In Memory of Harry

Harry

September 18, 2011

Dear Little Cat,

This time not so long ago you were slipping away so fast.  I was so scared- for you, for me, for the inevitable; for fear of realizing a new day without you… had no idea how I was going to live without my Sunshine… But I have.  Sadly.  But I have.

You know, I still talk to you sometimes- just to hear your name- your nicknames.  It’s a strange, sweet comfort to hear myself say “Little Cat” or “Sweet Boy Alabama” or my favorite: “Louden Wainwrite the Third” because boy oh boy Little Cat, you sure were loud!! And Sweet.  And Funny.  The sweet and funny memories are the moments I try so hard to grab on to especially this time of year, clench vice-like to.  To do so is to have some success in not feeling what this time felt like then. The kisses are my favorite to reach for- memories of kissing the side of your face, you tilting your head up to me over and over and over again while I held you for hours during those last twilight years together.  Oh Little Cat, you gave me as much comfort as I gave you.

Jake and Juniper settled in nicely.  There was a glimmer of guilt the day I adopted them, but only for a moment.  This was my bad feeling and nothing you would have projected if you were physically with us. I’ve wondered since that day if you had a “hand” in bringing them back together- brother and sister separated on arrival at the shelter, unbeknownst to me, until after adoption. And I know you knew it was the only way to ebb my tears at the loss of you… didn’t quite work out that way did it? Those first days with the kids were so hard… they weren’t you.  It’s easier now.  They are so funny and so wonderful!!  Oh Harry, you would absolutely love them. Especially Juniper.  She is so like our Cloe that it’s eerie: fetches too, not a cuddlier either but so full of love and sweet as can be. Just like our ‘Lo.  She’s a small girl too and quiet.  Not Jakey! That boy talks almost as much as you did!  Though he’s so much bigger then you were, sometimes when he’s on the back of the couch I’ll wrap my arms around him, like I did you so so so many times, close my eyes and say “be orange for me… just for a minute”.  And he will.  And purr. For a minute.  Then it’s off to pounce on Jupy.

They’ve been very forgiving of my lapses into grief since I had to send you on your way. I remember that you were too. Patient.  So sad yourself when your little sister couldn’t come home that night.  That night. The night when I first heard coyotes in the canyon.  My ‘Lo lost; except her tag- lying now next to your contained ashes…. Sunshine gone to ashes… how can that be? Sometimes I think I could go through that loss again than watch you fade… but I don’t know…  today I’m going to try to stay in the memories of the glory of knowing you two because it’s coming on the day, 8 years ago, when she was ripped from our lives and the day that marks your physical end is nearing too……. memories without tears is tricky this time of year- though I try……..………..

……………..you at 3 playing with our roommate’s ferret… you at 5 hanging out on grandma’s post during a visit, you at 10 getting all rowdy with ‘Lo.  I think it’s the memory of you at 13 with your first mouse in your mouth that is one of my favorites… I think you took my screaming and jumping up on the furniture the wrong way at the time… really I was quite impressed and I recall thanking you afterwards.  And Cloe…….. one smart little girl we had in Cloe that after watching my freakout she would bring me gifts of lizards and snakes…. not that you weren’t smart!  I think it’s pretty smart you never brought me a damned mouse again!  And the dancing!  You in my arms, music surrounding us song after song and year after year.  It is within these memories I will find the strength to get through these so sad anniversaries.  Especially yours….. time has grown a fragile healing over the wound caused by Cloe’s passing… I can’t say the same yet about yours. For 18 years you spent most of every living minute with me, saw me through it all, grew up with me… learning to live without you in my life is a lesson I never wanted to learn…  but all that lives grandly, beautifully, preciously moves on. And you had to too.

I visit you here a lot.  It’s a comfort to know there is a little space on the web where the memory of my dear Little Cat lives. So nice to have a space to stop by and say hi, tell you I love, I miss you.  I miss you.  So much.  I’m so grateful for Lori not only for helping me send you on your way properly with love unlimited, dignity and compassion but now there’s a small niche in the web just for you, thanks to her. A niche where a broken hearted mamma can come by and say, “Hi Little Cat, I will always love you. Forever thank you.” 

Talk to you soon…. love forever and forever,

Mama

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November 1, 2009

Mine and Harry’s journey began 18 years ago when my then roommate left him behind not too long after his first year.  He has recently stepped off this journey and I’m having to learn to move forward without my Sunshine, without my Dear Sweet Boy, without my Little Cat.  What I have now are memories; some brilliantly colored, some faded to transparency and every one so precious, so dear, so sweet….. as he was. 
 
There was much that Harry loved besides me.  If there was a paper bag open, a box on its side, a cupboard closed- he was found in it.  He loved to go behind an open door and yell at the wall, loved to catch and eat moths, loved to be chased up and down halls and loved to sit on stairways to bat at people through railing slats in hopes of play.  He loved making new friends whether human or non and never needed to have a territory.  He loved talking and had a meow for every situation- the conversations we carried on through the years could fill novels.  But what he loved most was being kissed on the side of his face and especially at the base of his ear.   
 
Cancer found him in his 15th year. When he was diagnosed with 7 other ailments over these last 4 years, he rallied many many times but grew increasingly battle weary.  Though his body was succumbing, his spirit never did.  On the days he felt good, he still enjoyed occupying boxes, bags and cupboards, yelling at the walls, voicing his opinion on everything and spent hours comforted in my arms with kisses on his face.  He fought, and fought for years, against all that ailed him but my Sunshine began to fade to dusk and the battles came too fast and were too hard.
 
On the day I sent him on his way, he went bathed in sunshine and my tears, my hands on him and my love surrounding him.  When I laid that final kiss upon his face, I knew I had fulfilled my promise to him.  The day he was diagnosed with cancer, I promised Harry that I’d see him gentle into this and thanks to Lori’s compassion and my mom’s unwavering support; I was able to do that. 
 
Goodbye my Sunshine, my Dear Sweet Boy, my Little Cat, .  I will always love you.  Forever thank you. 
 
Harry Lucas – 4/4/90 – 10/8/09

– Jodie Lucas, Portland, OR