Sunday, April 6, 2014

MY TEDDY



Teddy
July 1996—April 4, 2014

Into each life some rain must fall...and sadly, it has here at Ashton House. A few weeks ago, our dear 17-year-old cat Teddy fell seriously ill and we learned he was dying from kidney failure. The only thing we could do to prolong his life was to administer fluid therapy (a kind of dialysis) to rehydrate him each night through an IV. We decided to try it as long as he would not be in any pain. For the first three days, he was so weak he spent all of his time in his little cat bed, eating only the shredded turkey meat we brought him. He rallied on the fourth day when shadows of his old self returned as he left his bed to bask in the sun of the living room—something he always loved to do. He even started to eat his usual food again and he ran around the house like the old Teddy. He improved so much that we thought he might be able to make it to his birthday in July. But by the end of the third week, it became apparent that he could not live the way he wanted to. So we did the only thing we could for him. He spent his last night doing all his favorite things—like basking in the warm glow of the fireplace, playing with his favorite little lizard Beanie Baby toy, and sleeping at the foot of my bed—something he hadn’t been able to do for a year because of his bad arthritis (Our bedroom is on the second floor, so I decided to sleep downstairs on an air mattress that last night so he could cuddle up). He ran right for the bed when he saw it and spent the night cuddled up on my feet. In the morning, it was time to say our final farewell to Teddy as we took him to his vet, Dr. John (Broderick), who he always liked very much. The following pictures were taken on his final morning with us. His passing was peaceful and he was surrounded by loved ones. Teddy died this past Friday, April 4. It's hard to believe he is gone. 



We are so grateful for those last three weeks with Teddy. What a precious gift it was to have that time to say goodbye. I know that’s something a lot of us don’t get a chance to do with our pets. Still, there aren’t enough hugs I could have given him in those last three weeks. He was a dear friend who was always there for me and it’s hard to envision life without him. I want to remember him the way he was when he was healthy and a little mischievous. As a youngster, he pulled all the beards off our nutcrackers one Christmas eve and we awoke to find little white tufts all over the house, and I'll never forget the time he managed to grab a pair of underwear from a dresser drawer we forgot to close and brought it down to our living room while we were entertaining guests! Can you imagine how mortified we were?! Here is a photo of him during his younger, healthier days. He was such a beautiful cat both inside and out. Even on the morning of his death, an assistant at the vet clinic admired him and told him what a pretty kitty he was. He seemed to like that.


I want to dedicate the following beautiful song to his memory. The song can be interpreted many ways but to me, it reflects what I feel for Teddy. I think of the mountains in the song as the many challenges Teddy faced with grace and courage over the past five years with his bad kidneys, which caused premature arthritis and many other problems. Despite the medication we gave him for arthritis, it became so difficult for him to climb stairs yet he continued to do so even on his last day. I think the last year of his life was especially difficult, but he was such a trooper because I think he wanted to be strong for us. Through his kind and gentle spirit, he encouraged me to live each day to the fullest—something that was a little difficult for me to do as, like the lyrics in the song, I am someone who often lives life looking behind. With all the health challenges I've faced the last five years, it's easy to think the best years are behind me. Like the song says, "All we have is here and now", so we need to treasure all our moments with loved ones. Just a few short months ago, I had no idea I'd have this little time left with Teddy. If I had known, I would have done some things differently. We really should live today as though it is our last day.
On the day we put Teddy to rest, we heard this song on the radio. I like to think it was a sign that Teddy is okay now.

Up Where We Belong

Who knows what tomorrow brings
In a world, few hearts survive
All I know is the way I feel
When it's real, I keep it alive

The road is long, there are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day

Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know, up where the clear winds blow

Some hang on to "used to be"
Live their lives, looking behind
All we have is here and now
All our life, out there to find

The road is long, there are mountains in our way,
But we climb them a step every day

Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know, up where the clear winds blow

Time goes by
No time to cry
Life's you and I
Alive, today

Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know, up where the clear winds blow


I’m sorry this has been such a somber post but it helps me to write and talk about Teddy. I know if I keep him in my heart, he will never be forgotten. The Loving Rest Pet Funeral Home gave us this precious memento of Teddy—an impression of his little paw print—and a touching poem written from the pet's perspective. Thank you for letting me share a part of what Teddy meant to me.


