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sweetly broken

March 26th, 2010 | 71 Comments »

I never expected to have the last six months. And I thank God for them, because it’s been a long preparation for this day.

Harmon has slipped away, very quickly and over just the past few days. It doesn’t matter what’s wrong because we don’t need to know. We just know he’s very ill, he’s very old and he’s leaving us. We need to make his final journey a peaceful one. For the unconditional love he’s given to me over the last 17 years, I owe him as little suffering as I am able to give. It doesn’t make the ache in our hearts any easier but he deserves nothing less from us. For every snuggle, for every jet engine purr and painfully hard head-butt he’s sent me over his lifetime, and for the six months that I’ve had to try and somehow accustom myself to living without him, I can make one of the hardest choices of my adult life.

Inevitable, and bittersweet. There are no more Spring days for him lolling on the patio or chasing grasshoppers, no more expectant faces at the snack cupboard, no more heavy bodies cuddling up to me while I work, or watch TV or sleep at night.

I don’t really know what Bustopher will do. Or for that matter, what we will do.

So please excuse my absence from here for a while.

71 responses to “sweetly broken”

  1. Ayla and Iza says:

    I am too familiar with the profound loss you are feeling. All I can offer is quiet sympathy. You and Harmon will be in my thoughts.

    The Big Thing

  2. Abby says:

    You are facing the one thing all of us who live and love our furry purries don’t want to ever face….the loss of our beloved…in looking over the pictures you posted it ripped through my heart, especially the last one of you and Harmon together side by side. To say your heart will be torn and tattered is no doubt an understatement. 17 years is a very long time with so many memories. In many ways Harmon will always be there with you, just not in his earthly form. I do believe, and I hope that you do as well, that one day you will be reunited again, and will never be parted. I look at it simply that our furry purries had to go ahead and pave the way for us. It’s hard to feel the loss and the letting go, but you have given Harmon such a wonderful happy loving life, in the days to come you will be so grateful for each of those minutes, hours, days and years that you both had together… Harmon we will miss you and we will send healing purrs and purrayers to your Mom and family….

  3. We’re so sorry to hear about Harmon. But the beautiful pictures you’ve shared and the love you clearly have for each other, we hope, will make this time a little easier. We’re sending our prurryers and good thoughts.

  4. JoAnna says:

    I’m so sad Harmon is gone. I believe cats go to heaven and you’ll see him again someday!

  5. Kat says:

    This is one of the hardest decisions to make. I’ve had to do it myself. But I know that Harmon will always be with you. My family and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Kitty Horde send you and yours many hugs and purrs.

    May the memories of love outweigh the grief of loss.

  6. kevin says:

    I’m so sorry. Unfortunately I know exactly how you feel.

  7. Jen Knox says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss…I’ve been where you are now and know how you feel….I picture my Trixie running through huge fields of grass, happy as a clam to have doggie friends to play with forever.

    It *does* get better as the time passes because you never lose the love you have for them, and the memories become happy ones. Honestly, you just have to wait for that day when suddenly you smile when you think of them instead of cry. It *will* happen…they (our pets), I believe, make sure of it. 😉


  8. Cory says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. Harmon is a very special cat and had a long and wonderful life with you.

    We are sending purrs.

  9. Marg says:

    We are sending you lots and lots of purrs and prayers and some woofies and some HeeHaws and one Baa. We all know this is a really hard time for all of you. So we will be thinking about you. Sorry.

  10. The mom speaks:

    My heart goes out to you all. There is never a right time to lose a beloved pet ~ and we know you will be hurting.

    A few borrowed words for you:

    Living Love

    If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always remember…
    The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your young new friend. You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that silly looking mutt in a shelter – simply because something in its eyes reached your heart. But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim its special place in your hall or front room – and when you feel it brush against you for the first time – it instills a feeling of pure love you will carry with you through the many years to come.

