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Just Me

Good-Bye, Beebee

Posted on 2007.06.07 at 22:10
Current Mood: Mourning

In 1990, a young woman named Cynthia Kalkman (who is now, of course, Cindy Sheen) visited a house with kittens to give away. One, white, tiny, frail, so small he fit in the palm of her hand, so thin she could feel every one of his ribs, touched her heart.

His name, officially, was "Kimba." I don't know that he was ever called that. He had food issues, and by the time I met him, weighed nearly 30 pounds. He would walk determinedly through the apartment, then another apartment, then our trailer, with his feet making an audible Stomp!-Stomp!-Stomp! and that's how he marched, determinedly, into my heart.

He loved unreservedly, tolerated the Bear-Shaped Dog -- a late addition into his life -- demanded affection at his whim, and was generally, as my nephew Cory called him the first time he ever saw him, "The best pimp cat ever!"

We all called him "Beebee," or "Mister Beebers," and we loved him as unreservedly as he did us, and I can't see my keyboard through my tears right now, because he died about a half-hour ago.

He died peacefully, in the arms of his Mommy. After 18 years of happy life, well-fed, well-loved, well-cared-for. If there was any more perfect way for him to breath his last, I don't know what it could have been.

I feel, in a way, that I ought to feel satisfaction. A friend who is at times very wise told me, on the occasion of a previous cat's passing, that the life of a pet is a story, and that a story isn't a story without its ending. Beebee's life, part comedy, part love story, almost without drama, was a story with a happy ending.

I keep telling myself that between the sobs that take control of me, and rob me of dignity and motivation and all else.

They're not "like part of the family." They are part of the family. He was our baby, and he's gone and we are devastated.

There are ways in which our lives will be better. For the last few months, he has been incontinent, and had not even a theoretical notion of the concept of "the litter box." We can begin, now, to undo that damage to our home.

But he was our baby, and he is dead, lying curled in a cardboard box at my wife's feet, looking as if he's sleeping peacefully, where our other cats and bear-shaped dog can see him and smell him and know he is no longer in there. Tomorrow, we'll figure out what next, be it back-yard burial, disposal by our local vet, or some ridiculously expensive pet cremation.

For now, he lies curled in the cardboard box, dead, and we are devastated.

Good-bye, Beebee.


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The Hysterical Hystorian
abigail89 at 2007-06-08 02:34 (UTC) (Link)
Dear Jon and Cindy--I am so sorry for your loss. Pets are just as precious to us as our human children, except that they never talk back, never learn the dreaded "NO!" and give us unconditional love. And we can leave them on their own for a few hours and social services doesn't get called.

Fred is sleeping on the floor behind me. Of all my boys, he is the most loyal.

Hugs to all. Beebee had a good life.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 02:39 (UTC) (Link)
He had a very good life, and he had a very good death, and except for the hole in my heart, all is well.

Thank you for the support. It is appreciated.
lillywmw at 2007-06-08 02:53 (UTC) (Link)
Joey is next to me now and I can´t imagine our lives without him!A big kiss in your heart!
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:01 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much, Lilly.

Give Joey a scritch behind the ears for me.
Amanda Rex
amandarex at 2007-06-08 03:06 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:02 (UTC) (Link)
I appreciate it, more than I can say.
j_on_lj at 2007-06-08 03:20 (UTC) (Link)
> ...the life of a pet is a story

Right on. In the same way that Warren Zevon advised us to "enjoy every
sandwich," some of the best stories are, sometimes unfortunately, those
of the past.

I know how much he was cherished by y'all, and I suspect, as he might look
up/down/out/in from whatever spiritual or other plane he exists in now,
he knows as well.

Please accept and share our condolences from out west, and know that
there's a Sweetie tonight who's going to get even more affection than
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:03 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Jeff, I really do appreciate it.

Please convey unto sweety a little scratching under the chin from her "Uncle Jon."
bouncing leaf
bouncingleaf at 2007-06-08 03:30 (UTC) (Link)
Oh hon.

*hugs to both you and Cindy*
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:04 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Leaf. I can't tell you how much we both appreciate it.
rupert_talley at 2007-06-08 03:36 (UTC) (Link)
So sorry for your loss. It's so hard losing a member of your family isn't? My first cat dies when I was in elementary school and I still talk about her and miss her. But 18 years! That's great; we're crossing our fingers for our now 13 year old cat (see icon) will live that long. BTW What's up with these white cats? My brother-in-law found an itty bitty white kitten under his truck. He is now a 20-25 pound mass of pure muscle. Again so sorry!
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:08 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you give that guy (or gal) a good rubbing with the pads of you middle finger and thumb, right on those short-haired spots in front of his-or-her hears from me! Gorgeous kitty!

