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Love You Boy

 

My cat and best bud Leo passed away on the 1st of May.

Leo's history is a bit sketchy. He came to us as an older stray in about 2018. Had signs of abuse, both behaviourally and physically. He'd been neutered but no microchip, which is very odd in these modern times especially for a purebred. Long story short we adopted him, or rather he adopted us. He quickly became a big part of our life and his health and behaviour improved tenfold. Great cat.

Leo was/is a Norwegian Forest Cat and comedian. His offical title became Leopold The Funny Duke of Watford. Or The Funny for short. Cat toys were a choking hazard for him but he loved tennis balls and ribbons. His favourite toy was a rug, any rug. He'd go surfing on them and beat them up. He also went surfing in his bed which was hilarious. He especially loved peaking behind corners and waiting to pounce on you.

He quickly became barred from outdoors unattended because he killed everything, just for fun. Leo got a dog harness and a leash because the cat stuff wouldn't fit. Bizarrely he took to this concept instantly. So every day, weather permitting, one of us would walk around the yard with him for around twenty minutes or until he wanted to go in.

I know how bizarre this sounds but we used to yell in a certain tone to him 'ARE YOU BEING FUNNY?' and 'I THINK YOU MIGHT BE A LITTLE BIT ON THE FUNNY SIDE' he'd go mental running around and beating things up. Usually play would end with him jumping on a swivel chair and spinning himself then meowing at one of us to spin him again. Man he loved that swivel chair. We got him a cat tree which he broke in about two weeks. He took one of the posts off somehow. He was tough as all get out, bloody viking.

When my husband and I separated we almost tossed a coin for who would take Leo, cause we both loved him. In the end we agreed the climate in Melbourne was better for The Funny, a cold climate cat, than the climate in California, where my ex is from and was heading. My ex offered to pay for half of Leo's travel expenses to Australia which was a welcomed relief. In return I was to keep him informed of Leo's escapades. FaceTime with a cat anyone?

The Funny settled in remarkably well after the move. I was surprised at how quickly he adapted to everything happening around him. I had been worried about him during that time.

Leo started showing his age earlier this year. Quickly after he started to lose weight. Vet warned me that the end could be soon. I already suspected. Though his usual rough play was far more subdued by now he was still happy and active for the time being.

Last Thursday he was sleeping more. Friday same thing, and eating less. I knew it was time. Made the appointment for Monday morning. Wanted to have the weekend with him. Really should have taken him in Friday, feel crap about this.

Usually he slept in his bed in the lounge room or on a chair. I put his bed with him in it on my bed over the weekend so I could check on him through the night. At about 12:30am Monday morning he started meowing and moaning which woke me up, it lasted about a minute. He then seemed to go to sleep with shallow breathing. His paws and ears felt cold. I got up and stuck the heater on, put him in his bed beside it with a blanket on. Called my ex because he wanted to be kept in the loop. Talked to my ex for about an hour with no change in Leo. The nearest emergency vet is about 40 minutes away. I wanted to take him there but was afraid if I moved him I'd wake him up and make him suffer.

I wanted to be with Leo when he went so I stayed up for hours talking to him and patting him. There was no change. At around 3:00 I heard, mentally, one of my guardian's, not the Tweed one, the other one say 'Let him go'. I thought about what this meant and concluded I was keeping Leo 'here' by staying up with him and that maybe I would also be prolonging any suffering. But Leo was asleep. So I stayed up longer. At 5:30, still no change, I went back to bed to get a few hours sleep, leaving Leo by the heater with a lamp on.

Erghgh I don't like this.

At around 6:10 I woke up to Leo meowing so loud, like insanely loud. He sounded like he was in pain. His voice was projecting in ways I didn't know cats could do. I thought he was wandering around the house. I went here and there calling and looking for him. His meowing was behind me, over there, next to me. He was by the heater in his bed blanket on, same as I left him. But he was meowing loudly, it felt like a bad dream.

When I got to him he quietened down. I pat him and told him it was okay and to go towards the light. After a minute or so he either took in a big gasp of air or let air out, it gave me a fright and I stood up and back a bit. But kept talking to him, trying not to sound like I was freaking out, which I was.

I was looking down at him in his bed but something white was covering him. Like white crinkled crepe paper. Or ruffled white tule, it looked a bit smokey. I don't think it moved, it was just there, covering Leo and his bed. I could see Leo under it, he also looked white, his fur looked paler than usual. I thought I was seeing things from being overly tired and emotional. I looked away at the floor and the wall but when I looked back at Leo it was still there. After about, I don't know how long, five maybe ten seconds it faded away.

