Losing a ‘Heart’ Pet

Guest Blog by Jobi Harris

Jun 7, 2013

After well over a year, the last piece of the puzzle concerning my relationship with my cat, Fisher, came to me at the 2013 BlogPaws Conference. I had a few real ‘ah hah’ moments as I listened to some extraordinary speakers. Each spoke lovingly of a cats or dogs in their lives, and each fought back tears over one particular cat or dog, introduced in their slide presentations. It did not matter how many years had passed since losing that pet. I learned a new phrase – ‘heart cat’, or ‘heart dog’. I understood.

Everyone who has ever loved a pet also endures grieving at the loss of his or her pet. Many of us will say it is the worst thing we ever go through. Adopting a new pet is never an act of replacing a lost pet. Some people will adopt another pet after a short time, and some will wait a long time. I have had many wonderful cats in my life. I loved them all dearly and mourned the loss of them. After a short time, I adopted a new kitty – except once.

The story of Fisher and me began just after one cat went to the Bridge, and I had one cat left at home. It started with a dream. Like many dreams, the details quickly faded, but I will never forget the simple message: A black and white kitten will find me and I will name her/him Fisher. I just had to be patient.

Months later, I was at work in Colorado and decided to take a break. I stepped outside on a mildly cold winter day. I was the only person out there. I began to hear a kitten crying and instantly thought of my dream. Something wonderful was coming my way and I “knew” what it was. This was the longest break ever – just me, in the cold, staring at the parking lot. The stage was set and time stood still. I had to find the kitten.

I was getting nowhere. The cries were constant, loud, and honestly, quite demanding. I did everything but crawl under the cars. I would walk down one row, stop, switch to another row, and listen. Is it getting louder? Nothing was going to stop me.

Finally, the cries were louder. I knew I was getting closer, stopping now at every car. Excitement crept in with each step. This is it! I am, standing in front of an old worn out car and a kitten is screaming at me. I was doubled up bent over looking under that car, and if I had an ounce of athleticism in me, I would have done a handstand. My kitten was under the hood of this car and I just needed to find the owner.

She was easy to locate and I asked her to come out and open the hood of her car for me. She was a terrific employee and quickly recovered from her shock as I explained the situation. As we walked to her car together, she told me she lived 40 miles away, out in the country. She had seen a cat and some kittens under a bush near her driveway, and this kitten must have crawled under the hood to get out of the snow, find warmth, and find me – and she did. Dreams do come true, you know.

So began our many years together: writing our blog and advice column, and learning together, always in harmony. Oh, the stories I could tell – not now, though, and not here.

After almost 17 years, the time came for Fisher to go on to other adventures. We had long silent conversations in the days before, each assuring the other that we understood and we would be all right. She passed peacefully in my arms.

My life went on hold. I was in such a fog I could not see any clear path to take and just did nothing. We all know many crazy cat ladies, but how many are CRAZY? Am I? Little by little, I started to get back to myself. Suddenly after months, I started to see visions of Fisher. She waited until I was healthy enough before letting me know she is still with me. When she knew the time was right and I was in a good place, the visions stopped but her presence in my life will never stop. Fisher is my heart cat.

Jobi Harris, proud to be a crazy cat lady.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Jobi for sharing the story of Fisher, you can find the facebook page and Miss Jobi also runs the Tampa Bay Pets Online facebook page which has a running list of pet events going on in the Tampa Bay area. 

To skip to other “Opt to Adopt” Articles link the below link.  The image was made by the wonderful Miss Ann of Pawsitively Pets.