Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Daphne
Matt Seinberg

Today is one of the saddest days of our lives. Our family cat, Daphne, passed on this morning at 6:30. Marcy heard a funny noise, and it turned out to be Daphne in the hallway, making the strangest noise. I looked at her, and she didn't look well; her eyes were barely moving, and she was drooling. I put her down on the living room rug.

I knew the end was here.

I ran downstairs to see if I could find her carrier, when all of a sudden Michelle yelled that she was dead. I ran back upstairs. Her eyes were still open, but I knew she was gone. I petted her one last time and said goodbye.

Once again, I went downstairs to find a box, so we could bury her in the back yard. She was already stiff by that time and tears were flowing in the house.

For the last week, she didn't look well and I planned to take her to the vet today. Naturally, I didn't tell anybody, as I didn't want to alarm or worry anybody.

Michelle and Marcy went to work and Melissa went to camp. They all wanted to stay home, but I told them they had to go.

We got Daphne on 14 December 2000, two days after we lost Domino. I couldn't bear a house without the sound of little paws running around.

For the first six months, Daphne stayed under our bed, except to come out and eat or use the litter box. Then she finally started to warm up finding Marcy's pillow the best place to sleep. After Marcy got up, she came over to me and snuggled until I got up as well.

It took Daphne many years to warm up to the kids and they had all sorts of crazy nicknames for her. Michelle and Melissa called her mommy, Doopy and Snoopy, among others. I called her Kitty Baby and we all called her Daffy.

There were many times I'd come home from work and Daphne would be watching television on the couch with Melissa, curled up on a blanket. She never did that with me. She would lay with Michelle in bed, just relaxing. This cat didn't have a care in the world and she made our lives so much better.

When I was making lunch or I came home from shopping, Daphne was a little moocher, always wanting lunchmeat. She loved cheese, turkey, roast beef and almost any other deli I brought home. She even started begging at dinner for stuff off our plates!

Daphne would pose for pictures, looking very regal and queen like. After all, she was the queen kitty of the castle. If you would call her name, she would look at you with those big green and gold eyes and I always knew what she wanted.

What I'll really miss are those morning head bumps, telling me it's time to get up and pay attention to her. When I was home alone, she was with me, where ever or whatever I was doing. She had many dog like qualities, as did Domino.

Losing a family pet is almost as bad as losing a person. A pet can't tell you if something is wrong and they need to go to the doctor.

As I sit her in tears, I know we gave Daphne a wonderful life and we will miss her very much.

Under normal circumstances, I'd go out right away and get another cat, but we're going on vacation next month; I don't want to leave a new pet alone in the house. Then the question is what do we want to get? The girls would like a dog; I want another cat. So maybe we'll get a little dog and a cat or two cats.

Someone sent me this on Facebook, and I started to cry as I read it.

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 that had been ill and old restore to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are complete 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, left behind, for a while

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.

Your pet spots you coming. When you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to part 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 can only hope that, when my time comes, I'll be reunited with Daphne and Domino. Then we can all snuggle together on the blue blanket.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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