Wrapped in love and sent to the Rainbow Bridge
on May 2, 2002


Albert was the cat love of my life. Together we were scandalous! It was
almost as he could read my thoughts and I, his. Albert came to
me so long ago when I had lost another kitty love and he helped fill
the void in my heart. He would wait for me to come home from
work and follow me around the house chatting away. He would even
jump on my shoulder when I used my electric toothbrush, as I
think he enjoyed the vibrations.

As he got older, he had very bad gingivitis -- despite his interest in oral
hygiene -- and had to get all of his teeth removed. I thought he
would never be able to eat kibble again, but he surprised me by
"gumming" it. As he became weaker and weaker, and thinner and
thinner with age, I started feeding him a can of Fancy Feast in
my room (away from the other kitties) and then later, some very
expensive, high calorie food we bought from our veterinarian.

His eye was looking a little odd, and we had our house call vet come over
and look at him. She advised us to see a veterinary
opthamologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary
Medicine and we took him. He told us that Albert had a rare form of
cancer in his eye and that if we wanted to save him, we would have to
get it removed. He was 17 years old and I was so afraid we might
lose him on the operating table, but he survived and lived four
more months. Apparently, the cancer had spread to his brain
and he began to lose control of his bodily functions, and soon
his little body just gave out, and on May 2, 2002 he died in my arms.

We buried him in our backyard, and after we moved, we dug him up and
brought him with us (I know this may sound odd to some, but we
loved this boy and didn't want anyone unceremoniously disposing
of his precious body after we were gone).

When the day came for Albert to break my heart, I told myself
this: For more than 17 years I have been able to give a
living thing I love the most the most perfect life possible for a cat
to have. It is something that, with all my heart and will, I
could not do for my children, whose growing up and
discovery of life was beyond all my longing to keep them
happy. I told myself that for more than 17 years, all of
Albert's needs of love and care and comfort were perfectly
filled by me. There will always be beloved ones of
the Company for me to give and take from, but I know how
even that Company has a hierarchy in which some stand
higher for us than others. It is so. For me there will
never be another cat like Albert. With him, I came
nearer than I have ever been, or ever shall be, to bridging the gulf
which divides us from the so-called "dumb animals.
" Many of his happiest hours were spent in my
company, and many of my happiest hours were spent in his
company, for there was communion between us. He
tried, as I did, to bridge the gulf; and I do not think I
deceive myself if I say there were times when we came very near
to it.

Wait for me, my beloved, at the Rainbow Bridge until it is my time
to take you home one last time. Enjoy your time there
with your many friends, eating and playing and rolling
in catnip by the milky stream. But when you see me
coming for you, please run into my open arms and I will
hold you again and you will be young and beautiful and
strong and healthy, and there will be no more tears of
longing and sadness for me for we will be together again at last.

When I dream I see you just around the corner
waiting for me. I see you so clearly, that if I
reached my hand out I would touch your warmth.
I hear you sigh and feel the caress of your breath on
my cheek. I touch my face and picture
you just around the corner.

In the darkness of the night when all the light is gone
and I fear will never see the light of the sun, I hear your heart
beat. Then I see a silver glow. Within that glow a path appears.
Showing me one day I will follow.

I see you always near. Just around the corner,
where my heart dwells.

ŠJ.C. Stewart~*~October 31, 2006

~*~Music~*~Eric Clapton~*~Tears In Heaven~*~

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