I have fond memories and holes in my heart for every dog or cat I've lost through the years. They've all been my friends, my companions, my confidants, all loved me without condition or reservation.

Thank you for the support.
puguita at 2007-06-08 04:04 (UTC) (Link)
A big hug from me and my cats to you and yours. It is a strange moment to see the passing of one of our own when they have lived long and happy lives. Such lives should be celebrated but our tears betray our loss. To watch them grow and learn and play is to know joy and they will live on in our stories and in our hearts.

Love and Hugs.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:10 (UTC) (Link)
I've been saying it a lot, and I'll say it again. His life and his passing were both as perfect as could be desired. The last thing he knew in the world was going to sleep inthe loving arms of his Mommy, her fingers gently stroking him. We are devastated, but also happy for his life.
I have an Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator
simons_flower at 2007-06-08 04:08 (UTC) (Link)
So sorry to hear this. {{{hugs}}} to you and your family.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:11 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much, Trish, for the sympathy and support. They are so very much appreciated.
xedra at 2007-06-08 04:29 (UTC) (Link)
(((MASSIVE HUGS))) to you both!
He was obviously incredibly loved and a blessing in your lives.
My heart breaks for you.

Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:14 (UTC) (Link)
He was all of those things, and, while we can't feel that way right now, I know that we were priveleged to witness a passing so perfect, so gentle. His life and death were all that anyone could wish for.
(Deleted comment)
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:14 (UTC) (Link)
*returns hug with thanks*
alloy_ at 2007-06-08 07:21 (UTC) (Link)
A pets life is a story, and your tribute brought tears to my eyes, as well the awareness that my own favourite pet while still spry is approaching her own golden years.

Thanks for shareing your memories.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:17 (UTC) (Link)
Enjoy her and love her, Marc. There will never be a better time.

And remember the wisdom of Gandalf's words: Not all tears are an evil.
elfwhistletree at 2007-06-08 08:06 (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like he had the best sort of life - I do understand about the gap he will leave in yours...

Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:19 (UTC) (Link)
He absolutely did have as perfect a life as anyone could ask for. He was beloved and cherished every day of his life, from the moment Cindy met him, to the moment he quietly slipped from his flesh and rejoined the universe.
mrsquizzical at 2007-06-08 09:27 (UTC) (Link)
((((((hugs L and mrs L)))))

rip beebee.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:19 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Q. Your loving support means so much.
harrysmom at 2007-06-08 10:54 (UTC) (Link)
I understand how you are feeling. Pets ARE part of the family and to lose one is like losing part of yourself. They love you unconditionally and without reservaion. They never talk back or ask for things or are nasty. It's a hurt that can't be described.

My thoughts are with you and your wife.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:23 (UTC) (Link)
They love us without reservation, and depend on us for everything! So when a pet passes, it's so, so easy to feel you've failed them, you've betrayed their trust. This is especially true when you have to make the hard choice to end their suffering.

The loss of Beebee is the very first time I've absorbed this blow without feeling the shame of that betrayal. He lived in love, and died in it, without pain, and without regret, and knew from the first moment to teh last that he was cherished.

Thank you so much for your thoughts.
herrbgone at 2007-06-08 11:01 (UTC) (Link)
Last night I read this post through tears. Then I shut off my computer at the master power switch and went to bed to cry. I'm so sorry Jon. Words fail me.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:25 (UTC) (Link)
We're heartbroken, but at the same time, relieved, I think. He's had his entire life, now, and it's been exactly what he'd most have wanted. What cat's ever done or had better?
bluebellfield at 2007-06-08 12:35 (UTC) (Link)
I am sorry for your loss of your cat.

I know how you feel, as i myself have experienced the death of a cat that i loved and it is hard especially when the cat is more than a cat, but part of the family.

Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:29 (UTC) (Link)
I don't believe in God, nor in traditional concepts of a hereafter. But I do believe in the soul, and while I'm not sure they exist in bugs or plants, I know that the soul exists in whatever can love.

And I believe that that soul is indestructable. I'm not sure I buy into the Buddhist belief that the sould moves on up through levels of enlightenment until it reaches Nirvana, however many lives it takes to get there. But I believe the sould goes somewhere, and there is life of some sort yet to come.

So I know in my heart that loving soul is somewhere still, moving on into that "next great adventure."

But I miss him.
natertatersmom at 2007-06-08 12:56 (UTC) (Link)
Dear, Sweet man,

My heart aches for the loss of this member of your family. I know completely the spiritual connection between human and pet. That we call them "pets" is really the height of arrogance, isn't it? They allow us to love them, and they love back just as deeply.

