> You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked
> numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a
> breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that
> silly looking mutt in a shelter...simply because something in its eyes
> reached your heart.
> But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim
> its special place in your hall or front room--and when you feel it brush
> against you for the first time--it instills a feeling of pure love you
> will carry with you through the many years to come.
> The second day will occur years later.
> It will be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a
> surprising instant, you will look at your longtime friend and see age
> where you once saw youth.
> You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy.
> And you will see sleep where you once saw activity.
> So you will begin to adjust your friend's diet--and you may add a pill
> or two to her food.
> And you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a
> coming emptiness.
> And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the third day
> finally arrives.
> And on this day--if your friend and God have not decided for you, then
> you will be faced with making a decision of your own--on behalf of your
> lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit.
> But whichever way your friend eventually leaves you--you will feel as
> alone as a single star in the dark night sky.
> If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as
> they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your
> circle of family or human friends will be able to understand your grief,
> or comfort you.
> But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the
> many joyfilled years, you may find that a soul--a bit smaller in size
> than your own--seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days
> to come.
> And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to
> happen, you may feel something brush against your leg--very very lightly.
> And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend
> used to lay--you will remember those three significant days.
> The memory will most likely be painful, and leave an ache in your heart--
> As time passes the ache will come and go as if it has a life of its own.
> You will both reject it and embrace it, and it may confuse you.
> If you reject it, it will depress you.
> If you embrace it, it will deepen you.
> Either way, it will still be an ache.
> But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when--along with the
> memory of your pet--and piercing through the heaviness in your
> heart--there will come a realization that belongs only to you.
> It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we
> have loved, and lost.
> This realization takes the form of a Living Love--
> Like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have
> wilted, this Love will remain and grow--and be there for us to remember.
> It is a Love we have earned.
> It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go--
> And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live.
> It is a Love which is ours alone--
> And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our Beloved Pets--
> It is a Love that we will always possess.
> Since you have gone the sun has left the sky,
> No breezes blow,
> No birds sing
> To ease the aching vacuum in my heart.
> I shall not forget your gentle ways;
> No judgements made,
> No difficult demands,
> No needs save one,
> To share your life with mine.
> Now kind, uncomprehending people say
> "Cheer up, you'll love another pet some day."
> --Hilda Lunn
> Pet was never mourned as you,
> Purrer of the spotless hue,
> Plumy tail and wistful gaze,
> While you humoured our queer ways,
> Or outshrilled your morning call
> Up the stairs and through the hall--
> Foot suspended in its fall--
> While, expectant, you would stand
> Arched, to meet the stroking hand;
> Till your way you chose to wend
> Yonder, to your tragic end.
> Never another pet for me!
> Let your place all vacant be;
> Better blankness day by day
> Than companion torn away.
> Better bid her memory fade,
> Better blot each mark she made,
> Selfishly escape distress
> By contrived forgetfulness,
> Than preserve her prints to make
> Every morn and eve an ache.
> From the chair whereon she sat
> Sweep her fur, not wince thereat;
> Rake her little pathways out
> Mid the bushes roundabout;
> Smooth away her talons' mark
> From the claw-worn pine-tree bark,
> Where she climbed as dusk embrowned
> Waiting us who loitered round.
> Strange it is this speechless thing,
> Subject to our mastering,
> Subject for her life and food
> To our gift, and time, and mood;
> Timid pensionor of us Powers,
> Her existence ruled by ours,
> Should--by crossing at a breath
> Into safe and shielded death,
> By the merely taking hence
> Of her insignificance--
> Loom as largened to the sense,
> Shape as part, above man's will,
> Of the Imperturbable.
> As a prisoner, flight debarred,
> Exercising in a yard,
> Still retain I, troubled, shaken,
> Mean estate, by her forsaken;
> And this home, which scarcely took
> Impress from her little look,
> By her faring to the Far,
> Grows all eloquent of her.
> Housemate, I can think you still
> Bounding to the window-sill,
> Over which I vaguely see
> Your small mound beneath the tree,
> Showing in the autumn shade
> That you moulder where you played.
> --Thomas Hardy
> When humans die, they make a will
> To leave their homes, and all they
> Have to those they love.
> I too would make a will, if I could write.
> To some poor, wistful, lonely stray
> I'd leave my happy home,
> My dish, my cozy bed, my cushioned chair, my toy,
> The well-loved lap,
> The gently stroking hand,
> The loving voice,
> The place I made in someone's heart,
> The love that, at the last,
> Could help me to a peaceful, painless end,
> Held in loving arms.
> If I should die,
> Oh! Do not say:
> "No more a pet I'll have
> To grieve me by its loss."
> Seek out some lonely, unloved cat
> And give my place to him.
> This is my legacy,
> The love I leave behind,
> 'Tis all I have to give.
> --Margaret Trowton
> Is Heaven all you asked of it,
> O little cat? Did Peter fit
> A halo for your graceless head?
> Is there a quilt for your special bed,
> And a bowl of cream just out of reach
> Of your thieving paw? Or do They teach
> You not to steal in paradise?
> Does the flapping of Their wings entice?