I knelt down with him again, he was gone. I kept talking to him a bit, incase he was still in there somewhere. Went back to bed. Couldn't really sleep.

After a few hours I canceled the vet appointment and called my ex. We had a bit of a cry, I told him about the white stuff and my guardian's message. Joked about it being ectoplasm because that guardian is a victorian chap. Would love to hear the forum's ideas of what it could have been.

I grew up with so many animals including cats. We always knew when it was time to say goodbye. I've never had pets as an adult, Leo was the first. I really missed the mark with Leo's death. We gave him a kick arse last few years but I think I failed him at the very end.

I buried him in the yard later that day. Put some flowers from the garden on his grave.

We had a morning routine, The Funny and me. Would get up at sparrow's fart to take him out the back on the harness for an hour or so before work. It's only been a couple of days but I'm still waking up at too early o'clock. The day after he passed, might have been a dream. But I woke up at five, harness time, remembered I didn't need to get up. Then I heard him meow, like he always does at that time. Maybe he was saying goodbye, maybe I dreamt it. Either way it was real nice.

Love you boy.

Thanks for reading.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Tweed, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

valkricry (49 stories) (3273 posts) mod
+1
5 months ago (2023-12-16)
Hi Tweed! Just thought I'd let you know that link does work as is. It's good to 'see' you!
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
+1
5 months ago (2023-12-16)
Thought the good folks of YGS may find this interesting. It's the origins of The Rainbow Bridge. It's quite the eventful journey. With one beautiful woman behind it all.

Https://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/article/the-rainbow -bridge-the-true-story-behind-historys-most-influential-piece-of-animal-mourning-literature/

❀

By sheer coincidence I found this not long after my cat passed away. Became randomly interested in whatever may be behind The Rainbow Bridge verse, so went a-searchin'. Oddly enough the truth behind it all had just been unearthed as it were. Cool beans. Kept meaning to post it here, but I guess better late than never. Sorry if someone's already posted this somewhere

(Oops no, link drama ensues. You'll have to remove the space between 'rainbow -bridge' in the link. YGS wouldn't let me post the long link)
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
 
10 months ago (2023-07-11)
Aww, thanks LFrog, glad Leo is still making people laugh!

A couple of weeks after he passed I was in the bathroom with the door half closed. He loved water and he'd always want to get in the sink if I was at the bathroom or kitchen sinks. So I used to wash my face with the bathroom door closed. Anyway one night I heard him meow outside the bathroom while I was washing my face. I opened the door (real slow) but I didn't see him. Got to say I don't know how I would've reacted if I'd seen him sitting there!

Other times I think I've heard him meowing. But that's been the only time I can confidently say it was him. Still wanting to jump in the sink no doubt lol. ❀
LFrog1386 (1 stories) (73 posts)
+2
10 months ago (2023-07-10)
Tweed, as I read your story, I pictured each and every single thing your boy did in my mind and laughed so hard! I've never seen a Norwegian Forest cat other than in photographs but we have Maine Coons here in the United States. They are their smaller cousins, which is funny because they are huge compared to domestic cats in the United States.

The one thing I do know is Maine Coons are full of personality so it makes sense that their genetic grandfathers are, as well.
Try not to beat yourself up over not putting him down sooner. I had the same thing happen to me and I held a sweet 1-year-old grey tabby in my arms as she breathed her last (Felv). If I was able to do it again, I certainly would have put her down sooner but the idea of doing so absolutely broke my heart because her spirit was still there until the end.
I'm sure he's still around you, probably kicking a rug or two when you're not looking.β™₯️
KenS80 (1 stories) (41 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2023-05-19)
Haha, totally agree there Tweed. Being a Leo myself, I know all about being attention grabbing.

Leo sounds like he suited that name. Poor little guy. (+_+)
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2023-05-19)
Don't worry about it Ken, it's cool. Leo was always a big fan of attention so I'm sure he'll approve. πŸ˜‰
KenS80 (1 stories) (41 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2023-05-18)
I am really sorry Tweed. I did not read this before commenting on the other post about Leo. Had I have known, I would have passed on my condolences during such a difficult time. May Leo's memories fill your heart forever.

