April 20, 2011

My Funny Valentine .

LP , " Some times it is difficult to know how to begin a story. Where to begin exactly. Especially if it is a true stroy. Especially if it is a sad story. Especially if your heart is heavy and full and breaking.That's what I am faced with today. I'm not sure how to begin. But begin I must.

I wanted to spare you. I had wanted to create a place where we could be in forgetfulness together, momentarily forgetful of the weighted things of life. I wanted to create a balance from a world that often seems disconnected from the purpose of goodness, beauty, compassion, friendship. A world often disconnected from a certain altruism of life . At times , a world headed toward a type of superficiality that I find destructive to the uniqeness of what the human spirit can be. I wanted to creatively share my love of animals and the purity of their spirit , and in turn to know that you loved your animals equally. And in that space of forgetfulness I wanted to create joy, lightness, a sense of wellbeing. But something dark crept in and now I am forced to share a loss with you. My friend Tracy said to me , " Thank you for letting me share your grief. It is just as profound and important as joy."  I am unable to continue blogging, something that I look forward to doing daily, I look forward to YOU daily, without sharing this grief . I hope you feel the same way Tracy does.

Some time on Saturday, in the early  morning of April 16th 2011 , Lewis died. Friday morning we heard him call out in the kitchen. He was sitting at his feeding station in a pool of urine.We took him to the vet's immediately. A blood panel was run on him, urine sample taken, X-rays were taken. He was put on an IV. The vet found him to be jaundiced and anemic. We were told he had the symptoms of rat poisoning. We were incredulous. We don't have rat poison. Period. Lewis is an indoor cat. What was happening?!! We were told to go home without him.That is was better to let him rest, be observed, kept on the IV. The vet would call us later in the afternoon to let us know the blood test results and we would go from there.

By 4:30 in the afternoon we still hadn't heard back from the lab.Out of our minds with worry by then, we went down to the vet's office anyway because we needed to be with Lewis. When we got there Lewis was so happy to see us. He purred as I have never heard him purr and we were able to tell him how much we loved him. When the tests finally came in we were told he had IMHA. Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. It sounded innocent enough but it was a pernicious prognosis. We had never heard of this disease and were told that it is usually found in dogs.That it is rare and swift acting.That usually it  is apparent an animal has it a week or so before a full out invasion sets in. We were told the fact that Lewis had not displayed any symptoms whatsoever until that morning, was not good. We started him on treatment right away. We were told the first three days would be most crucial. We stayed with Lewis at the clinic until they closed at 9 p.m. that night and then we reluctantly went home. We naively believed he would get better. That we had caught the "monster" in his body in time to forever rid him of it. We thought Lewis would be waiting for us in the morning ; feeling stronger. Lewis died during the night. Gone. Just like that.

I am beyond devastated. Lewis was a HUGE personality who followed me around my day like a loyal sentinel. He offered me a daily source of levity and joy. He was quirky and sensitive and peculiar in the most lovable way imaginable. Lewis resisted being picked up (he was too busy and always in movement) but we would pick him up just to hear him protest . He would spew out these funny little noises that if translated would surely mean, " Let go of me you big oafs ! " We called him our Little Protester. We called him our BooBoo Boy. BooBoo. I called him My Funny Valentine.

I can't even begin to describe the hole his brutal absence has left in our lives ; the hole it has left in my heart. And I don't want to even try. It's all too raw right now. I can barely speak of Lewis in the past tense. It is surreal. He was four years old , beautiful, vibrant and loved like crazy. But those things did not guarantee that he would live into his old age. The decision to end  Lewis' life was not mine to make. It was made by a force much greater than my great need to keep him here , close to me.

I have however, made the decision to keep him alive for a while longer here in cyberspace. I have a megabillion photographs of Lewis. I plan to "feature" him on the blog once in a while. I plan to tell a few more Lewis stories.Because his life was cut short. Because in this way he lives on in memory. Because he wasn't just "my Lewis". He was yours too.


Count Lewis Leopard Leaping Frog , in my friend Tracy's hands . Welcome to the World.




Thinking of his forever family over the sea and far away.




A personality emerges. It is  H U G E .



Lewis ," But I am deliciously sweet too. Look."




Esme, " That depends to whom you are speaking with. Pesky little brother ."
Mitalee, " They are at it again. Ugh."




Lewis, " I'll give you a turn. Be patient. It is a virtue."




Lewis , " I'm pretty flexible. Can you see my pink toes?



Lewis, " I know. It doesn't look comfortable but oddly enough it is."




Handsome.




Lewis , " Who me ? " Handsome.





With eyes the colour of Tropical seas or the beautiful milkiness of jade.



