Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Farewell to Rufus as he crosses over the Bridge

Rufus said good-bye to his earthly companions today and departed for the Rainbow Bridge after a long life, half in a horrible home, half here in my shelter. He was about 20, but we can't be sure. Coming from a hoarding situation, I'm sure his birth wasn't given any significance and he joined the dozens of other cats there. They all looked alike: pale orange, long hair, 6 or 7 toes on the front paws. There could have been some Persian in the mix, judging by his looks. He was here for 10 years and was possibly 10 when we rescued him and his "extended family."

Rufus' face Rufus

With little or no socialization during those critical first few months, nor indeed, the ensuing years in that environment, he was not a cuddler. But he loved attention. This past week he was my constant companion, never letting me out of his sight. He followed me on my rounds as I did kitty chores, and he sat by my chair while I worked on the computer, staring at me.

I didn't allow myself to notice this slight change in his behavior, or I might have realized he knew he was winding down and was gathering memories to hold in his paws on that final journey.

Thus, it was somewhat of a surprise to see him reclining on the floor by my chair this morning and his inability to even raise his head. However, I'd been surprised daily by the fact that he was still here and eating well, and prancing about with no sign of slowing down. Today, he slowed down, and then he left.

I put him into a basket, as I always do for those in their final hours, and set him on the back deck in a sun puddle. It was as if the sun had come out for 2 hours just for him, and then disappeared into the overcast sky again as the temperatures dipped on the leading edge of our next storm.

Rufus was the last survivor from his family of 40 siblings, cousins and probably some offspring. The rest have all gone, and now Rufus is with them at last.

I miss him, as I do every cat who has graced my home and enriched my life.

Thanks so much to @ChatteMuse for a wonderful image of Mr. Rufus on his journey:

A very creative and lovely image to keep in mind in his absence. I appreciate the effort and loving gesture.

10 comments:

Marjorie Dawson said...

What a magnififent boy Rufus looks! How lucky you are to have loved such a boy!

I am sorry to hear of his passing, and although we never met, such a loss will not go unmakred by tears.

May your trip across the Rainbow Bridge be a safe and swift one Rufus.

Harvey, Marjorie and everyone at Team Dah Kitten

Melissa and Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and More) said...

Rest in peace, sweet Rufus. How wonderful that in spite of a rough beginning he lived to such a ripe old age. Thank you so much for showing him love.

Anonymous said...

So sad RIP little one you were loved and safe

1scgirl said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for loving Rufus. Sending paw prayers...

Fui, Suey and Lishy. said...

Fly free, Rufus. We are glad you knew such kindness and love.

Indy and Hannah said...

awww poor Rufus,

I am sure he's a loved cat and he's going to a more peaceful place where he is young and can run free and be with his family

Anonymous said...

Farewell, old fella. May your journey to the bridge be peaceful. Xx

Carolina Cats said...

What a beautiful farewell for dear Rufus. It sounds like he was soaking up your love to take with him to the Bridge, where he will once again be with his fur family. They'll be sharing their stories of your warm & loving heart while they wait to see you again.

Sending purrs & hugs,
Finnegan, Buddy, Jazzy & Mom Nora

DrBert said...

Thanks everyone for your outpourings of love and sympathies. Rufus meant a lot to all of us. He was truly Mr. Personality around here. Never would cuddle, but loved being the center of attention.

Anonymous said...

I know Rufus appreciated being in such a loving shelter. And I hope he is now running free in the happy place OTRB.