Tuesday, February 2, 2016

REMEMBERING POE


I’ve started to write this post several times since last November but for some reason the words just wouldn’t come out. On November 20, 2015, we lost our remaining kitty, Poe. When we lost his brother, Teddy, in 2014, the words came flooding out immediately. I don’t know if it was because Poe was the last of our kitties or just because grief works in mysterious ways that I haven’t been able to write about this until now. 


Poe came into our lives in the summer of 1999 when we were visiting the flea market near my hometown. We weren’t planning to get a cat that day but as it turns out, God had other plans and Poe found us. A family that lends its yard to parking during the flea market was trying to find a home for the last kitten in the litter (Poe) and they were going to take him to a shelter if they couldn’t find him a home by the end of that weekend. They told us some sad tales about how Poe spent his days foraging for food in the nearby junkyard. When I held Poe in my arms and he purred and touched my cheek, I knew immediately that he had found his home. I couldn't understand why he was the last kitten from the litter to find a home. Black cats are the sweetest. Poe immediately got along well with our other cats, Teddy and Caesar, and he took to the indoors like a fish to water. He was always the mellowest of cats, never playful but always loving beyond words. We called him our little shadow because he followed us wherever we went. He had a knack for making himself comfortable wherever he was—whether that was smushed between the cushions of our chaise longue...


...or smushed under my husband while he read a book...


...or cuddled up on a doll bed...


...or nestled in his chair...


After Teddy passed away, Poe was a great source of comfort to me and took over many of Teddy’s habits like begging for a bit of breakfast. It was as though Teddy was inspiring him and Poe was trying to fill his big brother’s footsteps. In the spring of 2015, we noticed some behavioral changes in Poe and took him to see his vet several times between then and the fall of 2015 but tests never indicated a problem. It wasn’t until early November of that year that his health rapidly deteriorated and an x-ray revealed he had intestinal lymphoma. During his last few weeks, Poe would approach me while I was sleeping and look at me intently. I’d reach out to give him a reassuring pat on the head then he would go lie back down but soon after, he'd be right back up near my head. I'm not sure if he needed assurance from me or as one of my friends suggested, he was trying to assure me? He was such a sweetie that it would be just like him to do something like that even though he must have been feeling quite sick. Poe spent his last day comforting me. Can you believe that? When I started to cry, he curled up on my lap and nestled his head against my stomach. 




On the day we were take him into the vet to be put to rest, it started snowing. Although I was irked by the snow at that time because I was concerned it would prevent us from getting Poe the help he needed, I now look back on it as a bit of a gift. The soft dusting of snow that fell on his fur made him look so pretty and I'll never forget how peaceful he looked when I took this last photo of him and my husband on our way to the vet. 


It's strange, I always thought of Poe as Tom's cat and Teddy as mine but at the vet, I was the one who held my precious baby in my arms as he drifted to sleep and over the Rainbow Bridge. It was hard to believe what remained was just the shell of a wonderful companion but somehow that made it easier to leave the room after we shared those final precious moments with Poe. I don’t think I could have if I’d felt Poe were still there. I will miss him terribly just like I do his brother but I know someday I will get to see him again—my grandma always reminds me that animals go to heaven, too.


The house is oddly quiet now without the pitter patter of kitties. This is the first time in our married life that we haven’t had one in the home. Despite the fact Poe is no longer with us, I am endlessly grateful for the 16½ years I got to share with him. I am also thankful to my two dear friends Mary and Cinda who have been a constant source of support since he passed away. Thank you, Cinda, for all your comforting phone calls. Mary emailed me every night for several weeks after he passed. The nights were often the worst at first, so I was especially grateful for those thoughtful emails, which were a bright spot during those difficult nights. She also gave me this precious memento to honor Poe’s memory. I do believe there are angels in our lives to help us through the darkest days, and these two special ladies are mine. Of course, there are others who have kindly offered their condolences and I am thankful to them as well. Most of all, I thank Poe for the unconditional love and kindness he showered on me every day of his life. Until we meet again, dear friend...


I have a question for those of you who have lost pets. Have you ever had dreams about your pets after they have passed? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to email me. Shortly after Poe passed, I had several very vivid dreams about him and Teddy. In one of them, I was going through a door and suddenly saw Teddy with a black kitten by his side but I shut the door on them. When I awoke, I was horrified as I would never have done that in real life but a friend interpreted the dream to mean that Teddy was encouraging me to get a kitten but that I wasn't yet ready for one. 

23 comments:

  1. Oh Kimber, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. He sounds like he was a wonderful companion for many years and you provided him with a great life. I do believe that dreams of ones who have passed away are their communications to us as well as a gift. Crying with you as I hug my 4 legged girl. Marilyn

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    1. Thank you so much for your comforting words, Marilyn. It means so much to me to hear them and to know that you took the time to write them. Not everyone is as kind. I look at the dreams of Poe and Teddy as a gift, too, now. At first, I just thought they were "dreams" but after talking with several people who experienced similar things, I have come to believe that it was truly their way of trying to communicate with me. What blessed souls.

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  2. My dear I am in tears reading this post..
    I love you poe xx
    Sending you big hugs xx

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  3. What a lovely memorial for Poe, I hope you can soon love another kitty as I think you need one again.xoxo

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  4. Truly the hardest part of owning/loving a pet is the day they leave us. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet Poe. Your story made me cry. Sending you a hug.

