Remembering Red

By Marc

On the last day of June last year I found Red had died nearby my house in a garden next to a main road. This article is just a little memorial for him. Many of you know plenty about him and I have focused less on those things and more on the very beginning and the very end of his life with me. I have talked plenty – if not too much – about the middle. I specifically asked Michael to just put the pictures in sequence and although I have made the pics relatively small it may take a while to load up the 24 pictures so you might need to give it a moment. It’s just how I wanted it and Michael has been very accommodating. I’m doing a ‘commentathon’ today which I will talk about in the paragraph at the end after the photos. They are in a specific order. Michael has simply done exactly what I asked. Thank you Michael, from the bottom of my heart – really.

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So there it is – a little bit about the beginning and the end of Red to remember him – he will never end in some other sense but that was some of his short life on this planet. There will be other articles today – this is just the first.

For all the comments made on any article today including this one I am going to donate $5 to PoC.

I always read PoC everyday but I never made much in the way of comments until about 5 weeks after Red died when I was forced out of my deep depression by having to fly off to England for work reasons. I had just spent the last weeks with Lilly being very sad and unable to eat or do much of anything really, least of all talk to people. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I had no idea, and now I do. Red was like a son to me. I don’t know why – I mean for many reasons he was – and it just turned out this way that I had to lose him. He was the happiest cat that ever lived save a couple days when he moved to our new place and had to be locked in for a short period. I’m proud of the fact that I was able to make his life so great. He got whatever he wanted and he was healthy and always busy and always purring, even whilst he was eating. Purring and eating made him sound a bit like a gremlin!

He loved Lilly so much and she loved him equally. He even welcomed the new 2 kittens with such grace and ease I was so proud of what a great boy he had grown into. Truly a beautiful thing in my life.

The point of the commentathon is simple. Ever since I started commenting and talking about Red everybody here has been so kind to me and it has helped me to no end and it still does, even right now with what I am doing here today. It would be so hard to deal with all this alone. I am doing it to say thank you to you all and to Michael especially for letting me be me and express myself on PoC everyday. The idea is that he will take the money and know best how to donate it to charity. It’s from all of us and it is in memory of Red.

The only condition will be that Michael keep at least a bit of it for him and Charlie. I already am guessing he will insist on donating it all so I’m not telling him that he has to at least keep enough to go out and buy Charlie some roast chicken. That’s the minimum he’s allowed to keep. Michael if you are planning a catio or something in your new house please use the money for it if you want. It’s totally in your hands. You are just not allowed to give every last penny to charity without keeping at least something for you. Those are the rules 🙂

I am around today most of the day and will disappear later to go and spend the evening at Red’s grave planting some new flowers. I always buy orange and red flowers because he was so beautifully orange – a beautiful orange tabby. Comment away, there’s no cutoff – and we will tally it all up tomorrow or later.

THANK YOU all for being such great listeners and friends and for helping me get over this and not feel alone. You guys are the best.

Marc

Facebook Discussion

Comments

Remembering Red — 95 Comments

  1. Just a quick note: 13,260 comments at beginning of day. That is the starting figure. I will count 24 hours inclusive from the beginning of today.

    I’ll make a proper comment soon. Awesome page, Marc.

    At 08:10 morning on Monday 1st July there were 13,435 comments. That makes 175 comments from Sat morning to Mon morning = $875! 🙂 We can discuss that.

  2. Marc, your article about Red’s life has really touched me and made me cry for your happiness together and then for your awful loss. Every cat is different and we all have those aching places in our hearts for cats we’ve loved and lost but every one of those aching places is different so although I understand your pain it’s still unique to you and Red and always will be. You are a kind and gentle man and you seem to have brought happiness to a lot of cats, I’m so sorry that your time with your special cat Red was so short. You have done him proud with his fund raising memorial and his little shrine and his burial place looks so peaceful, I hope as time goes by you find peace and that the pain fades so that you can think of him and be happy for the time you had together. RIP Red and God bless.

    • Thank you very much indeed Barabara. I want the commentathon to count for the weekend and not just today so people in other time zones have plenty of time to comment on articles. I haven’t even started reading PoC yet today.

      Thank you for your kindness – yes it was a short time and it certainly seemed to fly by very quickly.

      • Marc, thank you for your reply. I’m glad the commentathon is on for the weekend as I know my sister Ruth aka Kattaddorra will want to comment but today she is poorly and confined to bed after a bad migraine attack last night. Hopefully she will return tomorrow.

        • Send her my regards and get well soon wishes. I am guessing the weather is dismal as it is here. Not so much that one could really feel cozy in bed though – it’s just dull. I hope Ruth is feeling better very soon.