I got all choked up reading this and truly felt for Leo and more so for you having to see him pass. I consider myself a bit of an owl, wise not big eyed and feathery:-) and yet missed this completely.

(β½ΝˆΛ™Μ‘βΎΛ”Μ‰β½Λ™Μ‘βΎΝˆ)

I hope Leo is at peace.
Cheers,
Ken
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2023-05-11)
MaybeADreamer, so nice to see you around!

No doubt my boy is having loads of fun running around wild and free. Such a great pal, just the best.

Love and hugs to you too ❀
MaybeADreamer (4 stories) (58 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2023-05-10)
Aw Tweed, I'm so sorry for your loss.
Our fur babies are so important to us.

At least you got to give Leo lots of love & care whilst he was with you. I'm sure he is thankful to have had you by his side when he needed you.
Remember he is now over the rainbow bridge running wild & free!

Sending you hugs at this sad time xxxx

😭
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2023-05-07)
Thanks Cantunseeit, it's easy to care more for animals than people these days. Ideally caring would be equal among our own species and others, alas humans kind of suck, like a lot.

Crimson, thanks for the love. ❀ Leo was/is a little man in a furry suit.
Oh geez, gosh and darn. I heard Jonathan Ross say that about his cat like twenty years ago or something and it I thought it was sweet. But now furry culture is a thing. (Hey, I don't judge!) But that sentence can take on a whole new meaning now LOL.
CrimsonTopaz (1 stories) (239 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2023-05-06)
Tweed, you have my most sincere condolences. Furbabies are close to us, it's like they are little humans.
So many lovely messages here. I've been sniffling reading them. I'm sure Leo will come by and visit you from time to time.
I'm sending you positive energy and hugs.
CantunSEEit74 (4 stories) (61 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2023-05-06)
Hi Tweed sorry for your loss you sound like an excellent cat mom. Seems like Leo found his happy life and health with you two. I care more for animals than people these days. Thanks for sharing!
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2023-05-06)
BaiAnina, that's a beautiful concept and it makes sense. I've often wondered about animals and their spirituality. Leo has had an invisible playmate from time to time. But a few weeks ago he followed something invisible up the hall and I wondered if it was a spirit guide come to look after him. It was sweet.
Thank you for your kind words. ❀

Pelatiah, you're so lucky getting that picture! I know what you mean I sometimes feel like my childhood dog is with me, no matter where I am. Sometimes it just feels like she's there. I'm going to say hello the next time I get that feeling, provided I'm not in a public place when it happens lol.

Lost Voyage thank you sooo soo much for sharing that! I'm sorry if was hard to retell. I've read your comment a couple of times and the similarities are quite astonishing. It must have been the same with you and Prissy that you were meant to find each other. That's how it felt with Leo. They really do adopt us. I was always more of a dog person too. Later the next day when I felt Leo was no longer in the house I could see him in my mind's eye running amok around the neighbourhood. It didn't sound strange to me when you felt Prissy jumping around your place. A new sense of freedom for sure.

Val, lol I keep getting gremlins every time I try to sign in on my phone, go figure.
I wondered that too about the white stuff being the veil or something related. I'm glad I was able to be with him in that moment. In some ways I think animals are more prepared for this kind of thing than we clumsy human animals are.

Thanks Maelstrom having pets is such a bittersweet rollercoaster. But thankfully more sweet I think.
Maelstrom (23 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2023-05-06)
My condolences to you Tweed.

No stories or anything. I wouldn't be able to finish...
valkricry (49 stories) (3273 posts) mod
+5
1 year ago (2023-05-05)
Dearest Tweed,
Gremlins keep eating my posts. This is the third time I've attempted commenting to you.πŸ€”
First, I am terribly sorry about Leo. But, I believe the best anyone of us can hope for is going knowing we are/were loved, and I'm sure Leo knew that. You were there for him. There's no way that you failed him.
Animals always seem to know when their time is drawing to a close. There's many examples of this in nature.
I've no idea on what the white stuff was... Perhaps it was only the veil as he passed through.
The_Lost_Voyage_11 (7 stories) (245 posts)
+2
1 year ago (2023-05-05)
Hello Tweed, I'm so sorry for your loss, and you are right, grieving a pet can be the same as grieving a human, they are family in so many ways. The bond definitely transcends what we consider death.

I firmly believe it is our pets who adopt us, not the other way around. I admit I hesitated at reading your story because it stirred up my own memories, grieving can take time for sure.

