Welcome to Dusty's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
Dusty's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of Dusty
DUSTY: 02/02/96-01/17/07
you are my dearest guardian angel, my inspiration
and..you now share space here with DJ...Patches...and Momma, too.

DJ: 06/17/99-12/06/08
you were named for "Dusty Jr", please learn the magical ways of the Rainbow from your big brother

PATCHES: 04/07/08-10/31/09
my heart is broken, losing you sweet Patches, at such a young age. You are now my "baby-angel"...

MOMMA: Born sometime in 1998 (born as a stray outside) to 04/21/12

EDWARD JOHN MICHAELS: 10/15/1951 to 7/19/2016...I can't believe, Dusty, your daddy has joined you...Take good care of him, and show your daddy the secrets of just how you have kept the magic alive in my heart, my son... Show him all you have learned since you've been at the Rainbow, ok son?


A POEM FOR ALL OF US, as to how not even one tear that we shed is in vain:


The soul would have no rainbow
if the eyes had no tears
is an old Indian proverb
handed down through many years

May you find some comfort knowing
as your tears may sometimes flow
that your grief is not in vain here,
for they're helping something grow

For you see what makes a Rainbow,
is the sunshine after rain;
your baby's passing is a storm cloud,
where your tears fall from the pain.

Take heart for all your tears here,
mix with sunshine up above,
and the Rainbow now shines brighter,
as you've wept with tender love.

So remember as your tears,
may often gently flow,
that each will magically enhance,
your baby's rainbow.

Karen M. Michaels / Dusty's mom (2007)



And Dusty: here are 2 poems in your honor, that I posted here since the time your tribute page was created in 2007. You are, and forever will be, my son, and my dearest guardian angel, beloved Dusty. I will love you forever my "Dut" ...forever and beyond...


" D u s t y ~ L o v e "

.....a poem written by your mommy....in 2007

Perched on my arm is where your chin I thought would always be
but now your fur against my skin is just a memory
You helped me see, to feel, to know when you were here with me
A love so strong, so limitless it had no boundary
You brought me joy, and smiles too, and when my mood was low
you'd snuggle closer to me then and light my heart aglow
Your chin became a symbol, son that all would be okay
You'd rest it on my arm with love each and every day
Your chin to me would melt away my problems and my fears
and bring me love and comfort, and wash away my tears.
So when you left and went away, I should have known that you
would leave behind a gift for me, a special part of you
You left in your chin's place a thing I cannot quite explain
It's imprint though, upon my life forever shall remain
And so I give to others now the things I got from you
your gentle love and comfort, just like you used to do...

--Karen M. Michaels



Dedicated to you, Dusty, on your two year anniversary...
written by mommy 01/17/09

Snowflakes seem to somehow be a sign from you above
sent here to me as kisses, wrapped up with "Dusty Love"...
On special days, they've sprinkled down from you way up on high
...it took my breath away each time, the snow fell from the sky...

The night your ashes got picked up, you "dusted" us with snow
The timing seemed to be a way for you to let us know
that you were there in spirit, as the flakes began to fall
just as we left the vets; then stopped as we got home.

Your one year anniversary, again you stopped on by
with snowflakes falling gently, as kisses from the sky
I went outside and let some flakes, melt sweetly on my face
and felt each flake was somehow sent with your own warm embrace

And then when DJ got so sick, and had to go for tests
and was there all day, for X-rays, as the vet said that was best
When picking him up that night, again, the snow began to fall
I felt your spirit there nearby, with DJ, walking tall.

And DJ since crossed over to the Rainbow there with you,
I cried myself to sleep that night....I was hopeless, down and blue
but the morning after, I awoke to the ground all snowy white
Your spirit told me, "DJ's safe, he made it here all right."

My heart cannot believe at times, the timing of your snow
on special days, the flakes have been your way to let me know
Your spirit's always here with me, on that I can rely....
I'll think of you each time I see a snowflake in the sky...

...................with all my love............mommy...........

