Friday, August 10, 2018

Zephyr: A Soft, Gentle Breeze

zephyr nose b:w

I named him Zephyr because the above definition described him so perfectly. In all his grey furry softness, he would brush past a leg or an outstretched hand like a warm summer breeze. From his kitten-hood until his passing yesterday morning, my boy was sweet, gentle, loving and beautiful. In his 19 years, he never once attempted to hiss, scratch or bite a human being (though he once had a lengthy hospitalization where he reportedly growled a lot). This boy was a fluffy, purring mound of love in every way.


He was not a lap cat and in fact, displayed mild anxiety when being held. However the moment we'd place him back on the floor, he'd roll onto his back to accept belly rubs for as long as we were willing to give them. He had so much love in him. And a deep, resonant rumbling purr which started immediately upon anticipation of being touched. Early on, we referred to that as his Insta-purr.

Alex with skitty and zephyr

He came into our lives along with his brother, Skittles - another one of the best kitties on the planet. Together, they were the perfect tag team of sweetness, silliness, softness and spunk. They were as bonded as you would expect litter mates to be. Despite Zephyr's heft over Skittles' sleight body frame, Skitty was the alpha kitty in this pairing. Zephyr was significantly larger than his bro and as kittens, it was comical to see them chase and tumble with one another. Zeph never cared that Skitty wanted to be in charge - they had worked that out long ago.

brotherly love2

As a young cat - and really up until his brother died three years ago, Zephyr seemed to live for eating, sleeping and belly rubs. When not engaged in any of the above, he would fling himself at Skittles and flop down on top of him, silently demanding to be groomed. And Skitty always obliged. It was reciprocal, of course but mostly Zephyr got the best of that deal.

Zeph and Alex

He also had an especially big love for Alex, my younger son. As a child, Alex had a way of cozying up to Zeph and putting his head on his furry belly. Insta-purr. Zeph spent much of his time in Alex's bed through the night. As Alex got older and his hair got longer (waist length for all of his adult years and he's now 28), all he had to do was lean over Zephyr and those soft, sweet paws would bat at and gather Alex's blond locks. Insta-purr.

Of course, my older boy, Jeffrey dearly loved our cats, also. I think that he and Skitty were a little more bonded in the way that Alex and Zeph were, and there were countless times that one furry body or another would be snuggled up either on, or beside him.

Through most of his years, Zeph had a hefty appetite and would practically inhale his food while Skitty ate daintily as cats usually tend to do. Then Zephyr would nose around him as he was nearly done, and ever so expertly nudge his way into his bowl, easing his brother out while he'd quickly have those remaining tidbits for dessert.


This boy loved to engage in conversation. He'd meow and I'd respond with "what?" He'd meow an immediate response which would evoke yet another from me. We could go on back and forth like this for up to a couple of minutes. He was such a vocal and connected little guy.

Zeph had a "quality" which is rather out of character for felines. He was a complete and total klutz. Cats generally have a way of easing their graceful selves into a space without so much as disturbing the air around them, much less nearby objects. Not this boy. Much more often than not, Zephyr's jump up onto the desk, a counter, a dresser or really any surface resulted in a clatter of items falling to the floor, a spilled coffee or an overturned lamp. He was oddly drawn to finding places to lie down which caused mini chaos for me. My desktop keyboard was one of those places. I have a tendency to leave my computer on and applications running when I head out for the day, but I turn my monitor off. I couldn't possibly count the times that a re-lit monitor revealed that Zephyr had changed desktop file names to an extensive blank name by his lying on the space bar or had sent a lengthy message to my sister through Messenger which consisted of one or two repeated letters from the keyboard's periphery. He consistently called up strange but interesting windows and files from somewhere deep within the bowels of the hard drive - the likes of which I never could have found on my own. There have been hundreds of times through the years that Zeph has evoked the question "HOW do you DO that?"

