In loving memory of the wonderful cats who are forever a part of the
Ce-Ce & Friends family
Ashley was a shy girl, but oh....she was SO incredibly sweet! Such an impressive-looking kitty, she had a quiet peace about her that the other cats in the shelter were drawn to. Although Ashley never found an adoptive home, she still had a forever home - with the residents and volunteers of Ce-Ce & Friends. Her beaming, beautiful eyes (and those fuzzy eyebrows and whiskers) are emblazoned in our hearts always.
Excerpt from "Ode to the Cat," by Pablo Neruda
Man wants to be a fish and a bird,
the snake would rather have wings,
the dog is a lost lion,
the engineer wants to be a poet,
the fly studies the swallow,
the poet tries to imitate the fly,
but the cat
wants only to be cat,
and every cat is cat
from whiskers to tail,
from hunches to live rat,
from night to yellow eyes.
Fred was an absolute angel of a cat...a beautiful orange guy who spent most of his life at the shelter, teaching every cat in residence and every human lucky enough to know him what the meaning of happiness truly is.
The Moments of Happiness (from CATS)
"Moonlight, turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin"
In loving tribute to the sweet, adorable, fun-loving and funny-natured Chinny-Chin. This handsome "full-figured" gent with the cutest face in the world spent several years at Ce-Ce & Friends, amusing everyone with his unfailingly enthusiastic response to FOOD (of any kind!) and his unassuming, loving personality.
Chinny-Chin fought bravely and hard against cancer, finally passing over the Rainbow Bridge in late 2009. He has surely met many good friends there, and his memory will live on forever at the shelter and in the hearts of all of his "people." Sleep well, dear Chinny-Chin.
"A Christmas Story"
December is the best month of the year at the Rainbow Bridge. For the dogs there is snow to romp in and the angels always have time to toss snowballs for them to chase. The cats enjoy patting at the snowflakes as they fall, and then curling up near the fireplace for a nice winter's nap.
But it is the lights that make this time so special. Winter on the Earth, their former home, is a time of lengthening darkness, and in December candles glow all around the globe beginning with Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, and continuing on right through the New Year's festivities. At the Bridge the glow of these candles is reflected in all of the trees, and in the hearts of every Bridgekid as they observe the month in their own special way; with memories of the lives, and the loved ones they left behind.
For most it is a time of quiet joy, but each year there are always a few who draw apart..
Near to midnight, "home time" on December 24 Charlie realized someone was missing from the Hale gathering. "I'll be right back," he told his siblings. He passed many similar groupings as he hurried down the well worn path, many friends called out to him, but he only acknowledge the greetings with a wave and continued on. The path ended at the Rainbow, and there he found a small group of newcomers, each sitting quietly, alone. One of these, the missing Sandifur, was crouched at the very edge, his stumpy tail twitching rapidly, as he stared at the scene below.
"You are missing the party, little brother," Charlie said.
"I don't care," replied Sandifur, "I don't like Christmas anyway."
Charlie only smiled. "I felt the same way my first year. Do you remember your very first Christmas with Mom and Dad? Remember the new scratching tree they gave us that year, and the catnip mice? And remember all the good things we got to eat? That was a great time, wasn't it?" Sandifur nodded, still gazing intently below. "I want to go back."
"I did too, " Charlie said, licking gently at his brother's ear. "But we can't, baby brother. This is our place now." "But it's Christmas, and Mom and Dad miss us so much. Look, mom is lighting a candle right now, just for us and she is crying."
"Christmas Eve is her time to remember, little one, but tomorrow she will pass out the presents to all of our brothers and sisters, and she will be happy again. I want to show you something. Come with me."
Together the two kiddens climbed the arch of the Rainbow, and at the very top Charlie stopped. "Do you see that big silver cloud over there? Watch closely."
As Sandifur gazed the cloud began to swirl and gradually an image came into view. The clearing where he had left his family, and a larger gathering around the big, glowing pine tree. He could see the dogs, many more of them than when he had left, playing fetch and tug of war, and the kiddens, so many kiddens, sleeping in a heap, their soggy catnip mice forgotten in the grass.
Suddenly the kiddens all woke up, and the dogs ceased their play and stared into the darkness beyond the clearing, tails wagging in greeting.
And then, much to Sandifur's amazement, two humans stepped into the light.
"Hurry, Charlie, we have to go back," he said. " Mom and Dad, they're here!"
"Not just yet, Sandy. That cloud is our Window into Tomorrow.
Come back with me now, and join the others. The reunion will come. We have been promised."
Sandy reluctantly pulled his gaze away from the vision of the future, and followed Charlie. They found the others waiting for them at the base of the rainbow. "Is it time?" Charlie asked.
