Welcome to Sylvester's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Sylvester
This is my first kitty. He was born to life on August 1, 1996 and born to eternal life on January 2, 2014. I hope he's hanging out with my grandfather who loved him and his cuddle buddies (kitties-I referred to them as the Three Amigos) that passed before him. I know he is at peace now and not suffering for my sake. He tried to hang on... He was 17 years, 5 months, and 1 day old. He lived a long, happy life.

My husband has been so helpful and he is also grieving, but he's just so much tougher than me when it comes to things like this. We are getting his paw print and an engraved box for his ashes. Sylvester was SO TRYING to hang on. He laid in one place for over four and a half hours. I'm glad we took him to the vet. His kidneys were shutting down, he developed a heart murmur, and his heart was was racing. He could barely move and he was so pale. Even I noticed that. The vet said that he wouldn't have made it another 24 hours even if we put him in the hospital. I think he was hanging in there for me, or is that egotistical? I was just always trying to help him with his cancer and his arthritis. He lived for two years with his cancer. He was my special baby. He always cuddled on me, slept in the crux of my arm, and rubbed his nose on me when I said "kissy." What am I going to do now?

The last few nights even, when I knew he was struggling, he slept in the crux of my arm with his head on either me or the pillow. I am so going to miss that. He was also the ONLY trained cat I had. He would come when I called, he listened to me.

He was always so playful and friendly. Everyone loved him. If new people came over, he would climb up on them and sit in their laps like he was saying, "You're okay. I like you. So like me." And they would. People always said he wasn't like they thought cats should be.

I have had other cats and still have two tabbies, but Sylvester I have had the longest. He's outlived so many of my other poor babies: his sister Maxine (same birthday, but passed on 12-10-11), Thor (passed on Thanksgiving in 2008), Thor's brother Cosmos (who died at 6 months while being neutered due to a condition not found until after his death), Luna (who passed on November 15, 2006 of FELV and was only two), Sable (whom I rescued on a cold, wet March day outside the school I was teaching at and she was pregnant. She passed about 7 or 8 years ago, I'd have to check and just can't right now), and Nako (one of Sable's babies that only lived a year because of a liver condition. All four of her babies stayed within my own family, one with mine, two with my sister, and one to my mother. But they are all up in heaven with their mommy again). So, Sylvester has a big family. Plus, he's meeting new friends.

He loved to play outside in the summer, but I never let any of my babies outside without me there. He would even sniff the flowers in my many gardens. I am going to miss gardening with him by my side. He would lay there when I garden sometimes. He just loved to be by me it seemed.

He also loved fresh catnip. I would grow it in my gardens for him especially. My other cats do like it too, but nowhere near Sylvester. He's get so spastic on it and leap around like a bunny sometimes.

He would protect all the baby cats from another one of our cats whenever a new kitty entered the household. Unfortunately, he outlived all of them. I do have all more former babies on a shelf in my family room. And, he was always by me as if he were protecting me too.

My cats were not outdoor cats, but they, including my Sylvester, loved laying in the sun and eating grass. He, along with the others, would also love to come in and throw up the grass on my carpets. My neighbors are and were amazed at how my cats stay in the yard most of the time. If they did get curious as cats do, they didn't go farther than a neighbor's yard. And Sylvester would leave if he saw a neighbor and wanted to go say, "hi!" He did that a lot. All of my nearby neighbors knew him. He always came back when I called. I'm still working on one of my babies that is alive, but he's still young.

He was also so very curious. He had to be into whatever I was doing. When I was checking an old outlet we found in our home, he was there with me. So much so, that when the sparks flew and one landed on him and he started smoldering and I freaked, he then of course freaked with me. He jumped so high and landed so weird that he tore his back, left ACL five years ago. I think this is what attributed to his bad arthritis in his one leg. If I was reading, he'd lie on me. If I was on my computer, he'd lay in front of it. If I was grading papers, he'd lay on them. If I brought something new home, he was always the first to check it out. He, in a sense, was like me. I've torn both my ACLs and have trouble in both my knees. Plus, I am also very curious and love and teach science.

Strangely, Sylvester also loved beer and french fries and cereal. He would even eat my home cooked chicken and I'd sometimes just make him some special. He would literally sit by us while we ate hoping we'd let him enjoy some of our food. He didn't get this stuff often because it's not good for them, but once in awhile he was just so pathetically cute about it that I couldn't resist.

