A Tribute to Branwyn 

The moment that you died, my heart split in two.
One side filled with memories. The other died with you.
I often lay awake at night, when the world is fast asleep.
And take a walk down memory lane, with tears upon my cheeks,
Remembering you is easy, I do it every day.
But missing you is heartache, that never goes away.
I hold you tightly within my heart, and there you will remain.
Life has gone on without you, But never will be the same.

Author Unknown

On May 29th,2009  Branwyn made her journey across the Rainbow Bridge.

She came to live with me in October 1998, a gift from someone who was trying to find a better home for her, and was my constant companion. Constant is a good word to describe my beautiful friend.

Constant: not changing or varying; continuing without pause or letup; unceasing; faithful; unswerving in love, devotion; resolute – something that does not or cannot change or vary

She came to me a very difficult time in my life, newly divorced and trying to raise two sons. Her unconditional love, healing energy and diva attitude kept me smiling and laughing through the trials and tribulations of the last ten years, and I know I could not have done it without her. She always picked me up when I was down. She showed her love for me in a way I have never experienced love before ~ without conditions. She knew when I was sick.. she knew when I was sad.. she knew when I was lonely...and even though there were times when I got frustrated with her demands for attention ~ her healing energy always restored my soul.
I was her third owner, but she truly belonged to me as much as I belonged to her. I did not know her real age although I was told she was around 3 when she came to live with me, but in retrospect I think she was older. The first week was rough and she spent most of the time under the bed, coming out for food and to go potty...but she soon warmed up. In January 1999, we moved into our house, which quickly became Branwyn's house...She ruled the house, swatting at the boys (and their noise) with her paws and making sure her food bowls were always full.

Perhaps they are not the stars,
But rather openings in heaven
Where the love of our lost ones
Pours through and shines down
Upon us to let us know
They are happy.
                                                                
    Inspired by an Eskimo legend

 

 

"Diva Cat"

Those of you who met her 'ladyship' knew that she was truly in charge. I always joked that she owned the house and just allowed me to live here with her. She owned everything in the house and ruled everyone that came into it. Anything that was brought home had to be immediately investigated and then claimed as her own and you would find her lying on top of clothes, costumes, paintball stuff and anything that came through the door. She wanted ice cubes in her water and would always come running when she heard ice being dispensed. Her food of choice was Fancy Feast (of course) and the fishier the better. Tuna was saved for holidays and special treats.  She was far too regal to play with toys, but periodically she would play the 'string game' or bat around a catnip toy. When someone came to the door, she had to see who was there, so that they could admire her and tell her how beautiful she was. And that is one thing "Winnie" knew without a doubt... that she was beautiful because told her so.

As a true diva she did not play well with others (cats). In Winnie's World there was only room for one and she had to be the center of attention. Period.

Branwyn loved to play dress-up with all my Renaissance and belly dance costumes. She knew that when fair time came, the costumes and hoopskirts would come out. After a long day at the fair I would come home and throw the hoopskirt and tulle petticoats into the tub and she would jump in and immerse herself in them. She would sit and watch as I practiced my dance, with the swirls of color of the veils and skirts, knowing that when done, I would throw them on the floor so she could lay all over them.

 

As a true diva, Branwyn had at least two beds or baskets in every room, in addition to the Master Suite upstairs. No matter how many baskets or fancy beds she had, her favorite place to sleep was a shoebox that was usually too small for her body... because in Winnie's younger years, she was quite the portly figure. She had no problem wedging herself into one of my shoeboxes, thinking that she fit, often looking like a 'muffin top' over flowing and overlapping the top of the box.

 

My precious friend.. if I believed in the word 'soulmate' ~ truly it was you. You never complained of your pain, as you were aging, but always tried to be your "Winnie self" and show me that you were still my darling girl. You still did those silly things that you did but I did notice how difficult it was for you to eat. If the ice in your water caused you pain in the end my love, I am so sorry... I should have realized it might have hurt you even though you still wanted it.

The night before we went to the dentist, was a long sleepless night, with me always calling for you to snuggle. The way you looked at me that night and again in the morning, I realize now you were saying goodbye. The past few months we spent so much time snuggling on the loveseat until late into the night. I see now that you were giving me your final days of love.

 

On that morning I did not think it was to be your last day with me...if I had I would have done things differently, I would have been overwrought and upset, I just thought it was a normal day and that I would be picking you up after your surgery. And I see now that is how it had to be. If I had been sad when I dropped you there, you would have fought to stay with me, not wanting to leave me even though you suffered. I know that you did not want to  suffer the indignity of having 6 teeth removed and try to maintain some quality of life after that - but I selfishly wanted to keep you here with me for as long as I could. If I had known your true age would I have done things differently...? probably not. I did not want you to be in any pain.

When the doctor called to tell me you were gone I was in shock and disbelief, and yet, seeing you decline these past few months has been difficult - your little body was tired but you still tried to be the Winnie I knew. I believe that if you had come out of the surgery the quality of your life would have been limited and I would never have wanted to see you experience anything that diminished your dignity and grace.

 
You saw the open window my love, and you took it...knowing that I would not be needing you anymore. You passed with dignity ~ so that I would not have to make that difficult choice for you...because I believe you knew how difficult that would have been for me....even in your transition you were protecting me, which is so like you.

Now you no longer suffer in silence the pain your poor little exhausted body was feeling. I had no idea how old you were, my love... All I knew was that you were with me for 10 wonderful years and it was nowhere near enough.  My heart is broken and I forever miss your sweet trusting face, your soft meow, your perfectly pink heart shaped nose and beautiful green eyes.

 

 

 

I did my best, my love, to give you the best life that I could and I know without a doubt you gave your best to me. I saved you from the life you had before coming to live with me...but what you gave to me, saved me, in so many ways.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I miss you..but I think you know. I know that I will see you again when it is my time to make the transition, but until then Winwin, please be patient just a little while, and I will be patient too - because the time will pass quickly for us and I know that I will be with you again...sooner than we think.

 

 





Winnie's World ~ what made Winnie Winnie and what I will miss about her

Seeing your face first thing in the morning.

Your smell ~ a slight hint of lavender.

Your perfectly pink heart shaped nose, your pink ears, your pink feet.

Taking naps with you because Winnie was wise in the ways of taking naps and was very good at it.

Your beautiful deep green eyes that would always look up at me with total trust and unconditional love.

The way you would race me up the stairs at bed time.

The way you would run into the bathroom first thing in the morning to drink out of the sink and then lay in there if I did not come fast enough.

How you come running when you heard the ice dispenser.

The way you would never allow anyone to get into bed with me because they would be taking up your side of the bed.

The way you would swat at the boys when they would walk by and try and keep them under control.

The way you examined your food/water bowls to make sure they were always filled.

The way you would always look for my hands to pet you - you knew they were there and you were going to find them.

The songs I used to sing to you that you loved.

The way you used to come charging down the stairs when I had been out of town on business ~ your name was the one that I called when I came through the door and you were always there to greet me.

Getting into bed with you every night.

Waking up with you sharing my pillow and your power paws tangled in my hair.

Reading before turning out the light, you snuggled between my left arm and my side, perfectly positioning your head in my hand so I could stroke your head.

Falling asleep with your head on my shoulder.

Sitting on the loveseat to drink my morning tea, waiting for you to come and sit next to me and when you got there seeing the look of pure trust and love in your deep green eyes and I stroked your soft white coat.

Laying on the couch or bed and having you jump onto my chest to stare down at me while I meditated.

These are the things I will miss about you, but they are also the things that I will remember as the best parts of you and what we shared together.