          In terms of the commentathon on Monday morning I am going to count all comments made since the weekend started. I’ll count around 9am my time – just after California leaves the weekend 🙂
          It’s such a short time but I’d really like to donate something substantial. I don’t do much for cats other than my own and I live far away from the ‘front lines’ so I darn well should donate whatever I can 🙂

          • Thanks Marc, she’s had a slice of toast this evening. It was lovely and sunny here this morning but got a bit chilly as the day went on, it’s about 63 I think. You’re doing well with comment, really well done and so kind of you.

  3. Twinky is beautiful

    In that first picture when he briefly looked towards you, and you captured it, he looks so sweetly handsome and content.

    The moment you firmly made friends at 4 weeks of age is a fine photo. It is interesting how people and cats (and any other animal) can “connect”. The connection is not declared through words but behaviour and feelings.

    Love the photo of Red exploring in the what appears to be a rose garden.

    I like it when you write your heart melted when he grabbed at you with his sharp claws. A lot of people can learn from that.

    Shame about Tigeey. They looked great together.

    Gotta stop there because it is all just too sad for me.

    I have read every word and it is a very moving and beautiful memorial to a beautiful cat and a beautiful relationship.

    Thanks Marc.

    • Thanks alot Michael. Red was always in those roses but never seemed to get spiked even though he was all over them like they were his toy climbing frame. There was some lavender right next to the roses which seemed to attract all the cats and kittens. Tigeey is a regret. She was by far the shyest and most scared of all the kittens that year. By the end however she would come running when I arrived and arch her back and let me pet her. She would not allow herself to ever be touched for a long long time so when she finally opened up it was very sweet and touching. I made them all little going away bags with toys and their favourite foods in them so they would feel something familiar upon arriving in new places. It all went pretty ok except for Tigeey (my name for her because she looks like a tiger – in Switzerland they are called ‘tigerli’). I was probably the only person who could have got her and maybe just been able to pick her up but having met the lady and her screaming spoilt child boy I couldn’t bring myself to trick Tigeey and take her and then hand her over. 5 mins before they arrived to get her I left and went the 100m back to my office and went in the bathroom and had a good cry. I called expecting it to be over but the lady said that the jet setter and her son had to leave because it wasn’t working and they couldn’t catch tigeey. I know where tigeey went to hide too but didn’t say a word. They had to wait until she was fast asleep in her basket before putting her in the carrier. I wasn’t there. Having taken so long to become close with Tigeey this was very sad for both me and Red. Red loved Tigeey even before all the others left. I have alot of photos with her. I even thought about going to kidnap her can you imagine. I even though if they didn’t come to get her til the next day I would nab her in the night and they could think she ran away. She loved to play like the best of them but would dart off if you put your hand to her and walked towards her. In the end she would let me pet her. The lady whose cats these all were has no concept of anything when it comes to cats. Actually she is going away on monday and I will look after the mama cats and remaining 2 kittens that are there now. I can’t wait to see them without the lady being there.

      Can you believe – I asked how the lady who came to see Tigeey was ( only met that lady on her second visit) and she said “oh she’s really nice you know she’s a real jet setter and spends alot of time here and there and everywhere (and she named a few countries) and she is taking the kitten for her 5 year old son.” —- well I just about felt like slapping her. Sounds good, a person who is never around and what turned out to be a bratty little boy who picked up Tigeey like she was a stuffed animal. I wanted to freak out and I asked if I could take her but Geenie (the lady in question with kittens every year) said it was too late and the agreement was done.

      • Wrong person for this cat as you say. God I hope it all worked out in end. It might have. She seems to be the wrong person for any cat never mind a nervous one. As for the brat: equally unsuitable. Shame. These things happen. I have some big regrets too. They are hard to live with.

  4. It is wonderful to have the whole memorial to read on this page. Thank you for writing it and posting the photos. A wonderful tribute to a beautiful life. You are a hero amongst cats Marc.

    I think I will go snuggle up with Marvin as a tribute. My big orange tabby who must still run wild.

    • Thank you Dorothy – maybe amongst a few cats here and there but the real heroes are the ones on the ‘front lines’ resuing and fostering the countless unwanted animals struggling to survive in the world. Marvin sounds so much like my Red and I have always thought so, in character I mean as well as looks. You are lucky to have him 🙂

  5. Marc, my condolences, once again, for the loss of your best friend Red. My cat Nicky loved sitting with me on our couch. One day my mom (I was 13-14) had to use the couch for some sewing she had to do. When I came home from delivering my afternoon paper route I sat in Mom’s chair. Nicky got down from the back of the couch and meowed insistently, motion for me to come join him on the couch. Mom finally gave in to his (and my) pleading looks. That was just one way he showed me he wanted to be with me. Cats are amazing. I am so grateful that Red chose you for his best friend/father. He was a special cat and he deserved someone who could appreciate him. I know he left you too soon, but be grateful for all those hours of playtime you had with Red. I promise that as the years go by that pain will turn to feelings of deep fondness and gratitude. Your pain will be replaced by good feelings. Thank you for sharing your awesome tribute to a beautiful cat. Red was lucky to have you.

