I have never had a great relationship with kitties. I tried to get along with them: Honest I did. But when we lived in the condo there were two kitties who sat on my deck. I would bark at them so much my head would hurt, but they refused to recognize my authority and remained on my deck until on of my parents grabbed the door handle scaring the cat away. Then there was the cat who I approached as pleasant as could be only to have that kittie bip me on the nose. And there was one cat who accused me of being an anti-cattie. That caused me a kibble bag full of trouble
Little did people know that a cat would be one of my very best friends. His name is Barney. When we were on DS, we would talk about what was in our back yard, and how we could both see all the way to each other’s houses. We would make up stories about what we saw. We shared many laughs.
Then I went to the Bridge, and then DS closed, and, while our moms still talked Barney and I didn’t have our long, playful conversations any longer.
I don’t know how Cotton found out that Barney and I were friends but when she learned that Barney was coming to the Bridge Cotton told me, and asked me to round up all of Barney’s pup siblings. I found Gracie, Jondalar, and Keri. They said they would find the other pups, and their cat family members, for Barney’s arrival.
Barney’s Bridge crossing seemed to come on all at once, then slow to a crawl. On a Thursday he was fine, by the weekend, he became sick and went to the vets. Barney was dehydrated. The doctor thought he might be in kidney failure. A long series of tests would have to be performed on sweet Barney.
Barney stayed at the vet’s overnight. He was doing better, but the vet said it was possible Barney was diabetic or had kidney problems, or diabetic problems, or liver problems, or no problems. Some of the tests would not be back until the following week. Barney’s parents and his brother Andy were very worried and lost without their gentle, little friend.
The vet still could not pinpoint what was wrong with him. It could have been kidney problems, diabetes, or something else. Worse of all Barney would not eat. He was sent home with medication and prayers.
Barney was not showing improvement and was back at the vets on Wednesday. His mom was instructed to feed him via syringe until he got his strength back.
When he got home that night, his mom found him lying by the water bowl. When she picked him up, she discovered that he had peed where he lay. He did not have the strength to get up. He had lost power in his back legs, and he had even lost the ability to keep his tail erect.
On Thursday the vet gave Barney more fluids and sent him home to be with his parents, but on Friday his mom got the call that Barney could not be cured, and his parents had to send their perfect baby to us.
Cotton, who greets all the cats who arrive at the Bridge, came to me and we agreed to hold the ceremony between our spots at the Bridge because if there was ever a soul who belongs in both worlds, it is Barney.
I waited with his dog family, and his many dog friends, on one side of a semi-circle, while on the other side were the cat friends. When Barney arrived, we all applauded his bravery, his devotion, and the love her showed every soul he ever met, even a cranky Yorkie like me.
After Barney gave the Rainbow Pledge Cotton invited all of us dogs to sit with the cats for the big welcome celebration for our newest Angel. Between all the knowledge the dogs would teach Barney and all the secrets the cats would put forth he would be the smartest angel at the Bridge. He quickly learned how to go back home and try to ease his parents and his brother Andy’s pain. He was going to be a first rate, Angel.
We snuck away from the dinner and sat on a cliff looking over the window.
“I can see your house from here,” Barney said, sporting a grin. I told him I could see his house too, just as we had all those years ago when we were young and healthy. We put our paws on each other’s shoulders and watched the twinkling lights.
I felt so sad for his parents and loved one, but at this moment, as we sat under the moonlight, I was happy to have my friend back.