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Lisa_Sammies_Mom

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Reply with quote  #16 
I love all of your stories about Miles, he clearly had quite the little personality on him.

I find little reminders from Sammie, who I lost 4 weeks ago, every now and again and it always makes me tear up a bit.  But I am also always grateful for them - a clump of fur here, a whisker there.  They are precious little gifts, reminders that she was here with me and left her mark on my world.  I have kept them all and I treasure them all. 

I can also understand how you feel.  Some days are just better than others, and you put it perfectly - there are just certain minefields that hit us out of nowhere and make us feel the grief and loss again.  I found myself crying looking at an ad circular the other day because the cat in it looked like my Sammie. I imagine football season will be hard for me, as well, because she loved to lay on the couch and watch the games with me.

I hope you will continue to write about Miles, the stories you have posted about him so far have been wonderful and made me both cry and laugh.

Will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Lisa
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jphovercraft

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Reply with quote  #17 

It's been one week today since Miles passed. I decided to perform a little ritual to try to channel my emotions into something formalized.

The bleeding hearts in the back yard are starting to bloom so I laid two sprigs on his grave, one for me, one for his mom. At 2PM, the time we left for the vet last Monday, I lit a candle with the intention of blowing it out at 2:45, the time I estimated he left this world. There was no clock in the room at the vet's, so I'm not -exactly- sure of the time. I tried to do this at his grave, but it was too breezy out and I couldn't keep it lit, so I came inside to finish.

We have a wind chime on our porch right outside my den that's missing the weight/pendulum/whatever that's supposed to hang from the middle string and make the disk higher up on that string bang into the metal tubes and make them ring. Consequently we almost never hear it. In spite of a breeze today stiff enough to keep blowing the candle out, the thing hasn't made a sound all day, except....

At exactly 2:43PM, the candle went out, drowned in it's own wax and the wind chime rang twice (and as usual, it hasn't made a sound since), leaving me too astonished to feel bad...

Edit: November 7, 2011 - Not a note from the wind chime since, including the day we had a windstorm that took trees down in the neighborhood...


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"There is no such thing as 'just a cat'." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me." - Kermit the Frog

"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil." - Gandalf
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jphovercraft

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Reply with quote  #18 
Jim,

Thanks for the great picture! Boy, that looks familiar. You've given me the courage to post the following very unflattering picture ... 8^O

Here's the background:

It's about 20 below out, I'm home from work early, sick as can be, passed out on the couch, drooling in my sleep, and running a fever of about 104 ... and there's Miles, soaking up all the extra comfy warm I'm generating. Kathy thought it was hysterical and, despite her technophobia, she found my digital camera and managed to take this picture. I'm so thankful she did. I laugh every time I see it.

http://forums.rainbowsbridge.com/file?id=1133749

P.S. - My boss sent me a very sympathetic email today concerning the sick day I took to look after Miles. I was a little concerned how that was going to go over. Support from the most unlikely places. Our receptionist spent 15 minutes on the phone with me telling me about her family's experience when they had to euthanize their dog. It happened years ago, but she told it like it was yesterday. She was obviously glad of a sympathetic ear even after all this time.

Attached Images
jpeg Miles_JP_nap_small.JPG (122.83 KB, 28 views)


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"There is no such thing as 'just a cat'." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me." - Kermit the Frog

"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil." - Gandalf

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Jimbo106

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Reply with quote  #19 
The picture is awesome! That is one trusting, comfortable kitty.

The wind chime....that is so incredible. I've become a believer that they do send us signs. Something I never considered before.

Jim and Jamie


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jphovercraft

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Reply with quote  #20 

The Long Drive:

Miles was a car cat. I'd never encountered a cat that liked to go in the car, but Miles liked to go for a drive with me on any errands I had to run. There was even a week where he decided he was tired of me disappearing every morning and he was going to work with me. It was so sad to have to tell him he couldn't and gently remove him from the car. He finally gave up.

Sometimes I'd put him in the car, usually he'd get in on his own. Once inside, he'd take up his rightful position in the passenger seat and lie there and watch the trees go by. Sometimes he'd stand up and put his paws on the door and look out the window. Friends (who were relegated to the back seat) and drive-through attendants were duely impressed. If I had to go into a store or a friend's house, he'd wait paitently until I returned.

The longest we had spent togeather in the car was about 40 minutes until the day I decided to take him with me on a 1 1/2 hour round trip. The drive there went as usual. There was a 5 minute stop at our destination, then we set out on the drive home. About 15 minutes from home, he started getting restless. At the 10 minute mark, he started meowing, letting me know he wanted to get out of the car. About 5 minutes from home, he let me know it was serious. It's the loudest I'd heard him complain since he was a kitten. He wasn't saying MEOW, he was saying NOW! ... NOW!