Zeph baby

This boy has had his trials and tribulations. A little over ten years ago, he had a bad bout of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which resulted in his having the surgical placement of a feeding tube through to his stomach. This was when not only his bowel was irritable but understandably, also his mood and he would growl when anyone approached his space. You can read about his care here, where I also listed Zephyr's and Skitty's House Rules for when Benny, the Jack Russell Terrorist came to visit. That post is complete with photos of Zeph in his unbecoming sick boy outfit - and yet he still managed to look adorable. He was ill for a long time but rallied quickly once he was over the hump. When we went to pick him up that day, he rolled around on the examination table like a young feline in catnip. He purred and nudged his head into us and pulled our hands toward his body. The vet tech who reported the previously-mentioned growling was ecstatic over what an absolutely beautiful hunk of purring love he was now that he was happy to see us and no longer feeling poorly or frightened. Upon returning home, Skittles gave him the obligatory "you smell like clinic" hiss and then quickly turned to his task of licking that sick scent away.

Slitty and Zephyr brotherly love2

We lost our Skitty boy three years ago and from that day onward, Zephyr was never himself again. Oh he was still my gentle, sweet, loving boy but he went into a deep sadness, confusion and change over the loss. For more than a year, he spent most of his days crying out and searching for his brother. He would stand at one end of the hallway and let out the most mournful sounds - the one that most cat lovers would recognize as coming from the carrier during the drive to the veterinary office. This was followed by a frantic dash through my apartment looking under beds and peering into dark corners in hopes of finding where Skitty was now hiding. It was heart-wrenching. This would happen dozens of times a day - and without fail, every time he finished eating. Alex finally made the connection between food and crying: Zephyr had always moved in on Skitty's dish upon finishing off his own food. And that dish was no longer there. That cat was no longer there. His anguish was inconsolable. His bereavement seemed to possess him. My vet at that time was about an hour away (from when I had lived up north) and they very kindly armed me with advice and reassurance - none of which made a dent in his resolve to deeply mourn his brother. More than a year later, his frenetic behaviour began to ease ever so slowly. I eventually found a local vet who was recommended by the previous one, and who has been the most wonderfully, supportive gem of a human being.

zeph b w

By the time two years had passed, he only let out his cries once in a while - often in clusters and usually only after eating. But I now had a very changed kitty - much of which was in a very good way but he also needed my attention a lot more than ever before. Zephyr no longer panicked as much when being held. He would still quietly and not-so-subtly look for his way to freedom, but he could relax enough to accept a good head-scratch (he particularly loved that on the left side of his face) and he would even rev up the Insta-purr. He became more vocal but in a very direct way - he'd meow right at me, trying to convince me that it was meal time, or time to go watch TV where he would typically snuggle up beside me. If I didn't respond to his requests immediately, he began to paw me ever so gently. I'd be at the computer desk and he'd stand tall on his hind legs - his front paws resting on my lap. Then softly and sweetly, he would use one paw to tap, tap, tap my elbow and then he'd curl it around my arm and pull it down so I could pet him. In his first 18 years on the planet, he never did anything remotely like that. On the mornings that I wasn't up soon enough for his liking, he'd be up on the bed tenderly touching my face with that soft paw, attempting to angle my head toward the direction of getting my lazy self up and moving. Though if I opted to pet him instead, he was good with that. Insta-purr.

silly zephyr5

His eating habits also changed considerably. He always drank well but his once voracious appetite took a perpetual roller coaster ride through various expensive offerings. As with many older cats, he had developed a moderate stage of kidney disease which was being maintained with prescription cat food. He was also diagnosed with a thyroid condition and his medication helped with his semi-frequent nausea. His appetite remained finicky in spite of this. I never knew when he was about to enter a stage of eating really well for a few weeks or really poorly. With the latter, I would have to coddle him by offering minuscule amounts of costly tidbits at a time, lest the food go stale (in his opinion) over the next 20 minutes. If he ate that, he'd get more.. if he didn't, I'd open a different tin and try that - often mixing up a cocktail of various flavours and textures - occasionally with parts of my own meal. He went through these cycles of eating well and putting on a pound, or going off of his food and losing that weight again. He was clearly losing muscle mass and would never be the chunky boy he was for most of his life. Despite all this, he maintained reasonable enough health for his age, and still had some joy in his life. He knew he was loved.