Sweetness in a hammock. K's " LouLou."




True Love.



Rest in Peace Lewis. You were loved before you came to us. You were loved after you came to us. You are loved now, and into all the days of our tomorrows.

53 comments:

  1. We didn't know Lewis, but just wanted to drop by and leave our condolences. He was such a gorgeous little fella, we know you must be hurting very much on losing him so suddenlly. We send you love and rumbly purrs.

    Whicky Wuudler
    Oliver
    & Gerry

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  2. We were so pleased to have met you Lewis and we would have liked to know you better.
    We are so sorry to hear about Lewis - we had never heard of his illness before. We are sending many purrs and gentle headbutts and hope they will comfort you a little.
    Lewis is now at Rainbow Bridge and is well and running about in the sunshine - he will watch over you all. You may think in a quiet moment that you have seen a movement out the corner of your eye and he will have made a fleeting visit to make sure you are all ok.
    Take care.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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  3. Words cannpt begin to express how very sad and sorry we are to hear this news. We didn't know Lewis, we read about him on the CB but we can tell from yoour post what a very special and loved boy he was, and is, and always will be.

    We are sending love and purrs and sincere condolances. (((((hugs)))))

    We think it is a lovely idea to keep little Lewis on the blog ~ even though right now your heart is too heavy. He deserves to be remembered and honoured. Maybe when and if you ever leave comments ~ you could sign them in your usual way, but add Angel-Lewis to the signature.

    We are so sad for you. RIP sweet booboo boy.

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  4. We are so very sorry for your sudden and unexpected loss of Lewis. Run free at the Bridge, sweet kitty.

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  5. i am so.... so sorry for your loss. i didn't know Lewis until now, but i grieve with you during this time of sorrow. this post about Lewis was wonderful and i am so glad to have found your blog and to have read it. i'm sorry that we met this way, but i hope you don't mind if i follow your blog...

    *hugs* from the bottom of my heart i wish you and your family the best during this hard time...

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  6. Words do not begin to express how very sad and sorry we are to hear this news. We didn't know Lewis, we read about him on the CB but we can tell from your post what a very special and loved boy he was, and is, and always will be.

    We are sending love and purrs and sincerest sympathy. (((((hugs)))))

    We think it is a lovely idea to keep little Lewis on the blog. Purrs of Comfort, ~AFSS & Alasandra

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  7. Oh no, oh no, oh no. I am so very sad to learn this news. I loved Lewis and cannot believe he is gone. I will keep you in my thoughts and purrs during this sad time.

    Rest in peace, sweet Lewis. You were a Good Boy.

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  8. We saw Lewis on the CB and came to offer our sincere condolances on his devastating loss from your lives...From this lovely tribute to him, it is evident what a handsome, sweet, silly and special boy he was to your family...It is so important that he was fortunate enough to know how much he was loved=LOVE is an energy that never dies and in this way, precious Lewis will be with you always...We wish you comfort at this sad time...Big hugs...J, Calle, Halle, Sukki

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  9. I am so very sorry to hear about sweet Lewis. My sisters and I send you many purrs and hugs.

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  10. I am in absolute shock. Which is nothing compared to yours, I know.

    I don't even know what to write. Because there aren't any words to help ease your grief--this much I know. Perhaps, in time, the love being sent to you from around the CB will help comfort you a tiny bit, but not now...of course not now.

    Please, please know I'm sending you universal Light, keeping you in my thoughts, wishing you healing and Blessings and Peace.

    I'm just so, so sorry....

    (((Hugs)))

    -Kim at Fuzzy Tales

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  11. We had never met Lewis but came to offer our sincerest condolences and purrs. We are so sorry you lost your sweet boy.

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  12. Farewell little one. It is so easy to see from all your wonderful life's photos how special you were, and from your Mom's writings we can tell how much you were loved. Whether you were her "oaf" or her "valentine"... you will remain as both, forever, in her heart. May you find good friends and many sun spots beyond the rainbow.

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  13. I'm so sorry for your loss... I didn't know Lewis, and can only get an idea of his personality from the photos you posted, but he seemed like a wonderful being. My sincere condolences.

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  14. We are so sorry for your loss.
    Lewis looks like such a fun little guy, from the very start.
    We knows you must be missing him sumfing awful.
    And we are all sending you purrs and love.
    KC
    Missy Blue Eyes
    Faith Boomerang
    Sol
    Smokey
    BJ
    Mom ML

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  15. We are very sorry to hear about the loss of Lewis. Huggs and Purrs.