    The second day will occur eight or nine or ten years later. It will be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surprising instant, you will look at your long-time friend and see age where you once saw youth. You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy. And you will see sleep where you once saw activity. So you will begin to adjust your friend’s diet – and you may add a pill or two to her food. And you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a coming emptiness. And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the third day finally arrives.

    And on this day – if your friend and God have not decided for you, then you will be faced with making a decision of your own – on behalf of your lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever way your friend eventually leaves you – you will feel as alone as a single star in the dark night. If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort you. But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul – a bit smaller in size than your own – seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come. And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg – very, very lightly. And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend used to lie – you will remember those three significant days. The memory will most likely be painful, and leave an ache in your heart. As time passes, the ache will come and go as it has a life of its own. You will both reject it and embrace it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be an ache.

    But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when – along with the memory of your pet – and piercing through the heaviness in your heart – there will come a realization that belongs only to you. It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we have loved, and lost. This realization takes the form of a Living Love – like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this love will remain and grow – and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned. It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go. And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live. It is a love which is ours alone. And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our beloved pets – it is a love that we will always possess.

    ~ Written by Martin Scot Kosins, Author of “Maya’s First Rose” ~

  11. Katie says:

    I’m sorry to hear that. 🙁

  12. Julie Q says:

    What a beautiful post honouring your sweet friend. I hope that Harmon passes with no pain, and I totally agree that it is one of the hardest decisions to make. But know that you are not alone, and we all understand your grief.

    Purrs and hugs to you.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  13. Kat says:

    We lost a cat to cancer in summer of 08, diagnosed almost exactly 2 years ago. I still remember vividly what a traumatic experience it was and I still miss that cat dearly. I am so sorry that you all had to go through this. I am sure Harmon will watch over you from the other side just as Texas watches over us.

  14. divakitty says:

    Oh we are so sorry for you and Bustopher – we hope Harmon will be bounding about in fields of green chasing butterflies and rolling in catnip.

  15. […] months after being diagnosed with cancer, Harmon is leaving us. […]

  16. Fin says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet cat. I wish there were words to heal your heart, but I know only time will help that.

    Deep purrs and Mom hugs to you

  17. Chris says:

    God speed, Harmon. You’ve done a great job taking care of your family. Time to rest now.

  18. sammawow says:

    Oh, dear, I am so sorry to hear about your gorgeous Harmon. I wish that there were words to make you feel better but I am sure that Harmon had a wonderful life here with you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and China Cat and Willow are sending over soft purrs.

  19. The Meezers says:

    oh we are so very sorry to hear that Harmon is going to the Rainbow Bridge. He obviously loved you with all his heart and you loved him with all yours.
    Have a peaceful journey to the Rainbow Bridge Harmon – and MomKate – Harmon will always be with you, in your heart and memories. And he will be waiting for you at the Bridge

  20. Oh, Kate. I was thinking about you and Harmon just yesteday, and wondering how he was doing. I’m so sorry. I know how hard it is. Even though we know it’s because we love them, it’s so hard. I wish there were another way. Hugs, hon.

  21. Everycat says:

    Despite the sadness and dread of what you know you must do, remember that it is the kindest gift you can give a beloved friend, an easy passing. Hold on to that and reach a time when you can look back on those years of love and smile again.

    We send you, Harmon (and Bustopher) love and rumbly purrs

    Whicky Wuudler
    & Gerry

  22. Fuzzy Tales says:

    I just saw the news on the CB and came over….I am so deeply sorry, more than words can ever express. He gave you years of love and devotion, this is your last gift to him–peace, an end to suffering.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and sending universal healing Light. Please remember (and I’m paraphrasing a quote I once read), that all the holes in our hearts are to let the Light shine through.


  23. Brian says:

    My sisters and I are so very, very sorry to hear about your sweet Harmon and although we didn’t know Harmon, after reading about him we shall remember him forever.

  24. Sending you all much loving energy – it is a gift to Harmon to help him end his suffering but it is not easy. I have been there countless times and know your pain.

