Life on the farm isnt always beautiful and yesterday was really tough and heartbreakingly sad. Our big, fluffy guy passed away and I can’t even begin to express how sad I feel. I’ve always liked cats but we shared a special bond. The bond we shared wasn’t anymore special than his or Andrews or his and Oakley’s. He had a way of touching every visitor that came to the farm, probably because he acted more like an old dog than he acted like a cat. Any old man would have been jealous of him. It takes dogs years to develop the laid back personality and disposition he had.
Kitty Paws wasn’t just popular with all of the visitors to our farm, he was also popular with all of our animals because he really wasn’t phased by anything. You could always find him in the pasture by Pete or sitting on the railing in the barn watching Maggie and Georgia. Even the chickens never bothered him. There were plenty of times when he jumped in my car and I had to turn around to drop him off at home. One time I almost acted like I didn’t see him in there just so I could introduce him to my students because I knew the love would have been mutual. Of course I made the responsible decision and brought him home but I highly considered it. We actually ended up compromising with me picking him up every morning to say bye to Oakley while she sat in her car seat. That seemed to stop him from jumping in my Jeep.
Whether Oakley was playing in the garden, riding in her wagon, or hanging out in the barn he was always right by her side. If Oakley was outside, Kitty Paws wasn’t far behind her if not right next to her. He loved her kisses, hugs, and pats. She always tried to pick him up even though he was too heavy for her and he never even flinched. Before Oakley was born, I promised myself I wouldn’t change anything about the way I treated my animals but it’s nearly impossible. A newborn baby demands your full attention and it’s true, my animals didn’t get the same amount of attention, which made me think maybe this would have been harder if this happened before Oakley was born but that’s far from the truth. I think our animals understood why they didnt get as much attention once we brought Oakley home and were excited to welcome her home. It didn’t take long until they got more love than they ever had before because Oakley has a bigger heart than both of us, especially for animals. One of the hardest parts of losing Kitty Paws is knowing that I won’t get to continue watching their relationship and love for each other grow. It’s even harder now that I have Oakley because it wasn’t just Andrew and me that lost a special pet, so did Oakley. I’m thankful that she didn’t realize what happened but also sad knowing that she’s most likely going to be looking for him for a couple of days. I do have a lot of pictures of the two of them together and she’ll remember him through those. I am so blessed for the relationship they did have and thankful for the time they got to spend together.
With all of that being said, I will spare you the details as that’s something I never want to relive but I also want to say we are so blessed to have a husband and dad like Andrew. I called him bawling my eyes out and he immediately left work early. Actually, he said he drove 80mph with his hazards on to get home because I was beside myself and didn’t know what to do. It was just as tough on him to lose such a precious soul but he handled it for our family and took it upon himself to bury him in my favorite spot on the farm, our garden. He made a little cross and wrote his name with a paw print. He knew what would help heal my heart more than I knew.
The morning after, I went out to the barn to feed Pete and while I was in the barn it started pouring rain. It felt like the whole farm was mourning his loss. That afternoon when we got home, I opened Oakley’s door and she was greeted by Laura and Garth but wasn’t her smiley self. When I went to get her out, she was acting a little off and it looks like her eyes were a little watery. It broke my heart thinking that she realized or knew what had happened. I know babies and toddlers are way smarter or more in tune than we ever give them credit for. So while it broke my heart even more knowing that she wasn’t acting 100% herself, I will say she is one tough little girl with a heart of gold.
Right now it feels like our little farm will never be the same but I know time heals and one day all of these tears will turn into happy tears as I remember all of the great memories of an irreplaceable cat. You were so loved and will be so missed big guy! I’m sad we only got a couple of years together but also thankful for the time and love shared. You truly were one of a kind! You’ll forever hold a place in our hearts.