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  16. We are so sorry for this devastating loss. Once you knew something was wrong, you did everything you could. Just from what I have read today, it's obvious that you gave Lewis the best life possible. He was and is dearly loved -- and the love never dies. The pain will diminish with time. We hope you find some peace in all your memories of Lewis throughout the grieving process.

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  17. Oh, LP, we are so very sorry. We wish there was something -- anything, really -- we could say to help ease your grief.

    It's always been clear to us that Lewis' personality was larger than life. Thank you for loving him so much and so well, and for sharing the blessing that he was with us.

    Perhaps Lewis is running free now at the Bridge with our Maggie (what a funny pair they would make) and our other sweet angels. We'd like to think so. Please know that you are in our thoughts, purrs and prayers.

    In love and sorrow,

    Kevin, Tracey, Sammy, Moosey,
    and Angels Maggie, Graphite, Bitsy and Lady Madonna
    Animal Shelter Volunteer Life

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  18. We are so sad and heartbroken for your huge loss of sweet Lewis. You are in our thoughts and purrayers.

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  19. So so sorry! We also lost our grandkitty Fry at age 4. FUReFUR Young! FUReFUR in your hearts.

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  20. I am so very very sorry to learn about precious Lewis. I know beyond telling how terrible a loss it is and I send my sincere condolences and warm hugs to you and the family. Purrs and prayers to help ease your grief.
    Lots of love and we here in the CB are with you, dear.

    xoxo

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  21. We too have come from the CB to offer our condolences. Lewis is beautiful and this is such a devastating thing to happen. I have never heard of this disease. He is a special little Angel and I am so very sorry for your loss.
    Run free at the Bridge Lewis.

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  22. Sweet Lewis, you will be sorely missed!

    LP, through my tears I read this beautiful tribute and I am certain there are no words to ease your heartache. I only hope it will help to know that you are not alone and that many grieve this loss with you.

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  23. I'm sorry to see this is the first time I've meet Lewis. Our deepest sympathies for your loss. Your tribute to him is moving and we hope your pain is eased by the knowledge that so many understand and share your pain.

    Meg & Fin

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  24. We came over from Cat's blog and we are SO SORRY for your loss. Losing a pet is never easy, but we are sure that losing a young one so suddenly makes it worse. But he is looking down on you from the Bridge and we know you will see him again. Please know that those of us who blog about our pets gladly share in the joy and the losses....it is part of being a community.

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  25. We didn't know Lewis, but we are so saddened that he became so ill and passed away. We know that he will be waiting for you at The Bridge.

    Luf, Us and Maw

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  26. We just visited you yesterday and saw all the pictures of your cats. The one that caught our mom's eye the most was Lewis and at the time she remarked "what a cutie!" Now to read this...we are so sad and heartbroken and can only imagine what you must be feeling losing your sweet boy so suddenly. We send you comforting purrs and hugs. We wish we could do more to ease your pain.

    Wally, Ernie, Zoey and mom Sue

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  27. We are so sad, sad that we did not have the opportunity to know Lewis. What a wonderful sweet boy he was. We are so sad for your loss and we understand the hole sized shape of Lewis in your heart. We will pray for your healing and for terrible loss you are feeling.
    {hugs}
    Abby

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  28. We are sad for you, knowing how painful losing a furry is. Your friend is right. And we pet bloggers not only want to share the joys of your pets, but we are here to share your grief of Lewis' passing. Hugs, Jan

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  29. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I didn't have the opportunity to know Lewis but he sounds like a wonderful kitty. The grief and the pain that goes with losing a cat, especially one so young, is numbing. We'll be praying and purring for you.

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  30. We are sending you our most healing and loving purrs to help comfort you. Lewis was an amazing boy.

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  31. Oh..we are sad, too. We never got to know Lewis but we came to purr for you because Cat's Cats let us know. Then we came to visit and see why Lewis had such a big personality...We know cuz we are Cornish Rexes and Sphynx and have large personalities, too! AIHA is a terrible disease and often just as fast as you learned. We have a good friend who lost her black and white Devon to the same disease and our Teri works at a cat hospital and even they rarely see AIHA.

    May the love and life you shared bring you comfort when the sadness ebbs and flows...

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  32. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how it feels to lose a soul mate, which is what it sounds like Lewis was and is to you. Know that you and your family are in the thoughts of so many right now. When I lost my beloved Maxwell James, a good friend sent me a card with these simple words: "What a beautiful difference one single life made." That simple sentiment helped me enormously as I tried to reconcile the loss of my beautiful feline companion. Perhaps those words will help you too because it certainly sounds like Lewis made a huge difference in your life. The time we get to spend in this life with our animal companions is a true treasure. Lewis loves you forever. Love never leaves.

