The Rainbow Bridge

Posted: August 8, 2011 in In Transition, Motivation
Tags: , , ,

It’s been a difficult week indeed as I have lost another invaluable member of my team when my best bud, Miso, slipped away peacefully this past Saturday as the result of failed kidneys.  To say I’m devastated would be the understatement of the century.  I know it’s just a stupid cat and all that, but this furry little bugger was an integral part of my recovery process, something I realized only hours after his passing.

I rescued Miso approximately 10 years ago from a shelter when I was at an extremely low point in my life.  I was terminally depressed, lonely, horribly out of shape and very unhealthy, both physically and mentally.  But, together, we packed up and moved into our first bachelor apartment, I started a new job and he, well, he did whatever cats do while you’re slaving away at work; lie around, eat, shit, and lie around some more.  He was only a cat after all.

Are you done yet?

Skip ahead a few years and it became apparent that we were both enjoying the single life a little too much.  I ballooned out to about 285 lbs, and he wasn’t far behind.  I loved my weed and my cheeseburgers and he his second hand high and Pounce treats by the bushelful, and we sat around – a lot – watching crap television and thumbing our nose at anything resembling a healthy lifestyle; just two tubby bachelors living it up in Hog Heaven.  But eventually it became very apparent that things needed to drastically change and that epiphany has been somewhat detailed in My Story linked at the top of this page.  However, this journey wasn’t to be solely my own, but his as well.  After all, I wanted him around to enjoy my newfound longevity in life with, right?

So I started eating more salads and, well, he just ate less treats.  I started to swim, bike and run, and he continued to lie around on the end of my bed anxiously waiting for me to get back.  Sometimes he might protest my long workouts by leaving surprise hairballs in my cycling cleats, but the trade off was that he was still always excited when I returned and I liked to think that he appreciated the effort I was making to turn our lives around.  He would wait in the front window of my home for me to round the corner and then meet me at the door, no longer anticipating a treat, but for the simple opportunity to crawl back into my lap as I collapsed in my EZ-Boy.  Gradually, we both lost weight and regained back some of our healthy youthful vigor.  He became almost kitten-like in demeanor once again with his newfound energy and me, well, that process is still being documented here in these pages.  And this has been our routine for the past 3 years.

Ironman training does not lend itself to an active social life so Miso had then become my sole support and motivation through some very difficult weeks.  I don’t have children or a family of my own, so having him to come home to made all the pain and anguish worthwhile and I genuinely looked forward to relaxing afterwards with a glass of chocolate milk, my recliner and my little buddy in my lap…but that all changed this past weekend.

I will spare you the details of his final hours as they are not pleasant to recall but know that he passed away peacefully in my arms.  I buried him at home in my garden and replanted his catnip by his gravesite along with ‘Harriet’, the chicken statue that he liked to nap beside out on the porch.  Things are definitely going to be very different now without my Miso around.  Who is going to greet me at the door when I come home from a long run?  Who’s going to protest when I go out for another long bike?  Who’s going to comfort me when my workouts don’t go as planned?  All these questions will be answered in time I’m sure but, in the meantime, I’m going to miss my best friend and regret that he won’t be around to see the master plan unfold.  I feel cheated that he won’t be able to finish the journey that we started together nearly a decade ago.  In an effort to maintain something of a normal routine, I have placed a lawn chair by his grave so I can sit in the shade and tell him how my workout went just as I always have.  It’s a small consolation, I know, but it helps.

Likewise, here is a poem that was forwarded to me the other day that also brought me some solace.  Cheesy as it may be (Ironmen don’t cry, do they?), it does make my heart hurt less knowing that we’ll be reunited at some point, as healthy and as vibrant as ever.

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 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. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him 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….

Resting close to the things he loved

RIP, buddy.

  1. Jeff C says:

    what a cutie….sorry bud

  2. OMG, I am so devastated for you. Juno has been my strength and my best friend for 4 years now and I can say that she has kept me sane and given me reason to live when all else has failed. I would be so lost without her. I’m so sorry this has happened. My thoughts are with you.

  3. Robin says:

    Terry, I definitely understand your pain. I’ve got two little furry buddies of my own and I came very close to losing one of them earlier this year… people just don’t understand how devastating losing a pet can be. I don’t know what I’d do with out them- they are the only ones who care that I come home every day or that I get up every morning. And there are some woes only a fuzzy snuggler can fix. My heart goes out to you.

    Hang in there… I’ll be thinking of you both.

  4. mike says:

    So sorry to hear about this Terry. We recently had our dog pass and it was a lot more gut wrenching than i ever thought it would be. We have a new friend now, a cat…and though she won’t replace the cherished memories of our dog it helps to have a new family member.

  5. Stephanie says:

    What a heartfelt post. I have tears in my eyes. We just lost our 17 year old girl pug two weeks ago. They are true friends indeed. Reading this really moved me, Terry. Best wishes.

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