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Firstly and Finally

 

Thank you for being a friend.
Thank you for being a friend. Photo credit: Kevin Hartman idiophonics.com

 

My cat was over 20 years old and I had been working on the website for what seemed like forever, so it was time. One needed a beginning and the other was ready for its ending.

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Birdwatching. Photo credit: Kevin Hartman idiophonics.com

Tigger was a feisty but loving, long-haired Main Coon that was abandoned by his family at a house my husband and I rented forever ago.  We were two young lovebirds without children and Tigger immediately welcomed us into his home and made us a family.  We still laugh at the memory of the day we moved from that rental and found that he had hitchhiked along in the trailer hauling our furniture to our new home, not to be deserted again.  He was tenacious.

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Morning tenacity, no coffee required. Photo credit: Kevin Hartman idiophonics.com

He was right there with us through everything, and only now in his absence do I realize the true depth of our friendship.  He was there when we purchased our first home, when we started all of our businesses, through grieving the loss of so many family and friends, and he celebrated many joyous milestones with us including the birth of our daughter, Remy, 2 years ago.  He acted as her big brother, watching and protecting her while she slept and would constantly follow right by her side despite the fact that he would inevitably get toddler-trampled along the way.  He proudly and without question stood in place for my husband when he was out-of-town for business and would curl up next to me every night as I cried myself to sleep when my husband was in the hospital for a week straight receiving chemo treatments.  If we were away on vacation we would call our house and leave messages on the answering machine so Tigger could hear our voices and know that we missed him and, more importantly, that we would be home soon.  I don’t think he ever forgot about his first family leaving him behind.  He was there to say goodbye every time we left and was always waiting at the door to greet us each time we came home.  He was part of the reason we called home, Home.

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Stowaway. Tigger peaking out from inside a backpack we were taking on vacation. Photo credit: Kevin Hartman idiophonics.com

Reflection has a way of making everything clearer and grief gives us the opportunity to change our lives, hopefully for the better.  When I was done with the initial stage of sadness and loss, wishing I had spent more time just loving on that sweet ol’ cat, I came to the realization that I could learn a few things from the way he lived his life.  Nine lives that cat lived in his lifetime, a life that was spent loving to full capacity and living each day present in the moment, without regret.  Such a beautiful balance of vigor and grace of which I will now measure all aspects of my own life. We could ALL learn a few things from this way of living.

Nibbling on fresh catnip in the yard. Photo credit: Kevin Hartman idiophonics.com
Nibbling on fresh catnip in the yard. Photo credit: Kevin Hartman idiophonics.com

One of the many things gleaned from our time together, which was so basic and innate I wonder how I ever survived without, was the necessity to do the things that make you really feel good and vibrant and alive.  For Tigger, this meant sitting inside the threshold of the open back door sniffing the fresh air and then promptly retreating back inside for a nap.  For me, this meant creating and the process of making.  Something, ANYthing.  After the birth of my daughter I had some underlying health issues (as did Remy, my daughter) that came to the surface and had to be dealt with. Unfortunately, that meant that everything else in my life was moved to the back burner, including all of that other wonderful stuff that really makes you feel like you are vital and part of the world rather than inanimate object merely observing life happening around you.

Leave your mark. Photo credit: Kevin Hartman idiophonics.com
Leave your mark. Photo credit: Kevin Hartman idiophonics.com

My website will provide a much-needed creative outlet to share all the lovely things that I make and as a journal so I may pen my thoughts, which before belonged only to myself and a furry Maine Coon whom I just always assumed knew exactly what I was thinking.  I hope you read this and feel inspired to love someone a little more, or live life with more passion, or be a better friend. Maybe you will see something inspiring that will bring you joy or make you want to create too.  Or maybe you will just buy a pillow knowing that it will make your home feel like a better expression of what you feel inside and who you are.

When Tigger left I wrote him a note that expressed exactly how I felt about our time together:

Thank you for being a friend.  Traveled down the road and back again.  Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant.”

 

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Thank You For Being A Friend greeting card.

 

 

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