Monday, September 27, 2010

Life's End.

At times like this the cats move over to let me speak.
Martha has been ill for some time. Well, not really ill, but old. Today she was put to sleep, in my arms, in the garden full of sunshine and birdsong.
I buried her with her brother, Arthur.
Martha lived with us for fifteen years. The gentlest of cats. Hannah was just a year old when I picked Arthur and Martha up from Catherine Street in St Davids in a cardboard box and both she and Tom loved these little ginger fluff bundles. She was always the smallest, and in many ways the kindest of the cats that have lived with us. Not a killer. Almost every night of Hannah's growing Martha would purr her to sleep before heading out to look at the stars, and be back on the bed when Hannah woke in the mornings.
No more. Such a beautiful day. It was hard to tell when she had died the sun was so warm on her fur.
So, if I could have one wish for Martha it would be this: not that she will wait for me at a rainbow bridge in some future. I had fifteen years with her and that was a good measure of time. I hope and I wish that when she has rested for a while she can be reborn as a falcon, wild, fierce. That she can grow wings and sharp eyes and curved claw and scream across the skies, that all this is hers. 
Or maybe that is what I would wish for myself and Martha may have other ideas, for cats are independent creatures and that is why I love them so.
I have the memory of her young ginger beauty. That is enough.

101 comments:

Nic's Notebook said...

Oh goodness this is so sad, it's making me cry! I would be devastated if anything happened to my 3 cats - they are relatively young yet (4 yrs ish). God Bless Martha xx

Alexander (the Great) said...

Lots of love to your whole tribe.

Leanne said...

Oh No, not another moved on. I am so sad too, and yet... in the garden, in sunshine, in the safe haven of loving, understanding arms... thats not a bad way to go, despite the pain for those left to mourn. Sening you a hug... R.I.P Martha, alonside Arthur...


Leanne x

Simba said...

Mom and I are sending our condolences to you. You write so beautifully about Martha's passing, and how wonderful that she could be out in the day, not frightened by a trip to the vet's office. We know your memories of her will help your sadness. It has been a difficult week all over the world for the losing of cats we counted as our friends. Would that they all could live and stay forever.

Julia Guthrie said...

Waves a starry skied goodbye to lovely Martha cat xxxx

maryom said...

So sorry to hear this, Jackie. But she was an old cat with a good life behind her - and hopefully a good one ahead in her re-born falcon form.

Deb Morse said...

Jackie, my sincere condolences and you know that. I am sending you and all the creatures who yet live with you a huge warm healing hug. Take the time needed to mourn and heal. And take that bottle of merlot. Now. Much love to you all.

anita said...

Our condolences; we understand, for we only recently shepherded Widget, the Old Lady, on her way to whatever comes next. She was nearly sixteen, and very, very tired.

We like your closing line; memories such as that are good to have.

Sam, Mr. Poozle, Victoria, LeeLee, Darla, Ocie, Kali, Maggie, Dinah and Ysabeau (and me, anita)

Morning's Minion said...

I think it is good when we can watch and choose a time to "let go" of a loved animal--without a dreadful crisis of pain for them.
Fifteen years seems to be nearly a limit for cats. We had a Siamese who was with us 16 years and a strange deaf cat who lived for 17 irrasable years.
I grieve most for the ones whose lives have been cut too short.
Our two dear "old lady cats" are both 12 years old--I watch them anxiously.
Loving animals is such a huge part of our lives. Your feline household has been reduced by two this summer--I wonder if a new young cat will find its way to your door?

Griffin said...

Sad to hear of her going, but at least she had a long and happy life with people who loved her.

Perhaps she was too gentle to become a falcon, but she may find her comforts as a cat again - a lioness perhaps or a tigress (we need those) or even a house cat walking off into the wild wet woods all on her lonesome lone... to return by daylight to the warmth of a bed again.

trash said...

Resting in the happy memories is something I always aim for after the death of a beloved friend or family member.

Vale Martha

Karen L R said...

oh, goodbye, sweet martha. may you rest in peace. sending our love across the ocean to all of you who are missing her fiercely.