I recently had the opportunity to go and see Jeffrey in Edmonton. I anguished over whether I should leave Zephyr for those ten days or not. I knew that at this more frail stage of his life, it would not be wise to just have someone come in to my place to feed and medicate him and offer a bit of snuggle time. He often needed to be coaxed to eat and I wanted him to be in an environment where that could be ensured. I found someone who would care for him in her home. The fact that she was also a veterinary technician helped me make that decision. All of the reports I got from her were positive. He was playing, purring and eating really well. Early on, she sent photos. That eased my mind considerably. I had a great time in Alberta and I expect to be posting about that eventually.

sleepy Zephyr3

Upon my return, I picked up a very sick cat. The boarder told me that he had just started pulling away from food on the day I returned. He looked like he had lost weight and his eyes were running green. I have to admit that my knee-jerk reaction was to distrust what the boarder had been telling me but I wanted to get a fuller picture about what was going on with my boy before I came across as accusatory. In the end, I realized that she was indeed being entirely honest with me and that Zeph had been doing well despite incubating an upper respiratory infection with which he began to manifest symptoms the day I came home. She had done nothing wrong and she and her family had given my boy a lot of love while I was away. I'm most grateful for that.

It was a long weekend here, in Ontario so I brought him into an emergency clinic. His was mildly dehydrated and though his typically out-of-whack numbers for kidney and thyroid disease were not alarmingly different, his white blood cell count was very high. He was given subcutaneous fluids, a slow-release broad spectrum antibiotic and some drops for his eyes. I brought him home. He would not eat. He would not drink. I picked up a syringe from the pharmacy to try and get some liquid into him and though he fought me, he took some down. And I later stepped in the puddle which was indicative of his having brought it back up. I force-fed him a bit of his food and he kept that down. His poor little nose was stuffed up terribly and his eyes, despite regular antibiotic drops had a green discharge. Essentially, he had a cold with a secondary bacterial infection, but with his age, his frail state and refusal to eat, he was failing.


Once the long weekend was over, I brought him to my regular Vet and she suggested keeping him one or two nights on IV fluids and a different antibiotic, and hopefully he would feel well enough to start eating. He did not. She sent him home for the night after about 36 hours of support to see if he would eat in his own environment, with the intention of getting him back on fluids first thing in the morning if he didn't eat, or prescribing oral antibiotics for me to administer if he did show some interest in his food. He did not. Overnight, he just got weaker. His back legs could scarcely hold his puny weight and he couldn't get himself completely into the litter box. I knew it was the end of the road for my beautiful boy.

I brought him back at the appointed early morning time and spoke with Caroline, my vet. I expressed my feelings about believing this was it for him and asked her if she could convince me that there was any hope for him, to which I would have gladly clung. She gently examined him and listened to his heart and congested chest and sadly shook her head.

I need to tell you about Caroline. I have only lived in Peterborough for three years now so I don't know an especially large number of people and most of those people don't read this recently-neglected blog nor do they connect with me on Facebook. And some of those who do, do not have pets. However in the event that someone is Googling for a local clinic, I am tagging this post "best Veterinarian in Peterborough, Ontario" because without doubt, she absolutely is. I have had various vets in my forty plus years of being owned by felines (Don't roll your eyes. Yes, I'm way older than that but I just came into having cats in my twenties) and I have been reasonably happy with almost all of them. But I have never had a vet like Caroline de Haan. My previous vets have always been professional, respectful and empathetic. Caroline goes above and beyond that scope.

You know your pet is in good hands immediately by how she intently listens to what you need to report, how she lovingly treats and talks to the animal... and how she compassionately speaks to the creature's person. She is an excellent practitioner without that side of ego which might preclude someone from admitting that she might have missed something. Just before Zephyr was diagnosed with his thyroid issues but immediately after she had done numerous tests, she phoned me up to say that she had been out with her friend (my former vet who recommended Caroline) and they had been discussing my boy. Caroline was asked if she had considered whether Zeph's blood pressure had contributed to his symptoms and since she had not, she asked me to come in and have that checked at no charge. His BP was fine but I was appreciative that she and my former vet both brainstormed a bit about his case and that Caroline was not at all adverse to admitting that she could have overlooked something.