Karen M. Michaels


The day I lost you, Dusty, was 01/17/07: You died peacefully in your sleep on the bed while I was at work, curled up at the foot of the bed where your daddy's feet would be. Your daddy got home from work first and didn't realize you weren't breathing until he saw our kitty DJ standing over you, nudging you, trying to get you to respond. Then daddy realized you were gone, he checked on you, tried to revive you...He called me at work, and I cried almost the whole way home in the car. You went with no warning, no sign that morning that you were sick...in fact I remember clearly watching you drink the fresh cold water I had given you that day, and seeing it splash on your pretty pink nose. Your loss hit me so very hard, I was angry I never got to say goodbye, I was numb of the sudden nature that you were gone, and I just cried so much. Daddy paid for and opened your original tribute page for me, and since then, in some ways, it's given me closure...for I have come here not just to say goodbye, but to check in on you, and thank you for your angel wings in my life now. Snow has always been a special sign from you from the night we picked up your ashes, to so many other special dates, as the above poem relates... Just know, my little "Dut-ball", you will forever be "my son" (remember the way I'd call you that?) and I will always feel a treasured and special connection to you. That's why I have Rainbow Connection playing here, for you and I, my sweet son... Thanks for all your love and snuggles when you were with me, you were the most loving cat I've ever had, even now... I will always remember your chin on my arm... Always, my son.

The day I lost DJ: 12/06/08: Daddy and I were living apart at that time in NJ, and he called me the night before and said you were doing badly, DJ. Your breathing was labored; previously they had found spots on your lungs in the x-rays, but your breathing was labored that morning, and your eyes told the story of your pain. You had gone the morning of 12/06/08 and hid in the bathroom, behind the toilet, trying to find a place to "rest"...They say cats want to be alone when they know their time is near...We wrapped you in Dusty's special blue blanket, it may have still had his scent on it for you to get some comfort from, and we took you together to the Maple Shade Vet office in NJ where I lived at that time...We never had to make this decision of putting a cat to sleep before, he and I, but we did that day, and it was so very hard to do...like we were almost betraying you in some ways...but we knew deep down, it was the right decision. The pain in your eyes told us that, it seemed a mixture of pain and fear... We said goodbye while they put the shots in you, and once again, I was numb...At least this time, I got to say goodbye to you, unlike with Dusty... You remember why I named you DJ? You mimicked Dusty who was about 3 years old when we got you as a kitten...so you became "Dusty, Jr", shortened to simply DJ. I so picture you and he at the rainbow; where you will eternally mimick your role model, Dusty...Sleep well there, DJ. Sleep well...

01/17/09 To Dusty: 2-Year Anniversary for you, Dusty. You will always and forever be "my son"

I love you Dusty, and your tufts of fur are sweetly tucked away in the lid of your memorial box. You are my very best inspiration, and I am honored to feel such a connection to you, sweet baby.

10/31/09: To Patches:

My sweet little Patchey-boy, came to you both at the Rainbow overnight, sweet Dusty & DJ. Take care of him, for me, ok my boys. I sit with tears in my eyes, I can't believe my Patches is gone at such a young age...04/07/08-10/31/09....only a year and a half.....and FIP took him from me. I feel robbed, sick at heart, and a mixture of bitterness and numbness. Why? Why my Patchey-boy, my little love snuggler... I'm sick at heart....Help me be strong, my dear Dusty...I need you more than ever to help me through this...

As of today Dusty, the Rainbow now has you, "my son", as well as my DJ kitty, and now....my sweetest baby angel, "my boy", Patches... Patches, you came from a local animal shelter, and all the information I read and was explained by the Vet, says you were likely exposed to FIP within your first few weeks of life, even before I got you at age 3 months. Maybe, Dusty somehow knew, you'd need a lifetime of love in a few short months, so he made sure you became mine. That's one thought that is helping me cope.

11/02/09: To Patches:

Oh Patches, Saturday night, Sunday morning & Sunday night, and again this morning, I cried each time as I was feeding Smokey and Momma kitty. Getting just two little kitty bowls out instead of three, is breaking my heart in pieces... Your dry food, Deli-Cat is still there all the time, but your wet can food feedings in the morning, and at night, is what I so miss, seeing the three of you come into the kitchen. You always were the first one to follow me in the morning. You just "knew" it was time for daddy's coffee, and kitty breakfast time. You knew the kitchen was a very special place, didn't you. I remember sometimes, I'd hear a noise, and turn my head, and there you would be on the kitchen counter. I think you learned that from Smokey. What I wouldn't give to see you on the counter again this morning, as I'd never yell at you, I'd simply go over, scoop you up in my arms, give you a hug, and put you back on the floor.

