This past Tuesday (9/15/2009) was the 1oth anniversary of the day on which we let Tabby go. My wife and I left early this morning to make the 60 mile drive to the cemetery where he, along with three of our other personal cats, are buried.
As always, visiting Tabby’s grave brought an incredible rush of memories, happy, as well as painful. Tabby brought such joy to our family for 15 years. He was the perfect combination of the wild and domestic sides of the cat: he was an indoor-outdoor cat and an avid hunter, but he was a gentle lap cat to our family.
Over the years, he quietly wormed his way deep into my heart and turned me into the cat lover I am today.
I also vividly recall the pain upon hearing his terminal diagnosis of cancer and how difficult the next four months were for me. I felt as if I were walking underwater. Common everday activities became inordinately difficult. I didn’t know how I was going to go on without Tabby. Frankly, I often thought that I didn’t want to go on without him.
I was desperate to find a way out of the pain I was suffering. After much soul searching I decided there was no way “out,” only a way that led me deeper “in.” Rather than run from knowing, caring for and, inevitably, losing cats, I would dive in head first. This was the birth of Tabby’s Place.
I will never be the same without Tabby. I miss him every day of my life. Whenever I care for a sick or scared cat at Tabby’s Place, I know that I am also caring for Tabby again. One day I will be with Tabby again. I will pick him up again and hold in my arms. We will be together forever.
Until then, there are lots of cats that need help.
9 thoughts on “The 10th Anniversary of Tabby’s Death”
Jonathan – The legacy that you created in honor of your cat Tabby – “Tabby’s Place” is something for you to be very proud of and I’m sure that Tabby is looking down at what you have down and is very proud of you. I wouldn’t doubt that he is the official greeter at the Rainbw Bridge for all the cats whose lives you have touched. You may miss him now but you will have eternity to make up for lost time.
Tabby was a beautiful cat…I’m sure he is quite a celebrity at the Rainbow Bridge with such a legacy behind him down here. My sympathies to you and your wife on your loss but my sincere thanks for turning that loss into such a beautiful labor of love for cats in need of love and care.
Tabby’s life brought love, hope and life to so many other cats. What a loving and lasting tribute Tabby’s life created.
Who knew the day Tabby waltzed right into your living room and sat in your spot that he would change the world with you? It’s amazing really – an ordinary day can seem so, well, ordinary at the time.
We are never the same when our loved ones leave us – we pick up the pieces and try to love again, despite the pain. I am so grateful that you picked up the pieces, found your calling and made all of this possible.
A toast: to Tabby, Jonathan, Tabby’s Place and all who walk its halls, both feline and human!
Oh, Jonathan — today I realized that I can no longer read these blogs while I’m at work (this one simply made me cry!)…just look at what your love for sweet Tabby has done — without Tabby, you would have never found your love of cats…without Tabby, you would never have taken your unbearable loss and turned it into something so special…there would have been no Tabby’s Place…cats like Grady and Freda and the other 700+ that YOU have saved would never have known peace, safety and love. What a tribute to one little cat — and one very special man (my hero!) who took his pain and turned it into something wonderful beyond words. Please remember — “earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal!” Thank you, Jonathan, and thank you, sweet little Tabby — for the legacy you have created!
Oh Karen – you are so right. Fortunately my cubicle is back in a corner so no one had a clue….. Jonathan, thank you so much for sharing both your story of love and life with Tabby and the legacy that wonderful love has created. We lost our calico Pixie Lou in 1999, April 2nd at 4:30 pm to be exact. The circumstances are still unbearably painful and often times I wish I could forget the scene. But it was thanks to Pixie and the love and companionship she gave me that I became involved in rescue. That role has evolved over the years since then to where I am now – making and donating free cat and dog collars and leashes to rescue groups around the country. I first found the Tabby’s Place web site after you finished the permit process and before ground was first broken for the sanctuary – a place which is truly heaven on earth for both felines and their adoring human beans alike. I count the days until the next set of updates come out for the six special needs furballs my husband and I help sponsor and their pictures are posted all over the walls of my cubicle at work (phone listings and task schedules are relegated to secondary status in a binder in the overhead cabinet). I wholeheartedly agree with my fellow bloggers – Tabby was one incredible loving kitty who has made life for hundreds of other furballs and the human beans who love them so much better. Eternal thanks to Jonathan and Sharon and Tabby.
That was just so beautiful. I’m speechless….
Gilroy catmom – thank you for all you do – people like you also make this all possible. And I’m sorry about your loss of Pixie Lou (a unique and cute name!)
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