I kept telling him "Just 5 more minutes, buddy. We're almost home!" At that point, he went into the back seat ... and then I smelled the reason he wanted out so badly!

I thought, "Oh no, I'll never get that out of the carpet!" He came back up front and I rubbed his head and told him it was ok and that it wasn't his fault. We got home, he jumped out, and I took a look in the back seat to assess the damage.

Somehow, he had managed to pull a plastic bag out from under the front seat and that's where I found the source of the odor, on the bag. Nothing to clean up at all. I just folded up the bag and put it in the outside garbage. There was much telling him what a good boy he was that night.


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"There is no such thing as 'just a cat'." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me." - Kermit the Frog

"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil." - Gandalf
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heartsick

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Reply with quote  #21 
Isn't it incredible how they amaze us with their brilliance and intelligence and even their wit. Bear used to play jokes on me and then laugh at the fact. Miles is one lucky kitty to have such a wonderful daddy who loves him so much. I still scream that I want my Bear back. The puppies are the puppies(they turn one year old today!) but Bear is my soul- and the light has gone out in my soul. I know how you feel and if you ever need to vent in a private message I will always be here for you.
I am thinking of you.
Susan(heartsick)
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jphovercraft

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Reply with quote  #22 
The Laundry Basket:

A couple of months after his arrival in our lives, Miles found a game that he would play in one form or another for the rest of his life. From day one he had always loved the yellow plastic laundry basket. Of course it usually had something comfy to lie on or hide under in it. It also had gaps in the fake weave that he could stick his paw through and try to snag whoever walked by it. That was initially the laundry basket game ... I'd drag a string by the basket and a paw would dart out as he tried to catch it, pretty typical cat game.

Then one day in a particularly vigourous attempt to catch the string, he knocked the basket over and it ended up upside down on top of him. That didn't stop him. He ran after the string, bringing the basket with him, treating us to the sight of a yellow plastic laundry basket chasing a piece of string around the living room. Hilarious! He immediately realized the stealth advantage of this and, until he grew too big to fit under the basket, we never knew when we might be attacked by an upside-down laundry basket.

Once he grew so big that he couldn't fit under it and still run, the basket was replaced by a brown paper grocery bag with one of the big sides cut out and placed on the floor with the missing side down. He would lurk under that and then at the right moment, the bag would race across the floor towards his "prey" and, once he was in range, a paw would spring out from under the bag and strike! ... and then the bag would race back to his original location and wait for his next opportunity. I have -no- idea how he managed the turnaround while keeping the bag in place.

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"There is no such thing as 'just a cat'." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me." - Kermit the Frog

"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil." - Gandalf
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Jimbo106

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Reply with quote  #23 
Like the laundry basket story! I can see him doing it. :) And the car! Jamie did like her laundry basket; but the car was another thing altogether. Probably because it meant a trip to the vet. If the trip was in spring, when I put the truck window down, I had to put it up and turn the A/C on. The howling from this little tiny kitty was awful. I was afraid someone would report me if they heard her. Like I could harm one hair on her. I swear..those trips were harder on me than her.

Miles...you're one fine boy!

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heartsick

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Reply with quote  #24 
I love your Laundry Basket stories. Bear just used to love the warm laundry straight from the dryer. I would put it on the bed to fold and in a flash he was on top of it. Even he knew he was too big to get into the Laundry Basket. It is very funny to me that the two of your kitties loved the Laundry Basket as my puppies seem to love it. I keep one in the corner of their room with clean blankies in it and they jump up into it with a toy and settle down to chew.
Jamie and Miles are both very lucky kitties to be loved so very much.
Jim - your story of the howling is a riot. When I rescued the 4 week old kitten found alone outside and I fed him with bottle and kitten formula around the clock and Bear would kiss him if he cried - that teeny tiny little boy screamed louder than I could if his bottle did not appear quite quickly enough. It amazed me that a sound so loud could come out of something so small. He did know how to train me though because I thought if anyone heard him they would think I was hurting him so that bottle appeared as quickly as humanly possible. I am sure Jamie knew what she was doing also.
They are so amazingly smart.
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jphovercraft

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Reply with quote  #25 
Not a light story, but since this is the Miles Memory Project, this is one of the most important.