11/12/09: To Dusty:

Dusty, you are my very best and closest guardian angel. You will forever be my angel-winged inspiration. You have seen me through so much in these last 'couple of years since you have been gone. Continue to stay with me, and allow me to see all the little "signs" you send me to remind me you are my very best angel. And do me a favor, my son...You and DJ, be a big brother to little Patches, now, ok? You'll see alot of "you" in him, Dusty...I sure did, and I miss him so much...

11/26/09: To Dusty, DJ & Patches:

Happy Thanksgiving at the Rainbow, my boys... It's kinda funny, I have the two girls still here with me (Momma and Smokey-girl), and all 3 of my "boys" are together on your side of the Rainbow: my "son" Dusty...my boy DJ..and now my baby angel Patches... I'm trying to be thankful today, Dusty, for everything I still have. I promise, I will always believe in the Rainbow. I will always believe.

11/28/09: to Dusty, DJ & Patches:

Dusty..DJ..Patches..I'm going to try again this year to visit all the fur-babies guest books who passed away in 2009 (and their relatives, too) with a special holiday greeting. I've been trying to do this each year, since 2007. It's my little way of giving back, and "paying it forward" for all the kindness' shown to me here at this precious website.

12/06/09...To DJ:

One year ago today, DJ, you passed on as we had to put you to sleep. You were very weak, tired out, and you were ready. You had lost so much weight, and you hid in the bathroom that morning, wanting to be alone, according to what your daddy told me when he called me on the phone to come over. We were living apart at that time. But you hiding in the bathroom, wanting to be alone, it was totally unlike you. You were ready to go, weren't you....But you are with your "big bro" Dusty, now, and I'm sure you welcomed my Patches "with open paws" even though you had never met him... I still have your mommy with us, and will always remember the day she carried you guys in through the front window in 1999, about a month after you had been born outside. I adopted you & your mom, and gave away all the other kittens. I'm so glad I kept you.

12/19/09: To Dusty (and DJ and Patches, too)

Wow...it's snowing like crazy today, my boys...Hey Dusty, we are supposed to get perhaps up to 20 inches of snow today! I guess, that now it's you, my beloved Dusty...along with DJ, and now this winter season you have Patches, too....I can only expect that with the (3) of you together sending snowflake kisses to me, that we'd get much more snow than normal! I was outside this morning, and just looked to the sky and cried my heart out that my Patchey-boy is gone from me... I ask of you, Dusty, just one thing... teach him well the ways of the Rainbow, ok my son? Patches was my dear little boy, and I miss him almost as much as I miss you... Today, I promise, I will remember each of you in your very special ways as you send your very special Christmas season snowflake kisses to me today. With all my love, mommy.

12/25/09: To my boys

Merry Christmas, my angels!

01/01/10: To Dusty:

Wow...I guess I look back and see that the snow that fell on December 19 lasted the whole week, and we had a "White Christmas" after all because all the snow that fell was still here on the ground... Was that your gift to me? A white Christmas, from you Dusty-and from DJ and Patches, too... Thank you! And then, on New Year's Eve, we got snow again... It's like you guys wanted me to remember the magic of the Rainbow, didn't you? I felt your sweet pink-nosed nudge, Dut-ball... I felt your spirit, saying, "Mommy, please don't lose hope, I'm right here, and I'm still your angel"... For that, I can never put into words how it made me feel when I thought of you that way, my son. I simply looked into the sky, into the falling snow on New Year's Eve day, and said, "I will always remember you, Dusty, I will always believe"...

01/09/10: To my baby-angel, Patches:

Patches, I will never know if you got into something here that you should not have, and that it triggered the FIP that took your life. You were exposed to it before I got you, but I will never know if something here triggered it, or whether regardless of your environment, that it would have taken your life so young. Forever, I will carry guilt around for not knowing. All I can do, is look to the sky, tell you how much I love you, miss you, and how very sorry I am. I will never forget you, my baby... I carry your love next to Dusty's in my heart.