I have had the small grand total of four cats (a nod to my much-adored late females Snag and Topaz) - all of which let me know when their lives needed to end without further suffering. I was therefore able to be with all of them at their time of passing. Caroline is the only vet who has ever held my hand through parts of that trauma, who offered numerous hugs whenever she knew I was losing it, and most endearing to me, gave Zephyr a gentle kiss goodbye on his head. I love her for all of that and make no mistake, her complete staff is also amazing. I strongly recommend Peterborough Veterinary Services to anyone in the Peterborough area who is looking for quality, loving care for their pets. Thank you, Caroline for being the absolute best at what you do and for being the kind, compassionate soul that you are.*

Back to my Zephyr...

blurry zeph

I needed to let my boy go. I remember reading a long while back that this decision should ideally be made neither too soon, while there is still reasonable hope nor too late when there is extended suffering. I readily adopted that concept for the decision-making process. I felt that that final night with him was the tipping point from too soon to too late. Caroline took him to another room to get the IV line into his vein and administered sedation and a pain medication. She had me wait for him in a comfy chair and soon brought him to my arms for one last cuddle. He was too weak and under sedation to even care to look for his way down. He settled in against my chest and Caroline gave me all the time I needed with him while she tended to other patients.

Sleepy Zeph

I held him and kissed him and scratched that just-right spot on his left cheek that he loved so much. I rubbed his belly and kissed his head. Whether he could understand it in any way or not, I told him what a perfectly wonderful little friend he was, and thanked him for how he made my life so much better by being in it. I told him how much I loved him and hoped that in some way - however the universe works, that he'll be with Skitty once again. One more gentle hug. One more kiss and I nodded to Caroline to give him his peace. He let out a very gentle sigh, and I could feel his beautiful life leave his body. My sweet boy was gone. I held him for a few more minutes before I left him behind.

Zephyr paw

You were one of the absolute best creatures on the planet, my Zephyr. You struggled through and survived a lot of pain and anguish to stay in my life. It's your time to rest. Thank you for being my sweet love. May you and Skittles be snuggling and purring together forever on. I love you both.

* Since I wrote the above, I went to pay my bill for euthanasia and cremation and found that it had been greatly reduced. Thank you so kindly, Caroline.


Suldog said...

I'm not ashamed to say I've had to wipe tears away in order to see the keyboard to type this. Being a lifelong cat lover, and having been owned by a number of felines myself, I know the pain and the necessity. Zephyr was both handsome and beautiful (made more so, possibly, by your amazing photography, although of course I'm willing to buy that he just plain looked that magnificent all the time.)

I hold very strong beliefs about extremely loved animals. I have no doubt whatsoever that their spirits inhabit a higher plain after they leave this one. They are sentient beings, contributing happiness and incalculable gifts to the lives of those who know and love them most,so why would they not have reward? It is inconceivable to me that a God-created being who delivered such love would be forgotten by My God. If that were the case, existence - as defined by my other core Christian beliefs - would be a lie, a sham. Your loving description of, and obvious care for, Zephyr? That is living proof, as far as I'm concerned.

God bless you, Hilary.

P.S. Not that it matters in the big picture you're in at the moment, but your photography of cats is the best I've ever seen. I think I've told you that before, but no harm in repeating the truth.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Dear Hilary, I am typing this with tears rolling down my cheeks, only a small piece of what you must surely feel as your mourn your friend and companion. Your poignant words and beautiful photographs bring Zephyr's qualities into focus. I knew he mourned the loss of his brother and playmate, but I had not realized how desperate and deep that loss was for Zeph.
What a gift to have had such marvelous companions and to have amazing care and support in Caroline.

Our Moses (Cleopatra referred to him as the Black Dragon although he was actually a Labrador Retriever) was blessed with that clear line between time to stay and time to leave. I wish that for all furry family members, including my aging queen of the household. I am grateful that Zephyr had that time of rest and love given while you were in Alberta, and that his time at the end was so full of love and dignity.

When I was a child, I didn't know the answer to the question about heaven and pets, but I have come to the understanding, like the first commenter here tonight, that a loving God who created these beloved companions surely has a place for them in Heaven. C.S. Lewis, in his book The Last Battle, writes convincingly that the beautiful and good things here in this life on earth are dim images of the real beauty in Heaven. As Zephyr crosses that rainbow bridge, moving further on and higher up (CSL), he and Skitty will be there to greet you someday, too. Everything will be clearer, brighter, better, but also familiar and so full of love. May it be so.
Much love to you tonight, Hilary.