> Do you scamper and swing on a golden fence,
> Or are They teaching you reverence?
> And are there really golden thrones
> Up there? Or do the Mighty Ones
> Have nice fat chairs that you can claw
> And tear and snag with an impious paw?
> And do the angels understand
> That a little cat in a lonely land
> Still longs for a kiss and a friendly cuff?
> Celestial joys are not enough.
> Please, some small saint in shining white,
> Hold her close in your arms tonight.
> --Bianca Bradbury
> Dancing ribbons pushed by time
> Float through an old kitten's dreams.
> She chases them into eternity,
> And catches them,
> As they change into angels' wings.
> --Daryl Douglas Foyer
> by Anne Kolaczyk
> The little orange boy stopped. Behind him, kitties were playing, chasing
> each other and wrestling in the warm sunshine. It looked like so much
> fun, but in front of him, through the clear stillness of the pond's
> water, he could see his mommy. And she was crying. He pawed at the
> water, trying to get at her, and when that didn't work, he jumped into
> the shallow water. All that got him was wet and Mommy's image danced
> away in the ripples. "Mommy!" he cried.
> "Is something wrong?" The little orange boy turned around. A lady was
> standing at the edge of the pond, her eyes sad but filled with love. The
> little orange boy sighed and walked out of the water. "There's been a
> mistake," he said. "I'm not supposed to be here." He looked back at the
> water. It was starting to still again and his mommy's image was coming
> back. "I'm just a baby. Mommy said it had to be a mistake. She said I
> wasn't supposed to come here yet."
> The kind lady sighed and sat down on the grass. The little orange boy
> climbed into her lap. It wasn't Mommy's lap, but it was almost as good.
> When she started to pet him and scritch under his chin like he liked, he
> started to purr. He hadn't wanted to, but he couldn't help it. "I'm
> afraid there is no mistake. You are supposed to be here and your mommy
> knows it deep down in her heart," the lady said.
> The little orange boy sighed and laid his head on the lady's leg. "But
> she's so sad. It hurts me to see her cry. And daddy too."
> "But they knew right from the beginning this would happen."
> "That I was sick?" That surprised the little orange boy. No one had ever
> said anything and he had listened when they thought he was sleeping. All
> he had heard them talk about was how cute he was or how fast he was or
> how big he was getting. "No, not that you were sick," the lady said.
> "But you see, they chose tears."
> "No, they didn't," the little orange boy argued. Who would choose to cry?
> The lady gently brushed the top of his head with a kiss. It made him
> feel safe and loved and warm--but he still worried about his mommy. "Let
> me tell you a story," the lady said.
> The little orange boy looked up and saw other animals gathering around.
> Cats- Big Boy and Snowball and Shamus and Abby and little Cleo and
> Robin. Merlin and Toby and Iggy and Zachary. Sweetie and Kamatte and
> Obie. Dogs too--Sally and Baby and Morgan and Rocky and Belle. Even a
> lizard named Clyde and some rats named Saffron and Becky and a hamster
> named Odo. They all lay down near the kind lady and looked up at her,
> She smiled at them and began:
> * * * * * * * * *
> A long long time ago, the Loving Ones went to the Angel in Charge. They
> were lonesome and asked the angel to help them.
> The angel took them to a wall of windows and let them look out the first
> window at all sorts of things--dolls and stuffed animals and cars and
> toys and sporting events.
> "Here are things you can love," the angel said. "They will keep you from
> being lonesome."
> "Oh, thank you," the Loving Ones said. "These are just what we need."
> "You have chosen Pleasure," the angel told them.
> But after a time the Loving Ones came back to the Angel in Charge.
> "Things are okay to love," they said. "But they don't care that we love
> The Angel in Charge led them over to the second window. It looked out at
> all sorts of wild animals. "Here are animals to love," he said. "They
> will know you love them."
> So the Loving Ones hurried out to care for the wild animals. "You have
> chosen Satisfaction," the angel said.
> Some of the Loving Ones worked at zoos and wild animal preserves, some
> just had bird feeders in their yards, but after a time they all came
> back to the Angel in Charge. "They know we love them," they told the
> angel. "But they don't love us back. We want to be loved in return." So
> the angel took them to the third window and showed them lots of people
> walking around, hurrying places. "Here are people for you to love," the
> angel told them.
> So the Loving Ones hurried off to find other people to love. "You have
> chosen Commitment," the angel said.
> But after a time a lot of Loving Ones came back to the Angel in Charge.
> "People were okay to love," they said. "But sometimes they stopped
> loving us and left. They broke our hearts."
> The angel just shook his head. "I cannot help you," he said. "You will
> have to be satisfied with the choices I gave you."
> As the Loving Ones were leaving, someone saw a window off to one side
> and hurried to look out. Through it, they could see puppies and kittens
> and dogs and cats and lizards and hamsters and ferrets. The other Loving
> Ones hurried over. "What about these?" they asked.
> But the angel just tried to shoo them away. "Those are Personal Empathy
> Trainers," he said. "But there's a problem with their system operations."
> "Would they know that we love them?" someone asked.
