"The Loss of a Cat,FiFi"
by Ginny Brancato
I will never forget her, nor that awful night, Fifi, dying, wrapped in a baby blanket. Annette drove the car, both of us crying. My words of whispers into Fifi's ear filled the car, saying how sorry I was. I had no idea how much she would suffer those last hours. I was led to believe she would go to sleep and die peacefully. If I had known otherwise, I would have taken her to the vet earlier so she would not have had to suffer even for a second.

It all happened so fast. By 3 am I knew I would not let her go on hurting. The nearest vet coverage was 20 minutes away. They were the longest minutes in my life. I kept kissing her gently, my tears covering her, as I whispered again, how sorry I was and it would be over soon. How much I loved her and would miss her. Just as Annette pulled into the parking lot, she squirmed in my arms I could barely hold her, as she put her paw on my face and cried out. That was the last sound or movement she made, and I knew God had granted my wish for the past year, for her not to die alone, but in my arms. I will always live with that moment. The way she looked at me, the feel of her paw. She fought so hard to live, to stay with me. Was she really gone?

The Dr. said she was barely alive, a faint heart beat. Did I still want the needle? I said yes to go ahead, I didn't want her to possibly suffer a moment more. She never moved. They shaved her little paw. She was gone. They didn't even have to use all of the fluid. I was sobbing. They kept telling me I should leave the room and I wouldn't. Annette crying, walked out, while I buried my face again in Fifi's, saying how much I loved her and would be lost without her love...her unconditional love. She was the gentlest and most loving cat ever. You couldn't help but love her. The ride home was somber. I kept holding her close. She was still warm. When we got home I put her on the bed with me for awhile. She was in a small box and when the sun came up I put her on the windowsill in the computer room, where she used to lay. It was always sunny there, and that morning I wanted the sun on her one more time.

Someone called my children. My son, Dom, drove four hours and then he and my daughter, Lisa, dug the hole. She was wrapped in her red sweater and her favorite blanket. It was hard saying good-bye. Everyone called. Family and friends were so caring. My friend Jack came over with dinner and didn't want to leave me. The house was so empty. I found myself calling her name and looking for her when I went on the computer. She always sat on my lap. I missed her nuzzled against me in the bed and I could not stop the tears. My loss was obvious to everyone. They kept saying I should get another cat, saying I had so much love to give but I would get upset and say no, I was not ready and I felt it would be a betrayal to my Fifi. No other cat could ever replace her, ever.

Then one afternoon my daughter drove me to a local shelter in Beacon, without my knowing where we were going. I wouldn't get out of the car. She pleaded with me to just go inside and "look" . The rooms were filled with all kinds of abused and abandoned cats. Karen, the woman in the shelter told me I had to fill out papers. I told her I was not getting a cat. I told her about Fifi and she said to fill the papers out anyway and "look". I felt so bad for all them but I didn't bond with any. I felt so numb. Karen came up to me as I was leaving. She called me into her office and opened a door. Out came a six-month-old kitten. I couldn't believe it! She was a torte, like Fifi, though darker and longhaired. Karen said she had been abused and left to starve in an empty bldg. She was so thin and her fur had been cut off in different places. I picked her up and she was so scared. When I hugged her close her colors were so much like Fifi's, I started to cry. My heart went out to her, but still I hesitated. I did feel like it would be a betrayal to Fifi, and I know they say don't get the same kind of cat, but she touched my heart. There were other torte's there, but there was something about this cat. Maybe because she was alone too. Before I knew it, money was exchanged. Karen said to me she had called my vet and he talked very highly of me. She called my vet! I couldn't believe it!

Well, I walked out with the cat not sure if I did the right thing. I had all kinds of emotions. One was would I meet this kitty's expectations... As I am typing, "BABY" is on my lap, the way Fifi sat. That first night she slept with me, in the same place Fifi did and I kissed her all night and talked to her. I never heard a purr so loud! I have to go slow with her so she will trust me and she lets me pet her without flinching now, and loves my kissing her ears. Today, she let me pick her up and she is becoming so loving.

I will never forget my Fifi and I realize no other can ever replace her. She will always remain in my heart, but I have to admit it is a good feeling to give love to this little thing. I brushed her today. Her skin and fur are so dry and I put oils on her. She was starving yesterday and I gave her turkey. She eats all day! I won't put Fifi's collar on "BABY". I will buy her her own one.

I look outside my kitchen window and see the lump of dirt and rock on top, and I get choked up thinking my Fifi's under there. I am going to get a headstone and plant wild flowers there soon. I looked all over the Internet for a virtual "Rainbow Bridge" a place to honor my Fifi, honor her life and her love, but it wasn't there… and so RainbowBridge.com was created... God works in mysterious ways, does he not?

Visit Fifi's Rainbow Residency.

Visit Rainbows Bridge

Create a Rainbow Residency for your fur baby.

Comments would be appreciated by the author, Ginny Brancato