Sobeit said...

I am so sorry to hear of Martha's passing over - it does make me cry as always when I read something like this. I want them to all live forever. You have given her a life and possing over that is perfect. Now we are left here to mourn her absence. My orange cat Fred is patting my face as the tears flow downward. We will miss her in this world.
Hugs
Sobeit

John said...

I am sorry for your loss and wish you and your family peace. My 18 and a half year old ginger, Winnie, passed away this summer, like Martha, in my garden then and in my garden still. In his last year, he took to going outside for walks and rests in the lawn, and I often fantasized we were walking the trails in Wales with you and your gingers. Here's to the blessings of senior cats!

Anonymous said...

Martha had a good life with a beautiful family. I am sending you a hug from California.

luanne said...

So sorry to hear of Martha's passing. It must have comforted her to leave from your arms, and now to rest in your garden. What a good long life she had with you and your children and animals. My sympathies to all.

Val said...

I'm sad that she came to the end of her life but it sounds like a very kind end and that she had a very good life and you all have very fond memories of her ..perhaps she would prefer to be a tyger...but you know being your family's cat sounds pretty darn good

Sheelagh said...

I am very sorry to hear this sad news Jackie. I hope you will be sustained by many happy memories of Martha. Lovely words....long may she fly. xxx

Narrative jewelry said...

All my thoughts for lovely Martha, sweet gingers and you Jackie.

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

So sorry for you loss:(

Threads and thoughts said...

Our sincere condolences, we too have lost a darling this year and we hope to meet again some day.
Wellington and Nessie (and Edith)

phoebesmum said...

RIP, beautiful Martha - and much love to her family and friends.

Jane said...

So sad to hear of the loss of more gingerness. Our small new ginger is purring her on her way.

Moonroot said...

So sorry to hear of Martha's passing.

Alistair said...

Small animals can leave very big holes in life. I'm sure the others will help comfort you.

kind thoughts.....

Valerianna said...

Here I sit, between classes at University, waiting for the next group of students to arrive... and now finding my grief again for all the sweet cat-friends who have died just so in my arms... how hard it is, I imagine Martha's spirit soaring away just like that falcon. Blessings to you and all the rest of the cats....

CHo Meir said...

How wonderful it has been for you to enjoy that much gingerness and a sweet cat for 15 years. I'm sure she felt the same, loved and well cared for...

Ann-Marie said...

We know that Martha will dance among the stars tonight, and we will watch for her.

Diarmuid, Fiona and Five in Michigan

(The cats are taking this much better than I am, as usual. Thank you for sharing your Martha with us, and I send my wishes for peace in your heart. Ann-Marie)

Anne Boleyn said...

How beautifully you shared this moment with Martha, and then with us. What an honor is is to be able to do this for our beloveds. Sending special hugs to Hannah. Fifty-some years later I still remember the blessed death of the 13 year old dog, who was a week younger than I was. That was the beginning of understanding that, sad as it was for me, it was a blessing for Flicka.

Robin Larkspur said...

Love to Martha...what a sweet cat. And blessings to you and yours.

Donatella said...

Oh, I was so afraid that it was Glyn! My condolences on the loss of your beloved Martha. It sounds like a very special time and place to pass...in the garden, in your arms, in sunlight. The best way to leave. Hugs, pats, and skritches to you, the pack and the pride. Much love always.

Urban Wild said...

I cried when I read this post; it made me very sad. But I also know that Martha had the best of lives and could not have had a better place to live her life, nor a better guardian than you. and your kindness to have her put down in the garden, in the sun, in your arms,was a very gentle act.

Everycat said...

Martha we are sorry you left, but we know your life was filled with love and care for all around you. So we sing you on your journey with rumbly purrs and love

Whicky Wuudler

Elizabeth Rhiannon said...

Martha lived a life most felines would envy; a full, adventurous life filled with love...and she couldn't have had a more peaceful passing. Blessings and love to you and all those beauties :)

Cat said...

I grieve with you over losing Martha. I know how hard it is, my lovely old calico had to be helped on her way last thursday, she was almost 19.