    • Thank you Dan – it means a lot it really does. You described perfectly how it is being wanted by a cat. It’s a great honor really that a cat wants nothing more than to spend time with you – your company. I value that above most things, or anything I can think of right now anyway.

      Sometimes I think that if I hadn’t taken Red home with me he would have lived a long life and that choosing him was a bit of a death sentence but then I remember how he chose me and how that is just not the right way to think about it. We appreciated eachother alot. We played for hours each day because I worked around the corner 2mins away on foot. I’d go for lunch for an hour and then right after work until almost bedtime I would be hanging out in the garden with the kittens and eventually in the end just Red, his mama Twinky and his grandma Teesha. I’d be so excited to see him I practically ran up there with a spring in my step. I’d make clicking noises and he’d come running around the front of the house. It was wonderful.

      • Don’t play the “what if” game, Marc. You will never win playing it, but only torture yourself. My late husband crashed his homebuilt airplane while buzzing my mom’s house. It’s tempting to think that if I had not married him he would still be alive because he wouldn’t have been there that day. But I can’t know that anymore than you can know what would have befallen Red had he lived his life without you.

        • I know it’s just an open ended question/theory. Sometimes I feel like I was a death sentence for him but very rarely does it cross my mind like that and I know it serves no good purpose to think like that. Sorry about your late husband that’s very sad and must have been traumatic.

          • I knew somehow ahead of time that it was going to happen, that Danny was going to die. The week before his accident we drove to Indiana for a wedding and I was just terrified being in the car with him. I kept feeling like we were going to smack head on into something. I tried to hide it, but I was just shaking. The day of his airplane accident nothing in God’s green earth could have induced me to get into that plane with him. He went flying with a buddy from work, who did survive the accident. My husband did ask if I wanted to come and take a short flight with him that day also. No way. I felt like I had to be far from away him where moving vehicles were concerned.

            I dreamed about his accident as I napped on the couch, waking up at the exact moment that he died and looking at my watch. I saw some details that were accurate from witness statements, but I don’t know exactly what happened to bring the plane down. We have some theories. I went over to church to practice organ, but deep down I knew. I knew he was gone already, before anyone ever told me about the accident.

            I think it was his time but it wasn’t mine, so I was warned away. The warnings were not given so that I could warn him and save him. I have always felt that what happened was inevitable and if I had not been in the car with him the weekend before he would probably have died then in a car accident.

            “Teach us all to number our days.” We are all mortal, cats and humans alike, and we are each given just so much time. If it’s not your time to go, amazing things can happen, but when your time is up it is up. It seems fatalistic, but I think that it is the way it is. We don’t have control over some things, including how long we will be here. Sure, we can do things like eat healthy and try do things safely, but in the end, we are mortal, and nothing can change that.

            Red’s time was short, but it’s not the length of time we get, it’s what happens during that time that counts. He had the best life a cat could have. That is how I feel about Monty– I know his life will be short compared to mine, no matter how long he lives, because cats don’t live as long as humans. But the most important thing is to have no regrets about the quality of his life. That’s why I try to give him lots of outside time, his favorite foods, foot petting (my cat has a foot fetish) and playtime with his favorite toys inside. Kind of like what you did for Red, minus the foot petting.

  6. My eyes are leaking as I come to the end of this post. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful relationship. It is sad that it came to an end as it did, but as you alluded to, he had a wonderful life. In his short stay on this earth you two made is special and wonderful and that is something to be celebrated.

    Michael, I hope you do something unique for Charlie in honor of Red and Marc..

      • Michael, Connie has to be the greatest fosterer of cats there is and she also knows everything about cat nutrition, everything, or as much as one can know with hands on experience, and a whole lot more too. She has a wonderful blog which I read.

    • Hi Connie – thanks for commenting and thanks for reading. Thank you for caring and being so kind. Charlie is Michael’s cat with three legs. He’s a big house panther with a deep meow.

