freezing that frame

my heart is broken.  i said goodbye to my chloe yesterday.

she was my unwaivering companion and confidant. even though her kidneys had failed and her step had slowed, she still looked at me with wisdom and grace and i can only be grateful to have shared in her life.

i wrote the following piece in january of 2001. it’s chloe’s story.

animals exist, even in my earliest memories, as friends, as companions, as fellow travelers on the road of life. the purr of a sleeping cat, the wag of a dog’s tail –- these things speak to me in a way that transcends words — they always have. i guess that’s why i knew, from the first moment i looked into her blue eyes that chloe and i would be friends for a lifetime.

it was a clear autumn afternoon in 1993 and I was working as a veterinary nurse. a client walked in clutching a frightened cat.

“i can’t keep her,” she began, “but i just couldn’t leave her either.”

she continued to tell me the story of the blue-eyed feline. she belonged to a family with four small children who spent their time chasing the cat until she found safety under a bed, too scared to come out for days at a time. an ‘accident’ of unknown circumstance had amputated the tip of her tail, leaving her with a four-inch stub. at some point, her owners decided to free themselves of her burden by promptly escorting her out of their house.

homeless and foodless, the cat wondered to the house of a neighbor – the very person who was now standing before me.

“i hope you can find her a more suitable home,” she said.

i agreed to provide a ‘temporary’ home for the cat – who i named chloe.

very shy and frightened, chloe spent the first week of her stay with me under the safety of my bed. slowly, she began to emerge, sporadically at first, but then with more frequency. eventually, she left the comfort of her hiding place and started exploring the rest of the house. she would soon meet and befriend the other cats, maisy and chester.

needless to say, chloe captured my heart with her kind spirit and forgiving nature. Her ‘temporary’ stay with me became a permanent stay. every night, before sleep, she takes her place at the foot of my bed. we exchange smiles, and as i look into her brilliant blue eyes, i thank her for finding her way into my life and into my heart.

goodbye, sweet girl.  i love you.


6 Comments

🙁

it’s almost like losing a member of your family, I know.

My condolences. I can only wish that more people treated animals with the same love and respect that you do.

Good luck. 🙁

Posted by Otto Mann on 3 May 2009 @ 7pm

so sorry to hear about your lose heather. pets have this funny way of carving out a very special place in our hearts and minds…

goodbye chloe.

Posted by john on 4 May 2009 @ 9am

My heart breaks for/with you, Heather. I know well the special bond you and Chloe shared. She was an important part of our family for many years and we all mourn the loss of her. I love you, hon, and am so sorry.

Posted by Mom on 4 May 2009 @ 11am

you may know the gibran quote “…love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” i think of that in times like these. it makes me feel better to know that it hurts so much because we had so much love.

i’m so sorry that the time came to say goodbye. she will always be missed – always remembered. always with us.

Posted by brook on 4 May 2009 @ 1pm

my thanks to you all. if nothing else, it makes me feel better to know that i am not alone in all this sadness.

Posted by heatherdyan on 6 May 2009 @ 5pm

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