Last Communion (Communion Pt. 2):

During his last weekend, Miles was not comfortable being in my lap or lying on my chest (the usual position for our talks), it seemed like it hurt him physically to be there. I keep a pile of pillows on the bed to put under my knees as I can't lie with my legs straight for very long. On Sunday morning, Miles jumped up on the bed where I was sitting, an effort for him by this point. He arranged himself facing me parallel to the bed with his front half propped up on the pillows, paws straight in front, just the way he lay on my chest for our talks. Somehow the pillows made it comfortable enough for him to stay there.

I took the hint and lay down facing him and took his head in my hands and talked to him while I rubbed his ears and face and head, just as if he was lying on me for our naptime/bedtime talks. He, as usual, stared into my eyes with his half-closed, and purred his loudest purr, i.e. you could actually hear it. I assured him that I loved him and that he was the best cat in the world and that I was going to look after him. We kept that up for almost an hour until I finally had to stop for a bathroom break.

When I returned, he was back on the floor and was not interested in trying to get back up on the bed. It was just too much effort. I joined him on the floor and continued talking to him and rubbing his head the way he liked, as I would do for much of the next 36 hours or so, but it wasn't one of our talks anymore, it was consolation for a sick friend.

That had been the last time ever that we would communicate like that, a memory I will treasure, made all the more poignant at the time by the -knowledge- that it might be the last time. It's like we had the chance to have one last heart-to-heart talk, to really say goodbye to each other.


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"There is no such thing as 'just a cat'." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me." - Kermit the Frog

"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil." - Gandalf
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Jimbo106

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Reply with quote  #26 
Whew...I know that wasn't easy, either at the time or in the telling. I was lucky enough to have had the chance to talk with Jamie in a similar way. Never thought of it like a Communion, that set off a little mine here. Glad I got the chance but wish it didn't have to come to that.

Thank you for sharing that story. Miles the "Wonder Cat" is very lucky to have the right forever family.

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judylinn

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Reply with quote  #27 

thanks for sharing your stories about Miles. they are sweet and made me smile. :) Judy

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jphovercraft

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Reply with quote  #28 
I was coming home from a rehearsal last night between 11 and midnight. I was missing Miles terribly at that particular moment, so I pulled off the highway on the highest hill on my way home, and spent a few minutes looking up at the stars and yelling into the darkness, "Miles, are you ok? Let me know...please!" hoping for a meteor or SOMETHING, some kind of sign or reply...but nothing happened.

I had the radio on CBC as usual, listening to the Vinyl Cafe, a radio show with stories and live music. When I got back in the car, the host was telling a story about a family and their dogs. One of the dogs was sick and the father and two children were driving home and reminiscing about him and dad's dog when he was a kid. A couple of great anecdotes followed.

They stop at the vet on the way home, but the office is closed, so they continue on home, where mom is waiting with the news that the current dog has passed away at the vet.

I wish I could remember every line from that point on, it was perfect. I tried to find a transcript on line or a link to an audio file or a podcast but no luck. There should be a podcast but they're having a technical issue at the moment. If I ever find one, I'll post it.

They cry and talk about the same problem I mentioned with using present or past tense when talking about the dog (the youngest child takes issue with using past tense), about grief for an animal being no different than grief for a human...and the final word from the youngest ... "He's still here. He always will be."

I may have received my answer. (again the radio comes through just when needed)

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"There is no such thing as 'just a cat'." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me." - Kermit the Frog

"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil." - Gandalf
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Jimbo106

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Reply with quote  #29 
I've had some issues with tense as well. I've settled on present. It's working for me. :)

Hope things are getting a little better for you. I'm going through the trauma of seeing Jamie's thread drop off the first page. I know it's natural; the sad thing is new people come in for the same reason we did. I'm pretty good at making things, if I can only figure out how to make a "no pain" switch, I'd give it away.

Today what did it for me was we had severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the area; which is rare for here. I wanted to get back home because I knew Jamie would be terrified. Except.....part of the minefield you talked about.

Here's to better days.



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jphovercraft

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Reply with quote  #30 
Found it!

http://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/pastpodcasts.html?44#ref44

Here's the radio show I was talking about in my last post. Recommended for anyone who's lost a furfriend. (Tissue alert). The story starts at the 26:43 mark.

Under Vinyl Cafe Stories, look for:

May 28th, 2011 "Mort D'Arthur"

Join host Stuart McLean and special musical guest Jim Bryson from Manitoulin Island – the largest freshwater island in the world. When Arthur, the family dog, gets sick, Dave reminisces about his boyhood dog, Scout. Originally broadcast July 15 2010.


__________________
"There is no such thing as 'just a cat'." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me." - Kermit the Frog

"I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil." - Gandalf
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