(Sparkle, Sparkum, Sparklish, Chicken, Black Boy, The Glove)
October 1997 – August 2007
A Cat Well Traveled, Came Home to Cross the Bridge
I felt you hold me – wrap me in your arms,
And sustained in your love I felt safe,
I gazed into your eyes, drifted on your voice.
Then I rested as you brought me to this place.
But I awoke to the sound of your tears,
Felt the pain of your breaking heart.
An angel told me you searched so very hard,
That you cry because we’re apart.
I tried to understand her gentle words,
But their meaning was not clear to me.
“He carried me here, I felt his love.
He will never leave me you see.”
“No, Little One,” the angel explained,
“I wrapped you safely in his love.
He was not allowed to be with you then
As you soared to heaven above.”
“I felt his love and heard his voice.
With him is where I want to stay.”
“You will guard his steps from here above,
And you will be rejoined one day”
“Your hearts are joined by a golden cord,
Your bond cannot be broken you see.
You will watch over him from Rainbow Bridge
Then you’ll share eternity.”
So, Daddy, please know I’m still right here.
By your side I will always be.
And I’ll wait here for you in paradise
Till you may cross Rainbow Bridge with me.
© Candace 8/16/07
Sparks came into my life in January 1998, at the same time as Fu, my Siamese soul mate. The 2 grew up together and were inseparable. Fu has her own amazing story but that is for another time and place.
I had wanted a black cat and called the SOS animal centre in Tel Aviv. They took my name and exactly a week later told me a little stray had been found. I went with my partner to meet him and from that moment he entered my life. He was a tiny scrap of fuzzy black hair sitting in a makeshift pen in the finders kitchen. It was love at first sight!. He came back with me and that was it, our journey had commenced.
We all lived in Israel for a further 4 years until work sent us to Argentina. It was traumatic for everyone involved but we all arrived safely. After a 24 hour journey on 2 flights, Sparks and Fu arrived. Tragically 3 weeks after her arrival, Fu slipped from an unsafe ledge and was taken from us.
From Argentina, Sparks and I (and also my new buddy, Lucy, also a Siamese) moved to Mexico. From Mexico we moved to France after a brief return to Argentina.
In France, Sparks found his cat "paradise" - a country house, in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields and forests and only a few other local cats to fight! He was in the ideal place.
3 weeks ago I brought Sparks and Lucy back to Israel. We were living in a temporary place until my partner also moved back to Israel. It was just for about 6 weeks. I didn't want to bring them to this house as I wanted them to go straight to their new permanent home. A tragic mistake. The rest is bitter history.
(One strange thing though about the days before he left us. A young adult female white cat appeared in the area. On seeing her I felt uneasy which for me is strange because I love to see cats around. Something disturbed me about her. Maybe it was because I didn't want other cats around to disrupt Sparks' and Lucy's move. When I found Sparks' body I also found the white cat's body too and even stranger a white dog wearing a collar. All were within 10 meters of each other)
Where do I begin? Sparks was a comedian! Naturally funny and very good natured. He was slightly neurotic and startled easily but when he relaxed he purred like no other. He loved a good face massage, around his whiskers, his ears, his nose!. The definite no-go area was his tummy! And he was neat! oh so neat! When he sat on the kitchen table on Friday nights watching the Sabbath meal being prepared he sat like an Egyptian cat, all pointed ears and triangle face. His eyes flashed at every cooking move! And he knew he would get his favorites, pieces of chicken and salmon. His greatest food pleasure was to lick clean a yogurt pot! He could hear the metal foil being ripped off miles away and would sit, patiently, watching as we would eat the yogurt knowing he would spend the next few minutes finishing it off. The irony of the death by poison is that he was such a sensitive eater. Whenever I tried to put medicine or a work tablet in his food he would know without even tasting it. He just knew instinctively.
Sparks was an out and about cat, in and out. But whenever I was around he was always there, sleeping in a greenhouse with one eye open, lazing on a wall, sitting in the garden. Many times we watched the sunset him sitting my my side, alert yet relaxed, me with a glass of wine. These were the best times. And sometimes, I would wake up in the middle of the night and he would be there, just staring at me with those big yellow eyes, sitting like an Egyptian statue (oh!!! that reminds me of a funny story! - I brought back an identical cat statue from Egypt once, exactly like Sparks when he poses so beautifully. I put it on the floor and for the first few days he would do his macho cat thing by walking past it, pausing, looking at it, hissing his "I'm the boss here" thing and slowly walking away. He was so funny!!)
He was also not a cat to be confined and was also known as the great Houdini! Many times when he lived in apartments he would get out - absolutely no idea how he did it but he did. Once he got onto the roof in Mexico from a miniscule opening in the window. He had to jump a 15 meter drop and crawl through a decorative brick wall. The physics appeared impossible, but my Sparks managed. Another time in Argentina he had a garden apartment with walls literally towering around.....impossible to scale. Not for my Sparks!
Another bitter-sweet memory is the trips to the vets! As a highly international black prince he was well cared for and received all his shots and check-ups before traveling. Unfortunately, he turned into what we used to call "devil cat" (!) as soon as he hit the travel box. Many a vet across the globe has had to tranquilize him whilst wearing extra thick gloves! Not nice experiences for him but one that can raise a smile at this bleak time.
I know Fu is there with him, somewhere. I thought a lot about her today and for the first time I could do so without tearing up - something I always did when talking about her.
I love you Sparks. Always have and always will. Run free with Fu and wait for me. I'm not afraid anymore thanks to you.
I Loved You Best
So this is where we part, My friend,
and you'll run on, around the bend,
gone from sight, but not from mind,
new pleasures there you'll surely find.
I will go on, I'll find the strength,
life measures quality, not it's length.
One long embrace before you leave,
share one last look, before I grieve
There are others, that much is true,
but they be they, and they aren't you.
And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
will remember well all you've taught.
Your place I'll hold, you will be missed,
the head I stroked, the nose I kissed.
And as you journey to your final rest,
take with you this....I loved you best!
(c) Jim Willis
"He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good."
-- W. H. Auden