Forever Loved: Tony

Forever Loved: Tony

TonyI will confess I have dragged my heels on posting this blog entry.

Two weeks after we said goodbye, I still almost can’t believe that our Tony, our tower of love and gentleness, is gone. I am taking comfort that weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning. And, someday, we will see Tony again, healthy and whole and as sweet as ever. In the meantime, here is the farewell we bid him for his Special Needs sponsors two weeks ago.

TonyDear fellow Tony-adorers,

I’m not ready to write this update.

But the truth of the matter is that I would never have been ready to write this update, or to feel this ache.

Our beloved Tony has passed away.

Last Friday, I began to worry that we were nearing the time of goodbye. Tony was quiet and had lost a pound in just three days. Everything about our gentle boy cried out that he was just so…tired. We humans were a flock of mother hens brooding over Tony, hearts aching as we did our best to determine whether he was enjoying life more than he was struggling.

TonyAs much as we wanted to have our Tony with us forever, and as much as we weren’t ready for goodbye, we wanted more than anything to do the most loving thing. After all, Tony himself was all love.

I’m thankful to report that Tony enjoyed two more good, love-full days this snowy weekend. Knowing that his time with us was short, the staff and volunteers surrounded him with all the love he could stand (and that’s a LOT of love, since Tony lives for love…well, and wet food).

But, today, from the moment I laid eyes on our boy, I knew he was hurting. I will confess I didn’t want to believe this could be the end. He could rally again, my heart hoped. He could have another Tony Miracle, like when we first moved him to the lobby last summer. Tony with fellow Community Cat Esme

But this was to be a day for a very different sort of miracle. As I looked into Tony’s wide, innocent green eyes, I knew we had to return the selfless love he’d always shown us. Loving Tony today would mean showing him the mercy he needed most. We humans would never feel ready…but Tony’s tired body and straining spirit were clearly ready to go home.

So, surrounded by people who adored him, Tony gently passed out of this world. Weeping, I stroked his chin for the last time, telling him how much I adored him, how much he was adored by every one of you.

TonyIn our tears, the staff agreed that the world has lost one of its great lights. Tony broke the mold: there is only one cat in the history of time who has been this gentle, this peaceful, this content with life through all circumstances.

I have loved many cats, but I can honestly say that Tony is the single most gentle and loving cat I have ever known. From wild-eyed kittens to Special Needs seniors to humans of every variety, everyone felt at home with Tony, and Tony loved each one exactly as they were. How could we not feel at home with such love?

Even as we weep together, I cling to a hope beyond death. I believe with all my heart that our Tony is now more alive than he has ever been. I believe that Tony is in the place where there is no more crying, no more pain, and no more diabetes or acromegaly. With a full belly and a happier-than-ever heart, Tony is blazing with life and joy. And I believe that we will see him there, and never be separated again. Tony, our love bug

In the meantime, we weep. But we also rejoice at having loved this spectacular cat. Tony’s love has made us all better, more loving people, and Tony’s legacy lives forever.

I will always love you, Tony. Until we meet again…

11 thoughts on “Forever Loved: Tony

  1. Tony you will surely be missed, RIP loving boy. Angela, remember Tony’s journey has just begun, this earth is only the starting point for all of us. As you say we will all be together again. Tony will always be living in the hearts of those he touched.

  2. Tony, sweet boy. I had to move my laptop into a quiet room to properly pay respects to you. Cats DO smile. And Tony was the perpetual smiler. Always happy for even the smallest gesture of love, the pat on the head, a treat. As I will always carry the crystallized moment in time of Erin sitting by the door to the “food” room (and everyone dodging and weaving trying not to step on her tiny body), I will always remember you padding around the lobby, following as I distributed treats to the residents and patiently waiting for your next round of treats (after each cat). I knew I was seeing you for the last time, so we whispered our ‘good-byes’ for now. And you smiled at me and said everything would be OK. You reminded me (as if you had to) not to forget you. And I never will…

  3. When I first started visiting Albert in October 2008, he was in the Special Needs Suite with Tony, and Rhubarb. Whenever I tried to open the door to the Special Needs Suite a paw would fly out of the room. It would be Tony waiting for his next food fix. I had to squeeze through the crack in the door to prevent Tony from running out the door and down the hallway looking for food. As the months passed, Albert and Tony moved to the Lobby. During one difficult visit with Albert, I was crying alot. Tony, who normally ignored me, came over to me that day. He sat right next to me until I stopped crying and I calmed down. With Tony’s passing, I beleive he joined his fellow Special Needs Suite roommates, Albert and Rhubarb, on one big cloud in the sky. Now they can look down at us, here on Earth, watching us miss them so very, very much.

  4. I am so sorry to hear about sweet Tony. It was love at first sight when we visited in December and I watched him secretly sneak into the kittens’ cage in the lobby to try to eat their wet food. He had such a beautiful and brave personality!

    Thank you for posting that nice picture of him and Esme. I know those two kitties are feeling healthy and happy together, looking down on all who loved and cared for them.

  5. Oh my sweet kitty – I remember coming to visit when tony first arrived and he was in a suite with Gabby, Pepper and Amstel…..he was soooooo wonderful. Now he is at peace…..RIP my furry friend

  6. I do not have the words to express my sadness at Tony’s passing, yet my joy at knowing he is in a very special place right now, where he will wait for all of us who loved him. Tony — you were (and always will be) a cat among cats — I adored spending time with you and I was the richer for having been the recipient of your love. Rest peacefully, little love.

  7. My dear sweet Tony, I miss you so much. The lobby is so empty without you and I miss you every single day. You were the sweetest, most loving cat I have ever had the honor to know and love. You were always so easy to love with your gentle ways and your cute little face. Every morning as I walk through the lobby I picture your sweet little face and think of the way you would look up at me, all happy to see me and full of love (and hope for wet food) When I would be the first to arrive in a morning I would always see you sitting by the front door waiting for us to arrive, then you always met me at the door and walked me to the food area so you would be first in line for wet food. Every day I look for you and every day I miss you so much. My life was better for knowing and loving you and I will see you again one day. I love you and miss you my friend. xxxx

  8. I have been so sad about this news. I went on vacation for 2 weeks and literally checked the blog every day. I was so excited to come in last weekend and see Tony, even telling my own kitties “going to see Tony today” on the way out the door. But when I got there, he wasn’t in his usual spot. I walked over, hoping to see him by the door waiting for wet food….but he wasn’t there. I knew he was gone but I just had to ask where he was to make sure….I don’t think I have ever worked as hard not to cry as I did that Sunday…only partially succeeding. I had only met Tony a handful of times, but he truly left a mark on my heart. I hope he is eating all the wet food he can handle right now!

  9. Losing a friend is the hardest thing to do. My heart goes out to everyone close to Tony. I don’t think the lobby will ever be there same. He was just such a big handsome fellow with a lot of presence.

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