Until we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge

It’s been just over a week since I had to say goodbye to my little prince, Iggy. I am amazed by how empty and difficult it’s been without his big meowing and even bigger personality. I know that time will heal the wounds until only cherished memories are left, and I’m happy to know that he is free of suffering and a body that didn’t reflect how young he was at heart and spirit. I love you, sweet pea.

Iggy’s last photo – happy and purring

(Originally posted on Facebook on August 9th, 2015)

With a broken heart and crying face, I am sad to write that after over 20 years of love and friendship, we said goodbye to Iggy today.

This morning while I was making his breakfast, he suddenly seemed very weak in the legs and started panting and meowing. He was so stoic and brave that it was hard to tell but I knew something was very wrong.

We rushed him to the vet where the diagnosis was a clot in his back right leg and possibly heart failure which was making it hard for him to breathe. He was scared and in extreme pain. They gave him a sedative and had him in an oxygen tank to help his breathing but Dr. Kurtis gently explained that with the prognosis wasn’t good even if we tried to treat the clot. I knew the right thing to do was to end his suffering and let him go. Iggy was brought in on a blanket, lying down and meowing though no sound came out. The doctor administered the anesthesia which helped Iggy relax and get sleepy. I stroked his head and told him I loved him as the barbiturates were administered and he passed away. I know he was surprised and didn’t want to go – a fighter until the end – but he was suffering so much and I hope he knows how much I love him.

I’m a leaking mess and am trying not to hold it all in but I miss you so much, Cat. I know you’re free now, Iggy, free from the body that was aging and cramping your style. May you always have fresh water from bathroom sinks to drink from, open grass to race through and plenty of milk rings to kill. May your ears hear sharply, your eyes see clearly, and your legs be strong. Everything reminds me of you: the spot on the rug you slept on to the paw prints on our wood floor to the ice cream bowl I just finished and wish I could let you lick. I’ll remember how you stole cereal milk and loved to explore – from the suburban tree nursery and ponds in Illinois to our apartment fire escape and awning in Hell’s Kitchen. The night air reminds me of buzzing summer nights in the Midwest, when I’d call you home from your adventures; my heart would skip with relief when your little face popped up between the trees at the edge of the yard and you’d sprint home. (Thank you, Cary, for reminding me of that.) I miss your wide range of meows that scared guests and your determined personality that demanded you be treated as an equal. And you were.

We belonged to each other since meeting in the car in 1995; my mom brought you home from the shelter in a box – all ears and paws and meows. You were my faithful companion from Barrington to Arizona to Chicago to New York to Cincinnati to Los Angeles. You outlasted every boyfriend (present fiancé excluded) and were the best roommate and coworker. I can’t imagine how I’m going to live without you. I don’t know how to come in the door without you meow/yelling at me for being gone. I miss petting your soft fur and the smell of your neck fur and how you fit into the crook of my left arm.

You were mine and I was yours. Thank you for picking me, my sweet bear, and bringing me so, so much joy. Be whole and free and happy. There’s no more need for fear or pain or confusion. Please be nice to other cats in heaven. My baby, you weren’t always good, but you were the best. I love you from this life into the next.

My cat Iggy, 1995 – 2015. Rest and play in peace, sweet boy.

Iggy the Orange Tabby cat. Faithful companion of love and joy from Spring 1995 - August 9th, 2015. Rest in Peace, my friend.

Iggy the Orange Tabby cat. Faithful companion of love and joy from Spring 1995 – August 9th, 2015. Rest in Peace, my friend.

By Isla Paschal Richardson, shared with me by Thom:

Grieve not,
nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me
as if I were beside you…
I loved you so —
’twas Heaven here with you.

A smart cat that loved to snuggle in the mornings…before meowing and knocking things off the table to wake me up. He was the best kind of punk.

(About the Rainbow Bridge)