He lived such a long, full life that there are just too many memories and my brain is becoming a jumble right now. I have to stop writing. I hope this doesn't mean I am a bad person. I just am having trouble seeing through the tears now.
So, I'm sorry I'm blabbing about all this, but it is helping me get it all out. I am not the type to keep it in. So thank you in advance for letting me.

1-4-2014: Sylvester, you have been gone from the house for two days now. Freya and Gabriel keep looking for you and seem confused. I keep cuddling them and telling them that you are alright now and hopefully they understand. Both of them took a crux of each arm and slept there like you used to the first night you were gone. I actually woke up and thought that one of them was you for a moment. I also saw one of daddy's black and white baseball caps and for some reason I thought you were there. Everyone of my Christmas penguins makes me think of you. You blended in with them so well.

We also had all of my family over for our Christmas gathering because you know mommy and daddy had to go visit your "sister" Stephanie that moved to Pittsburgh a couple of years ago. Stevie cried at work when she heard about you, by-the-way, and her boss actually consoled her. But, back to tonight, the rest of the family all missed you and it was strange because you weren't getting into all the photos that were being taken like you did. We talked about you, but then we'd have to stop because your mommy would start to cry. I'm sorry for that. I know you are much better now, but I just miss you so much. Sleep tight my sweet prince. My pookie. Mommy loves you and always will.

1-6-2014: Sylvester, I am still missing you terribly. You are missing some of the coldest weather we have ever had. It's minus 17, but it feels like -37. So, I am glad I picked you the warm meadow. I know how you loved running around in the yard and my gardens with all their tall flowers that are like a meadow. Your dad and I haven't been doing much because of the weather and it just keeps making me think of you and how I wish you were still here, but I don't want you suffering. It's just your mommy being selfish.

I put your food bowl away the other day. That made me cry. I moved the litter boxes back upstairs now, too. You know I put them in the dining room for you so you didn't have to climb the stairs with your arthritis. I hope you know that I did everything I could to make you comfortable and happy. You must have because you hung around for two years with your cancer and arthritis. I love you my pookie.

1-8-14: Hey there, my sweetie. Today was the first day back to work since you went to your restful place. The weather warmed up to a safer temperature...finally. My students all wanted to see your page. They are wonderful kids and you would have made them all love you. I couldn't read it to them though; I was too worried I would cry. But I showed many of them your pictures. They thought you were cute and handsome and you are. By the time homeroom came around, many wanted to see it again and so did some students from my fourth period that didn't have a chance to. Many this time read it. Many of these wonderful kids cried for you. Many hugged me. I was so glad to be back at work. It kept my mind occupied, but I still thought of you hoping you were happy and warm and playing with your old buddies and new friends.

I also got four sympathy cards for you today. One was from your vet. She was so sweet in her words and she did let me know the exact time of your passing: 5:03 PM, which I wanted to know. I needed to. One card from a woman I work with and her husband had one of the most beautiful quotes I've seen. It stated, "The cat has too much spirit to have no heart." - (Ernest Menault). On the inside of the card it states, "And that heart loved you." It is so true! I knew you loved us so much because you refused to leave us. as much as I was telling you it would be okay, you just kept looking at me and hung on. You were hanging on even though your body was telling you otherwise. You were never a quitter and you went out fighting. You will always be a part of your daddy and me.

1-10-14: My Sweet Baby: You've now been gone for a week and one day. And mommy still cries for you. I went to sleep last night just thinking of you and picturing your face as you would lie next to me or on my lap. I miss you so. I had dreams of you playing. You were happy.

Daddy and I have both been accidentally calling Gabriel by your name, Sylvester. Then we both feel instantly bad. Daddy says we are not getting another kitty unless we know the whole family background of the kitty, which is not realistic, so I know daddy's hurting over you being gone too. You know how he would pretend that you were all nuisances, but the minute I'd turn around, he'd let himself turn into a bed or resting area for you and the others.

Gabriel and Freya have been having the worst fights I've ever seen. You used to keep them in line. Freya, who cried a lot before, is crying a lot more and is even more needy now. Gabriel, who's never gone under the bed a day in his life, was found going under it yesterday, I think because you used to like going there to get your own peace and quiet from the other two. He's also taken up to howling in the night like you used to, only he's a lot louder and has waken me up. I have to go get him like I used to go get you when you'd howl. Why did you do that? Anyhow, I really think they both are missing you. Take care my sweet. I love you.