48 comments:

  1. My condolences for the loss of your beloved Teddy.

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  2. I just laughed and cried reading your post. He must have been the dearest of friends. My deepest sympathy for you and your family's loss.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. I cried and smiled, too, as I wrote this post. Teddy was a real character, especially in his younger days. The house seems so empty now as he was always the more active of our two cats. Kimber

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  3. So sorry, I feel your sorrow, never goes away, but does get easier. A animal lover, Richard and Sissy Dog from My Old Historic House

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  4. Just would like to extend my condolences. I truly know how it hurts but the beautiful memories will soon heal the hurt. God bless

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    1. Thank you, Kelly. You are right--the many good memories of Teddy are such a comfort to me now. Kimber

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  5. So sorry to hear of Teddy's passing but what a lovely tribute you wrote. I could feel the love and hear Teddy purring. Graycie sends kitty hugs to you, as do I.

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  6. I'm so sorry that you lost your sweet Teddy.

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  7. I am in tears reading about your Teddy and my heart hurts for you and your family. He sounds like a most special kitty and there are no words when you lose a member of your family. My very deepest sympathy on this sad loss.

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    1. Thank you for reading my post, Tina. It helped me so much to write about Teddy and share a small part of who he was with my blogging friends. Thank you for thinking of me. Kimber

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  8. So sorry for your loss. Teddy was always a part of your posts, and I feel like I knew him. The part about the underwear, made me smile!! Cats bring so much love into our lives. I am glad you had your friend for 17 years.

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss. And your Teddy looks just like my Danger, gone these 15 years now. Just know that it gets a little easier day by day, and knowing that he's out of his pain truly helps.

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  10. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  11. I am so sorry for your loss of your dear Teddy. What a gift to have spent so many years with a faithful, loving, furry friend . . . they do make our lives so much more fun! Please accept my sincerest condolences.
    Blessing, Laura

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    1. Thank you for your kind note, Laura. It was a wonderful gift to have Teddy for the 17 and half years I did. They flew by so fast. Although I know it's greedy, I find myself wishing for just one more day with him. Kimber

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  12. Pets, especially those like Teddy, come into our lives to teach us so much about life all all it has to offer. They are dearly missed when they are gone but the lessons, like them, live on in the heart. My condolences for your loss.

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  13. My heart goes out to you! We lost our precious mini doxie Darby one month ago today. So very sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thank you for thinking of me, Judy. I'm so very sorry about your Darby. I hope your many fond memories of Darby will be a comfort to you during this difficult time. I do have so many good memories of Teddy and they make me smile. Kimber

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  14. What a wonderful tribute to your beautiful black cat, Teddy. We lost our lovely orange tabby, Gatsby, seven years ago to kidney disease. If only we'd known more about the disease then, we may have been able to extend his life a little longer. When they pass, they leave such a big hole in our heart, but eventually, the hole heals and we are left with loving memories. Rest in peace, Teddy.

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  15. Oh dear one, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It's never easy. Teddy will always hold a special place in your heart. Remember all the good times and allow yourself time to grieve. I'm sending positive thoughts your way with hugs.

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  16. Sending you my most sincere and deep sympathy. I am crying along with you reading this wonderful tribute to Teddy. I know all too well the heartbreak and loss of a loving, wonderful, best-cat-ever black cat. Words seem very inadequate but please know I am thinking of you and your family. Wishing you peace and good memories.

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  17. I still miss my first cat, Shadow, who died about 20 yrs ago. He was 17 and black. We've had other cats since then (3 presently) but none have replaced Shadow. Your post touched my heart and he was lucky to be your fur child.

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  18. Hugs to you and your family. Losing a pet is never easy; but you did the best for him and that is all that matters.

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    1. Thank you for kind comforting words, Sherry. Even though it never feels like it was enough, we really did do our best for Teddy. Kimber

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  19. Teddy's spirit is near you; just as my Tiffany's spirit is near me. When we speak or think of them, they are with us. Looking forward to our furbabies at the Rainbow Bridge. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you for your comforting words, Mary. I do often feel Teddy's presence and it's very comforting to me. I saw a rainbow and thought of him. I look forward to seeing him again someday--just like I'm sure you're looking forward to seeing your dear Tiffany. Kimber

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  20. Oh, Kimber, I'm so, so sorry for your loss and know exactly the pain that you are feeling. So glad that you were able to give him such a great life and so much love. I will be thinking of you and sending hugs and prayers.

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  21. Dear Kimber, I am so sorry for your loss.

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  22. I'm so sorry for your loss. How hard that must have been to say goodbye! What a beautiful kitty!