      Thank you for sharing my sadness. It means alot and has left me not feeling alone over all of this. Being able to talk to people who understand has helped immensly. I’ve talked so much about Red on here and that’s why I want something to go to Michael and Charlie 🙂

  7. I enjoyed the pictures of Red, Marc. He looks more beautiful than how I had pictured him in my mind, reading about him in your earlier posts. My favorite is where he would bring you leaves. He was a very special cat. I don’t have time now to read everything as carefully as I would like. I will definitely have to come back to this again and will comment some more. My husband and I are running late for helping with a fireworks show in Grafton. For the next week I just won’t be able to do more than a quick read here or there and a comment or two. When things slow down I’ll enjoy taking a slower look and read over all your tribute to Red, because it’s really well done, and something I’ve been looking forward to ever since you mentioned you were going to do it. Red is gone, but you have made many friends here on PoC who care about you and I’m sure feel as I do– I wish you had never lost Red, that that beautiful friendship would never have had to end.

    • Thank you Ruth – gosh everybody is so kind and it’s really very nice that you all care about some guy in Switzerland and his cat Red. It really is wonderful. I know how you feel because I am often busy and have to catch up or ‘re-read properly’ the articles on PoC. It’s a bit of an addiction actually – I need it to go to bed feeling like I have completed my day 🙂

      I hope your show goes well. It must really be the fireworks season for you now. Thanks for stopping by though 🙂

      • Fireworks season slowing down, at least for me, but my husband has two more shows and in August we shoot a show at a Lutheran summer camp. We actually donate that show. I think it is so spectacular that you donated so much money in Red’s memory, Marc. I’m so glad that cats will be helped by it– a fitting tribute to a great cat.

        The Grafton show was great, but the July 3rd Milwaukee lakefront show was mostly obscured by fog. Then we did a show at a country club on the 4th where we set up in a sand trap on the golf course. All our equipment gets transported to the site via golf carts with little trailers on them. We love driving those carts around– it’s a hoot. We hand fire most of that show, but I let Stephanie shoot since it’s the only show she works (with her parents) every year. She’s a college kid and it was only her second time shooting. You face away from the mortars and stay low when firing. She said she knelt on something hot. I’ve done that. Your quads get so tired squatting down it’s tempting to put down one knee.

        The next day we shot a small barge show on a small lake. It was just multiple pontoon boats connected together. All day long during setup the “barge” bounced in the wake of boats on the lake so that later we still all felt like we were moving. We pulled a 22 hour day, but the sponsor said it was the best show he had ever seen. It was the first time my husband was crew chief on a barge show. It was all electronic, since it is illegal to hand fire on a barge in this state. Most of the crew watched the show from a boat and then we all got on the barge to begin breaking the show down as we were towed to shore. It was such a smooth ride I didn’t know we were moving until I looked at the dark water rushing by.

        Quite the adventure, and one I think you would have liked, Marc. I think we have some of the same interests and enjoy similar things. Monty had to stay home with Jeff’s parents cat sitting. He is so happy that we are back now and they are gone. I thought about him all day long as I worked– and it was a hell of a long day. By the time I got home his breakfast was late. We got home past the time we usually get up for work. I hope Monty wasn’t worried, thinking we’d been eaten by a predator or something.

        • Wow so it really is the busy season for you now. I’m sure if I didn’t come home until the moiddle of the night or early morning my cats would think I was gotten by a predator. They are very much used to my rather unchanging routine but I am happy that way too. It can be difficult if you are busy and having to run around day and night. My job involves going to places around Europe from time to time but I seem to have gotten out of that part recently. Another guy is going instead of me at the moment which is nice because it can mean being away for as long as a week. Your job sounds like a great adventure, always in a different place and circumstance ad always and audience. It must be pretty satisfying to please a big crowd. Sounds like fun.

          • It is great when you hear the crowd cheering. Even better is hearing that the sponsor was pleased. Jeff was told that the Elkhart Lake show was the best the sponsor had ever seen. He’s been offered the show again for next year, but I don’t think he wants it, it was such hard work. If it didn’t come on the heels of all those other shows it would be great! I enjoy being on the water– any chance to go boating is just such great fun, despite the hard work.

            I’ve often wished that Monty was the kind of cat who could come with us when we go canoeing. Tippy would have done it, had we had a canoe back then. Monty just wouldn’t enjoy himself– he’d find traveling there in the car too traumatic. But I think once he was in the canoe he would like it. He is so fascinated by water. He would love playing on the islands on the Wisconsin River. But on the other hand, he might just be traumatized by the whole experience, so we leave him at home. He just loves his home here– the basement, the back yard– all of it is his playground where he feels safe. His new favorite place is under the steps in the basement. It’s cobwebby and dusty under there, but humans can’t fit under there without great difficulty, including moving my sister’s laundry pile, so I’m sure he likes that. I come downstairs and he will come out immediately, but he spends hours under there. It’s like he has a little house down there that is just his. So long as he is happy, I figure he can do what he wants. I may want him to be a cat who enjoys going places with me, but if he is a cat who enjoys hiding under the basement steps, I just accept him for who he is.