1-12-14: Hi, my sweet Sylvester. I've had some trouble sleeping again. I've been dreaming of you quite a bit. I don't want to tell daddy because he'll tease me. I have been so tired. I don't feel like doing much lately either. I still miss you so much. Is it crazy to want to keep writing to you? I feel like this helps me. I have been waiting for you to return home in your special engraved box and to get you paw prints. Maybe then I can stop typing so much. I have your whiskers and a chunk of fur that fell out of you a few days before you passed. You will always be part of me and will always leave a hole in my heart. Frolic free, sweetie. Mommy wants you happy.

1-13-14: Sylvester, you finally came home today. And I am crying like a baby again. You are in a beautiful box with your name engraved on it. I have your paw print which will always remind me of how you would whack me in the head or arm if I wouldn't get up by 5:30 AM to be fed. You were my second alarm clock. I will always, always love you so much.

1-25-14: Hi my Sweetie, I am still missing you and crying about once daily. You were with us so long and we were so blessed to have you. You will always hold a special place in my heart. I swear I am still seeing you here and there. I am having dreams about you. We are getting a new kitty today that really needs a new home. Believe me, he will not replace you. I am not going to even name him after you like I would say, but I can't do that now because there is NO CAT that can ever replace you. I still love you. I hope it is warm and sunny and happy where you are. It's really cold still, but at least it's sunny. I wish it would have been sunny at least on the day you left us to be healthy again. You tried so hard to hang in there, but you deserve to be happy and not suffer. Love, mommy. I will still check in from time to time. Bye for now.

1-30-14: Hi Sylvester. How are you, my sweetie? I still think of you everyday. I have accidently called your brother Gabriel by your name quite often. The new kitty, Archie, is getting along well here. Freya still hisses at him. I'm glad we were able to take him in because his owner had to get rid of him. He came into our lives at a much needed time, but he is NOT replacing you. Nothing can. I still miss you so. Keep warm, stay happy, and remember, you are always going to be so loved and missed. You're at peace now. I miss you, but you are no longer suffering. That is more important to me. I love you, sweetie. I always will. Love, Mommy

2-8-14: Hello. my Little Sweetie, I still think of you a lot. I still cry, but not as much. You left so many good and happy moments. I still think of the time you got outside, daddy and I went out, came home, you heard us, and came wandering to us, meowing loudly, from around the side of the house. You were cold, but happy we came home. I was so impressed you didn't wander away and you stayed near the house. The neighbors were impressed on how I trained you to stay in the yard and to follow me, but I just think you were happy with me and didn't want to leave. My proof is how long you fought off the cancer you had. You fought for two years!!! You had such a happy life and made me SO VERY HAPPY! Thank you for blessing me with your presence. I hope you are happy and free (AND WARM-it's still super cold here!) where you are now. Mommy will remember you til the end of my days! I love you. Bye until later. Love, Mommy

2-19-14: Hi There Sweetie Sylvester, I haven't forgotten you. I was sick all last week and had a lot of work to do before final grades were due. This week I am having a several day constant back spasm. You used to so just keep me company whenever I was sick and hurting. The other cats never really picked up on this like you did and I SO REALLY MISS THAT RIGHT NOW! I'm not saying they don't care or anything, but you were SO tuned into me and I just don't know if I'll ever have another pet like you. I really think you thought you were human sometimes. I even remember times when you would sit on the couch just like daddy. Butt in the cushion, legs in front of you and one of your arms on the armrest. I have pictures somewhere and should post them. You were a funny little guy and ALWAYS my baby: now and forever. I love you!

3-20-14: My Sweet Baby, you are still thought of everyday. I still miss you and I am still calling the other two boy cats your name a whole bunch of times. I have had dreams about you. They aren't all good dreams, but in the good ones, you are happy. I am doing better, but I still see you every once in awhile around. I swear that sometimes the new kitty has your soul in him. He does things you do. Then, he does things Thor used to also. So, maybe Archie is a soul catcher. I thought of you today because it's the first day of spring. You used to love sitting in the windows watching the birds that are now coming back. I've been hearing them. I got all the bird feeders mainly for you; you could watch them for hours and then fall asleep right there, in the sun. It's staying lighter later now and you aren't sitting there. I miss that. I hope you have a great window to look out of where you are. I will always miss you. Always...