> "Yes," the angel said.
> "Would they love us back?" another asked.
> "Yes," the angel said.
> "Will they stop loving us?" someone else asked.
> "No," the angel admitted. "They will love you forever."
> "Then these are what we want," the Loving Ones said.
> But the angel was very upset. "You don't understand," he told them. "You
> will have to feed these animals."
> "That's all right," the Loving Ones said.
> "You will have to clean up after them and take care of them forever."
> "We don't care."
> The Loving Ones did not listen. They went down to where the Pets were
> and picked them up, seeing the love in their own hearts reflected in the
> animals' eyes. The Loving Ones did not listen. They went down to where
> the Pets were and picked them up, seeing the love in their own hearts
> reflected in the animals' eyes.
> "They were not programmed right," the angel said. "We can't offer a
> warranty. We don't know how durable they are. Some of their systems
> malfunction very quickly, others last a long time."
> But the Loving Ones did not care. They were holding the warm little
> bodies and finding their hearts so filled with love that they thought
> they would burst. "We will take our chances," they said.
> "You do not understand." The angel tried one more time. "They are so
> dependent on you that even the most well-made of them is not designed to
> outlive you. You are destined to suffer their loss."
> The Loving Ones looked at the sweetness in their arms and nodded. "That
> is how it should be. It is a fair trade for the love they offer."
> The angel just watched them all go, shaking his head. "You have chosen
> Tears," he whispered.
> * * * * * * * * *
> "So it is," the kind lady told the kitties. "And so each mommy and daddy
> knows. When they take a baby into their heart, they know that one day it
> will leave them and they will cry."
> The little orange boy sat up. "So why do they take us in?" he asked.
> "Because even a moment of your love is worth years of pain later."
> "Oh." The little orange boy got off the lady's lap and went back to the
> edge of the pond. His mommy was still there, and still crying. "Will she
> ever stop crying?" he asked the kind lady.
> She nodded. "You see, the Angel felt sorry for the Loving Ones, knowing
> how much they would suffer. He couldn't take the tears away but he made
> them special."
> She dipped her hand into the pond and let the water trickle off her
> fingers. "He made them healing tears, formed from the special water
> here. Each tear holds bits of all the happy times of purring and petting
> and shared love. And the promise of love once again. As your mommy
> cries, she is healing. "It may take a long while, but the tears will
> help her feel better. In time she will be less sad and she will smile
> when she thinks of you. And then she will open her heart again to
> another little baby."
> "But then she will cry again one day," the little orange boy said.
> The lady just smiled at him as she got to her feet. "No, she will love
> again. That is all she will think about." She picked up Big Boy and
> Snowball and gave them hugs, then scratched Morgan's ear just how she
> liked. "Look," she said. "The butterflies have come. Shall we go over to
> play?" The other animals all ran ahead, but the little orange boy wasn't
> ready to leave his mommy. "Will I ever get to be with her again?"
> The kind lady nodded. "You'll be in the eyes of every kitty she looks
> at. You'll be in the purr of every cat she pets. And late at night, when
> she's fast asleep, your spirit will snuggle up close to her and you both
> will feel at peace. One day soon, you can even send her a rainbow to
> tell her you're safe and waiting here for when it's her turn to come."
> "I would like that," the little orange boy said and took one long look
> at his mommy. He saw her smile slightly through her tears and he knew
> she had remembered the time he almost fell into the bathtub. "I love
> you, Mommy," he whispered. "It's okay if you cry." He glanced over at
> the others, running and playing and laughing with the butterflies. "Uh,
> Mommy? I gotta go play now, okay? But I'll be around, I promise."
> Then he turned and raced after the others.
> Grieve not,
> nor speak of me with tears,
> but laugh and talk of me
> as if I were beside you...
> I loved you so--
> 'twas Heaven here with you.
> --Isla Paschal Richardson
> Farewell, my humans, yet not farewell,
> Where I go you too shall dwell.
> I am gone before your face,
> A moment's time, a little space.
> When you come where I have stepped,
> You will wonder why you wept.
> --Edwin Arnold
> Do not stand at my grave and weep,
> I am not there, I do not sleep.
> I am in a thousand winds that blow,
> I am the softly falling snow.
> I am the gentle showers of rain,
> I am the fields of ripening grain.
> I am in the morning hush,
> I am in the graceful rush
> Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
> I am the starshine of the night.
> I am in the flowers that bloom,
> I am in a quiet room,
> I am the birds that sing,
> I am in each lovely thing.
> Do not stand at my grave and cry,
> I am not there. I do not die.
> --Mary E. Frye (attributed)
> Aionía aftís e mnéme--May her memory be eternal.
> --from the Eastern Orthodox funeral service
> Warm summer sun
> Shine kindly here,
> Warm southern wind
> Blow softly here,
> Green sod above
> Lie light, lie light—
> Good night, dear heart,
> Good night, good night.
> --adapted from Robert Richardson's poem "Annette" by Samuel Langhorne
> Clemens (Mark Twain) as the epitaph for his daughter, Olivia Susan Clemens
> Take care,
Thank you for the beautiful words. Bonnie