Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of Heaven is a place called the Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to the Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special, someone who was left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body begins to quiver.

Suddenly, he breaks from the group, flying over the green grass, faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.

The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into those trusting eyes, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...

Author Unknown

Geronimo
^Bye
Ranger 18 months old

^ Ranger, one year old

Ranger three years old
^ Ranger, three years old
Coonyham Lone Ranger
^ Ranger, eight years old, at a cat show, so people could see a Maine Coon cat in the prime of his life.
Ranger nine years old
-------------------------------------

And we remember when they were young.
Chula one week old
^ Chula one week old
Chula three weeks old
Chula, three weeks old> 
Chula six weeks old
Chula, six weeks old

Chula weighing herself

Chula weighing herself

--------------------------

In one of those stars I shall be living.
In one of them I shall be laughing.
And so it will be
as if all the stars were laughing,
when you look at the sky at night.
And when your sorrow is comforted
(time soothes all sorrows)
you will be content
that you have known me.
You will always be my friend...
I shall not leave you.”

― The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

--------------------------

Stop all the clocks,
cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking
with the juicy bone.
Silence the pianos and, with muffled drum, Bring out the coffin.
Let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling in the sky the message:
“He is dead!”

He was my north, my south,
my east and west,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song.
I thought that love would last forever;
I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now;
put out every one.
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun. Pour away the ocean
and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can come to any good.

"Funeral Blues" by W.H Auden

--------------------------

They are all gone into the world of light,
And I alone sit lingering here;

Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.

Henry Vaughan, from Silex Scintillans
'They are all gone
'

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing can replace our lost companions, and the depth of our sorrow equals the depth of our love. With time we accept that they have closed their eyes in peace, to pass into the land of promise, which from here we cannot see, but in which we can believe and which we hope to attain.

The memory of the adorable kitten they once were and the wonderful companion they have been is one of the most difficult parts of letting them go. It's so hard to say good-bye when it's their time to leave, but because we love them so much, we do what we can to smooth their transition.

They would love to stay, but they know when they can't get better. We thank them for our years together, tell them we love them, and help them leave with dignity. The last thing they hear is my voice saying their name.

This is our page of tribute to our cats that have gone ahead. Hasta luego, until we see you again.

Windwalker Caviar
December 14, 1998 - February 20, 2017
Windwalker Caviar

Caviar was from our first litter. She tapped our leg when she wanted a treat or a hug and slept with us every night. She was 18 years old when we let her go. Our hands were the first to hold her when she came into this world and the last to hold her as she left.

Sleep well, sweet girl. We think of you, cuddled again as you used to do, with your mom, son and sister, who have all gone ahead. But we miss your gentle presence. Wish you were here... I just wish you were here.

Windwalker Elwood Blues

June 23, 2001 - August 27, 2015

Elwood Blues 12 years old

Our beloved Elwood was 12 in the picture above. He was Caviar's son, and such a gentle man. He never complained, despite radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism when he was nine, and having his rear leg removed because of cancer in the cartilage when he was 12. When he was 14 we found a massive tumor in his chest. Run free now Elwood, on all four legs, as in your mind you always did.

They say that all good things must end someday
Autumn leaves must fall.
But don't you know that it hurts me so
to say goodbye to you.
Wish you didn't have to go...

Lone Ranger of Windwalker

August 4, 1996 - August 5, 2011

Ranger 15 years old all rights reserved

Deeply loved. Irrevocably lost.

Intelligent, beautiful and dignified, Ranger was my best friend, and part of me left with him. Thank you Ranger, for 15 years of your love.

Ranger six years oldRanger made sure he was on our bed every night, and slept with his head on his own pillow, purring with happiness to be with us. Gentle and sweet, he gave us kisses and groomed every cat or kitten that came up to him.

Ranger is six years old at left and 15 years old above.

Ranger would shake hands, give "high five," and, when asked "How tall are you?" stand up and stretch. But his favorite, unprompted behavior was to give us a hug.

 

Ranger, 11 years old

Above, Ranger is 11. In 2010, Ranger received radioactive iodine therapy for a benign tumor on his thyroid gland, which causes hyperthyroidism. Then he was fine and we treasured every day with him, until July 2011, when I felt a lump in his abdomen. We celebrated his 15th birthday and told him how much we loved him.  The next day, we said farewell.

Now the day is done
And I sit alone
and think of you, Range
.
What will I do
without you in my life.

Windwalker Chula
May 6, 2001 - June 29, 2015

Chula, four years old, August 2005

"Chula," means "dandy" or "neat" in Spanish, and she certainly was. So pretty; so happy to be with us; Chula chirped and talked, and she had the loudest purr in the house. She would keep us awake, she purred so loud.

Chula developed diabetes when she was 12. We thought she had it beat, no insulin needed, but it took its toll on her kidneys. When she was 14, we said good-bye. The last thing she heard was my voice saying "I love you Chula," as she slipped away.

Once upon a time and long ago
I heard someone singing soft and low
Now when day is done and night is near
I recall this song I used to hear.

My child, my very own, Don't be afraid, you're not alone
Sleep until the dawn, for all is well
Long ago this song was sung to me
Now it's just a distant melody
Somewhere from the past I used to know
Once upon a time
and long ago...
Distant Melody from Peter Pan

Windwalker Melchor O'Campo

May 27, 2001 - July 13, 2015 - 14 years

Windwalker Melchor Ocampo

Melchor sired some wonderful kittens before he retired to be our sweet home cat for many years. He was very expressive, and a very sweet boy.

Windwalker Melchor Ocampo


TICA International 2002
16th Best Kitten

Mid Pacific Region 2002
Best Maine Coon Kitten


... and when the rain
beats against my window pane
I'll think of summer days again
and dream of you.