            • ha – I like that he has his own naturally air conditioned basement apartment complete with cobwebs and all the perks a cat could possibly want no doubt.

              Red had a shelf behind the front door which he took to and I laid him a blanket there and put some toys – it became his little ‘apartment’ – actually I haven’t touched it since. The cupboard door would be just ajar and you could see him stretched out sleeping.

              Some cats who travel from a young age seem to like it and go along just fine but most of our cats are best off staying right where they are in their territory. It’s their known secure place and they love it I am sure and hate to be removed from it. I would only move my cat’s as a very last resort if I was desperate but this would be hard on them without a doubt.

  8. Marc, this is a wonderful tribute to Red. Every time you post about him, I feel the depth of your love as well as the immense pain you feel with every part of me. Thank you for your contributions here. I think you are a help to us too. We can all relate and gain solice and strength from one another.

    • Thanks so much Dee – it’s very kind of you and you make a very good point. I too spend alot of time reading other people’s memorials in particular. I am just a beginner here. This is the first time something like this happened to me so it helps me alot to read other people’s stories of loss and how they deal with it.

      I have this funny little habit though. Whenever I read about a cat who has passed away on a blog or just anywhere really, I always save the photos of the cat. I don’t know why but I feel like it means something if I remember the cat when I look at the pictures. I don’t want any cat to ever be forgotten. Maybe that’s something I need to work out inside myself but it’s nonetheless a little habit of mine. People are easily remembered but cats often by only very few.

  9. This might secretly be just an excuse to add another comment to the tally but I seriously want to thank everybody today for being your typical kind selves. I knew you would be and that’s just great and what I like about everyone here. You are all very kind and supportive. I will always appreciate it and I will never take it for granted – thank you 🙂

    PS. Don’t forget to make lots of comments on these and tomorrow’s articles – still more than 24 hours to go 🙂

  10. Marc, thank you for your lovely tribute to Red. It’s hard for me to type much, because I am crying so much. I hope you understand. I suspect that it might have taken some courage on your part to delve back through the memories- or at least it would have for me to write such. Those pictures make me imagine that Red’s fur smelled like warm sunshine.

    • Thank you VG – yes he did smell like something I won’t forget – it’s funny because I kept some of his fur in a little box that is closed and sometimes I open it just to smell and remember him. But everytime I open it the smell fades. I haven’t opened it in months now. I don’t want to lose the smell forever. Strange but totally true.

      • Marc, I don’t find it strange at all. I hope that was obvious because how a cat’s fur smells is part of the comfort of having a cat, at least to me. Something elusive and yet wonderful. Evocative. I say elusive because the sense of smell seems to be different than other senses in humans. Again, at least in my experience. It’s relatively easy to pull out visual memories or auditory memories. For example, ever listened to a piece of music and have it keep coming back to you unbidden? Or, as I’m sure is the case for you, have you remembered a picture you took of Red, and just have it appear in your mind’s eye with great clarity? But smell, again I say, elusive. I can’t conjure up the way Tootsie smells simply by trying to imagine it. But, when she flops her tail over my nose when she’s next to me in bed, I know that familiar scent of her fur. So, I do understand, and hope what I’ve said makes sense.

        • Smeel is a very direct and immediate sort of thing – a time machine back to Red being next to me and me smelling him – I could close eyes and he is there. Cats always have different smells. They are often so clean they don’t have much of a smell other than a very gentle fresh smell I guess but they do each have their own smell, especially when they haven’t just had a wash – which is not very often I’ll admit 🙂 Red had a smell – it’s hard or impossible to remember and because it’s such a direct route to feeling his presence again I guess I have tried to preserve it somehow.

  11. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS MEMORIAL.HE LOOKED SO MUCH LIKE MY YELLER THAT I LOST 2 YEARS AGO.I DONT HAVE THE WORDS LIKE YOU ,BUT COULD HAVE BEEN HIS MEMORIAL TOO.I HAVE TEARS FOR RED AND TEARS FOR YELLER TOO.

    • Nancy – 2 years ago isn’t very long and I am sure it must still be very hard for you. I’m half way to the 2 year mark and I know it’s going to be hard this time next year again. The last day of June will always be a day I will have to take off work if it’s during the week and that I will have to take some time for. I’m sorry about your Yeller – it’s very sad indeed. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your loss of Yeller too. It means alot to me. Thank you.

      • Marc, I reuploaded Red1 (2nd pic). I must say I am very impressed as to how fast this page loads on broadband. If another image goes missing please tell me.

