When one of us shares that a beloved 4-legged family member has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, each of us who has been loved by a special critter feels the pang of pain and loss. Whether your loss happened years ago or today… whether it has happened to you once or many times… they do leave paw prints on our hearts that time cannot diminish, never mind erase.
We think of our departed pets each day, but on August 28 each year, we are reminded to share those memories of a special pet that crossed the rainbow bridge. They are deep and painful memories, but we are not alone in letting our gaze reach across the rainbow bridge.
I know that when I write about one of the beloved animals who have brought love into my life, I usually refer to the gentle giant, the Newfoundland named Miles. Or, in more recent years, Mr. Seven Pounds of Fun, Fur, and Fury himself… the precious little Maltipoo, Bandit. (Oh, yes… They are both the “celebrated” authors of their own books.)
But on this Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, I will reveal to those who may not know me as well, that I am far more of a cat person. I love their hysterical playfulness, savvy intelligence, and resilient independence.
My longest feline tenant was Miss Money, aka the Divine Miss M. After 22 years with me, she remained a tiny multi-color “money” cat of a mere 6 pounds. She had started out as a kitten with eyes barely open when she was abandoned by someone on a blustery January day on the streets of Manchester, NH in an open cardboard box along with the rest of the litter. The runt, she was surrounded by her litter mates, who all unwittingly perished. However, their fleeting warmth kept her alive just long enough to be discovered and then eyedropper fed back into health. She lived a long, lovely life, adored by everyone (yup… even self-proclaimed cat-haters) until the day she quietly died in my arms, as I sang “You Are My Sunshine” to her for the umpteenth time.
We are better people because of the pets we love and who love us. Be it a cat or dog or other beloved pet, this is a special day to remember and share, if you so desire.
As American author Agnes Sligh Turnbull (1888-1982) is noted for saying, “Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” The same goes for all our beloved pets who have crossed and will cross the Rainbow Bridge.
(Photo is Miss Money under the Christmas tree in 1998.)