I will share only a bit here, because it feels important to know that you're not alone (though I know you know that) and because it's your story and I don't want to hijack your thread. It's also because it's something I don't really like to talk about.

I was never a cat person per say, dogs were more my thing. This particular cat came from Chicago, quite a distance away and when I heard the adoption ad on the radio, something really got my attention there. I promised myself I would only go to look, but ended up bringing her home. Her name was Prissy and that cat had quite the personality! She didn't like to let me out of her sight.

She lived to be about 12, she had always had issues, from I believe prior to my adopting her, but the vets could never really figure it out. In those final days by the time I realized something was really wrong, it was too late. She had lost weight in too short a time. The night she passed, like you, I sat up with her. I held her when it was comfortable and she would look intently over my shoulder at someone I couldn't see. The strange thing was, is I got the strongest feeling that whoever it was, wasn't there for Prissy, but for me. My cat knew where she was going. I encouraged her to let go, that I would be fine. Finally late that night, I also got the mental impression, a voice, and a strong feeling from her that she wanted to be alone. She was curled up in her little cat box where she slept and I didn't want her to be cold so I covered her up some with one of my favorite old shirts, so in effect she wasn't truly alone.

I knew in the morning she would be gone. The bizarre thing was is that in my mind's eye, I could literally see her bouncing all over the place, on top of the fridge and cabinets, darting around and playing. I knew she was free. To this day I can sometimes fancy I see her shadow under the door in the utility room where she slept.

In reading your story, it brought me back to that night almost 7 years ago. There were some similarities to me at least of that last night in what happened from your story. To me, she became a guardian angel for me, much as she looked after me in life.

Thanks for sharing!
Pelatiah (4 stories) (74 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2023-05-05)
Tweed, that you were able to see the "white" stuff is truly exceptional, especially in the midst of your emotion! You did the very best with him, never doubt yourself and what a fun life he had.

I had a dog, Ranger, who we saved from the pound in 1988. He was with me through my husband's brain cancer, five years, and my first two children. He was a good dog. He died peacefully (thanks to the vet who came to our home to euthanize) at age 17 1/2. Now, almost 20 years later and in a different home, I'm convinced I can feel him in the yard with me and my two border collies when I'm working/planting, etc. To the point I even called out his name one time, the feeling was just strong! Then I took a photo last summer of my house... The collies like to sit in my bedroom window and watch me swim my laps in the neighborhood pool, which is just next door, maybe 25 yards away. My window (fortunately and unfortunately sometimes) overlooks the action. When I did a close up of the shot of my dogs, there was Ranger, sitting right next to them in a ghostly form... And in that area the wall is angled in so there's no actual room for a dog to sit there. It was just his reflection in the window! (also, a woman's face, looks like my Nanny, in a window pane above). We all know your little guy is still with you, but sorry you had to go through that last night.
BaiAnina (3 stories) (41 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2023-05-05)
My heart is broken, just so you know:')
I have two lovely boys of my own and I could never imagine how it must feel to lose them. But you know what they say, animals have an unfortunately shorter lifespan than their human kin as they're angels lent to us by heaven.

The white ectoplasm that covered him reminded me of a concept here in my country, where departed souls appear before their dying loved ones to take them home. Maybe it was Leo's guardian angel, or his long-gone mama cat. If his meows the day after were any indication, I think that means that his "coach" had successfully fetched him and he's on his way to the rainbow bridge.

Hugs to you, Tweed. May your grieving heart find peace ❀
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
+5
1 year ago (2023-05-05)
Thanks everyone, (( ((big hugs)) ) ) to you all.

RCRuskin, thanks for the nice words. You're right, none of us can do 100% what we want. I'm apparently banned from voting you up at the moment as well.

I don't think the debate about animals having souls needs to be had. πŸ˜‰ I'm sure Leo heard me, apparently hearing is the last or one of the senses to 'go'. I don't think animal spirits 'move on' immediately. I've had plenty of ghostly cat experiences in my childhood to indicate otherwise. Plus I think the animals would like to stick around the humans they've bonded with.

In the moments after the white mass I had the impression Leo had fallen asleep. That is to say, I believe his body had reached the point of no return during/after that white mass, the moment of clinical 'death'. But that Leo's soul was still 'there' in his bed and had gone to 'sleep'. Perhaps because of a traumatic death. Or exhaustion from being in a failing body. Or maybe part of some spiritual healing process, don't know.
I felt his presence in that spot until about midday the next day. Then I 'felt' he was happy and healthy somewhere near by. I think he may have been exploring the neighbourhood without a harness lol.