4-1-14: I was just chatting about you, Sweetie. I miss you still. I miss you snuggling up onto my pillow with me, I miss you lying across my outstretched legs, I miss you waiting for me at the back door, I miss you lying on the steps in the warm sun so that I have to step over you, I miss you whacking me in the face and head to wake up when I don't get up with the alarm or to feed you, I miss you running outside, but always staying near me, I miss you just walking up to new people to welcome them, I miss you puking up the grass you ate, I miss you meowing at me from the window, I just miss your meow. Simply put, I MISS YOU TERRIBLY STILL. There will never be another you. I love you and I miss you. Always and forever...

4-29-14: I haven't forgotten about you Sweet Sylvester, but it's been really not good down here. My Grandma, who loved you dearly too, passed away on April 14 at 4:32 AM. I was just with her in the afternoon and she seemed so well. Daddy and I watched the Brewer game with her and she was making jokes. I was doing her jigsaw puzzle, helping her with her laundry, and I made her lunch. Three to four hours after we left, she was in the hospital. About eight hours after that, she passed away. Please keep her company. I know you always liked her; you liked people so much. I think you thought you were human sometimes. I don't know what to do. This has been such a crummy year so far and I feel so helpless. I, myself, am in a lot of pain and I really don't talk about it to people. Although, I am going into the doctor tomorrow because it is still keeping me from sleeping. I can't even focus on simple things.

Anyhow, I was going through photos for a memory board for my grandmother and came across a bunch of you. I am going to post them when I have a chance and can remember to. I hope it is warm by you because it is still cold and crappy outside here. I SO MISS YOU! I SO MISS MY GRANDMOTHER! I hope you both and my other grandparents and past kitties are just all together. It's probably just a wish because I feel so like I am losing faith in everything. Take care my sweetie and remember I love you always.

5-18-14: Hi Sweetie, I was thinking a lot about you lately. I took your kitty family outside for the first time of the new year. The baby kitty that came along after you passed didn't like it and just stayed in and watched Gabriel and Freya, your baby brother and sister. They loved it. It is finally warm and sunny; the first day like this. Gabriel did NOT want to come in. He actually snuck out again later and I accidentally called him by your name.

I hurt my knee and hip, but you know I did the original damage a few years ago; it's just getting worse. Daddy and I are trying a chiropractor. We'll see. I have to go again tomorrow. It's been hard doing just about anything. Well, because of my grandmother recently dying, I've gotten so far behind on my grading. So I have to go put grades in. I will be thinking of you as always. I love you and always will. Be happy, my little furry love. Hugs and kisses to you. I'm glad there's a place I can write this for you; I wish there were also one for my grandmother. Love, Mommy

8-5-14: Hi there, my sweet Sylvester. I haven't been on in awhile, but it doesn't mean I haven't thought of you; I think of you daily AND I am still calling Gabriel and even Archie now by your name. Did it twice yesterday. Your 18th birthday was on Friday. I am sorry I missed it. I hope you had fun. I still so miss you and it hurts. Well, I finally got up the nerve up to wash your blankets that you used to sleep on when you wanted to be away from the other cats. I still miss you and your voice. You chatted with me daily. Gabriel does it too, but his voice is whinier. I love him to dearly though. You know that. I hope you and all our other little ones that have passed are having fun. Have you found my grandmother yet? It hurts still. I love you always! Love, Mommy

10-24-14 I am still here Sylvester. I've just gotten really busy and I am sure you have been watching over me. I decided to go back to school and get my master's degree...finally. I still miss you and think of you EVERY SINGLE DAY! There is still no cat like you and I don't think there ever will be. I love your "brothers and sister," but they weren't like you. I hope you and my other babies are all happy and doing well. Please know I will always love you. I will. On that you can believe. Sleep tight, Sweetie. Mommy is sending you kisses and your nose is butting my lips back. I miss that.

12-8-14 It's been awhile, but I still think of you everyday. I just finished my first semester of my master's and just started decorating for Christmas. This will be the first Christmas without you in over 16 years. It's going to be strange without you and my grandmother this year. A student of mine even from last year brought up how it was a bad year last year for me today, as sad and true as it was, I was impressed that he remembered. It is going to be hard. It's almost a going to be a year since you've left us. I hope you are happy and are running around with my other lost babies, my grandmothers and grandfathers. I will be thinking of you always. Love, mommy.

12-27-14 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Sylvester. This was the first Christmas in a long time without you or my grandmother. It was really weird...and sad. But I have been busy. I got an ornament on my tree in remembrance of you. It looks just like you. It is right in the middle at eye level. It will be a year that you have been gone from us in six days. I am still so sad. I REALLY MISS YOU! STILL...