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    1. Thanks for the cyber hug, Linda. I can't believe that 16 1/2 years with Poe could pass by so quickly. You are indeed right, that the hardest part of loving him was letting him go. I knew it was the right thing but it was still hard. Kimber

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  5. I'm so sorry for you loss. Such fun and cute pictures of your big boy. You have brought tears to my eyes. I can relate as we are with our last cat as well. We adopted him older and he is very much a senior citizen now with quite a bit of health issues. Overall he is happy and still going strong, when he's not napping. ;) Hugs to you and your DH.

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  6. Maybe your dream meant that Teddy was welcoming a new Poe to his new life, and you were closing the door on his old one, trying to move on. I'm sorry for your loss. It is really hard to lose such an important person in your life.

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  7. So sad for your loss. Yes, get another kitten, it will fill the void more than you know. Trust me, we loved and lost many cats, a kitten was SO healing!

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  8. So sorry to hear of your loss. I have been there, so I understand the loss. Our home has had a cat for some 50 years, now I have none. It is lonesome.

    Shelia

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    1. Hi Sheila,
      It's amazing how cats fill up our homes and lives with so much love and laughter. The silence of their loss was almost unbearable. I hope you will consider welcoming a new one into your heart and home. I'm sure you have a lot of love to give a special kitty. Kimber

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  9. “The soul takes flight to the world that is invisible but there arriving he is sure of bliss and forever dwells in paradise.”
    ― Plato

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    1. What a beautiful and fitting quote for those who have lost and loved. Thank you, Cynthia.

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  10. :( what a sweet and sad post. I'm so so sorry for your loss. Reminds me of losing my Luna, a black cat about a year ago. Still have a hole in my heart.
    sending you a hug ( )

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  11. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Losing a beloved pet is so hard. I still think of my CC kitty every day. My thoughts are with you - sending hugs and prayers.

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  12. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. It broke my heart to read your words. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband...

    Pets most certainly can visit you in your dreams as can human loved ones. If you are a person who is even slightly receptive to the other side (the spiritual world that we will all eventually go to live in), your dreams are the easiest way they can make contact. This has been studied over and over. Maybe it is my family's native American heritage that has driven this belief into my being. Unfortunately, I have always had trouble recalling my dreams in their entirety... Trust me I could go on and on in regards to the subject. But rest easy in the fact that you obviously are still entwined with your beloved pets.

    Your friend's interpretation of your dream sounds reasonable, and I am sure Teddy understands your apprehension. You will heal over time, and I am sure everything that is meant to happen will fall into place. Just as your wonderful pets found you on this earth. Take comfort that they want to be a part of your healing process. You obviously meant a great deal to them as well.

    Brenda


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    1. Hi Brenda,
      Thank you so much for your kind message about Poe. It brought me SO much comfort to read your words about how pet can visit us in dreams. I was hoping that would be the case but didn’t want to get my hopes up. I usually don’t remember my dreams very well and the ones with Poe and Teddy have been so vivid that it really did feel like they were trying to communicate with me. I wrote down all the details about the dreams right away while they were fresh in my mind. One week, I dreamt about them for four straight nights.

      I can’t thank you enough for writing me and sharing your beautifully written thoughts with me, Brenda. You definitely have a gift for words, and I can tell you are a very kind-hearted soul. I feel so much better after reading your message. Kimber

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  13. I,m very sorry for your loss. For 15 years I had a beautiful quarter horse mare. Loved that mare and rode her almost every day. We even went camping with our horses on vacations. When she passed I didn't think I would ever have a horse that I connected with like her. Eventually I did get a spectacular quarter horse gelding......highly trained and a very loving animal. As far as dreams, my mare is the one that I sometimes dream about. It has been 26 years since her death and occasionally She still enters my dreams.....all good and comforting dreams. My wish is you are blessed with lovely dreams of your pet. Patty Mc

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    1. Thanks so much for your sweet note, Patty. How wonderful that your beloved mare enters your dreams. I really believe such dreams are a gift from God. I feel very fortunate to have had them because not everyone who has lost a beloved pet dos. Your mare sounds like a beautiful soul and I'm glad she lives on through your dreams and in your heart.

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  14. I am so sorry about Poe. We had a black kitty that we adored and lost him a few years back. I do still dream of him. We buried him in the backyard with two other sweet kitties we lost over the years. We have adopted three more and often...the black one, Larry can be found sitting in the kitty graveyard, quiet and still. He has taken on so many of the same traits that our beloved Spooky had that I sometimes wonder if Spooky is still around. Lifting you in prayer........

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    1. I'm sorry for your loss, Tina. How nice that you could give three more kitties a warm and loving home. How precious that the black one sits in the kitty graveyard. I do think the surviving kitties can take on traits of their departed siblings. I know that's what happened with Poe. After his big brother Teddy passed, he did things he'd never done when before that reminded me of Teddy. I like to think that Teddy was inspiring him. Thanks again for taking the time to write me. Kimber

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  15. My condolences to you and your husband, Kimber. I come away from your post feeling very happy that Poe found the right family all those years ago. I have had dreams about our Lucy, the dog we lost almost two years ago. I still hear and feel her presence in our house and I still hear myself talking to her often - not out loud, but in my mind. Best wishes to you as you navigate your loss.

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  16. Oh Kimber, I cried when I read this even though I knew the story before. It broke my heart all over again. Hugs to you my dear friend. Xoxox

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