Mel (Melanique Hypotenuse) was a black, female, domestic short-haired cat. When I was 15, my mother and I were at a beauty salon and my mother was in conversation with another client there. This woman was telling about how a stray cat had given birth to a litter of 3 kittens in her yard, then abandoned them. The woman said she had been bottle-feeding them to keep them alive, but was looking for homes for them. My mother told her we would take 2, Mel and her brother. I wanted to name her Melanie after a friend who had moved away; my mother wanted to name her "Monique". That is how she became"Melanique". From reading T.S. Eliot's 'Book of Practical Cats ', I knew that every cat needed to be given 2 names, and since her brother was James Pythagoras, I gave her the middle name of Hypotenuse. She was to be one of my best friends, my sister, my daughter, my companion for the next 17 years. Mel was always in my room because she loved to lay on my stuffed animals. When I turned 18 and left to go to college, I asked if I could take her with me. We moved from Northern CA to Tucson, AZ together, and there we lived for 4 years. After that, we moved to New York City together because I had gotten a theatre internship. Every night I thank God for her example of unconditional love and unwavering patience. Mel had a nearly human understanding of things going on around her and would cock her head to the side and meow when she was examining your facial expressions. She could read my mind. One morning after I had been fired from my job, I sat down at the table with my head in my hands thinking of what a failure I was. I felt something on my forehead and opened my eyes. It was Mel, she had gotten on the table in front of me and was kissing my forehead. She would give kitty kisses, where she would just touch her mouth gently to your face and leave it there. I also taught her to climb up on my shoulders. My hope was that she would lay across my shoulders like a shawl, but she never did, she just acted like my back was her table. I would walk across the room bent over with her on my back. She liked to press her face into my hair. As she got older, her whiskers turned white. I always called her my little Halloween kitty, since she was all black with yellow eyes. She was to be a balm for my soul with my bouts of depression and seasonal affective disorder. She developed hyperthyroidism, renal failure, skin cancer, anemia. She went through numerous dental cleanings, laboratory tests, x-rays and 2 surgeries where multiple masses were removed. I had to bathe her weekly with medicated shampoo. I treated her with acupuncture and supplementation. I had to express her anal glands weekly to keep them from becoming impacted. She developed pica and one night had to be rushed to the emergency room for eating rubber. Through it all she remained an absolute angel. She never even fought me in the bathtub, as if she knew everything I did was for her own good, though when she sensed it was time for a bath she would press her face under my chin to try to hide. She always loved breads, chips, cereals, Chinese crunchy noodles, and corn on the cob. In fact, she would steal corn cobs out of the garbage can to gnaw on. In the last years of her life, and I suspect this had something to do with her kidneys failing, she developed a taste for vegetables and potatoes. She loved green beans, asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, cauliflower. She would even eat them frozen. I would fix her a little dish of whatever I was eating. She also wanted coconut oil, and I began to leave a little dish of it out for her always. Her hind legs became weak and I routinely ran blood-work on her; but one week this summer we went in for a routine work-up and the vet said her kidneys were far worse, so we added more supplements and subcutaneous fluids to her regimen, also antibiotics for a high white blood cell count. She acted fine, in fact friends who came over could not believe she was sick she ate asparagus so voraciously, but in a week or so, she had found a large box that had previously held paper towels, and took to laying in it more and more often. I thought she was lethargic because of the heat, but I took her back to the vet a few days later since she seemed to be getting worse. X-rays and an ultrasound confirmed that her abdomen was filling with fluid, she had mass on her pancreas and in her chest cavity, and her liver was honeycombed with cancer. I made an appointment with an oncologist, but I didn't want to put her through chemo or radiation, so I took her to two holistic vets to see if anything could be done. They prescribed homeopathic remedies, but basically said it was only a matter of time. She picked out her spot on the bathroom floor between the toilet and the wall. I think because it was cooler in there, and there she began to remain. It became difficult for her to go even a few feet because the vet said she had virtually no muscle mass in her hind legs due to her kidneys breaking down protein. I gave her Reiki every day for an hour as well as all her other treatments, and a little dish of vegetables at all times, told her how much I loved her and how sorry I was that I couldn't make her better. She gradually got weaker. I fed her and changed her every few hours, baby food and tuna when she stopped wanting her regular food. My Reiki master said the Reiki would honor her and help her to go in peace and without pain, and that is exactly what happened. Spunky, loving, loyal, affectionate, patient, cooperative, utterly trusting. Mamita, baby girl, tootsie roll, spunkita, hypotenuse, melba toast (and crackers, melsirus, bossy britches, pumpkinhead, pumpkin, melaniqua, doll baby. 5 days after her diagnosis, I rose to feed her in the morning, and she tried to eat but was too weak to hold her head up. A few hours later, I went