01/17/10 To Dusty, my sweetest inspiration: (from Mommy)

Where has the time gone, my son? Today marks (3) years since your sweet pink nose has been in my life, (3) years since I have felt your chin resting on my arm, (3) years since I've seen you lap up fresh ice cold water from your bowl, splashing little droplets of water on your delicate little nose... It's been (3) years since I have watched you look at snow falling outside, the way you'd catch a glimpse of one snowflake, follow it down from the sky to the ground with your eyes and head with child-like fascination, then start watching another one fall from the sky as though you'd never seen one before... It was pure joy to watch you look at the falling snow-flakes, my sweet Dut-ball. I miss your imprint in my life more than I could ever say... You gave me so much tenderness, so many purrs, so many times I rubbed your chin and you looked like it was the best thing in the whole world, to be right there with me. Today is your special day, my little Dut. Remember how I'd tap the bed comforter (4) times with my hand, and you'd "appear" and come over to snuggle? Oh how I wish I could tap the bed today, and have a visit from you. If I look at today as the (3rd) anniversary of your eternal angelic serenity, then it helps me get through the day. I'll try not to spend all day remembering all the unforgettable events of your last day with us, and I'll try to take heart in the fact that you are and forever will be my very best guardian angel. I will love you forever and beyond, my little Dut-ball. Oh, how I miss calling you that sweet little name, Dut-ball. One day, I'll tap a cloud (4) times, and say, "C'mon up, Dut" and you will appear next to me, and we will float away together won't we?

Today, I promise, I will remember your love, my sweet son. I will always remember your love.

02/02/10 to Dusty:

To my Dut-ball, my dearest guardian angel. Today, is your birthday. I know you will have a glorious time in Heaven. The weather forecast here, calls for snowflakes later in the day. I know today, if there is snow on your birthday, I will go outside at work, no matter how busy I am, and just let some flakes melt on my face, as snowflake kisses from the sky, from you... If you can give me a sign of hope today with snowflakes, I will never forget it, my son...The poem I wrote below about you and snow, is at my desk at work...I will read it today again, my boy. You have my love forever and beyond... All my love, mommy.


05/03/10: To DJ:

DJ -- I'm writing you now about "Momma", your very own mommy kitty. Last month, she had a lump removed from her front right leg, right up near her shoulder. The biopsy we were told was cancer, a very aggressive cancer. Last night, she started throwing up - but I saw a big hairball. Maybe, it's just hairball episode... God, I pray.... please.... please.... not yet, I'm not ready yet to lose her. She's 12, and I do think her time will come, given her diagnosis, but please, not just yet. I picked up hairball medicine tonight at the vet's office, as there's no blood in her vomit, and she hasn't lost weight or her appetite yet, and we "hope" that this is all coincidental, and a hairball will dislodge, and she'll be ok. I shudder to think that her vomiting is a symptom of what is to come.... DJ...just stay close, ok? I know you're watching, and I know you'll be more ready than I when the time comes for me to say goodbye here and for you to greet your Momma at the gate. I got a copy of the biopsy -- plasmacytoma, with a high mitotic rate. It's not good, my boy. Soon, I'll only have Smokey left here. Pieces of my heart are one by one being broken off, and being carried to the RB. I guess if it is true, that tears here make the RB shine brighter there, then you guys should be at the brightest place in the universe from all us furbaby parents. Help me be strong, baby. Ok? And please, stay near your Momma-kitty, ok my sweet DJ boy, keep your angel wings near your Momma...

05/09/10: To DJ:

DJ, it appears Momma's episodes were related to hair balls, as the medicine has cleared up her symptoms. She has lost a little weight, but she seems better. I feel like I don't have the resources that others may have to do chemotherapy, and all the treatments that would come with cancer treatment. Am I wrong? Some surely judge harshly on not doing everything possible, knowing Momma is sick. I just don't have the resources to do all the treatments possible. All I know is that it is heartsickening to see her and know what is coming. But every night, she curls up on my pillow, near my head, and gives headbump kisses and purrs, and I will love her everyday that is possible. So far, she doesn't have other symptoms, and that is a good thing. But when it's Momma kitty's time to go, I won't be able to take it. I just won't. If I have to take her myself to the vet to help her cross to the RB when her time comes, it will rip my heart apart for so many reasons. And you know, son, she is the last kitty we had who knew you, Dusty... she's the last "connection" to you here on this side of the RB as far as you fur kids go.


