Welcome to KatjeAshleigh's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
KatjeAshleigh's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of KatjeAshleigh
Memories of KatjeAshleigh
KatjeAshleigh Baerch Tweetos Webster Ripley

Kurt and I got Katje from a cat shelter. We were quite overwhelmed when we went there, in mid-January. There were so many cats and all adorable. It was a hellishly hot, overcast day. We walked along the cages and just could not decide. Then Kurt spotted a sleeping black cat in a shed. We went to have a look and this sleek, black animal jumped down from a shelf, stuck her little snout into Kurt's shorts and that was it. She howled pitifully on the drive home, and her little paws found their way out of the box the shelter had supplied. At home, I carried the box into the kitchen, opened it carefully and jumped back - out jumped the sleek, black animal, purring loudly. She was the loudest purrer I have ever known. And she liked to purr into telephones. She used to purr into the phone when I called my mother, who never got to meet my baby. Kurt named her; Katje, after a German liqourice sweet in the form of a small, sleek, black cat. Katje, meaning little cat. The next two days Katje and I spent inside in sweltering heat, she running under the beds at the slightest noise and me running after her, assuring her that I would always be there for her. And how she growled. She was a fighter. Katje had been a stray for more than a year and she'd fight and beat any cat. Soon even the biggest cats in the neighbourhood slunk away and gave our house a wide berth. It took more than a year but eventually she trusted me implicitly and I her. She would go off to bed around ten, sleeping on whatever I had worn that day and then get up at 4:30 to go outside. Then she'd come in again, burrow under the blanket and cuddle up to me. She loved me for three far too short years only. I always think the fact that I loved her too is rather incidental. How could one not love her. I always remember the last day with her. How she lept and bounded in the garden, how happy and full of life. How annoyed she was with the dog visiting in the evening, how she lay in front of the fire and I was once again marvelling at her beauty. How she smiled at me when I let her out. She was beautiful still when I saw her again. But my baby, the love of my life, was dead then. I still feel like howling but my baby was gone then and no howling will bring her back. My Katje taught me what love is. She just loved. I miss her. There has not been a day I did not think about her. I wish and I wish. And even though I do now have little Max and little Rousseau I still miss Katje, that fierce and loving cat. Now that I know she is waiting for me, dying is not quite as scary. I only wonder whether my baby will want me back. The other day I was at a Yoga class and the teacher wanted us to paint a picture of a room we'd like. I painted the house I'd like instead and there were my three cats: Katje, Max and Rousseausie. I wish for that.

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