Broadsway Moriah of Windwalker
December 29, 1997 - February 6, 2012 - 14 years

Moriah on her last dayMoriah was our first breeding female. Her kittens took her beautiful personality to their new homes and honored their families with the love they learned from her. She was fourteen when cancer in her mouth took her from us.


Moriah's song (sung to her as she passed away)

You know how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to-- I will.
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart.
And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
You know I will.... I will.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney

Windwalker Sophie
March 15, 2000 - April 4, 2011

SophieSometimes you share your life with a very special cat. Sophie was my girl. In October 2010, she developed fibrosarcoma, a very aggressive cancer for which nothing can be done. We loved and cared for her until it was clear she was uncomfortable. On a sunny April day in the garden, our vet gave her the gift of release from pain. Now Sophie lives forever in my heart.

Sophie ten weeks Memory
All alone in the moonlight,
I can smile at the old days.
She was beautiful then.
I remember - the time I knew
what happiness was
Let the memory live again.

 

Sophie 14 weeks
Touch me
It's so easy to leave me
all alone with the memory
of my days in the sun.
If you touch me,
you'll understand what happiness is. 
Look.. A new day has begun.

- Musical "Cats" Memory

 

Windwalker Arcturus

October 3, 2003 - February 1, 2007

Arcturus, one year, ten months oldArcturus, brightest star in the northern hemisphere.

One year, 10 months at left. In a breed known for incredible personality, Arcturus, like his mother Sophie, was a very special cat. He would look directly at me with so much soul in his eyes.

When he was a "whole" male, he would sleep at night in a crate in our bedroom. That was so important to him that every evening he sat at the screen door from the boys' wing to the dining room and cried, "Don't forget me! It's time for me to come in!" We neutered him so he could be with us all the time.

Arcturus, three years, four months old.Three years, four months old in the picture at right. Very serious here. He knew he was sick. I only sensed it. I can't believe he's gone. I will miss him forever.

Good night, Arcturus. I'll see you in my dreams.

We were born before the wind, also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won, as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly, into the mystic

And when that fog horn blows, you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows,
I got to hear it, I don’t have to fear it.
I want to rock your gypsy soul.
Just like way back in the days of old.
And together we will float into the mystic.

- Van Morrison

Toto Thunderpaws
Born May 17, 1995. Laid to rest February 3, 2005.

TotoToto was our first Maine Coon cat - very intelligent and sweet. We wish he could have stayed longer, but his body failed him. He fought valiantly against cancer of the lymphatic system for more than two years. 

When it was clear that it was time, we let him go. We loved him and miss him very much, but we are relieved that he is now at peace, dancing with butterflies and chasing leaves in the warm wind.

 

From this valley they say you are going,
We will miss your sweet face and your smile,
Just because you are weary and tired,
You are changing your range for a while.

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Coonyham Kemosabe of Windwalker
January 29, 1997 - December 31, 2002 - Five years, 11 months

KemosabeOur beautiful, sweet Kemosabe died a "sudden death" from complications of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.*  He was active and happy the day he died, slept in the sun and requested his special treat at dinner, but I missed him at the New Years Eve party.  That was so unlike him that when our friends left, I looked for him in my closet where he loved to sleep. He was there, too still.  His soul had passed quietly away. 

Oh, Sabe.  Everyone, and all the cats, loved your gentle spirit.   You comforted the girls, cuddled the kittens, and calmed the boys. 

Sabe in tubeAlways "goofy," at least once a week you made us laugh, chasing your tail, tucked into the smallest cat bed or other funny place.   You were happiest grooming our hair to show how much you loved us.  If only your heart had been as strong as your love.

We didn't get to say good-bye, so Farewell, Kemosabe.  We miss you so much.  Our hearts are broken, but not as badly as yours.   We will always love you, and will see you again some day.

Sabe three years oldWe planted a dogwood tree over Sabe's grave, and every spring when it blooms, we think of Sabe.

* In December, 2000, Kemosabe's heart was ultrasounded at UC Davis Veterinary School.  Dr. Kittleson found the left ventricular muscle wall and the papillary muscle thickening:  hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) heart disease.  

The diagnosis of HCM was confirmed in August, 2001 and again by Dr. Kittleson in October, 2002. Sabe died December 31, 2002. Kemosabe of Windwalker

 

Day is done, gone the sun,
 From the hills, from the lake, From the skies. All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
 
 Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
 May the soldier or sailor, God keep.
 On the land or the deep,  Safe in sleep.
 
 Love, good night,   Must thou go,
 When the day, and the night Need thee so?
 All is well.  Speedeth all  
To their rest.

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"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened."

Windwalker Gatsby - 2004

GatsbyGatsby contracted pyothorax when he was four months old.  After three days in the ICU at UC Davis Veterinary Clinic, we let him go.

To Gatsby, our sweet, sweet boy, who purred the whole time.  

 

 

Lend Me A Kitten
I will lend to you for awhile a kitten, God said.
for you to love while he lives, and mourn when he's dead.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years, or maybe two or three.
But will you, 'till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you and, should his stay be brief
you'll always have his memories as solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught below I want this kitten to learn.
I've looked the whole world over in search of teachers true.
And from the folk that crowds life's land I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain?
Nor grieve o'er long when I come to take my kitten home again?

My heart replied, "Thy Will Be Done"
For all the joys this kitten brings, the risk of grief I'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may.
And for the happiness we've known, forever grateful stay.
But should you call him back much sooner than we planned.
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.
If, by our love we've managed your wishes to achieve,
Then in memory of him who we loved, please help us while we grieve.
When our cherished kitten departs this world of strife,
Please send yet another needing soul for us to love all his life.

Author Unknown. Adapted from Thy Will Be Done by Edgar Guest

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