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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?
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