Lady Fi said...

Your photos of your cats are magnificent - so full of love! Our pets give us so much unconditional love, don't they? Zephyr was love itself and much loved back. A good life.

No words can fill the gap in your heart. But I just wanted to say I'm thinking of you.

Kerry said...

This is a gorgeous tribute to Zephyr. As an animal lover and cat/dog owner I know how hard it is to lose a family member like Zephyr. My thoughts and love are being sent your way. ❤️

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Such beautiful words and images, Hilary. A fitting tribute to a special friend and family member. My heartfelt sympathy, my friend.

Pauline said...

Tears, sympathy, empathy, hugs, love.

Theresa said...

What Pauline said, Sharing tears, sending love, hugs and sympathy.

Marie Smith said...

Tears here too. Deepest sympathy!

DJan said...

I have always loved your photographs, but these are without a doubt the most beautiful cat portraits I've ever seen. I cried and smiled in recognition of that awful time in a cat lover's life, when we need to say goodbye. Sweet Zephyr is with Skittles now.

Jenn Jilks said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Hilary, you made the right decisions.
You were the best mom he ever could have had.
I'm so glad you had a visit with your son. We went to see the kids out west in June. It was lovely.
I'm not in contact with my son in Ottawa. It breaks my heart. sigh.
Anyway, hugs from away.

Shammickite said...

Hi Hilary: So very sad to read about Zephyr. I met him in person in Peterborough a couple of years ago.... remember? He was indeed a good cat, good companion, good purrboy. Your memories of him and his brother are eloquent indeed. My tears are rolling down my face, for the loss of Zephyr and Skittles, and for all those beloved pets that have gone before... Marmo, Dixie, Wendy, Shebah, Patch, Blackie, Puff, Midge, all of them faithful friends.

Gayle said...

Such a beautiful tribute. I felt the same about my Cokie. My sympathy is to you.

Margaret Dougherty said...

Hilary, what a heartbreaking, beautiful tribute to your Zephyr. I've lost three cat companions over the years. It is always devastating for their surviving humans. Sympathies to you in these early days.

Linda said...

Oh Hilary, I am so sorry about Zephyr. I'll email you.

William Kendall said...

I'm so sorry. You've paid tribute to him beautifully.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi Hilary: Michael Manning here. I posted previously, but since I've dismantled my website back in 2014 I was identified as an "Unknown". I too am not ashamed to convey that I have tears on this end for this magnificent Cat, so uncommon from the majority I have come into contact with. There is no greater testament of love than for Zephyr to have lived almost two decades to receive, and return love so unconditionally. I've not had a pet in many years. I want to say that I am grateful for the generosity and kind heart of the sharing you've provided to so many readers, including this ex-blogger, who feel so familiar with you about Zephyr's adventures. He was loved and clearly, Zephyr loved you. It takes remarkable courage I cannot find words for to release a pet at the end of life. It also takes love to ensure that their suffering stops and that they once more know peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you today, my friend.

Barb said...

Your tribute to your handsome Zeph is heartrendingly lovely. It tells of the bond between animals and between animals and their people. I can't imagine your grief - 19 years is a long time for such a nurturing friendship. Sending you hugs from Co. Luckily, you have happy memories and wonderful photos to help sustain you.

Birdie said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Zephyr. A good cat. A good friend. I am sorry for your loss.

Kathleen said...

How extraordinary, dear one. Extraordinary in every way, from Zeph's magnificent spirit and personality to your compassionate vet, to your beautiful storytelling and images. How raw that place must be where he fit himself into your heart, how unfathomable the grief. I send you all the piece I can muster--and then some. Please be ever-so-gentle with yourself as you breathe your way through these next few weeks. And know how deeply and Zeph have touched so many people.
With love and deep respect,

Rita said...

I just lost Miss Karma about a year and a half ago and this was both beautiful and difficult to read. He was well-loved and I picture him happily back with Skittles. Much love and hugs.

messymimi said...

Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss.