  12. Dear Marc, after ever so slowly taking in your wonderful photos and captions of Red **Bless your hearts!** leaving it on the last photo of the Shrine to Red, I had to lock myself in the bathroom to quietly weep. Your tribute is perfect. Thank you for allowing us to leave our comments for your Red. My heart feels like it is rising in my throat. I feel truly blessed to be here, and to have wandered by when I did, so that I could experience this with all PoC’rs today, the Day of Red’s Memorial. Bless his soul and yours.

    • Thank you very much Caroline – it’s very kind of you to say so and it means alot to me it really does. I am lucky to have all of you and be able to make this memorial and have people actually read it. I think Red is a lucky cat too – there are so many cats nobody even know or is sad when they die.

      Thank you for your kind comment. These comments and kindness from all of you really have helped me alot with losing Red. I don’t feel entirely alone as I might if it wasn’t for PoC and all of you.

  13. I wonder if it’s obvious that the 4th picture from the end – he is lying on the carpet after I found him outside – taken just before I wrapped him up and buried him. He was totally intact luckily and wasn’t awfully damaged or anything. That’s a lucky thing.

    • I can’t stop thinking about you today Marc and your bravery is sharing your beautiful photos of Red’s life with us all and helping other cats too.
      It’s a sad day, just heard from a friend that her 17 year old cat has died in the night, but I think we can accept an old ill cat dying much more than we can a young cat killed in an accident like your boy.
      Take care x

      • That’s very sad Ruth – I can’t imagine how it is to lose a friend of 17 years. Although it’s a different circumstance the hole in your friend’s life must be huge right now. I used to think about how it would be when Red grew older – I’d day dream about him 10 years down the line and I even wondered how his character would be. To be honest this is the first time I have thought about that since then. Your friend’s cat died on the very last day of June – just like Red.

        There’s a huge irony in it for me as well – I have long claimed the end of June and beginning of July to be the best time of year. It’s the summertime and there’s still plenty of warmth and long days to come. This winter I dreaded the arrival of this day. I wanted it to stay cold. The warm nights and all the bugs remind me of Red. When I stand outside at night and all I can hear are the leaves and the insects I am in his world. It’s his world afterall and I chose this place because he could have a perfect place to explore and play. Those are the sights and sounds he lived in and for and it’s a stark reminder of him. There are no little dug up bits of grass in the yard, or claw marks on the apple tree – he and his activities that once marked this place – his scent, are all gone, but the insects carry on and the plants grow and it’s indeed early summer in all it’s beauty however he is not here.

        In many ways I got what I wanted and the winter went on for longer than anyone could have guessed and in some ways it still lingers. I guess I was just scared to face the summer and all those nice things without him. My life has confined itself to inside my home. I have no reason to go outside into the garden. I have basically not opened the shutters to my balcony for exactly one year. Just once for a man to measure the balcony and plan a catio enclosure. I told myself I would start the ball rolling with getting it done before today and I did. The man promises to come and do it very soon.

        I guess I am used to keeping them inside now and as soon as the net is up I will load the whole balcony with as many plants and ivys as can fit and it will be very nice for the cats now. They will be in his world to some extent. They will hear the insects and smell the rain and see the plants and the back garden. They just can’t explore it. That’s the compromise. They will want to escape I imagine but it will be much better that they can sleep outside and experience a summer thunderstorm – things I wish for my cats. It’s the best most constructive way to move on from the situation. The catio has made me able a bit more to face this early summer in all it’s glory.

        In about an hour I am going to head up to where he is buried – you can’t tell in the photo but there is a distant view of the lake between the trees. It’s a nice spot and his younger brothers and sisters born this spring will be there and his mama and grandma. The fact that they are there is perfect company for me and Red. He’s not alone somewhere in the forest. He’s with family.

        Sorry to hear about your friends cat. I’m sure she is beside herself. It must be very hard after so much time together.

        • Your cats will love the Catio Marc, so much to see and smell and that is far more than many cats have who are kept indoors all their life. Maybe you could grow some kitty grass and cat nip for them out there too.
          Yes it’s very sad about my friend’s old cat but she was quite ill and the time was coming to make the decision when to let her go peacefully. Our Ebony decided for herself like that and it was such a relief she did because the feeling of was it the right time to choose for them, lingers long after they’ve gone.

          • I hope so – I think they will spend alot of time out there. I will leave it available to them in winter too. I think it will be fun for them to walk in the snow which should land through the netting.

            I cannot imagine how it is to have to make a choice to help bring things to an end for my cat. Yes you are lucky Ebony chose herself. This is ideal. Ebony is a lovely name. I’m not sure how I would handle that. It must have been very hard. If I had to put my cat to rest I can imagine, as you say, it would really become an issue in my mind long after the fact, as to whether it was the right time or not. It’s hard to be rational in these moments.

