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Postcards from Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bridge Ch 2

Dear Spencer,

It’s been a week since you died. Numbness and depression has really sunk in. I’m alone. Sam still lives in NYC taking care of his mother most of the time. I’m tired. It’s been a year that he’s been gone. This should be resolved by now. I can’t care for this entire house, all the other cats, by myself. I didn’t sign up for that. Every day that passes, I get less and less interested in my life. I’m sorry to whine at you about it, but seeing you every day, talking to you, hearing your purr, really made it bearable. I just don’t have the connection to any of the other cats, the way I connected to you. They don’t even sleep with me. It’s so weird going to bed alone.

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©2019 Robin AF Olson. A truly lovely gift-a plant (read the message on the container!) from my beloved friends at Royal Bobbles.

Remember how you used to tuck me in? You’d use the step stool at the foot of the bed to jump onto the trunk, then from the trunk you'd jump onto the bed. You’d walk all the way up towards my pillow, then settle down ON my pillow, putting your face and front paws as close to my face as you could. Your long soft fur would tickle my face. Your purr was deafening. There was no way I could sleep with you almost laying on my face. Some nights I could barely breathe with all the floof covering me!

But you only stayed for about 5 to 10 minutes. I think it was your way of sending me off to a sweet slumber. You’d get up and return to the foot of the bed and lay against one of my legs. I can’t say how many nights I would wake myself up when I wanted to turn over so I wouldn’t crush you. Maybe I didn’t sleep well most of the time, but you were there, my furry shadow. You honored me with your devotion to stay by my side. It gave me great comfort. It broke my heart when you couldn't make it up the stairs any more. The last time was late April. I could have carried you upstairs every night, but we both know that would have irritated you.

Yesterday was 9|11. That just made my depression worse. It's a big day for me. My life began to change a lot after that day. I got trapped in New York City, like so many other millions of people. Sam was there, too. We were working together in the same design firm but we had broken up and were dating others. Talk about a weird situation. Then we had to rely on each other to navigate basically being homeless, with nowhere to go, as the World Trade Towers collapsed and our world got a lot more scary.

You hadn’t joined our family yet. Maybe you had just been born or would be soon. I bet you were an incredibly cute kitten. I wish I had known you then. You must have been about a year or so old when I first fostered you.

Before the Pouff in 2002
©2002 Robin AF Olson. One of the first images of Spencer, before his coat grew in and he went up to his highest weight of 16 lbs.

Do you remember the animal communicator? What she said about you? A friend got us a consultation. She did tell me some scary-accurate things about two of the other cats. I hoped what she said about you wasn’t true — that you didn’t want to talk about it. You put those days behind you. I know you were on “death row” somewhere in New Haven and that your time was up. They’d shaved you down. You must have been a matted mess. Your white fur was yellow. On your paperwork it said your name was Skeezix. What a horrible name! The director of the rescue named you Spencer. I didn’t like that name much, either, but it didn’t feel right to change it again. I guess that’s why I called you “Wee-wee” or “Weedie-woo.” …not because you peed all over!

People have been really kind. Did you see all the comments on social media about your passing? So many people were wishing you well on your journey to the rainbow bridge. So many people sent me thoughtful notes, a few sent flowers or a plant with nice cards. I was really honored that they cared so much about you. I guess about me, too.

I keep going back to what a few people said about how we never stop loving each other, even after death parts us. Even if we’re not in the same room any more, that love doesn’t have to stop. I thought I would never feel love from you again, but you sent me a sign, didn’t you?

You did it more than once to make certain I knew.

Here’s what happened (though I bet you already know this): I was watching TV. It was a reality show. I can’t remember which one. One of the folks was named, Spencer. In all the years I’ve watched TV I can’t think of a time when a character had that name. It’s not common at all. My ears perked up when I heard the name out loud. I thought; Did he make that happen? No. Couldn’t be. That’s crazy.”

Then, yesterday I was taking a break, watching “Say Yes to the Dress.” Why do I watch this show? It only makes me angry seeing women flip out over DRESS SHOPPING for a dress they will wear once, they will gladly spend thousands of dollars on, and then feel they have the right to go ballistic if it doesn’t go perfectly and they don’t get what they feel entitled to...and half the time they look like hookers, not bridal. Ugh. I'm particularly horrified by the women who drop over $10K on a dress. I mean, really! Spend $10K on pretty much anything else and that's cool with me, but not a DRESS!

So. Anyway. Here comes today’s bride. What’s HER name? Spencer. Yes, a woman named Spencer. You did that, didn’t you? First time was coincidence, right? Second time? No way. You did that!

Are you still here? If not, where are you? What are you doing? Are you all right? What was your first week like? I hope you’re not scared. I hate that I can’t protect you any more. That was my job. I still feel as though I failed you. I’m trying to do better with all the other cats to make up for something I can never make up for.

I guess this happens every time one of our cat's die. I try to learn a lesson. This one made me decide that we have to find a way to get every cat back into the vet to look at their teeth and set up a game plan for dental cleanings. We started doing that over a year ago. I need to do better. If your teeth had been in better shape, maybe you’d still be with us? But Sam also said that if it was your heart that failed, maybe you would have made your journey much sooner than you did.

I feel so screwed up about your passing. A few days ago, the foster kittens got spayed/neutered. I didn’t expect to be a wreck leaving them at the clinic, but it hit me, they were all going to be sedated. None of them had pre-op blood work because it’s too costly and usually not necessary on kittens, but then I started to worry about the dreaded “what ifs” again. What if I lost one of the kittens? What if one of them didn’t wake up?

Then later that day I took Flap, the little handicapped kitten, to see our specialist, Dr. Deb. She said she might have to lightly sedate him to put a brace on his leg. I lost it. I couldn’t hold back the emotions. I tried to explain why I didn’t want Flap sedated. It was stupid of me to feel that way, but I still felt so raw.

I just want to curl up under the covers and hide from the world.

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©2019 Robin AF Olson. Right after Spencer died and I got home, I walked out into my back yard and sat on a big rock. I looked up and saw this view of the tangled brush. It's how my heart felt in that moment; all twisted up with grief.

But you did it one more time, didn’t you? You gave me another sign. I wasn’t looking for one. I was flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch. On the History show there was a documentary, really a bunch of video clips with no narration, of 9|11. I wasn’t sure I should watch it. I was already so depressed.

I watched for a few minutes. There was a footage of a little girl with her even younger brother by her side. They were standing by a window in their apartment. You could see smoke from the collapsed World Trade Towers rising in the distance. The little girl explained what was going on…saying the building was just gone, gone forever…then she turned to her brother and said: “right, Spencer?”

WHAT? I got chills! Maybe I’m going insane from grief, but maybe this is legit. Maybe you're really out there. Maybe you'll write me again? Is that asking too much? I miss you so badly.

Keep the signs coming or the letters or both.

Mama loves you.

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