1-2-14 Well, it has been a year now since you went away. I still so miss you. It is still hard because I had you SO long. I was dreading today because it meant a whole year. It's been so hard without you or my Grandma here this year for the holidays. Gabriel has so definitely been trying to take your place. He snuggles up with me now just like you used to. He is always around me like you were. Did you possess him? I am crying right now because I still so miss you. I am sorry I couldn't do more to help you. I tried. Did I overdo the medication? I am sorry. Take care my sweet baby. I will always love you. Always...

4-15-15 Hey Sylvester, It's been a long year. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the death of my grandma too. I had a really hard time sleeping the night before and last night. I miss you all so much. I hope you are all hanging out together and looking out for each other. Mainly, I hope you are all happy. And every once in awhile, I still will accidentally call another cat by your name. I miss you so much. I do not cry much, but over you and my grandma I do. Take care my Sweetie. I am Forever Yours.

7-31-15 Hi there Sylvester, I am still thinking about you daily, but I keep busy. I have gone back to school for my master's degree now. Daddy and I are keeping really busy around the house too. Since Spring, we've been doing a lot to the yard. The sandhill cranes still come around and I believe they are the same ones that have been coming around that you used to love to watch. You'd just sit by the patio window and watch the birds, chipmunks, and squirrels. Then those tall cranes would walk into the yard and scare everything else away. (Daddy called them velociraptors with wings. LOL) But they would stay for the longest time and even lay down in the yard. You'd just watch them and I think they'd watch (taunt) you and your brother and sisters. Freya and Gabriel are still here with me and are both really clingy these days. Archimedes, the new baby, is now two years old, but we've only had him for a year and a half. His owner had to get rid of him; so we took him in. You know how we are. We had seven cats one time. Didn't know the stray no one claimed was pregnant. We therefore kept her and named her Sable. She's up there with all her babies. You knew them all. Look out for them and I hope Thor and Cosmos are with you running in the sunny, bright fields...happy. I will always miss you. You were my first baby. You were blessed with a long life, even with the cancer. I'm so sorry I couldn't save you. I love you. Mommy

10-9-15 Hey there, Sylvester. I've been thinking about you a lot lately. Your brother Gabriel is so sick. He is in the hospital right now. Since you have passed away, he has had some issues with his tummy. So, now he's having biopsies done. He's already had a bunch of tests like you did. He's probably so scared like you were. I'm so sorry. Please be watching over him right now. I still miss you and not a day goes by that I don't think of you or your sisters and brothers. Please have them to watch over Gabriel also. He was my angel kitty sent to me at a rough time: when your baby brother Luna passed away. Give all of them a "kiss" for me, and I'm blowing one to you too. I miss you all.

1-2-16 Hi, Sweetie. It's been exactly two years now that you've been gone and I still miss you. I guess I always will. The funny thing is, I still call the other cats by your name sometimes. You must still be with me and will be...ALWAYS!

4-18-16 Hi Sylvester. I know it's been awhile. I'm sorry for this. But I am sure you have found out by now that your brother Gabriel has joined you. It has been so hard. First you pass away, then my grandma, and then Gabriel, all within two years. This has been a very difficult time. I hope you are taking care of Gabriel. You always did look out for the rest. Please take care and I hope you are happy. I will see you some day. Until then, keep looking out for the rest, but also have fun. I still miss you so much.

5-29-16 Hi my Sweetie. I still miss you. I am sorry I haven't write in awhile, but my real life has been busy. I want you to know that I still think of you and all your brothers and sisters EVERY DAY! I will always love you and my other babies. Please be happy. I will check in on you here once in awhile. I love you.

8-17-16 Hi my Sweetie. I am sorry I missed your birthday on the first. Time in summer gets lost on me when I am not working. I still think of you and your sisters and brothers everyday. It's still hard to have lost you when I had you for so long. You'd be 19 now. I hope you're happy up there. You are not alone; you are never alone. I will love you forever. Mommy

10-16-16 It hasn't been a good year Sylvester. Stephanie my daughter that originally got you found out she has cancer this week. You had cancer and lived with it for two years. I am so at a loss as to what to do. Anyhow, we also rescued a kitten that was abandoned. He eats EVERYTHING. We have caught him in the garbage can several times and he even tries to eat everything we eat. The poor little guy was wet, cold, dirty, and had pine resin all over him when he was found. No one came forth claiming him, so now there is a new brother that I wish you could meet. You would really like him. I still think of you everyday though. I love you.

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