Forever Loved: Nimbus

Forever Loved: Nimbus


Winnie the Pooh said it best: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

I have known Nimbus since the day he was born to a feral mother cat in my barn. It was a wild and crazy storm that day, which is how Nimbus, and his sister, Hailey, got their names. We put the 2 tiny kittens into a crate to lure their momma, and we caught her very quickly. I brought the whole family inside, set them up in a spare room, and let momma do her thing. She was a good mom to them, but hated humans. She was fiercely protective, and whenever I wanted to get near the kittens I had to face off against momma.


Right from the beginning, both kittens had problems with diarrhea, Nimbus worse than Hailey. Over the months that followed I tried everything, from various special diets to lots of different medicines. Nothing helped. After two years, the now-grown kittens came to Tabby’s Place. I knew there was nowhere better in the world for my babies, and I wanted to do the right thing for them.

Hailey’s diarrhea cleared up, but Nimbus had an ongoing problem. A colonoscopy showed he was born missing part of his colon, which explained his constant diarrhea. For the past few years he has been on various medicines and a special diet. For a while he was doing well. Although he still had diarrhea, he looked great (as you can see in these photos, courtesy of our wonderful volunteer John M) and seemed happy.

Over the last few months, however, Nimbus’ health woes started to catch up with him. Even our most heroic efforts — from specialists, to a fecal transplants, to every medicine we could try — failed to help. Nimbus was having serious malabsorption problems, and no matter what we did, he kept losing weight.


With no hope in sight, we made the hard decision to let Nimbus go. He was uncomfortable, and it was only getting worse. With a broken heart I went to say goodbye to my boy. I brought him a handful of treats and two plates of Fancy Feast wet food. He has been on a special diet most of his life, so he loved getting “junk food”. It was the second-to-last thing I could do for him. The last being laying him on my lap, petting him, and telling him I love him and will miss him. He passed very peacefully, surrounded by staff who love him.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to the fur babies we love. In fitting timing, Larry, awesome Tabby’s Place volunteer, sent us this following note about an experience he had:

“Recently I transported a Tabby’s Place resident to the specialist for a medical appointment. Upon arrival, I observed a lady in the waiting room with a loved animal companion. With a loving understanding, I knew that she was there to say goodbye, letting her beloved companion cross over the Rainbow Bridge.

“Other people in the waiting room would not even look at her, as if to say, if I get too close your sorrow may attach itself to me. So please, keep your distance. Not being able to do that I told her, ‘I know your sorrow. I have been there.’

“Reflecting on the loss this lady knew caused me to remember kitties I have loved. The pain of their loss was still overpowering. My tears flowed like water. Then something happened I didn’t expect. The pain lifted, and a smile lit up my face. The sorrow was gone. The love is all that I remained.”

Thank you for those words, Larry. We all know, and understand, the pain of losing our beloved babies.

Goodbye my Nimbus. I will always remember you and love you.

Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end. It simply means I’ll miss you until we meet again.

PS from Angela: It is with tremendous sorrow that I must add that, since Karina penned this post, we have lost both Jean Valjean and Ivy — one loss somewhat expected, one utterly shocking, neither easy by any stretch of the imagination. We warm ourselves at the hope that love remains and love will rise together with our lost ones.

5 thoughts on “Forever Loved: Nimbus

  1. I would also like to extend my deepest thanks to Larry for his words of love. A few weeks ago we had to let our beautiful Angel Rose begin her journey across the Rainbow Bridge. She was a tortoiseshell tabby and was 15 years, 2 months, and 2 days old. My Angel Rose was always a bit on the skinny side. However in early May it became painfully apparent she was far past the “skinny stage”. She was barely able to eat but would spend hours drinking water. We took her in to our vet and had tests run. The results were not unexpected – her kidneys were failing. We tried sub-Q fluids but the degree of dehydration continued to increase. Our vet then gave her two different medications to help stimulate her appetite. That evening she was able to eat two teaspoons of wet food. No one had to say the words – we knew she was starving.

    The next morning we made the difficult decision to let her go. Our vet was fantastic. He said he and his team would help us with whatever course of treatment we would like to follow. We told him we felt prolonging the situation would only cause Angel to suffer more which we did not want. Dr. Harrigan fully agreed with our decision and said what we were doing for Angel Rose was the best gift we could give her. We had her privately cremated and her beautiful wooden urn now sits with those of five sisters, who had crossed the Bridge before her, on the shelf of honor in the room which had previously been Angel’s very own room.

    I truly believe being pet parents is one of the highest honors one can ever be given. Angel Rose – we will never forget you and words cannot begin to describe how proud and blessed we are to have been your loving parents.

  2. Heartbreaking, yet so filled with love. Karina, you gave Nimbus (and every other cat your loving hands touch) SO MUCH life and SO MUCH love – more than he ever would have known had he not been brought into your life. Larry – your beautiful words have made me cry with both sorrow and joy. To everyone who loved Ivy and Jean Valjean – their time was too, too short but so worthwhile. Rest in peace, all you little loves — UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN.

  3. Nimbus and his long time suite Hawkeye were two of my favorite T.P. cats. It was very difficult to see Nimbus fail over these past few months. I will try to remember that another volunteer took Nimbus outside in the Solarium and Nimbus came out of the Igloo while I was there. NIMBUS I hope you have found your friend HAWKEYE and you are both running free of pain and illness in a field together. I will miss you and the others who have recently passed away around the same time as you did. Love you always and furever.

  4. I hugged my Trickster especially long this morning. Everyone, hug your loved ones, furry and human – they are so precious and add so much to life. Thank you, Karina, Karen, Larry, Angela, Gilroy Catmom, JB – and Tabby’s Place. Love is forever.

  5. I read this way long after dear Nimbus passing and hope the love has pushed back your tear but we always remember. I think back on my dear furs who have passed and left deep paw prints across my heart. They will live forever as long as love endures.
    I bestow my small blessings on you all for all you do for those who would not have a chance of any life without you.
    My own dear Rumpy had a bowel issue that was never diagnosed and caused both him and I much distress. Me at worry and he at the stress of a wash which he so hates. He has learned, with many treats and praise, to allow a nice wash of his bum and thankfully this problem has lessened. Now another, Feline Asthma, has taken its place. This I fear is much worse and I will do all I can for my dear fellow who meets me daily as I come in from work with deep purrs of appreciation for a head rub and all the attention I can give.
    Thanks so much for all you do
    Dad Pete

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