Remembering 2010 - my cats (The tears and the Smiles)

by Mary
(North Carolina, USA)

Callie ( Sadly Missed)

Callie ( Sadly Missed)

The year 2010 was a difficult one at my house.

I lost 6 of my special Cats this year and the heartache remains.

Callie (12 years old) in January to Breast Cancer
Snickers (Age 14) in February to Kidney Failure
Rocky (16 years old) in June to Cancer
Lola (only 3 years old) in June to Spinal Cancer
Big Ozzy (10 years old) in October to Colon Cancer
J.J (8 years old) in November to Bone Marrow Cancer (He was Also FIV +)

Although they are gone in body, the spirits and memories of each of them will live on in my heart for as long as my memory serves me well.
Each one bought their own unique personality and attitude into our home which made it a place where there was never a dull moment.
I still have trouble getting up everyday and NOT seeing them gather around their food bowls or waking up and not having them flocked onto my bed as we all slept.

Sometimes in the shadows of the night, I think I catch a glimpse of one of them walking past me or I catch a scent of their fur (each had their own little sweet scent)as I close my eyes to sleep. But in the morning light, I realize they are not here anymore. Oh, I have no doubt that they are all looking upon me daily and sending me little messages of encouragement to (LIVE MY LIFE and continue to save other cats in need) as I once saved them.

I can just hear Snickers now (she was my Tortie with TORTITUDE!
"Mama, stop that whining, get out and rescue another kitty and give it all the love you can and BE HAPPY! (She always was an Alpha Cat, Bossy and Verbal) but I loved her so.

And Lola (my sweet little socialized Feral) I can her her saying
"Mama, you did a good job with me and my brother Billy. Continue to love Billy and go out and save another Feral from the harsh life that we Ferals live BEFORE being rescued and socialized.

And my Dear J.J (HE was my FIRST FIV positive Cat)
I can hear him saying: Mom, I know that my FIV status scared you to death but I am pleased that you did your research and learned that FIV positive cats are not lepers and can live LONG lives with proper care and love. So go out and find a deserving FIV positive cat who is in need of a forever home and take it in and love it as you did me. (NOTE: The FIV was not what took J.J, It was Cancer)

They ALL speak to me in spirit and send me little messages of encouragement and I know they are always with me and guiding me through this rough path of cat rescue.
But in the end, although when you lose them, the heartache is great, the memories that remain are priceless and irreplaceable.

I am also thankful for my remaining cats that are still with me and healthy and happy. They bring much joy to me each day and are the reason I wake up and strive each day. They ARE the source of my will and strength on a daily basis.
THEY are my children and could not be more so if I had given birth to them myself.

They bring joy and happiness to each moment of my life and I am at peace when at home cuddling with each of them. I am almost 60 years old and the things that use to thrill me are no longer a priority in my life.
My cats have moved into that spot of my heart and took over.
When I am on the road working, I am forever thinking of them and counting down the moments till I get home and pull into the drive and see those little whiskered faces peering out the windows as if they are saying " Yeaaaaa, Mama is home"

So as 2010 comes to a swift end, I am remembering the ones who have gone on and thankful that a higher power allowed me to be OWNED by the remaining batch of Cats that are with me.
My goal for 2011 is simply this:
Continue to rescue cats in need that cross my path.
Help struggling families who cannot afford it to have their cats spayed and neutered.
I plan to start a local FIV Positive Awareness Group to educate people on FIV Positive disease and how WE ALL can help these NEEDY Cats.

Most of all I plan to be HAPPY for WHO God has allowed me to become and for the little furry blessings that he has placed into my heart and home.
I pray for the health and well being of each of my remaining cats as well as ALL cats in the world. I know I cannot save them all but I am SURE GOING TO TRY!!!!!
As long as there is breath in my lungs and a beating heart in my chest, I will be a CAT RESCUER and will be happy knowing that I was placed on this earth for this very purpose.
Happy New Year to each and every one of you and your cats.
May 2011 be a year of happiness and much PURRRRRRFECT Love.

Mary in NC, USA and her Feline Family

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