Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reflections and the Rainbow Bridge

Tully, age 12 and Dante, age 6 weeks
Grief is an old friend. We've had many, many cats and a couple dozen are buried on our property. But the passing of Tully hits especially hard.

In the mid nineties I lived a very different life. I had just begun my Pagan path, and was not on speaking terms with the Christian God. I had crawled out of my fourth, and very abusive marriage. I had disowned my biological father due to his toxicity in my life. I had found yet one more knight in shining armor, who later proved to the most abusive of them all. I finally gained custody of my sons, and was desperately trying to keep them with me. For a couple of years things looked rosy. It was during those years that Tully came to be.

A few years later I lost my grove, my friends, my sons and all hope. It was one of the darkest times of my life. The knight in shining armor turned out to be a very dangerous sociopath and his extreme charm and manipulations had everyone believing his stories. After destroying my life, he went on to destroy even more lives. But that's an entry for another day. The cats were the only constant in my life. Their need for me, for affection, for care, for cat food, kept me going when I wanted nothing more than to give up.

With no where to go, I moved into The Fiber Geek's basement with my sixteen cats, including Tully and his littermate, Temptation. Later, the cats and I moved to North Carolina and eventually into the trailer I now share with Cameron. I think part of the reason I grieve Tully so deeply is because he represented a tie those days when my sons were with me, when my eldest son had not stopped talking to me, when the world was still filled with those possibilities of normalcy and family. Losing my cat is like loosing the hope I've carried all these years of a strong connection to my sons, to my grandchildren. The years move on, and the distance between us grows. And I've no power to change it.

Looking back, I saw the symptoms of Tully's illness. But my income is half of what it was in the nineties and cost of living has doubled. Vets and chemo are not an option. So we've loved Tully while we had him, and he was utterly devoted to us.  We went to the vet a few weeks ago for antibiotics, and he gained weight. He's spent every moment he could in my lap at the computer or on the bed. I think he's known it was almost time, and he poured out his affection. He's always been affectionate, but these last few weeks even more so.

Yesterday he didn't find his way to my lap. He slept most of the day. Today he refused food. This evening, he crossed the rainbow bridge. 

Tully has been a life lesson to this old, disillusioned witch. He was determinedly cheerful to the end. Indeed, he was the most joyful cat in the house. Only a couple of hours before he crossing, he was "smiling" with his customary cheer. He went swiftly and easily, and is buried beneath the pussy willow.

 Son of Brom, son of Isis, I give the cat goddess Bastet thanks for your life and your joy in living. I miss you desperately. May you please find your way back to me with the turn of the wheel. So mote it be.


  1. I am going to miss Tully so much. He was a cat of great cheerfulness and love, and affection. I treasured his easy ways, and snuggling joy. It was so hard to see him pass, but the cancer was a hard thing, and it was a good thing for him to go on, to be done with the illness, even if it was hard for us to witness. I know our finances are tight, but as the vet pointed out, the cancer he had would not have been stopped by chemo or radical treatment. So we took him home and spoiled him rotten and loved him with all our hearts, as he loved us. He shared every minute of the last days of his life with us. And I am grateful and blessed to have known him.

  2. I'm so very very sorry..I'm sure Tully is riding first class with the Goddess in her Chariot ...