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Goodbye. By Jess H Page

The following poem I wrote the night Sassy was taken from us. She was such a sweet cat. Then they all are, aren’t they? Our babies of fur. Last afternoon when I got home from work Mom came to visit and told me what had happened. Sassafras was put to sleep and joined all of our other babies on the Rainbow Bridge.

Below is something I wrote while I was thinking about them, all of them throughout the years and all of those in the future. What I have determined is that they are worth the pain and they make room for another cat to find a good home when they leave us. So while my heart aches, I take comfort in the fact that she was a happy cat, lived a long life, and was well-loved. Sometimes the knowledge of pain holds us back, from moving forward. Every time I go through this with a beloved pet I have to remind myself that it is okay to grieve it is okay to forgive myself and that they are worth the pain.

colors, all of them surround me
some I have seen, some I have hated,
some I have loved,
some I have never seen and will forget too soon
colors, drifting into one another
colors everywhere
here I am nothing
ethereal, yet, as they stream past me,
a never-ending tide of animals,
unaware, they part around me
animals I never dreamt existed,
walked calmly around this nonexistent self,
with cats, dogs, rats, and all the animals norm,
extinct, long-gone animals walked within the tide,
they all belonged, I did not.
colors never meant for my eyes overwhelming yet comforting
a word on the tip of the tongue,
a feeling at the edge of consciousness
standing on a rainbow beyond conception,
painful beauty one should never experience
lungs filled with colors
yet silence,
strong and powerful,
heavy with inconceivable knowledge and wisdom
as silent paws trod and wings disturb the colorful air
silence filled with eternity as the tide parted around me
a tingle
physical and real on a body that did not exist
i turn
i know
i can feel them
as the tide ebbed and flowed
i turned around and around
colors blinding me
grief overwhelming me
voicelessly I cried out
the tide continued, never-ending,
the rainbow, solid beneath
body, out of place, alone, drops
wetness slides soundlessly down my cheeks
unseen fingers twirl the salt water with the colors
a heart forms as tears run unstopped,
a heart aches with loss and guilt,
a sound, a hiss breaks the weighted silence
startled I look up and see them,
all of them,
my lost furry babies,
each special in their way,
as I watch, a newcomer joins them and hisses again
as she is joined by her siblings,
then she looks at me and they all turn and look at me
the weight of their combined gaze filled with such knowledge,
understanding and love,
a beautiful grey and white furry boy nuzzles the newcomer,
a beautiful tabby next to him watches them as the newcomer starts to purr,
one cat, a beautiful black and white cat, seems to wink at me
as I watch, each one of my furry babies looks at me
love, forgiveness, understanding, and mystery in each set of eyes
as they turn as one and join the silent tide
eventually, they are consumed by the mist of color
i have no reason to watch the slow parade of animals
moving on to the next stop in their journey
so I turn and walk against the flowing tide that parts unknowingly before me
losing myself in my mist of color
my heart was at peace, eyes still sore from crying
i go home.