During this past Christmas season I was starting to feel a little lonely. All my decorations were up and we had no more activities to attend. Part of our family was out of town and I was feeling blue. I had been dropping hints to Mr. Cardigan that I was going to stop at our local Humane Society as they were not charging for cats the month of December due to the number they had. On December 28 I went to do a few errands and my last stop was at the Humane Society. I asked if they had any that were declawed (as that was a stipulation from Mr. Cardigan due to our furniture, etc. and the cat would be indoors all the time) and after thinking about it they remembered that they just had one come in about 3 days prior. They brought her out and I knew that she was mine! She actually had all her paws declawed and had been abandoned and then put in with other cats at the Society. I have no idea how she was able to survive like that and I knew that she needed to come home with me.
Here she is the first day at our home in my Studio sitting on my chair with Lucy standing guard -
A few days later she was calm enough to get on Mr. Cardigan's lap and to snuggle with me -
We used to play "Babushka Baby" - although I never got a photo of it. I would lay on the couch watching TV and use this afghan as a blanket. She would jump up and I would cover her with the blanket (keeping her head out, of course) and she would fall asleep. But, before she would fall asleep I would put a little of the afghan around her - like a babushka - and make a little fuss about her - how she looked like a cat from the "old country" and Mr. Cardigan would just shake his head!! I wish I would have had him take a picture. Here she is just sleeping with me - probably for the first time --
I just love this photo. She had been here about 3 days and the grandsons were here. I was making our bed (did not pay any attention where or where not any of the cats were) and when I pulled the covers back this is what I found --
I quietly called the grandsons in to see and they were quite amused! I don't know if Ricky thought this was the only place she could find peace and quiet or what!! This was the only time that she did this.
The Humane Society estimated that Ricky was about 2 years old. Ricky is a she and Lucy is a he -- long story involving Lucy. Lucy will be 2 in June. Here are more photos of Ricky -- some with Lucy --
This was the last picture that I took of Ricky. I can't believe that it was a month before she died. I wished that I would have taken more -
We always wondered what her life was like for the 2 years before she came into our home. Mr. Cardigan always that that she had a rough life because she was always so jumpy. I can't imagine anyone abandoning her. We had our little routines - like when Mr. Cardigan comes home from work and Ricky and Lucy would patiently wait for their treats - Ricky would jump in our bed about three times a week and sleep behind my pillow. Lucy and Ricky were getting along much better. All I know is everything seemed normal and we were awaken at 2:30 AM by a very loud and weird cry. We found Ricky on the carpet near the fireplace just laying there. Lucy was nearby and her tail was big. Mr. Cardigan had been near that very area about 20 minutes prior (he gets up and sits in the lazy boy sometimes during the night for a bit) and Ricky was not there then. I had been on the computer until about 1 1/2 hrs. prior and I saw her in the guest bedroom sleeping on her blanket as was her "spot". I think the cry was Lucy letting us know something just happened, but Mr. Cardigan thinks it was Ricky's last cry in pain. It was so unbelievable. I am assuming it was her heart that gave out -- I did some Googling. She is buried behind our garage - next to another cat "Sam" that we had for a very long time and died about 7 years ago.
We all miss you Ricky! (Lucy included - you can tell she is a little lost right now. I am so sad and still crying. Oh, how these little ones become such a part of our lives.
So, Ricky -- one day I will see you again at Rainbow Bridge. Until then I miss you and will always love you.
THE RAINBOW BRIDGE POEM
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 who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole 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, who had to be left behind.
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.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted 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....