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

95 thoughts on “Remembering Red”

  1. 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 🙂

    Reply
  2. 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!

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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  3. 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.

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    • 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.

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  4. 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

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      • 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!

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    • 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.

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      • 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.

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          • 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!

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            • 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.

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  5. 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.

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    • 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

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      • 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.

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        • 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.

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          • 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.

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            • 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.

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              • 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.

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  6. 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.

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    • 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.

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