10/31/10: To Patches:

Today, I remember taking you, Patches, to Maple Shade Animal Hospital, one year ago....you were so sick...and it seemed you got so very sick in so short a time...Wednesday and Thursday you were eating, Thursday night, you didn't want food, and you slept on the recliner in the bedroom...but Friday morning...you were so very weak... and still on the recliner, and not moving...I had to get your daddy ready for a hyperbaric treatment, and for his daily pick-up in the van back then, and as soon as he was taken care of, I rushed you to the vets...they gave you Karo syrup as your sugar was very low, they put you in the incubator...and I left with tears as I so wanted to stay, outside the incubator with you...but was not allowed... I couldn't bear not knowing if I'd see you again...They called later that evening, and said you were still alive, that you had gotten up only once to stand up a short while, and I had hope... but you passed that night... Today, I remember...the feelings of guilt at not knowing you were so sick, of helplessness leaving you in the incubator, and the loss of hope when they said you had passed. At only one and a half years old, this could not be happening! But it was... and you are gone... I have had thoughts that it's not fair; Dusty died in 2007 at home with no warning at all, DJ died in 2008 and we had to put him to sleep, and you Patches died in 2009 and I had to leave you behind in the incubator at the Vets office and you died alone... Each loss has hit me hard in a different way... I'll never forget the last look I gave you in the incubator, so fearful I was of leaving you behind, when all I wanted to do is hold and comfort you... It seemed so unfair... But time has moved on, and I still try to have hope in things, Patchey-boy, but it's so very hard... There are stray kitties near the dumpster, one looks so much like you, I call to him, "Patches".....but they all run and scatter... A neighbor and I, we both feed the strays, and have both tried to get the kitties to come near us, but they continue to run... I just know, your Spirit, just as Dusty's Spirit, Lives On.... I'll always love you, and I'll always remember the subtle difference in your fur...getting on the oily side...was a symptom/sign I had missed while you were getting sick...It was NOT due to my switching foods from Deli Cat to Meow Mix, but rather was a symptom of your illness that I just did not know...until it was too late, and you were gone. I am a fanatic now about feeling Momma's fur, and Smokey's fur, feeling for changes... Momma has tumors, that have recurred...Plasmacytoma...but the doctor says they are likely benign, her bloodwork is Good! I misunderstood in April when she had lumps removed then, as we thought it was cancer...it was tumors, yes, but they were likely benign....from what the copy of the biopsy says....and so now, I feel so blessed to still have her with us...though now the lumps/tumors have recurred, which is not a good sign. But her current bloodwork is good, and she's on antibiotics. We will keep watching closely, and work with the Vet for what they recommend next...Please make sure that you, and my sweet Dusty, and Momma's own dear son DJ all watch over Momma kitty every day, ok, Patchey-Boy?

11/25/10...Thanksgiving Day...Hi Dusty!

Oh Dusty! How do you do it!? Our very first snowflakes falling this year..was on Thanksgiving morning. I went outside and let some snowflakes melt on my cheeks. Surely, it was your special sign to me, wasn't it. I don't understand how it happens, but I know it was a little sign of hope to me this morning, a little "sprinkling of Rainbow magic" to start off my Thanksgiving morning. I said hello to you, to DJ, to Patches, and yes, to Charlie and Caleb, too. Oh, I can't thank you enough for the sprinkle of snowflakes, and the hope it keeps in my heart of all that is the Rainbow.

12/06/10: For you, DJ (My Dusty, Jr...as you so mimicked Dusty when you met him)

2 years today, DJ, you crossed over. You were going downhill so quickly, had lost weight, you were frail. You were hiding in the bathroom that morning, behind the toilet, something you never did... You were hiding, you were ready to go, weren't you. We took you to the vets that day, and decided it was time to let you meet up with Dusty again, time for you to put your sickness behind you. You and Dusty let me wake up the very next morning with a blanket of snow on the ground. I'll never forget looking out the window with tears in my eyes that next day, as snow has been Dusty's very special sign to me since he crossed over. And there was snow; telling me DJ crossed over ok, and made it to the Rainbow with big brother Dusty....Keep the snowflakes coming, okay my boys? DJ, I know you met Patches, too. He came last year. Though you never met here on "my side of the rainbow", and he didn't know Dusty here either, I just somehow picture all 3 of you together there, awaiting the day we are all reunited again... You will not be forgotten, DJ. I promise, okay?

01/17/11 To my very sweetest angel, Dusty:

(4) years ago today, you went to sleep on the bed, and never woke up. No indications you had been ill, nothing to prepare us for your loss. Daddy had found you while I was at work. When he called me, I couldn't stop crying the whole drive home. I'm sad you are no longer here, but the sadness doesn't compare to the joy inside me for all the memories you gave me, all the love and snuggles you provided, and all the times you laid your chin on my arm. You were the dearest and most gentle kitty I've ever had! We had you from (5) weeks old, and I'm sure that's why...we bonded so closely, didn't we... Happy Heavenly Anniversary, Dusty! Forever "my son"......and to update! Oh my gosh! I cannot believe this! It's 9:30pm here in NJ...and it's snowing on your anniversary day! I don't know how you do it... I simply don't know how...but I went outside, looked up in the night-time sky, and let your snowflake kisses melt on my face into the sweetest of happy tears that you gave me this most beautiful sign today. Truly...as my poem says..."I think of you each time I see a snowflake in the sky..." You were the best kitty I've ever had, and somehow, through the magic of the rainbow, you continue to surprise me with your love from above. I have said it before, and I mean it even more today...I promise, I'll always believe! How can I not, my angel... Thank you for your snowflake kisses, once again!