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  23. I can only imagine the pain and emptiness you are feeling right now, especially because Teddy had a long and wonderful life with you. Your post was beautiful and left me chocked up and teary... take care!

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  24. Thank you for your lovely tribute to your Teddy. My 13 yr old dog, Lucy, is struggling with health issues due to age and I appreciate your sharing your story. Teddy lived a good life. He was a lucky cat.

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    1. Dear Cindy,
      Thank you for your comforting words. I'm sorry to hear about Lucy. With all the medications they have now perhaps there is something available that can ease her struggles? I know the arthritis medication we gave Teddy really helped him for several years. I hope you have your dear Lucy for many more years. Kimber

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  25. Dear Kimberly...so sorry to hear of your loss..Teddy...he looked so happy, even in the end...you must be a wonderful Mommy...sending you hugs, N.xo

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    1. Dear Nella,
      Thanks so much for your sweet note about Teddy. He did have a very peaceful look about him on his last day. I wasn't a perfect mother to him but I hope he knows how much he was loved. Kimber

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  26. I'm sorry to hear that Kimber. I know you will miss Teddy terribly. xxx

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  27. Heartbreaking. All the more so as one of my four legged friends is on borrowed time. xxx

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    1. Dear Sally,
      Thank you for your note. I'm sorry to hear about your furry friend. Thinking of you and your cherished companion. Kimber

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  28. Kimber, I am so sorry for your loss of Teddy, it is so hard when we lose a loved one. You have many fond memories of Teddy however it does not make it ease the pain of him being gone. As I keep telling myself about my Sadie, this too shall pass. My hope is it will get easier someday. We will always treasure what we had with our fond family. Take care and you always know you can call anytime to talk. Big hugs, love Mary A.

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  29. So sad to read about Teddy they really do become part of your family....I am a cat lover, I feel your loss.

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    1. Dear Sheri,
      Thank you so much for thinking of me. I always enjoy hearing from you and catching up with all the wonderful projects you make for your grandchildren. Kimber

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  30. I'm a regular follower but I don't leave comments very often. However on this occasion I felt I had to respond. I was very sorry to hear that you have lost Teddy, I 've been in that situation a few times myself, the last time (about 4 years ago) my dear little Ella (a kitten rescue) was nearly 18yrs, she developed stomach cancer and I had to do the most heartbreaking thing, as you had to.......I'd like to share a poem I have shared a few times with friends who have lost their feline companions......

    'My best friend
    died last summer -
    that lovable little character
    who wore his own fur coat -
    He was my confidante,
    my comfort
    and my clown - he was my warmth,
    my welcome home -
    We burried him near wild mint and thyme -
    I wept for him all winter,
    then in early Spring
    white daisies
    made a garland for his grave
    where passing birds and butterflies
    call in to visit nature's shrine -
    Who knows
    what happens to us when we die -
    I like to think
    his spirit's running free,
    perhaps to grace a person
    in some other life -
    what a wonderful human being
    that would be.....'

    Nan Whitcomb
    'The Thoughts of Nanushka -Vol XV - XVI
    1991

    I have another rescue, it took a while to arrive at that point, she is divine and as ever sweet as Ella was! I wish you well.

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  31. Ashton,
    Sorry for your loss of Teddy. My husband would cry if he read your story about your cat.
    He too, had a sleek black cat named Bobo that died of kidney failure at about age 10.
    Your memories of the bearded nutcrackers and underwear made me smile.
    He is in kitty cat heaven now. I know you miss him.
    Sincere Regards, Susan

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind note, Susan. And I'm very sorry to hear about Bobo. What a cute name for a cat. It must have been heartbreaking to lose him. I'm glad the post could make you smile a little--thinking of those good memories of Teddy helps me through these difficult times.

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  32. I just came across your blog and read this very sad post. My heart goes out to you.

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  33. Please excuse me for errors in English.
    I discovered your blog in the same time as your heart breeze.
    How much sadness in your story, but how much of love, isn't it? There's no more beautiful gift that you have received and given. I remember Jean Cocteau wrote: "little by little, cats become the soul of the House". I am sure that Teddy will stay the soul of your home. With my affection and my thoughts.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind note, Bera. It was very kind of you to leave a comment, and I love the quote by Jean Cocteau you shared with me. It is so true. Teddy was the soul of our house. Thank you, Bera.

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  34. So Sorry to read about your precious Teddy, I know your pain

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  35. I hope you are fairing well Kimber. we love our pets like a family member so no wonder their passing affects us so greatly. You are in my thoughts.

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