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Our Final Farewell
 
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Life story
August 13, 2004
 

Born on August 13, 2004.

The truth is I don't know exactly what day Sky was born. He was found in mid-October and seemed to be approximately 8 weeks old. Since my birthday is August 13th, I thought it was as good a day as any for a kitty birthday and served the proximity of his day of birth. 

July 13, 2008
 

Passed away on July 13, 2008.

Although the following poem applies to human life, still the fact is that with any life what truly matters is the life that was lived between the dash.

 

The Dash
copyright 1996 Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning...to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars....the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spend your dash?

 

February 11, 2009
 

One sunny October day when the sky was as blue as those October skies can get here in Ohio, I approached my front deck only to hear the cries of a small kitten. As I got closer I could see white beneath the step and then...literally out of the blue were those eyes....shining as bright blue as the sky above. Immediately he was named October Sky. I reached awkwardly down through the steps to retrieve the tiniest and mangiest of babies one can imagine. So bad he was that upon picking him up I held him out and made a dash directly inside to the bathroom where I began running water with one hand, holding the flea ridden dirty ball of fur with the other. A flea bath ensued and was repeated the next day as well.

 

I was on the verge of being single at the time so as that situation progressed Sky and I lived here and there. He rode with me in my car, litter box and bowl, wherever I traveled in those days of being near homeless myself. He was quite content to go bye-bye and never left my side for the next 4 years as we had been through so very much together.

 

One day Sky got sick. I knew something was dreadfully wrong...he seemed lethargic and was feverish. I took him immediately to the vet where he was found to have swallowed a good amount of thread or string. I never did figure out where he found it but he underwent surgery immediately and several days hospitalization for peritonitis. He was soooo happy to cxome home and get to feeling better. The doctor told me they'd had to make several intestinal incisions as they went, pulling string out until it would not come and then move up his digestive tract and make another incision and repeat the procedure. He lost one life at least in the ordeal. Life went on from there with much gratitude and ever a close eye on the lookout for any strings, yarn, thread, whatever he might be tempted to ingest.

 

Several years went by. Sky suffered a hemotoma in his ear and some general feline afflictions but remained in good health and was happy being the chief feline of the house...not to mention the two human slaves he owned. 

 

Last summer, July 12th I walked into the living room. My granddaughter had gotten a helium filled balloon a day or two prior and it was high up near the ceiling for awhile. When it had fallen I had not really taken note...but it had fallen and there was Sky, adamantly chewing and ingesting the ribbon that was attached. Oh my God, I tried to calmly approach him with the hopes of extracting it before he swallowed the final inch or two....at least it was not chewed off of the ballon so there was hope of retrieving it. As I picked him up he did it. He took the final bite that broke it off and he swallowed it.

 

Immediately, I called the vet and Sky was in emergency surgery within the hour. It all happened so fast but we were assured he would be fine, we had gotten there fast enough that surgery should not prove terribly complicated as it had the first time around. This time he would be ok and home soon, the vet would call in the morning. Morning came and went, soon it was noon and I was growing concerned...why hadn't the doctor called? Just then the phone rang....I knew when I heard the vet's voice that it was bad news. Yes, he had come through the surgery just fine...he had some adhesions from the last surgery....maybe a blood clot had taken him. There was no real explanation but in the doctor's words, "When I arrived I found Sky expired."

 

That's all there is to the story. Sky gave me more joy and love than any cat I have ever known and I have known quite a few. So there you have it....a short summary of the beginning and the end. In between is the dash. It is what transpired within the dash that stays with me most...those ever loving kitty kisses and unapologetic demands. There will never be another quite like you my beautiful October Sky...and no feline or human will ever fill the void that is left in my heart from missing you.