            • Ebony was a wonderful cat, she was our late mam’s really so when we lost her it was extra emotional. The day before she died she visited all the places in the garden she loved and she lay in the grass for a long time. Next morning she had a quick walk around again, came back in and lay down and went to sleep.
              Babz was at work until 2pm that day and Ebby waited until she was home and both of us together then she quietly slipped away.
              I’m crying again now for her and for your Red and for all our much loved cats, the only other one of ours to choose his own time was Bert who slipped away one night.
              R.I.P all cats who have left us heartbroken.

              • Ruth – it sounds like Ebony passed away very peacefully. And Bert too but Bert chose to slip away in the night – a little different to Ebony but equally as peaceful. Thanks for sharing about that. It’s incredibly sad to lose someone who you spend everyday of your life with over a period of time. It leaves and huge hole. Or at least it does for some people. Alot of people don’t really understand that because at some point they say “yes but it’s just a cat”. But like you say in your comment – they leave us heartbroken. I have little experience with this though to be honest – compared to you. I hope my 3 ladies live long lives and that they are happy. That’s all I want. Most of all that they are happy, if they can live long then all the better.

  14. Such a beautiful and sad memorial to Red which I will read again more thoroughly when I’m feeling better. I can’t seem to shift this migraine bout this time but desperately wanted to come here and support you Marc.
    Thanks for good wishes everyone, I hope to be back soon xx

      • Thanks Michael, I can’t be doing with lying about any longer so I’ve found some very dark glasses and hope to catch up on here a bit. Migraine is a damn nuisance!

    • Hope you feel better very soon Ruth. I really appreciate that you dropped by and said hello anyway. Thank you and get well soon. My father had migraines for some time in his life and they were very hard for him. If only you could buy oxygen in the corner shop – in the end they gave him a tank of oxygen and if he breathed it for a little while the migraine went away.

      • Your poor dad! It’s the flashy lights part I hate more than the headache, it’s very frightening, it’s just in the corner of one eye now so almost ignorable.

          • It is and cruel scientists use cats in research in labs, deliberately giving them migraine to try to find a cure because their brains are so similar to human brains.
            I’d rather suffer forever than cats be tortured like that.
            One day I hope Karma will catch up with those who legally abuse cats as well as those who illegally do!

            • I hope it does because it is horrible – I can’t believe they can do it in the name of science or anything. Very ugly people right down to the core.

  15. Thank you for sharing such a touching memorial to your Red with us Marc and what better tribute than you donating for cat charities,I take my hat off to you for not crawling under the duvet full of self pity for your dreadful loss a year is no time at all.
    Sending you loving sympathy.

    • Thank you Rose – I’ve crawled under the duvet today but now I am going to walk up to where he is. It’s been a hard weekend and all of you have been so kind to me. You are right, one year doesn’t seem like long at all. It’s the ‘first time round’ in a sense for me.

      The other cyclical thing that will remain hard for me will be the first snowfall every winter. He looked so beautiful in the snow and he loved it so much. I’d get home to puddles of water next to the food bowl – bits of snow got stuck in his fur and melted off inside.

      Thank you for your kind words. It mean alot to me.

  16. My thoughts have been with you all day, Marc.
    Your tribute to Red has made me revisit the many loses I’ve had too.

    Some people say that it may be easier to lose a beloved cat that has grown old and frail.
    Some people say that it may be easier to lose a beloved cat that is young and has not been in your life a long time.
    Some people say that it may be easier to lose a beloved cat that is ill and a short life is predictable.

    For me, there has been no difference. Every single loss rips my heart apart. It doesn’t matter if they were young, old, naughty at times, needy, demanding, or less than perfect ( I’m thinking of Sealy, Charlie, as well as my blind Dreama and FIV positive Corker). They are all embedded in my soul.

    Please mourn as long as you need to for Red. We get it!

    • Dee that is very interesting to know and thank you for sharing that. You know I can’t imagine losing a cat after so many years. What you said makes perfect sense. Of course it does. Love and companionship has no particular time limit, it just is, and it is timeless. The loss is all the same in the end I guess. It would have been nice to have more time with Red, more memories, but there are many – so many I can’t count them so that’s it really. Nothing can really be quantified. They are “embedded in my soul” – nicely put.

    • Well said Dee. Without wanting to be melodramatic, I think we mourn our loss for the rest of our lives. I know I do. I am still mourning the loss of a cat, Missie, who died almost 20 years ago. It is still fresh. I have strong feeling that Marc will have the same experience.