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  33. Well we totally agree with Tracy, that we all want to share in your sadness as well as your happiness. We are so very sorry about Lewis. It is so hard to lose such a good friend. We are sending you tons of purrs and many hugs. Please do keep telling stories about Lewis. We would like to hear them. Could you put the posts on the CB. Our Mom is old and can't remember anything so she needs reminding and she would love to read some more of your blog. Take care and big hugs.

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  34. I am so very sorry for your loss. What a handsome boy, and what a shock. I hope you'll accept the caring thoughts of a friend you haven't met yet. You will see him someday, over the Bridge.

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  35. Oh we are so so sorry about Lewis leaving. We read about him on the CB and at Cat's blog - we didn't know him but oh it still breaks our hearts any time a kitty leaves - especially so soon. We are just so so sorry - he was a beautiful boy and we wish we had gotten a chance to know him (which we are still going to do by reading your past posts). We are sending over tons and tons of comforting purrs, prayers and hugs.

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  36. We are so sorry for your loss. we are prays & purrs for you all.

    joanne, jane, jill, johnny, jay boy, jasmine & capu from singapore

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  37. We are honored to have known Lewis and we'll miss him immensely. We are sending you our love and softest purrs to try and comfort you.
    Looking forward to remembering Lewis in future posts.

    Love, Trish & The Kats

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  38. Even though we have noe visited you before, we are so very sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, dark does creep into the light, but this dark does not mar what you are trying to create. The love and loss of a beloved animal is one that we all must face and facing it together helps chase that darkness back out of the light. Hang in there and know that tons of us understand just how hard this is for you.

    Meowm Rhonda, Junior and Orion

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  39. Oh we are so, so , so very sorry to read this news, for each and every one of you his friends. Losing a young cat to something nasty is something we know about, and we also know that each loss is bottomless in its grief. Lewis was such a character and we always looked forward to his adventures. You will miss him most but we will miss him too.

    All your friends at The Poupountte,
    Tama-Chan Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Tommy, Vidock and #1

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  40. Love you Lewis. Miss you Lewis. Happy Ever After to you...

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  41. Godspeed Lewis...We're sending soft purrs to your mommy.

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  42. We came over from the CB to say we are so very sorry for your loss of Lewis. Our hearts break hearing this story of such a sudden and unexpected loss for you and your family...Lewis's photos are all so precious and he sounds like he was quite the character. We send the biggest of purrs and prayers your way.

    Be Well Sweet Lewis

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  43. We read about Lewis on Cat's blog....what a precious handsome fun boy he must have been....
    Is he a Cornis Rex? What unusual markings he had on his handsome face. God bless you for loving him so much and may good memories of him fill you heart and mind very soon,
    Hugs Madi and Mom

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  44. I have never been to this blog or met Lewis, but I wish I had. I am so so sorry for your loss. He was such a cute boy.

    xoxo
    Daniela
    Homers mommy

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  45. Like Daniela, this is my first visit here, but it is obvious from just one post how adored this little cat-man was, and how much his loss has torn a Lewis-sized hole in your heart. Your writing is hauntingly beautiful and is the perfect tribute to him. Some cats are just larger than life. I think Lewis fits that category.

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  46. We are so very sorry for your loss.
    Lewis was such a pretty boy, we know you will miss him so.
    ~ Malachi and The Bunch

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  47. We will always remember you Booboo. I will miss all your funny sounds and protests! And I think doing posts about Lewis once in a while is a great idea.

    XOXO K:)

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  48. This is just heartbreaking..precious Lewis was taken way too soon. :( He was a beautiful kitty.. Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. Sending lots of love and purrs your way xo

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  49. Our purrrrs and prayers are with you during this sad time!! Lewis we will remember you always!! ((((((HUGGGGSSSSSS))))))) to your Mom and family!!
    Your TX furiends,

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  50. Dear Louis' family,

    I have no idea who you are and I never knew Louis, but you have my most sincere condolences over the loss of your beautiful kitty. Even though we have all been through this before I can barely imagine the pain you are in. Just from the pictures and story I can see Louis was a beautiful little boy, inside and out. You should not have lost him.

    I am praying for you,

    ~B~

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  51. I just heard of your loss, and had to come and offer my condolences. I am so sorry that he could not stay with you longer, but he did leave a wonderfully strong paw print impression on your heart, and on the web.

    I'm so very sorry.

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  52. Rest in peace Lewis you cutie with the mustache. I hope it rains kibble where you are and couches are extra stuffed for your scratching pleasure. Maybe you'll meet my fosters that have also crossed the rainbow bridge and have a catnip party togehter. You will be missed..

    LP you can always find me at http://nopedigreejustlove.blogspot.com or email me at lynielime@gmail.com

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