If I may be so bold, I think I understand what you are feeling and how Martha was with you for so many of life's major moments both happy and sad and that now there is a sort of hole in everything and the house doesn't feel right.

I hope your remaining lovely kitties will help you through this difficult time.

Karen M said...

Sending prayers and hugs, your way and Martha's....

Kea said...

Our deepest condolences on Martha's passing. You wrote a deeply moving and beautiful post.

Purrs and healing Light to you from all of us at Fuzzy Tales.

Angie said...

What a wonderful epitaph to Martha ...I shed a tear as it brought back memories of holding my dear Goergie as she found rest. Even though I have so many (18)...each one is precious ... they are all individuals..... Sid and the gang send their purrs too.

Hannah and Lucy said...

I did not know Martha but I know how much you will miss her - one of my cats had to be helped to Rainbow Bridge at the end of last year and I still miss her so much.

Martha was with you until the end and that would have helped her pass peacefully from your loving arms to the Bridge where she will me young again and play freely without aches and pains.
Hugs Sue and my kitties Hannah and Lucy xx xx xx

Mary Beth said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. I ask myself how it can hurt so much to lose a creature so fiercely independent, and yet it does every time. My thoughts are with you and your clan.

spacedlaw said...

Awww. This is so sad.

mrsduncanmahogany said...

So, so sad. She is now on to her next adventure....Enjoy Martha...

Dianna

Anonymous said...

All my best wishes, Jackie. I enjoyed meeting Martha very much last year.

The Island Cats said...

We know we haven't visited you much and we didn't know Martha well, but we wanted to come by and to tell you how sorry we are to hear of her passing. We send you comforting purrs to help you through this sad time.

Mo Crow said...

Fly free Martha

Kate D said...

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Martha. She had a wonderful life with you.

Charlemagne and Tamar said...

We're sorry to hear that Martha had to leave you, but glad that she had such a happy life with you.

Sending purrs,
Charlemagne and Tamar

Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad that you had Martha as long as you did and that the end was peaceful --something you must be so grateful for.
Very sad though.

Brian said...

I did not know Martha and that I do regret. I just heard of her leaving and wanted to come by and send you purrs. That is one of the most beautiful tributes I've ever read. It made my whiskers weepy wet. Purrs sweet Martha, watch over us all.

Ikaika said...

Jackie, we are so sorry that sweet Martha had to leave you and the House of Ginger, but we know she was welcomed at the Bridge by all our ones-who-came-before. 'Kaika and the girl kitties send you gentle purrs and I wish you many sweet memories of your Martha.

We like to believe that after our furred ones leave us, they go to live in the constellation Leo, and each November, during the Leonid showers, hitch a ride and visit us in the night sky. Each year, we have ever more reasons to stand under the stars and wave as they pass over head.

Blessings,

Keli'i

WOL said...

Oh, Jackie. Tears were running down my face as I read your post. (My own dear Jett, aged only 12, passed in my arms 05/11/2009 and went to join his sister Shadow.) It's such a hard decision to have to make even when it is the ultimate act of love. Virtual hugs to you and Hannah, and Godspeed, Martha, to whatever adventures await you next.

Trixie said...

We are so sad to hear about dear Martha. {Hugs}

Anonymous said...

Our condolences Jackie to you and all your family. Martha set out on her journey though in the best possible way, in the fresh autumn air and in the arms of her much loved human. Would we could all go in a similar way.
May she rest peaceful and purring, Great Spirit,beneath thy wings, beside thy heart.
Trisha and Cyrus

Karen said...

This has made me cry :(
I'm so sorry to hear about sweet Martha, but happy too for her. What a wonderful long life she lived and how well she was loved.
x

patmil said...

I only recently discovered your blog - the cat's blog, I mean, am really enjoy it a lot.
I have cats myself and two of them are ginger cats, although I never really thought of them that way before.
My cats and I - we're very sorry for the loss of your friend.
Best to you all...........pat

Kate on Clinton said...