Tuesday 09/20/11: To Dusty, DJ and Patches--I have since moved to Nebraska with Smokey and Momma...and now I have a very special Rainbow request

Dusty, DJ and Patches, I have a very special request: to watch over Momma kitty during surgery. DJ - this is a very special request to you, sweet kitty. Your momma kitty is going in for surgery for plasmacytoma wounds to be removed and then the areas to be stitched up. Keep your angel kitty wings near your momma during surgery, okay baby? I promise I will take as good a care of her as I can, just as she did for you when you were a little kitten outside. Remember that boring parasite you had in your neck when you were just a few weeks old? I didn't think things looked good for you then, yet you made it through surgery just fine and lived a good long life. So you just keep a watch over your Momma kitty during surgery, okay baby? Stay close, my Rainbow babies.

12/05/11 Momma Update:

Momma is still with me, thank you for watching over her, my angels! Her lumps were removed; and new ones are growing back. Those Walmart Garanimals baby jackets that zip up work great to cover her lumps so she doesn't pick at them with her teeth... But I'll have to contact the vet again this week... And thank you, Dusty...Why? I've seen my first snowfall this year, and my heart just knows you are sending your snowflake kisses to me, aren't you baby? I got each and every one!

01/17/12: To my precious Dusty:

I smile ear to ear today on your 5 year anniversary, Dusty. Not because of your loss. But because of me going to sleep last evening, knowing it was snowing on your anniversary eve, and waking up to a dusty-coating of snow on the ground here this morning, on 01/17/12. I moved to Nebraska in 2011, and you "found me" even here... For me to have such a sign, as it is only the 3rd time it has snowed this winter season so far here, I feel blessed, so very lucky, and oh so humbled in a very real way to feel as though I have such a guardian angel as you watching over me, making sure my heart still feels the magic of the rainbow, and the wonder and touch of Heaven itself. For this unmistakable sign to my heart, I say thank you. To you, my most special Dusty, and to you, DJ, Patches, and to all my other guardian angels, including my beloved mom and dad, I say simply this: your love will remain with me forever. I will always believe. Always. Thank you.

04/21/12: Goodbye today, to Momma kitty...with tears and overwhelming sadness...

With tears and overwhelming sadness, I had to say goodbye to "Momma" kitty today. She had plasmacytoma that finally metastasized, and marble-sized spots were seen on both lungs. Her chest cavity was full of fluid, and on 4/5/12 Gloystein's VET in York, NE drained 95 cc of fluid. Then, on Monday, 4/16/12, another 140 cc of fluid was drained. I was hopeful the 2nd procedure would give her another good 2 weeks. But by Tuesday night, she was struggling to breathe again around all the fluid. I was told they could only do this procedure about 3-4 times, as there is healthy protein in the chest cavity fluid, so to continue to drain fluid, would lead to an unhealthy balance of fluid, and cause her to be sicker than she would otherwise be. So it was finally on Friday night, with tears and feeling like I, too, was struggling to breathe around the lump in my throat, the decision was made to put her at rest. I so wanted her to go with a little dignity, before things got too bad for her. She hadn't eaten much all week, she barely drank any water, and she had labored breathing--that you could hear and see. Her eyes said it all as to how she was struggling. She had the sweetest eyes, the gentlest of purrs, but her eyes were now wide and stressed with pain and discomfort. We took her and I held her in the car ride there, on my chest, and allowed her to look out the window. I told her to please recognize the area, as when she got her angel wings, she'd be better able to find me again. They took her in the back room, and inserted in her left leg an IV area, and wrapped it up and brought her out to us again. Then we had some time with her before they gave her the 2 shots. Her head went down gently on the first shot, and she looked like her struggling was over. Her eyes were open, just as my own mother's eyes remained open. He gave shot #2, and the staff left the room. I whispered to her the same words I whispered to my mom, "it's time to go get your wings". I know in my heart, she joined Dusty, DJ, Patches and now Momma will be shown the magic of the Rainbow from Dusty.