to give her fluids and found her breathing had become agonal and she was unconscious. I grabbed her and ran out the door to the vet to end it, giving her Reiki the whole way there. When we got into the exam room and I took her out of the carrier, she was gone. The vet offered to start CPR but I declined. The story would normally end there, but I was having such a terrible time with the guilt of not being able to save her, about 2 and half months after she went home, I contacted a shaman named Lesley to speak with her for me. I had never spoken with Lesley before and she knew things that she could not otherwise have known. She said that Mel was happy and purring and rolling in the dirt because she was not allowed to go outside when she was alive. I told her about trying to save her, she said that Mel was going to go regardless of what I did because it was her time, and that she tried to hold on as long as she could, but in the end she had to leave. She said that I had been her touchstone, the one she could count on for everything and that she knew how much I loved her. She said Mel's life had gotten a lot easier after it was just the 2 of us. She said her life had not always been easy, but that it had been a good life. Lesley asked if I planned to get another cat, and I told her not for a while. She said she was asking because Mel thought I was a good owner. I asked her to make sure Mel knew that everything she had been through was for her own good. Lesley said, yes, she knew, that Mel would have gone through anything I wanted her to. Lesley asked if I knew that Mel had been around me lately. I said yes, I knew, although I didn't explain to her about the visitations, I didn't think I needed to. For the first few months after her death, about once a week or so, I felt a cat jump on the bed next to me and circle around, trying to get comfortable, laying against me right before I fell asleep or right after I woke up in the morning. I thought I was imagining things, but it would go on for so long that I would look over, but could not see a cat there. My other cat, K.C., would be all the way across the room. It happened a few times before I figured out it was Mel coming to visit. After I figured out what it was, I stopped being afraid of it, and would just whisper "I love you Mel. Thank you for stopping by." She has not come for a while now, though, and Lesley said she would be around me less and less as she sensed that I did not need her quite as much anymore. But she also said that our pets and loved ones come back to help us cross over when it is our time. Wherever you are Mel, I hope it is always sunny and warm, and that there are big, deep, still, clear pools of water to drink from. I hope that you have all the toast and vegetables you can eat and that one day I will be able to hold you and never let you go.
My little Halloween kitty with yellow eyes
By turns, pumpkin head, tootsie roll,
melaniqua, princess, bossy mcsaucy,
How is your fur here but you are not?
I don't want to go home my house feels so empty
Who will share my toast now?
Who will beg my tortilla chips, my
"Will you be OK without me, Mommy?"
Yes, my darling, I will be OK without
you; but I will miss you so God-awfully much
To know I will never feel you lightly
jump in bed with me again, or sleep
on my feet, or push against my hand
with your head wanting to be petted is
something I don't know how to wrap my mind around.
Who will kiss my face
when I am upset?
Patient, cooperative, trusting,
and sweet to the very last
I could kill myself for ever getting angry at you
Corn-cob chomper, hairball hacker,
asparagus-eater, night vomitter,
bathroom sink dirtier
I'd give anything to have you back
After the storm had blown away,
I saw a rainbow up above.
It spoke to me of peace,
It spoke to me of love.
I saw the rainbow glowing,
As it replaced the stormy skies,
I felt a fear down deep inside,
As it reflected in my eyes.
In a shadow I stood there,
Tall and strong and bold,
On my cheeks ran silver teardrops,
Some were new and some were old.
My love for you
Glows in each silver tear,
The colors run together now,
And wipes away my fears.
aka Don Dade
Our hearts are forever linked, we are part one of the other
We bound our souls together and a journey we began
We faced the world as one as we traveled through this life
We chose our trail and then began walking hand in hand
Now I continue the journey on the path we had chosen
And as I face our path alone and you travel on ahead
I know that you are also here to guide and guard my steps
To help me to keep true to the path where once you lead
And though now there is only a single set of footprints
I do not fear for I know that I still travel on with you
I feel you as you continue to lead and guide my steps
As you continue leading me from just beyond my view
So Much Joy You Have Given Me
Always In My Heart, My Soul
Love Ever Lasting
Imprinted On My Heart
Dreams Of Special Moments
My Beloved Ones
As I Am Always Your's
I see you Running Free
On Clouds Of Silver
Take With You My Touch
To Warm Your Dreams
Till I Am By Your Side
I Will Always Carry
Your Paw Prints On My Heart
Ebbing tides of sorrow break,
Over those who will seek but ease.
The hearts and souls and minds that ache,
Waiting for the wind called peace.
The love that came from up above,
Was sent with them to us to teach.
Mission complete, took back his loves,
Now we wait for the wind of peace.
They brought His word to us to learn,
Now they fly on wings of iridescent hue,
A silverwolf was sent to me,
Who now flies with wings of blue.
So learn you well the word of love,
Even tho when gone you feel no ease.
When he takes them back above,
And leaves you searching
for the wind called peace.
aka Don Dade
Light a candle in Mel's memory, for a sick, abused, or special needs furbaby,
or perhaps just someone who needs a prayer and a candle lit.