Such a sad day, but I know you are comforted by the fact that you and your tribe gave Martha a great life.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

You are the only blog I have taken the time to visit today, and it has been a tearful one ;(
Martha was loved, that much I know, she lived a noble life, and just when you are not expecting it.......she will let you know where to find her, in the next...
Purr gently next to your Arthur, gentle lady.

The Lee County Clowder said...

We're so sorry to hear of Martha's leaving. A great storyteller's voice has been stilled.

Sending mournfull purrrss and gentle headbuttss.

SuziQCat said...

This is my first visit to your blog. So sorry to hear about Martha. I know that she will be missed, but never forgotten. Sending comforting purrs to you today...

Ann said...

How blessed Martha was to have you as a lover and friend-you were able to give her an incredible gift-comfort and peace after a long life together-she is now free to take whatever form she chooses and will undoubtedly be by your side forever. The circle continues on its way.

Marion said...

You have written a lovely tribute to Martha that brings tears. But I'm glad she was loved and taken care of for so long.

Laila and Minchie said...

We are so sorry and sad for your loss.

cats of wildcat woods said...

What a lovely peaceful passing Martha had - thank you for that. Sending sweet purrs and head buts from across the pond.

dinahmow said...

So the wheel has turned once more...Jackie, my thoughts are with you and your family.
Pace.

The Creek Cats said...

We are so sorry for your loss. (((hugs)))

Stacy Hurt said...

Jackie, as ususal; your philosophy is so real. That your beloved Martha be recreated into a Falcom is too awesome beyond words. Thank you for teaching me (at least) that I shouldn't want my dearly departeds to be hangin out waitin on me, they need to fly free!

jodi said...

I am so sorry.

Furkidsmom said...

We just read about Martha on the CB. We know Sniffie will be at the Bridge to meet her. They can find their way around their new home together.

The Florida Furkids and Angel Sniffie

JC said...

I am so sorry ...
I have had cats live to be 17, 19 and 21.
It's like they were my hearts and soul.
May you be at peace knowing she had a marvelous life.

Fin said...

Your tribute to your sweet cat is lovely. Purrs to you at this difficult time.

Kat's Kats said...

May the memories of love outweigh the grief of loss. Having been a cat mommy for... ahem... some time. I run across one of my former babies more than once. I always feel blessed when they feel me worthy enough to live with again. Martha sounds like a lovely companion with whom to have shared time.

quiltcat said...

Oh Jackie, i am so sorry to learn of the passing of Martha. What a lovely sweet tribute to her. She was a special gentle cat and i am glad that she is now free of pain, but so sad that she is gone. 15 years isn't nearly long enough to share the company of a special cat. I hope you'll be comforted by many fond memories of her.

Davena said...

My heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry your dear friend has gone. I will be thinking of you and sending you my very best and warmest thoughts to help you cope.

Goldie, Shade and Banshee said...

On a moth's wing, sweet Martha, fly to your next adventure. We are so sorry to hear of Martha's passing, she seemed like such a gentle soul. I wish a passing like that for all felines, sunkissed, encircled by love.

Gentle hugs to you Jackie and Hannah,

Purrs to the rest of the Gingers,
Danica and The Sumacs

Betweens said...

One thing about cats they have nine lives and who says they have to be all spent on this earth. I am sure she will be purring in her new home and bringing her sweet gentleness to those that need it. like you say 15good years is a good time to be with a wonderful friend...so glad we were able to share in some of them

Daisy said...

I am glad Martha's crossing was gentle. Soft purrs to you during this sad time. Rest in peace, Martha.

CatHerder said...

IM SO SORRY for your loss..i can say that i truly know what you are going through, from both sides..i have my own herd (and lost casey 21, angel 22 and sushi 15 last year) but also work pt for a vet where i assist in euthanasias...know that what you did for your kitty was a precious gift, albeit sad for you. My heart goes out to you

Cat with a Garden said...

This is a wonderful tribute to your wonderful cat. Fifteen years is a long, long time and you were blessed to share them with her. Rest in Peace, ginger Martha.
Many purrs,
Siena & Chilli

Ducky said...