Manafon, pets always break our hearts it's true. That's interesting your Maine Coon did a loud meow thing, that sound is really something else. 😳

I'm sure The Funny will make himself known around here soon too. It was him meowing, I mean I could say it was a dream, but really I think it was him.

I agree animals, like humans, can stick around/ come back to visit whenever they want. When I told Leo to go towards the light it was more a symbolic gesture. Because I didn't want him to think he had to 'stay here' and wait for me to give him something to make him better. I wasn't telling him to 'go to the other side and don't come back' LOL. I think animals are acutely aware of their own mortality for more than we give them credit. Leo was/is a very insightful cat. I'm confident he's adjusting beautifully to his new way of exisiting.

Hi SWS, I'm doing okay now. I've really been grieving behind the scenes as it were for about two months now. I feel the worst of it has passed. Now that it's happened it's pangs of grief here and there, especially around feed times. Thanks for your encouragement. Give your dog a cuddle for me!

Rajine, we're lucky to live in a time where our pets are recognised as part of the family. Generations previous had less accepting attitudes towards pets. Grieving a pet can be exactly the same as grieving a person. I think about pets from my childhood at times too. We never forget them and I think that's a good thing. ❀
Rajine (14 stories) (795 posts)
+4
1 year ago (2023-05-04)
Pets really do become like family, I know what it feels like to lose pets, even though years have went by, I find myself thinking about my previous pets much like I do the people who have passed.
Sleeping-with-steve (guest)
+2
1 year ago (2023-05-04)
Hello Tweed,

I hope you're ok. I don't know what I'd do if I lost my little companion dog.

I'm so sorry for you loss Tweed. My thoughts are with you.

Best wishes,
SWS
Manafon1 (6 stories) (712 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2023-05-04)
Hi Tweed--Really sorry to hear about the passing of your buddy. I've gone through that many times myself and had a Maine Coon that did that super loud meowing thing before she died. I do think that, like some people, cats' spirits can stick around for a bit. I know I've mentioned on YGS before about a customer's cat named Isabelle that I heard meowing loud and strong on 8 separate occasions, starting a couple of weeks after her death. I think she wanted to say goodbye to her "mom and dad," but they were out of town, and I was the one who was there instead to hear it.

I think the meow you heard after Leo passed was him checking in. If you haven't heard it since this account was posted, The Funny sounds like the kind of guy who might stop in to meow again.
RCRuskin (9 stories) (820 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2023-05-04)
May his Memory be Eternal.

Scholars and theologians debate whether animals do have souls/spirits, and if so would they be resurrected at the last days? I like to think they do, and would be. I do not think it is the same kind of soul humans have... Or are supposed to have. Some humans really leave me wondering.

"I kept talking to him a bit, incase he was still in there somewhere." I did extensive research on this, and it helps to be in a city where there exists one of the world's leading teaching/research hospitals, though it is a human hospital. From a biological standpoint, life is just an interconnected web of chemical reactions, and researchers have detected evidence of these reactions continuing for up to 12 hours after "death." (Being the moment when someone is declared to be dead.)

So, from a purely biological point of view, Leopold The Funny Duke of Watford, did here you for certain. From a spiritual point of view, I don't know. I haven't gotten to that state yet. But why would his soul/spirit move on immediately? And from your reports of his meowing the next day, I don't think he left immediately.

I do not think you failed him. You did the best you were able to. Not one of us can do 100% of what we want to; we depend on others to make up the difference. I think the most important thing about the time of death is that we should not hasten it, nor should we delay it. We should try to always be ready for it.
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2023-05-04)
Lady Glow I'm sorry for the loss of your cats too. It sucks so much!

Thanks for your encouragement, it means a lot and I'm still banned from upvoting you lol.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2023-05-03)
Loved, not "oved"! Blame it on my teary eyes!

I had to put down two of my cats in the last two years...it's such a sad thing to go through.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
+6
1 year ago (2023-05-03)
WAAHH!... Tissue warning!

Hi Tweed.

I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure Leo is thankful for the chance to be oved again you gave him.
Having to say goodbye to our fur-babies is not easy.

Don't feel bad for not going to the vet sooner... Perhaps there you wouldn't have been able to witness this interesting mass hovering over Leo... One last present for you.

Thank you for sharing this lovely and bittersweet story with us.

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