No matter how long we have our furry friends, it’s never long enough.

Barbara said...

God bless veterinarians like yours and mine, who understand and care and grieve with us. I've been in that situation of letting go and saying goodbye, and now I'm wiping away tears for all of mine again as well as your sweet Zephyr and Skittles. Thank you for sharing them with us. I'm so sorry for your loss, sweet friend.

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

So, so sorry for your loss. You loved him and he returned your love. If my tears for your loss could heal, I would pray so. But I know that only time will help ease the feeling of emptiness all of us lucky humans feel when we enter the love/love relationship with our fur babies. The sublime and the heart ache are two sides of that coin. What a lovely story about your sweet Zephyr. Take care, xoxo Oma Linda

Kerri Farley said...

So very sorry Hilary. Losing a furry family member is so hard. Sending Hugs and Positive Vibes your way!!

Rob-bear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob-bear said...

Such a beautiful story for your beloved cat.

I'm sorry for the Zephyr-shaped hole in your heart and in your life, Hilary.

Blessings and Bear hugs.

Hilary said...

I am so, so sorry to hear this.....though I know these things are inevitable.
I just lost Jinxie this past week, and it was a tough I hated to make.
But we do it for them, as you say, we don't want to wait too long and let them suffer.

Thinking of you, dear friend. Hugs.

Phyllis E said...

My very dear Cuzzie, I am typing through tears after reading your tribute to Zephyr. Much love from your Cuzzies on the Left Coast.

Barbara said...

Oh my!. This is the most thoughtful and touching eulogy to a furry friend I've ever seen! Along with just gorgeous photography. It made me realize that in my mind I've been rushing the dying process for our elderly (15) lab mix. This post has reminded me to appreciate not just the days remaining with her, but the wonderful years we've already had. Thank you for that!

Linda said...

I am sorry about Zephyr. I am facing the loss of my dog Flash. He has congestive heart failure and lately his appetite is gone. So sad!

Your photos are beautiful.

Anvilcloud said...

I have to admit that I only read the first half, but I certainly appreciated your memories and tribute. He lived longer than any cat that I have ever had, sixteen usually seeming to be about it.

I do wonder about you from time to time and how you are faring, so it was good to 'hear' from you.

Janet said...

I'm very sorry to hear about Zephyr, you wrote so lovingly about him. What a great cat he was! <3

Hilary said...

Suldog Thank you so kindly for your beautiful comment. I do believe that animals (pets and otherwise) hold the same importance in this life that we do. It would be awfully arrogant of us to think of ourselves as better. Arrogant and often wrong. And it's a comfort to think that my boys are together in some way. So thanks, Jim for sharing those thoughts along with your always very kind words. ❤️

Karen Thank you, beautiful friend. You always seem to know the just-right thing to say. Thank you so much for that. ❤️

Lady Fi I so appreciate your kind words. And yes, of course I agree about their unconditional love. Thank so much for your warm thoughts, Fiona. ❤️

Kerry Thank you. Yes, other cat/dog/animal lovers certainly get how very deep the feelings are for our pets. Thank you so much for your kindness. ❤️

Linda Thanks very kindly, my friend. Your thoughts are much appreciated ❤️

Pauline Very much appreciated. Thank you so much. ❤️

Theresa Thank you so kindly. ❤️

Marie Much appreciated. Thank you. ❤️

DJan Thank you dear lady. That means so much to me. ❤️

Jennifer Thanks kindly. I hope things can improve between you and your son, one day. ❤️

Shammie Oh of course I remember. You met him at a time when he was coming out of his shy shell (after Skitty died) and was interested in greeting visitors. I'm glad you were able to know my boy and I thank you for your kind words. ❤️

Gayle Thank you so much for that. ❤️

Margaret Thanks very much for your kind words. I'm sorry you've lost three furry loves. It's so difficult but worth it for the years of love that are shared. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It means a lot to me ❤️

Linda Thank you so much. Your email was just lovely. ❤️

William Thanks very kindly. Much appreciated ❤️

Michael Thank you for such lovely thoughts, my friend. That means so much to me. I'm glad that Zephyr's memory touches you. ❤️

