Friends and followers of our blog know we're usually forward-focused; dreaming about loving forever families and happily ever afters for the cats living at PAWS. Add in a few posts about our beloved cats, Moosey, Gracie and Zoe, and you have the recipe for Animal Shelter Volunteer Life. But if you look a little deeper, you'll also see the influences of the pets who came before, who taught us so much about love, compassion and life. And who helped shape who we are, and all that we do.
That's why we're taking part today in the first ever "Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day." Conceived of by our friend Deb Barnes, of Zee and Zoey's Cat Chronicles, it's a special day to "honor all of the pets in our lives who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge." And to "...remember the joy, love and companionship they gifted us with, for however short or long their time on Earth was."
Along with Moosey, handsome Sammy was one of the original Animal Shelter Volunteer Life Cats. This incredibly sweet mancat taught us that there's joy to be found in almost every day ... whether it was falling asleep on his back, meowing his funny meow, or snuggling with Mom Tracey, he always made us smile.
Beautiful Bitsy was Tracey's first pet of her very own. The two of them shared a really special bond. She was such a sweet cat, an amazing judge of people, a good eater, and a huge catnip aficionado. Oh, and Bitsy hated having her picture taken, so we're happy that we have this one of her. :)
Graphite was the first pet I (meowmeowmans) adopted on my own. He slept in the crook of my arm every night, and taught us about sensitivity and compassion. When Bitsy went to the Bridge, Graphite was very worried about Tracey, and would not leave her side. Moosey displays so many of Graphite's mannerisms and behaviors (even though they never knew each other), so we think Graphite had a paw in Moosey's adoption.
We adopted Maggie when an elderly woman was unable to keep her due to (the woman's) health issues. How heartbreaking. Even though she was only with us for 1 1/2 years, Maggie blessed our lives with so much love and laughter. We learned about living in the present from Maggie ... she adapted so quickly to living in our home, even after she lived in her former human's home for 13 years!
Lady Madonna taught us about grace, peace and love. Tracey and I were going to adopt this gentle ladycat after Bitsy went to the Bridge. Sadly, she got sick and passed before we had the chance to do so. Lady Madonna served as a surrogate mommy to shelter kittens whose mom wasn't so interested in mothering, and was the peacekeeper in her room at PAWS (no tussling allowed!).
Tracey and I both had a number of childhood pets of whom we don't have pictures - woofies Honey, Daisy, Alfie, Partner, and Sushi; Happy the cat; Jo Jo the rabbit; guinea pigs Taffy and Pepper; and Big Boy the lizard. Even though we don't have pictures of these special friends, they are also remembered forever with love and gratitude.
If the Rainbow Bridge is real (and we really, really hope it is), it will be quite the greeting party that awaits us.
|Image: Zee & Zoey's Cat Chronicles|