  25. Lisa says:

    Oh Kate, I’m so sorry to read this. It really is just awful to lose a pet. 🙁

  26. Lucky says:

    My heart is with you. This is the most difficult, yet the most compassionate and kind act that we as humans face.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful Harmon with us. I feel honored to have “known” him through you.

  27. Astrid says:

    my heart is aching with you
    tears share with you
    my thoughts are with you

    Farewell Sweet Harmon from a lady you never knew but whose heart you stole the very first moment she saw you!

  28. Jenny says:

    Sorry for your loss. So sad. He looked like a wonderful companion.

  29. Kristen says:

    Oh Kate… I am sitting here sobbing as if it was my own cat, 5 years ago. I am so, so sorry. I know your pain, and I know that pain will last for a very, very long time. I am so sorry. So terribly sorry.

  30. We are so sorry to hear that Harmon is leaving for the Bridge. We will purr and pray for both of you.

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids and Mom Sharon

  31. 'Kaika says:

    We are so sorry that sweet Harmon is leaving you. We wish him a gentle journey to the Bridge and send soft purrs and comforting thoughts to you.

    ‘Kaika and his mom

  32. It is the hardest, and yet the most loving, thing we can do for them. We hope the hole he leaves in your heart is filled with the love and happy memories he gave you. (((hugs)))

  33. There is no easy way to say good-bye. We’re sorry about Harmon. It always hurts. Sending purrs, tail wags and hugs.

  34. Kellyn says:

    I am so very sorry. I know that the pain can be so strong, we lost our Pokey a couple years ago after 18 wonderful years.

    I will be thinking of you

  35. darcie says:

    hugs to you and yours. it’s never easy.

  36. Alexa says:

    Prayers to you and your family. Losing a pet is the most unexplainable pain. Enjoy the memories, they will get you through it.

  37. suzi says:

    Oh, I am so sorry. 🙁 One of the saddest days was when my dog Molly died. The kindest heart on the planet. Thinking about you and your family.

  38. kat says:

    Sorry for your loss

  39. Thank you for reaching out and sharing this personal heartache with all of us. I am in the middle of a school day… have a rare prep, just checking my mail and saw you had a new post…so linked into it. I am not tear stained and full of heart ache for you. One has to have had this happen to really understand it. I have never had a pet live for 17 years… 13 was the longest. The loss is still there and our little pets will always be remembered. Yet, the one we have does fill that void. So, a new little kitty might be just the salut to Spring, the gift honoring Harmon and a new little buddy for Bustopher.

  40. Tracy says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry. 🙁 I know exactly how you feel…it was almost 2 years ago that Rocky’s sister, our sweet Callie, passed away from feline leukemia and it was absolutely heartbreaking. Sending lots of *hugs* your way.

  41. We are so sorry to hear about Harmon. We send you comforting purrs and headbutts to you at this sad time….

  42. KC says:

    I posted a grafik in Harmon’s honor on the Cat Blogosphere, anyone who wants to copy it is welcome.
    Love & Purrs,

  43. Joo says:

    I’m so very sorry, Kate.

  44. Liz says:

    Putting our Tornado down rather than let him waist away was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I am sorry for you all. Harmon is clearly loved and will be missed. I’m praying for you guys!

  45. […] months after being diagnosed with cancer, Harmon is leaving us. […]

  46. KC says:

    We’s sending you so much love and so many purrs.
    ~KC and the Sherwood Bunch

    pee ess: Sorry, but I’s can’t say nuffin, tha tears get in tha way.

  47. Kate, I’m so sorry. Praying that you will be comforted in ways that surprise you.


  48. We went through the same thing in early February. Just want you to know that we’re thinking of you.

  49. Katie B says:

    Oh Kate – I am so sorry! Harmon was a much loved little creature!

  50. Amber says:

    Oh honey, you have all the love I can send your way. As the cat-mom of two troublesome, loveable, cuddly, vindictive ginormous Maine Coons, I can only imagine the pain you’re going through.

    I’m sure that Harmon had a life filled with so much love and happiness, and that was because of you.

    Amber (@aryssabrooke)