Terrie nodded, "They are waiting."
All of the Hale Bridgekids drew together, and looked over the edge, and along the entire length of the rainbow similar groups were gathered, all looking down at their former homes.
Suddenly the light of a million candles from the Earth met the glow from the Rainbow Bridge. "Now," Charlie whispered.
In unison three words were repeated again and again, and as they were spoken they merged with the bridge of light, flowing from the rainbow to the earth, and back again in ever increasing brilliance, and the colors of the rainbow merged with the light. "I love you," they all said, and the love entered every heart of the pet parents on earth, and the hearts of those who gathered at the rainbow.
"Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad," Sandifur whispered again, watching the lights slowly fade. "I love you. I will be waiting."
"I will look ahead, for there is our tomorrow."
Copyright Marion Hale
Petina was a proud, regal, and incredibly sweet-natured calico who captivated everyone she met with her beauty. Yet even more than she was lovely to look at, Petina was a quiet and gentle kitty who welcomed all new feline additions to the shelter warmly and freely.
Petina began life on the streets - she, her mother, and her siblings were strays searching for food behind a local grocery store. While Petina's family members were all trapped and taken to a shelter, Petina proved wily...it took more than a year to catch her; she would go to one side of the trap or the other, but never straight through! An exam after she was trapped revealed that she was cross-eyed, and may have had vision difficulties that inadvertently kept her from captivity for so long.
Petina was one of the original "founding members" of Ce-Ce & Friends, arriving at the shelter upon its opening in 1999. Though she could be shy with people she didn't know, she had such a big heart - she loved everyone and was a calming, reassuring presence for the new and more frightened cats. Her very best friend at Ce-Ce's was Billy, the handsome black and white cat who went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2006. He and Petina were inseparable, and she never quite recovered after his death.
After a battle with kidney disease, Petina passed away peacefully on April 23, 2009. She was surrounded by the Ce-Ce & Friends volunteers who had so adored her. Now she is with Billy, and her memory will remain a source of comfort and joy for many years to come.
A Prayer For All Animals.....
Hear our humble prayer, O God,
for our friends the animals,
especially for animals who are suffering;
for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry;
for all that must be put to death.
We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity,
and for all those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words.
Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals
and so to share the blessings of the merciful.
Copyright Albert Schweitzer
Billy and Petina
Billy was the grand old gentleman of Ce-Ce & Friends. As regal and handsome as he was gentle and loving, he overcame the great difficulty of his early years and taught both the other kitties he lived with and the lucky humans he befriended the meaning of grace.
Billy was one of a large group of cats who had spent years - no one knew quite how long - living with an elderly man in Quincy. This man truly had a soft spot for the plight of homeless cats, but, as often happens in these sad situations, ended up with more cats than he could realistically care for. Billy and his housemates (including his lookalike son, Benjamin) were brought to another shelter in Massachusetts. While he was not feral, being one of so many cats in his previous household had prevented him from getting much socialization, so he was very shy. Given his timid disposition and his age (he was estimated to be between 7 and 9 at the time), he was not considered very "adoptable" - yet he made such an impression on Ce-Ce & Friends founders Karin and Peggy that they knew they had to bring Billy along when they left the other shelter to establish Ce-Ce's in 1999.
During the nearly 7 years he spent at Ce-Ce & Friends, Billy brought comfort and companionship to dozens of frightened, confused, homeless cats. He had an uncanny knack for befriending the kitties who most needed a friend. Many a time, Karin, Peggy, and the other volunteers at Ce-Ce & Friends were touched to come upon a lonely new arrival purring contentedly with a ball of beautiful black and white fur - Billy - wrapped around them.
Billy became very devoted to his Ce-Ce & Friends family, human and feline alike. He was a fixture in the cat room, always captivating visitors with his magnificent coat and shimmering green-eyed gaze. Though he was at least 14, he had never shown any signs of ill health, so his sudden illness in January 2006 came as a complete and terrible shock. Despite the immediate response and diligent care given by his dear friend Karin and the excellent veterinarians who tried to save him, Billy passed away from kidney failure in the arms of Karin, who had loved him for so many years.
Mourning Billy's loss, Karin lamented the fact that he had never had a home with a person or family of his own. But all those who were privileged enough to meet this loyal cat knew that he made Ce-Ce & Friends a wonderful home - not only for himself, but for all the cats around him. Billy was dearly missed, especially by his longtime companion Petina, a shy calico who never left his side. All of Billy's friends are struggling to cope with the large hole he has left at the shelter. But thanks to the example of a sweet and kindhearted black and white kitty, many cats can go on because of the confidence he instilled.
"I have shared with you your laughter,
you have wet my coat with tears.
