19 October 2016

Journey's End...
   It is with a very heavy heart that I let all of you know that our cat, Rassie, has passed from this mortal realm overnight. It happened between midnight and 0530 hrs.
He gets a post ALL to himself, at last.
There seems little left to say, and yet, there is so much that will go unsaid.
So, please permit me the opportunity to share a bit of what the last twenty years meant to us (and to me).
I had a co-worker at the window factory where I had worked who had some kittens (free to a good home), so we went to her place and took a long time before we chose the two little furballs that would become a part of our family.
Rassie and Penelope as kittens
They were littermates, male and female. Wifey named the female PENELOPE (a Homerian reference), and I named the male RASSILON (yes, a Doctor Who reference), "Rassie" for short.
Now, we were living in Willow Creek at the time, and when we were broken into (while we were both at work), and we came back to the apartment where police were waiting, the first thing I did was look for the two cats. Could NOT find them, and we called and called.
The infamous "shopping bag hideout".
After a half hour (and wondering if we'd EVER see them again), they both came out from behind some furniture in the dining area. They never let out a peep until they knew we were there. Well, that was a huge relief for us.
Both of them were full of curiosity...that's what cats do...get curious.  I once found Penelope on top of the kitchen cabinets looking down at me. How she got UP there is still a mystery. Her brother never was into that (I figured he was her "lookout").
Anyway, when we moved into this house, they grew into adulthood with a lot more room to play (read explore and get into stuff). We never had anything chewed up, as they had LOADS of toys. Yeah, we spoiled the hell outta them.
Luckily, all one had to do was "ring the dinner chime" and out they'd come from wherever they'd been. And they meowed until the dinner bowl touched the floor.
They were quite the "matched pair".
It was a rough time when we had to let "Neepers" (Penelope) go, and this time, it's even harder.
Twenty years of familiarity (and the comfort associated with that) will do that to someone.
He OWNED the carpeted stairs.
It's hard to express all you feel about losing a "family member" you've known for two decades.
If he were a child of ours, he'd be driving and off to college (more reasons to worry).
Twenty years...doesn't seem that long, but it's a THIRD of MY life.
It's hard to imagine my life without him now.
Rassie was a true joy, as was his sister. I have never had a pet this long before, and I know I will never again.
His favorite window to nap.
Sure, we had our disagreements, but they pale in comparison to all the fun times we shared over the years.
And, I really didn't mind cleaning up pee off the drapes, or puke from the carpet. That can happen when a pet becomes as aged as Rassie was.
And, there was ALWAYS "daddy's jacket" to lay on.
There was not a time when I would lay down to take a nap or rest a bit, when one or both of them would want to get up on the couch (or on the floor) with me.
There was also the "holiday" rug near the TV
Sometimes, Penny and Rass would have a bit of a tussle to see WHO would get the coveted spot right alongside "daddy". Let's just say when one was sleeping alone in another chair, the other cat won out. Problem easily resolved.
This is MY place...mine.
Rassie loved Christmas wrapping paper.
If there is a very small up-side, it's that I can run the vacuum cleaner without scaring the bejeezus out of the cats. They never did like that noise, and I admit, I never liked it much either.
You know that every man has "his own chair" in the house. I have mine in the living room. One of Rassie's pastimes was to get up INTO that chair when I would get up to get a drink or whatever.
He never let me far from his sight.
That would immediately relegate me to the sofa, or floor. If I was on the floor, he'd get down and come over to me every time. Sometimes, he'd just jump up on the chair with me, and purr his little head off while I rubbed him. Never got a picture of that, obviously.
It was a bit crowded in that chair when both he AND Penny did that.
Now up until last week, Rassie would ALWAYS come alongside and curl up next to me on the floor, or get up on the sofa (with me) and lay down on my chest (I missed several shows when I nodded out from the purring and calm he brought).
He would paw at my face as if he were stroking it. I found that kind of cool, too.
"on the prowl"
"I'm an outdoor cat for the day!"
We even had a time when we got to let the cats outside on the patio, making sure they never got away from us (as both had the front paws declawed). They always liked that, but as they both got older, they stayed exclusively indoors.
After Penny, he would snooze solo.
When Penny left us in 2013, you could tell that Rassie missed her. He would look around when it was time to eat for his "sister", and I'd have to tell him that she was somewhere else, and that he would have to take care of everything until they were together again.
Well, after 3 years since Penny passed, he is once again with his sister.
He has crossed over The Rainbow Bridge.
Here's a website with the complete poem:
Last night, he was resting on my slippers in the family room, and I fell asleep with the TV on.
When I got up (slept like a log, too), I couldn't find him, so I started searching.
I saw his tail sticking out from behind a living room chair. I called to him...nothing. I lifted his tail and it flopped back down. I knew what had happened. He was gone and he was already rigid.
Why he chose to go there, might be due to his not wanting me to see him deceased as soon as I woke up.
The last picture of Rass, taken 4 October
He was a good cat right up to the end.
And now, I find myself having to "un-teach" everything I've been doing for Rassie over the past 20 years. It's going to be hard to NOT have to get up early to feed him, or change the litter, or even clean up after him. I still have those moments when I swear I see Penny out the corner of my eye.
Now, it's Rassie's turn to do likewise.
Like I said, such familiarity comes with a price.
We are going to make arrangements to have his mortal remains taken care of, for we know where his soul and spirit have already gone (yes, I believe that pets DO have souls and spirits, otherwise how would they leave such lasting impressions upon our own hearts?).
This always reminded me of Penny and Rass.
I suppose that pets DO become attuned to us over time.
That much has been documented and proven.
They know when we're happy and they also know when we're hurting.
He's now at rest.
Of the many pets I've had the chance to share part of my life with, Rassie is that special one - the one that only comes around once in a person's lifetime...if we're fortunate enough to love animals as many people do.
In some ways, I dare say he was a lot more human than we give such creatures credit for.
So, while I have to do the grieving thing for a while, I think he knew how much he had become a part of our lives, and that he was never lacking for love in the home where he lived a good and long life.
He was and always will be my little buddy.
And we shall miss him as we miss Penelope.
You will not hear me ever say a real "goodbye" to him, either. I don't think he would have wanted that.
I know I don't.
Let's just say "Until we meet again, buddy".
I'll meet you (and your sister) at the bridge someday.


CWMartin said...

River: How are you even doing that? I'm not really here.
The Doctor: You're always here to me. And I always listen. And I can always see you.
River: Then why didn't you speak to me?
The Doctor: Because I thought it would hurt too much.
River: I believe I could have coped.
The Doctor: No, I thought it would hurt me. And I was right [he kisses her passionately] Since no one in this room can see you, God knows how that looked. [Vastra, Jenny and Strax look awkwardly at each other] There is a time to live and a time to sleep. You are an echo, River, like Clara, like all of us in the end. My fault, I know. But you should have faded by now.
River: It's hard to leave when you haven't said goodbye.
The Doctor: Then tell me, because I don't know – how do I say it?
River: There's only one way I'd accept. If you ever loved me, say it like you're going to come back.
[The Doctor thinks for a moment]'
The Doctor: Well then...See you around, Professor River Song.
River: [smiles] Till the next time, Doctor.

Bob G. said...

I just saw this episode last week, and the words have as deep a meaning to me now, as when I first watched it.

I consider myself quite fortunate to have a friend like you.
Thank you for the kind words.

And thank you for taking time to stop by and comment.
(this was a rough post to write, and for the obvious reasons)

You all stay safe up there, brother.