Paw Prints On My Heart


Paw Prints On My Heart

You came into my life one day,
So beautiful and smart,
My dear and sweet companion,
I loved you from the start.

And though I knew the time would come,
When we would have to part,
You’ll never be forgotten,
You left paw prints on my heart.

HRH did truly leave paw prints on my heart. From the time she was a kitten until her final days, she would lay, not in my lap, but lengthwise across my stomach and chest with her paws over my heart. We spent many an hour like this or with her laying under the crook of my arm, her paws on my chest and her head nuzzled to my chin. When I was sad or sick she’d come to comfort me. When a storm would hit she would run to me for comfort, but always act as if she wasn’t scared.

As most cats do, she refuse to show fear or embarrassment. I remember her once falling off the bed, actually between the headboard and mattress. I tried to catch her but couldn’t move fast enough. I worried she’d hurt herself, and I looked under the bed. When I looked up she was in the doorway to my bedroom acting as if she’d been there the whole time. Even in her final days, when I know she was scared and in pain, she refused to show it. Only when she was sedated and in such agony did she let her guard down and it broke my heart further.

The poem above and below are both anonymous. I’m not sure I’ve ever posted an anonymous poem before on my Poetry Tuesdays. So this is a first. I just felt they were so beautiful and touching. I couldn’t resist.

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge

As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that’s trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful–lush and green and wide!
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I’m alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.
‘Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,
We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.
So whenever you need to find me, we’re never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

The story goes that just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals like HRH, who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes will be intent. Her eager body will quivers. Suddenly she will happily run from the group (she never liked other animals anyway), she will fly over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…. I know I will see my beloved Victoria and Calico again someday. I’m sure there will be other special animals in my life as well. Most likely said animals will be cats. Calico was my first real pet, but she was as much a family pet as mine. Victoria, however, was a vat I picked out and took her home. She was loyal to me and I to her above all others.

I promise this will be my last post about HRH. I know it is sad, and I am dealing with the grief which is hitting me hard. I don’t want this blog to be a downer, so I will move on to happier topics. Thanks again for all of your love and support.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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