We've come to know each other,
throughout these many years
Just ONE more hug this morning........
before you drive away....
And know I'll think about you
thoughout your busy day!
The time we've left together is a treasured time at that,
My heart is yours forever, I Promise.......
This old cat."
Copyright KC Bingamon
Rest in peace, Billy. Never will you be forgotten.
Rudy and Alberta...A Lasting Love Story
Rudy and Alberta were truly kitties like no other. These sweet, beautiful cats were the beloved "grandparents," official welcoming committee, and heart and soul of Ce-Ce & Friends.
No one is exactly sure when or how Rudy and Alberta first met...whether they were soulmates from kittenhood, or whether they fell in love later in life. Regardless, everyone who saw them knew theirs was a one-in-a-million friendship.
Ten years ago, Rudy and Alberta were two of more than 30 cats in the home of a kindly older man who had a reputation for taking in strays and unwanted cats around the neighborhood. When this gentleman had to enter a nursing home, the cats were removed from his house and brought to a shelter. At that time, a veterinarian estimated that both Alberta and Rudy were at least 10 years old.
The loveable orange tiger Rudy and dignified, glamorous tuxedo girl Alberta spent 5 years at that shelter before entering the care of Ce-Ce & Friends. Their advanced age made their chances of adoption slim, so they became permanent residents, their unabashedly affectionate personalities lighting up the lives of everyone who crossed their paths. Whenever and wherever you saw one, there was the other - entwined in lazy, comfy catnaps, trotting to the door to monitor everyone's comings and goings, exchanging nose kisses and affectionate greetings.
Alberta enjoying some shuteye in one of her favorite spots at Ce-Ce's
Alberta was never shy - she loved people, she loved other cats (none more so than Rudy), and she loved life. If a visitor cooed too much over the younger cats, Alberta was right at their heels to remind them of who REALLY deserved attention: the classy black-and-white kitty meowing before them! No one would have guessed her age (and, like a true lady, she never let on). She had the demeanor of a playful kitten until she at last crossed the Rainbow Bridge in February. Diagnosed with congestive heart failure, Alberta's farewell was peaceful and humane. At 19 years of age, she left this world with the same grace and dignity she had always shown.
Rudy (the big orange guy curled up in the rear) was King of Naps among the Ce-Ce kitties...definitely the most popular catnap buddy!
Rudy, in the months since Alberta's passing, was as gentle and loving as ever. Always the mellow, cuddly gentleman, he remained the favorite head-butt and grooming target of his friends at the shelter and was as charmingly demanding about his meals as he'd always been. But the emptiness he felt without his soulmate was obvious; he was always looking for her, and seemed to understand absolutely what a loss he had suffered. His grief was as real as any human being's.
Over the weekend of October 19, Rudy suddenly fell ill. He was restless and uncomfortable, unable to eat or drink. Rushed to the vet by the caring Ce-Ce volunteers who had grown so close to him, Rudy passed away in the arms of the people who loved him. He had reached the grand old age of 20 when he went to join his Alberta.
Rudy and Alberta have left behind many who mourn them - none more so than the shelter staff and volunteers who knew them so well - but we all have been touched by their pure, loving example, and we know we will see them again.
Please take the time to read "Rudy and Alberta's Wish." Based upon the tribute of an anonymous writer and pet lover and personalized by Ce-Ce & Friends volunteer Karen, it truly portrays what Rudy and Alberta would want to say to the people in their lives...especially those who loved them enough to make the most difficult decisions on their behalf.
Rest in peace, dear friends. You will never be forgotten.
Rudy and Alberta's Fan Club: The lovely Alberta (far right) with her beloved Rudy (orange cat at left), other feline buddy Benjamin, and a human admirer
Alberta turns on her famous charm for a young visitor
RUDY AND ALBERTA'S WISH
If it should be that I grow frail and weak and pain should keep me from my sleep, then will you do what must be done, for this, the last battle, can't be won. You will be sad, I understand, but don't let grief then stay your hand. For on this day more than the rest, your love and friendship must stand the test. We had so many happy years; you wouldn't want me to suffer so, when the time comes please let me go. Take me to where my needs they'll tend, only stay with me till the end. Hold me firm and speak to me, until me eyes no longer see. I know in time you will agree, it is a kindness act you did for me. Although my tail its last has waved, from pain and suffering, I have been saved. Don't grieve that it must be you, who has decided this is the right thing to do. We have been so close, all these years; don't let your heart hold any tears.
Thank you, Ce-Ce and Friends...
Rudy and Alberta
~~Ce-Ce & Friends wishes to thank everyone who has offered kind condolences...your thoughts and prayers are appreciated~~
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