At the Rainbow Bridge

“Thirty-five pounds of cats” in my author bio always drew a chuckle, and sometimes emails from readers measuring their pets in avoir-dupois.  Our two cats, Max and Joe, were enough to describe in this goofy way. They were big boys, even when time and age trimmed them down and I had to edit down the poundage.

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They liked being together, or possibly one wasn’t allowed to have a choice sleeping spot or lap to himself. They didn’t divvy up Mom’s lap and Dad’s lap: one was squashed by two cats while the other had none.

Max didn’t follow Joe onto the computer desk, where he supervised the publishing process. How Rocky Ridge Books gets a new story out without Publishing Cat’s direction I hardly know, though we have fewer COK* typos.

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Rather than chronicle their aging, I didn’t revise. Then when the harshest revision happened, and we lost Joe a few months ago, I updated the pet count to Old Man Cat.

Max and Youngerson shared a birthday, or so YS declared when we brought home the adult feline who was approximately the same age.

Youngerson is twenty now. Tall and strong and with the world ahead of him. And Max was twenty, too.

Max was a terrific playmate for two small boys: gentle, tolerant, inclined to stay where he was put. I would occasionally find him wearing little boy shorts, T-shirts, and five socks.  He definitely had an opinion on the wardrobe, you could see it in his eyebrows, but he never once offered to scratch.

They were always special pals in a way that left Olderson out: kitty cuddles were part of bedtime, but no matter whose bed Max was in at lights-out, he was in Youngerson’s bed by morning.  What might have been more room with a smaller boy persisted when the boy grew to six feet tall. “A man and his cat, it’s a beautiful thing,” I would joke when I found Max snuggled up against YS’s neck, and it was.

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Somehow the one space Joe never contested was Max’s territory beside Youngerson.

Olderson grew up and became a dog person and partner to a lovely young lady, and I changed my bio again, from living with two rowdy proto-adults to only one. And of course, with Old Man Cat.

Worn thin with age and medical issues, Max burned through several of his nine lives. He wore himself thinner hunting for his lost cuddle buddy.  Today, they are together again.

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And now P.D. Singer lives with her husband, one proto-adult, and a deficiency of cats.

 

*Cat on Keyboard

5 responses to “At the Rainbow Bridge

  1. I am so sorry for your loss.

  2. I read your post a few times because it’s a truly beautiful and heartfelt tribute to Max and Joe. I hurt for you, your husband, and your sons, especially your youngest. The bond we share with our four-legged family members is unbreakable, and the pain of losing and missing them every day is real, deep, and never ever quite goes away. I’ve been going through this myself. I’m thinking of each of you and hope you all find comfort in believing Max and Joe found each other at the Bridge and are already snuggled and cuddling together, taking up right where they left off. Hugs and love to you all.

  3. I am so very sorry for your loss. **hugs**

  4. What a loving tribute. It’s wonderful how animals can become part of the family constellation, and so painful when we outlast them, as we usually do. Thank you for sharing this part of your family’s journey. ❤

  5. 😦 Sorry for you loss(es).

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