05/02/12: To Momma, and Dusty/DJ/and Patches, too on my birthday today

Momma, was the lightning storm today on my birthday your and Dusty's way of lighting up the sky with white, as it is summer and Dusty was unable to show you how to send snowflake kisses? Thank you for the fireworks, my babies. It was a spectacular show. I have missed you so much, Momma. I still have Smokey and we have Daisy here, too. Smokey is a kitty who likes her independence, doesn't like to be cradled, and purrs so lightly one can barely hear her. I so miss your love, Momma and your purrs, and how you loved to be held, scratched around your head, and how you'd lick my wet hair with your tongue as though I was one of your kittens from so long ago.

05/08/12: to Momma:

My heart believes, Momma, that you are at the rainbow with your very own kitty son, DJ, who passed in 2008 from cancer, and with Dusty, whom Momma and DJ both grew up with. Dusty had been born in 1996, Momma in 1998 outside as a stray, and DJ in 1999 also outside as a stray. But we had adopted you and DJ inside, Momma... And Momma, you knew Patches, too, who died in 2009 at such a young age from FIV. Dusty & DJ were gone by the time I got my little Patchey-boy kitten... But you knew him a short while before he passed. All of your ashes are together here with me, and your spirits are together now on your side of the rainbow. I cried so many tears, Momma, when I see the sun shine on the floor in the morning, as you would always lay down so comfortably in the sun, and then get up and move and follow the sun as it would move across the floor. You would always move to the spot in the sun, as you felt the warmth of nature surrounding you. My wish for you is simple, Momma...that you will forever be in the sunshine you so loved, and feel the very warmth of Heaven that you so craved here. You were the best Momma ever for adopting us in 1999 when you were a stray and had a litter of kittens outside that you brought one by one to our doorstep, carrying them in one by one by jumping in my open living room window. I'll never forget the surprise at wondering what the noise was I was hearing, and coming from the kitchen to the living room and seeing you nursing one of your kittens right there in the middle of the floor! You adopted me then, and you will forever have a home in my heart, sweet Momma. Forever. Remember how I'd sing, "Pretty Momma" to you, to the tune of "Pretty Woman".....Oh, you were so very sweet. And all I'd have to do is look at you and you would purr. You were so full of headbump kisses, too. With the lumps on your legs, I bought you Garanimals baby clothes, 0-3 months, and you would wear the little zippered cloth jackets, to keep you from biting your lumps. I cried looking at them, taking them in my arms and holding the clothes to my heart. It was hard to wash your blanket, but I did. So many things remind me of you. Each tear that is falling from my eyes right now, I hope is mixing with the sunshine there and making your rainbow even more beautiful for you this morning as I type. Look up Momma, here comes the morning sun just for you, my baby.

01/17/13: Dusty:

I can't believe, Dusty that it has been SIX (6) years you have been gone. The weatherman said on the evening of 01/16/13 that there was a possibility of snow flurries here in Eastern Nebraska the morning hours of 01/17/13; with no accumulation. Oh I just looked at your picture on the wall and smiled ear to ear. Just hearing there is even a "possibility" of snow today was enough for my heart to know...deep down...it was you saying, "Hi Mommy!" yet again...I can just picture that you, DJ, Patches and now Momma are together, and you have taught them all the magic of the Rainbow. You know, my heart will always believe. Always. I will love you forever & beyond, my son. Forever and beyond.

12/06/13: to DJ:

I remember you with love today, the anniversary of your passing in 2008. You are with your Momma-kitty, and I know you are both cuddled together in the sun. I send my love to the Rainbow and beyond...

11/27/15: So many changes to my fur family here. I still have Smokey since 2007. Now I have a new feral female, and I named her Momma, also. I adopted her and a kitten of hers born about April 2014. And before I got Momma spayed, she had another litter, and I gave (4) away, and kept one. So I have (4) cats now, guys! Dusty, I know you sent Missy to my doorstep as a kitten, she's so much like you, a love snuggler just as you were... And Momma snuggles on my pillow just like you used to do, Momma. The newest kitten is just CRAZY FULL OF ENERGY, and I can't begin to keep up to her... I still have all your ashes with me, and I keep all my memories of you safe, too. Love to you all at the bridge.