It sounds like it wasn't just Beebee's "ending" that was happy. Sounds like he had an entire life of happy and that is SUCH a precious thing, because there are so many animals who aren't allowed such grace.

I offer you hugs and my own tears, for it breaks my heart to know that you feel such hurt. I grieve with you.

All my love,
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:52 (UTC) (Link)
Beebee had the most perfect life I've ever seen or heard of, and it ended as well as he lived it. I am speechless with admiration and gratitude for that, even as I am speechless with pain for my own selfish loss.

I mourn... But I celebrate as well, a life lived to its fullest,and left behind so beautifully.
Jenna: fomerly chocolate_coins
jennashaped at 2007-06-08 12:58 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that was beautifully written. That kitty had a great life, and I am sorry for your and Cindy's loss. *hugs*
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:54 (UTC) (Link)
We talked about this last night, you and I. The glory and the downfall of the human heart.

I wouldn't trade the years of love and joy he brought me to avoid this pain. It's teh bargainof a lifetime. My pain will fade. His love will always be with me.
karaokequeen36 at 2007-06-08 13:10 (UTC) (Link)

So sorry.....

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Beebee!!! I know what its like to lose a pet, and your right they are part of the family!
Thinking of you,
Karaoke Queen
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 13:57 (UTC) (Link)

Re: So sorry.....

Thank you so much, babe.

He was a very good boy, and he earned his rest.
maple_mahogany at 2007-06-08 13:50 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry for your loss. He looked really sweet.

He was lucky to have received such love and attention for his entire life, so many cats don't get that.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 14:00 (UTC) (Link)
He was the biggest bucket of mush you ever hoped to see, with a purr you could feel down to your bones.

We're fortunate yo have been able to love him hios whole life through.

Thank you, my friend.
lnalvgd at 2007-06-08 13:54 (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry to see that your beloved pet has passed.

*hugs you*
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 14:02 (UTC) (Link)
The rubicon he's crossed is one we all must pass. Too many of his like cross it alone, in pain, frightened. He did peaceful, secure, and in loving arms. I'll be a lucky man indeed if I do half as well.
amythis at 2007-06-08 14:13 (UTC) (Link)
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 14:47 (UTC) (Link)
Back atcha, my friend. Thank you so very much.
i_m_b00 at 2007-06-08 15:36 (UTC) (Link)
We love our pet with so much more freedom then we love other humans. They are part of the family. And the passing is always painful for us who are left behind to continue on with a missing part of our heart.

I wish you both peace and support from each other as you both set out on the road to healing.

When my time come I hope to go from the arms of my loved ones to the arms of my loving God. I can think of nothing more beautiful. I do how you are able to get some small bit of peace from the way the passing was met.

(kitty seems sorry as well, she kinda sniffed the screen when the photo was up)
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-08 16:30 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so very much for your kind words of support.

Mr. Beebers' remains have been delivered to our vet. Apperently we will receive his ashes in a lovely wooden box, with his name on it. I'm sort of Meh about that, but if it will help my wife heal, that's all that counts.

I'm glad my last memory of him is how peaceful and content he looked, curled up in the cardboard box, a folded up towel placed under his head. He'd already passed when I curled him into that box, when I folded the towel and tucked it so his head would not loll to the bottom of the box. He didn't care. But I had to show him that respect, for me, for my wife, and I'm glad I did, because he looked happy, content, the only way we could know he wasn't sleeping was the lack of his funny little snores.

When a story is a happy one, even the happiest of endings is a sad one, because you hate to turn that last page, hate for the story to be over. It is those selfish tears I shed now, not for Beebee, who needs no tears, no sorrow, no pityu for a life lived in love, and left in peace, but for ourselves to eb deprived of his unstinting love and affection.
shygryf at 2007-06-09 02:42 (UTC) (Link)

I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad that his passing was peaceful, and that you are able to talk about him.

*passes over wrung out hankie*
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-09 08:42 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Gryf. The sorrow and support mean the world to me. He was a huge part of our lives, and now he's gone forever, and that hurts. But it is a huge consolation to me to know how gloriously perfect were his life and his death.
we can skip to the coital fury
justholdstill at 2007-06-09 10:28 (UTC) (Link)

For someone so articulate, I'm pretty much useless at knowing what to say when people are sad, but I do know that hugs say as much, if not more, as words do.

Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-06-09 10:39 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much, my friend! I totally appreciatethe hugs.

I promise, even now, in the dawn of only the second day of a world without a Beebee, it is getting much better. There is something about the knowledge that his life and death were what I would have wished for him that makes dealing with this passing easier. I see his life as a happy story that has reached its end, a book I can now close with some satisfaction,and sigh, because, sad as I am no longer to be enjoying the new chapters, the new pages, the story has ended, and ended right.
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