Barb Such lovely sentiments. Thank you so much for that. ❤️

Birdie Thank you so kindly. Much appreciated. ❤️

Kathleen Such a lovely and kind comment. Thank you so much for that. ❤️

Rita Your beautiful Karma was so well-loved. It showed in how you always hounoured her in your posts. I wish I had more time for blogging and visiting because I miss your wonderful posts. Thanks for your kind words, sweet friend. ❤️

MessyMimi That's the absolute truth. Thanks very much. ❤️

Barbara S Thank you so much, sweet friend. It's tough to let them go but only because they were so loving and lovable. That part is such a joy. Thanks for your kind words. ❤️

Oma Linda Lovely to hear from you and you're so right about the flip side of losing them - the loving them. Thank you so kindly. ❤️

Kerri Thank you very kindly. It's much appreciated. ❤️

Rob Bear A Zephyr-shaped hole... that's exactly right. Thanks for your kind words and hugs right back at you. ❤️

Hilary I'm so sorry that you lost your beautiful Jinxie. Just 3 years after her bonded sibling died. Sometimes our similarities are too many. Shared heartache with you, my dear friend. Hugs and love sent your way. ❤️

Phyllis Thank you so much for this and for your sweet email. Big hugs and love to you. ❤️

Barbara What a lovely comment to read. I so appreciate what you said. Enjoy your sweet dog. The time we have with our furry loves is so short. Thanks so kindly. ❤️

Linda Thank you for your kind words and I'm so sorry about Flash. Reaching that point is such a stress and heartache. I wish you some good days together and an easy passing for Flash, when it's his time. Hugs to you ❤️

AnvilCloud Thank you, John. I wish I had the time for blogging and visiting more. I haven't left you all behind in my head or heart.. just with my clicking fingers. Thanks so much for your kind words. ❤️

Janet Thank you so kindly. Much appreciated ❤️

Kaye Waller said...

This is so moving and lovely, Hilary. We went through our recent kitty loss a couple of months ago so I'm right in there with everyone else grabbing their tissues. Thank you for sharing Zephyr's life with us. It's good to see you back.

photowannabe said...

So tender and beautifully written.
I am not generally a cat person but my heart aches for you and Zephyr was a special fur baby for you.

Linda said...

I hope to see you posting again soon. Your pictures are always so good! Hilary, thank you for your kinds words about the loss of my dog.

Hilary said...

Kaye Thank you so kindly. Losing a pet is so tough but sadly, all of us who love our sweeties need to endure that pain. Thanks for your sweet words. ❤️

Photowannabe Thanks very much, Sue. I've known so many people who have said they're not cat people.. until they really got to know a cat. I suspect you'd be one of those converts. Thanks for your kind empathy. ❤️

Linda Thanks for stopping by again. My heart aches for your loss of Flash along with my own loss of Zeph. ❤️

yaya said...

I tried to comment the other day but I see it didn't take. Anyway, I've said it before but your sweet Zephyr and my late kitty, Squeak, could have been twins. I'm so sorry you lost your dear friend but you have many beautiful photos and memories. Big hugs to you and a sweet good-bye to Zephyr...I enjoyed your posts that featured him.

Hilary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hilary said...

Yaya Thank you so kindly for your sweet words. I do remember that Squeak and Zephyr were a great deal alike. Feline doppelgangers! Thanks very much.. and big hugs right back at you. ❤️

Betty Manousos said...

dear hilary, i am so sorry to hear this...
deepest sympathy. such a beautiful tribute to a fur family member. thank you so much for sharing zephyr's life and photos with us.


Hilary said...

Thank you so kindly, Betty. Very much appreciated. ❤️

Wendy said...

So sorry Hilary to read this. You paint such a loving pic of your sweet Zephyr and have written a beautiful tribute.

Losing a beloved pet is so difficult.
{{Big hugs}}

Hilary said...

Thanks so much, Wendy. So nice to see you .. it's been a long time. Big hugs right back at you. <3

Unspoken said...

Ohhhhh :(

ashok said...

Heartfelt tribute!

Linette said...

So very sorry for your loss, it's not easy letting go of our fluffmuffins and they most definitely do take a piece of our heart with them when they leave. 💕

My deepest sympathy to you and your family, ((hugs))