8/15/16: This will be the hardest trip I have ever made in my life; going back to NJ from NE... part of the trip will be a memorial service for you, Ed... I separated from you in 2011... you always stayed in touch; by email, by phone calls... You had been a partial bilateral foot amputee from gas gangrene in 2009 that led to a large portion of both your feet being amputated. I had been separated from you in 2007; and moved back in to be your caregiver in 2009 after your surgeries... It was a rough two years; you struggled with so much, I remember seeing you standing the first time at home after the visiting nurses and therapists worked with you; when I got home one night, you stood up from your wheelchair using the walker in front of you; it was the beginning of your journey to walking again. I cried, and hugged you... I know you'll always remember that. You had such a fierce personality about you; you always made things so dramatic; just dropping the smallest thing on the floor in your healthy younger years, you'd scream loudly and carry on like it was the end of the world; and you never changed or mellowed as years went on. You were fierce in business; larger than life through your career. You had a soft side, too, though... I know you always loved the song, "Reverend Mr. Black" by the Kingston Trio and "Never Walk Alone" that plays here on this site in your memory. On 7/19/16 at 7:44pm, the home phone rang here in Nebraska, it was the Maple Shade NJ police calling to say you had a heart issue; the EMS had used a defibrillator, and were transporting you to Marlton... All I knew is you were unconscious at the time. Little did I know when I called 1 hour later to Marlton, they told me they had been unable to revive you. Why oh why did you leave against medical advice that day from Berlin after seeing Dr. Grant? You had been put on "stroke watch" as Glenn later told me. Your potassium was dangerously high; they told you to stay for dialysis; but you decided to leave and go home; and go to your regular appointment the following day. You drove all the way from Berlin to Maple Shade, but you never made it in your apartment; you got out of the leased Ford Escape from Holman; and fell apparently to the ground that evening... During your healthy days; your business persona was unstoppable; you didn't take no for an answer to a sale, you kept following up; you were persistent... You made conversation with everyone around you an art form; anyone who knew you, knew it was virtually impossible to have a 5 minute conversation with Ed Michaels; you talked on and on; you were a story teller through and through. That's why you liked Harry Chapin so much, is my guess, he was a story teller too, and the way Bruce Springsteen described him, that 20 minutes later, Harry would still be talking, was the way I'd describe you too... Strike up a conversation with Ed, and plan to spend at least 30 minutes talking to you... It's who you were...a talker... your voice is silenced now; you'll rest forever atop your mom at Lakeview; I tried to do right by you since you had no family of your own... My heart pictures, you have been renewed in Heaven; and there, with others who have gone before, such as Tom Cosans, Drew Preis, your parents, my parents, Sonny, Lois, Linda, Gunny, Pete Amico, and so many others, that you will now proudly "walk on" but now, no longer alone... Hold you head up; Ed... Walk On, perhaps with Dusty by your side...

From Mommy to Dusty, DJ and Patches.....and now, my beloved Momma:

I love you all, and miss all of you in such different and unique ways. I will remember the way each of you touched my life in such a special way.

Dusty...you snuggled with me almost everyday, with your chin resting sweetly on my arm... I can't begin to tell you how much I miss the imprint of your chin there...It was your favorite place to lay...and probably one of my favorite feelings in the whole wide world...You are my dearest inspiration, the best cat I have ever had.

DJ...You looked so much like your Momma-kitty, sometimes I had to look 2 or 3 times to tell you apart...I would still think of you when I looked at her when she had out survived you, but she's getting older now....Stay near her, okay baby? (A heartbreaking update as on 04/21/12, Momma crossed over to join you, DJ--take good care of your Momma, just as she took care of you here...)

Patches...my heart, is just so broken in pieces that you died so young. I feel like the hope and optimism I have always had is little by little being crushed. I miss desperately the way you'd wait until I laid down, either on the couch, or in bed, and you'd suddenly appear as if out of nowhere, to snuggle on top of my belly, curling up like I was your very own personal warm blankey. I was your "safe place" from Smokey, wasn't I... She would always use you as her little play toy... But Patchey-boy, you just don't know how I cry to have you back...

Momma...you adopted me in 1999, with your litter of kittens that you carried one by one into our home. You carried yourself right into my heart that day, and there in my heart is where you will always be. Remember how you'd lick my wet hair; just like I was one of your kitten babies. You were such a good little hairdresser to me. Thank you for your love and tenderness, Momma. I will always carry your love with me, and always remember you in the sunshine here.

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