Such a beautiful love letter you've written for Martha. I'm glad that you and she were together for so long, and that the two of you had such beautiful surroundings for your parting. I wish all of you peace while you learn to love her from afar.

Daily Dose of Dogs (aka Cats with your Coffee) said...

I am only meeting Martha for the first time, but I am so glad to know of you now. Your tribute is one of the most touching I have ever read. You were so glad to have had Martha. I can see how lucky she was to have had you . . .

Elizabeth said...

Lily, Cricket & Momcat send our kitty kisses to you and all the ginger tribe. True love lasts forever...

Kate said...

My condolences, too, Jackie; and blessings to you and yours while you grieve.

Deniz said...

I am so sorry for your loss. And your writings of her is very beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about Martha. At least she came to a peaceful end, surrounded by sunlight and love in her own yard. May your 15 years' worth of memories sustain you and the entire cat family.

Hugs from a long-time blog lurker and lover of orange cats,
Kitty P.

Annie said...

I had to put my cat B to sleep a couple weeks ago, so I know the sadness you feel for Martha, I know they are both flying free...
xoxo

Laura J. Wellner (author pseudonym Laura J. W. Ryan) said...

Oh, our sweet and dear friend Martha will be missed! A wise old gal, who knew of the best sleeping places. May your memories become less bitter and more sweet with time...all my best from my acre of the world, and hugs for all as well!

L-

dragonqueen said...

Condolences from The Lair.

Lynx, Leopardess, Her Supreme Catesty, Li'lkitty and Tiny Cat sends comforting purrs, strokes and licks.

May Martha fly free as a falcon on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Anonymous said...

RIP lovely Martha. Having lived a very happy 15 years with you, no doubt she is now happily reunited with Arthur and KifferCat. God bless. XX

Dartford Warbler said...

Your eulogy for Matha is so beautifully written. Such a loved cat who had a wonderful life with you. It is so hard when they have to go.

Anonymous said...

you have brought tears to my eyes and they drip and run down my cheeks as I write. I am so sorry for Martha's passing but totally understand what you say. I had a beauty called Allison who stayed with me for 19 happy years and was the gentlest of ladies. RIP Marth and Ally you were much loved.

http://barbiboo-bea.blogspot.com/

BumbleVee said...

...just adding my best wishes to the list... and sending a hug....

Gail said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this beautiful eulogy.

Time to go love my own cats (and other creatures) now, in memory of Martha.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Fare thee well, Martha and may every falcon remind your family of the love they shared with you...

Susan said...

Oh, I am reading the days backwards...how very sad for you and yours. Peace be in the sky and earth for you.

Shelleen said...

I read your blog all the time but rarely comment. I am saddened by this news and have tears from reading your beautiful words. I also have an old cat who I see aging quickly. Thanks for letting me read your blog and share your cats lives.

Rose Lefebvre said...

I have had many cats in my life, all loved and adored. The two I have now are my babes-one is 17 yrs old and one 4. I know the oldest, Patches, a beautiful Calico, may not have much longer though she is still rather active and even wrestles the "baby" 4 yr old!
I enjoy your blog, love your drawings!
My blog: http://poetrose24.blogspot.com/

yogapaws said...

I am so sorry you lost two special friends...

Whskr & Dash Kitten said...

Jut adding my few humble words to the many who have spoken. I am sorry for your loss and for losing someone who was so loved. I know what you mean - I hope mine wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge ready to scamper and run ahead (straight to the kitchen - for treats!!).

Marjorie, Peanut, Little 'Un, Dot and Dash Kittens, Sienna and Jack our own Ginger boy.

Joolsdoll said...

I'm so sorry Jackie. My mind goes back to when I lost my own Ginger Darling - Jasper. Temperament as soft as his fur and loving as a warm hug on a winter day - how I miss him. I too am thankful to have known him - as you are to have had your faithful friends. My thoughts are with you. Joolsdoll

Kitikata-san said...

I am so sorry to read of Martha's crossing. Much love, purrs and licks,
Kitikata-san

Peg A said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. I'm glad you could be with her and that her passing was peaceful.