  17. Hi all – I just got back from my visit with Red – there were kittens and mamas and lots of long grass and insects and mosquitos. It was beautiful weather. I’m thankful for that and the company of his family of cats and kittens. I will be going again everyday this week to check on the kittens as the lady is going away and it’s going to be very nice to visit. I didn’t plant anything yet, I did however pull up some grass and brought it home for the cats to sniff and roll around in and they love it – the smell of the earth and green – so nice. Straight from on top of his grave – surely there is some of him in everything that grows there because I did not bury him in a container, just made him a bed of his little blanket and laid him in a curled up position as if he were sound asleep. He is now feeding the earth above and around him. I brought hom a little piece of him. When the cation is done I will go up there and transplant a little of what grows over him and have it grow on my balcony. It’s just something I want to do. I don’t have any ashes.

    Comments are being counted for another 11 hours and 55 minutes on all articles starting from saturday morning (the one about cat licensing) and including all articles posted after that, including this one. I must work tomorrow so I will head off to bed now but I just want to say

    ———————–THANK you ALL so much ————————

    for all of your kind words and condolences and for commenting to raise the donation for charity and Michael and Charlie. I guess we will find a way of letting you all know how much the final count is. It’s the 1st of July tomorrow and I get my paycheck so this works out perfectly for me to be able to do this. Thank you everyone 🙂

      • At 08:10 morning on Monday 1st July there were 13,435 comments. On my calculation (I need your confirmation of that) that makes 175 comments from Sat morning to Mon morning = $875! 🙂 at $5 per comment. We can discuss that. I don’t think you should donate that because the first plan was for one day. You could more or less halve that figure for comments for one day rather than the weekend.

        We have to add the amount from PoC under the 5 cent scheme which started 19th June. That was 626 comments making $31.

        Over to you for your figures. I am open to adjustment – don’t worry.

        • Sounds great Michael – it’s what I hoped for. Let’s round it up to 900 and call it a day 🙂

          I just need you to email me your paypal email ID – I assume you want it in GBP. I’ll make the conversion and send you the money.

          I hope that count starts from early on saturday and not from when you posted my story (?)

          • Yes, the count does start from first thing Saturday. You are being extraordinarily generous. Can I do a short follow up post on this to get some feedback on from the others on the short of charity they prefer?

            • Yes – great idea – and I sent you a photo in an email for the page. I’ll send you a caption now – if you are ok with that.

  18. Pingback: Red’s Memorial: Decision on Donations | Pictures of Cats

  19. Dear Marc~ It never gets easier to lose our animal children. I know others have said the same I will say: Love is EVERYTHING. My eyes are blurry with tears as I write this, and know I completely understand and sympathize with your pain.

    My babies mean the world to me, and the only way I have dealt with losing the ones I have is remembering that one day, we will all be reunited.

    and with love~

    >^,,^<

    • Thanks alot Kat – I didn’t see your comment until today. I agree with everything you say. I guess I will always miss him – and feel this emptiness without him.

  20. I just found this page and I think it is true testament to your love of Red and all cats Marc. Red was beautiful and I believe he was your true soul mate. I hope that the happy memories of your brief life together flourish in your heart forever

    Jane xx

  21. im finding it hard to find the right words to say, i know the passing of Cassy was hard, it would of been so traumatic to find red like that. Its so good to know there are men out there that are big cat lovers. I loved the story and seeing the pics of when he was really little. Its great you have this special memory it certainly helps the grieving process. i know we will all meet our beloved animals in rainbow land. Wish i had known about this group earlier. just so sorry its horrible to lose a beloved pet like this. hugs

    • Hi Kylee. the relationship between Red and Marc was very special. Mar’s memorial to Red is also very special. This is one of those special pages on the website that I will always remember.

      By the way, I am pleased that you now have your new avatar. Well done.

      • me too its made me cry alot. Great to be able to see pictures of red and the storys behind it. i truely believe cats spirits live on around us. i certainly know that my own animals cassy memory lives on.

  22. Thank you for sharing such a touching Memorial to your Red with us Marc. I think this Memorial amazing. Luckily for Marc and Red, they had eachother in their lifes. Those moments will live in Marc’s heart forever. Those beautiful moments are yours Marc, all yours.

    I met Marc only a few days a go, but I don’t know why seems that I know him since ever and he makes me believe even more in pure hearts, in pure feelings, in kindness and this Memorial proves me that.

    I will donate to PoC in Red memory.

    P.s- You have made me cry a few times in these last days Marc.. Includind today..

    • Hi Susana. Marc is a special person with a very tender heart. Red was a special cat with a big place in Marc’s heart. It is an amazing page in memory of Red. A towering memorial to him. To me it is very tragic but I don’t want to dwell on that.

      Thanks for commenting. Any future comment you make will be published immediately.

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