1967Pinecone
Today marks one week since Stripes was killed.
We kept hoping against hope that the cat we found was a lookalike cat, and not him. But clearly it was him. It was such a bad head injury to one side, he didn't seem like my Stripes.

For those who don't know, Stripes was a feral cat who I had calmed down, but was unable to turn into a house cat. He was killed by a car just a few doors down from our house last Wednesday night.

This is why our other cats are indoor-only cats. This is why our chickens are not free-range. They're our responsibility, and it's our job to protect them. I have finally come to terms with the fact that forcing Stripes to live inside, even if I'd been able to, would have been unfair. He'd have been miserable. And he died on his own terms.

It could have been a worse death. It must have been instant. Or, he could have been torn apart by a coyote, dog or bobcat, or been poisoned. 

I've finally gotten to the point where I'm not crying constantly, but he's on my mind, always, always. The first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing at night. Last night I dreamed I was standing by a field of tall grass. Something was racing through the grass at a great speed, and I didn't know what it was, but I could see the grass moving as it passed. I thought "Stripes!" but then the movement ended, and it was just a long piece of white twine.

I'm not a Springsteen fan, but he has a beautiful song called "You're Missing" that I've been listening to obsessively and crying, especially when I'm driving to work. It just fits my mood right now.

"Pictures on the nightstand, TV's on in the den
Your house is waiting, your house is waiting
For you to walk in, for you to walk in
But you're missing, you're missing."

Here is a link to the video.

"Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow" and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater." But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed." Khalil Gibran
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September
Stripes was so lucky to have found you. I can't get to hear the song, because I'm at work, but I will listen when I get home. The lyrics alone say everything. 

I think I do dream about Timothy, my bunny, but I can't remember them. It's that feeling, you know, you wake up and know something has happened in your dreams, but it's like far in the distance and you just can't remember anything. I did once have a dream that was special beyond words. I was in a meadow of grass and flowers. In front of me was a stream and a little bridge. There was a man standing at the side of me, and he was holding Timothy upright, against his chest. I don't know who this man was. I don't recall his face even. He was just a person, just a figure in my dream. I can remember thinking, that's strange because Timothy doesn't like being held like that. I said to the man, how are we going to get Timothy across that water. The man said, "I will carry him over the bridge".  I woke up, recalled I had had a dream, and then slowly it all came back to me like a jigsaw puzzle. 

You obviously had a special relationship with Stripes, and you did the best you could for him. He was happy with his lifestyle, bless him, but you gave him something more than anyone else did, something which improved his life no end, and I am sure he loved you for that in his own way.

It is still early days for you and it will get easier, but like you say, he will never be erased from your thoughts. 

Thank you for the video, and no doubt I will be in tears listening to it.

Kind thoughts to you
Lynda
x
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"The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal"      C.S. Lewis
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1967Pinecone
Wow. That was some dream!

Do you believe in signs, and omens? I'm wondering about something. For a week before Stripes was killed, I kept seeing a black dog (one I've never seen before) in front of my house. In the road, watching. I love dogs and have two myself but I never know about a stray, not for myself but for my other animals. I've had dogs try to get into my yard when my dogs were out and of course I always worried about Stripes. I just felt so apprehensive about this dog, just so worried. I remember thinking to myself that I had to try to make sure Stripes was safe because I didn't know whether this dog was cat-friendly. A week later Stripes was dead. And I've never seen that dog since.

It's just odd because of how Stripes arrived in my life, just showed up after my Tiger's death and sat on Tiger's grave for 2 days (intermittently of course) watching the house. And how I was filled with dread seeing this black dog. Like a premonition of bad things to come.
"Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow" and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater." But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed." Khalil Gibran
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September
If someone would have asked that question before Timothy died, I would have laughed at them. But now...not so. The day after he passed I couldn't stay in the house. I went over to my sons house and we went to a little garden cafe. A large grey feather, same colour as Timothy, fell at the side of my chair. I could have left it there, but something made me pick it up and take it home. Next day, we laid Timothy to rest in our garden. I was sitting at the garden table and another feather, exactly same size, same colour, was lying at the side of my chair. I don't know where it came from. I put them both in the herb box that covers his resting place and called them Timothy's Angel Wings. A few days after he died I was driving to work down a country road that I have been down for many years. In front of me, on the verge, was a wild rabbit. When the car got nearer, it ran towards a hedge and I thought it had gone into the field. But it hadn't. It sat there. I stopped the car and sat looking at it, with tears running down my face but a big smile too. Then it disappeared into the field. In the many, many years travelling that road, I have never seen a rabbit and I just know I won't ever see another. He was waiting for me that day.

There have been many other signs, things that my husband says are just coincidences to humour me. I know they aren't. I just know. Strangely, they all came just after Timothy died. It was like he was comforting me because my grief and guilt was just consuming me. For example, I have a box full of white feathers. Found in all sorts of random places. I filled that little box with feathers in the first few weeks. I was finding them everywhere. But I have not found a white feather now since Christmas Day morning. I was decorating Timothy's herb box and one just fell out of the sky on to the garden. It was tiny, but I saw it.

So I definitely believe something happens to us inside when we suffer love and loss so deeply and I also think we just 'know', deep within ourselves, what that something is at the time. My husband loved Timothy too, but he doesn't think that way, so perhaps it only happens to certain people.

Xxx






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"The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal"      C.S. Lewis
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1967Pinecone
I read this and got chills. 

I'm asking Stripes for a sign. Or a dream. Something. 
"Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow" and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater." But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed." Khalil Gibran
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