|We lost Tabby in September, Rori in November, and Starla in December. This scrapbook page was made by Mommy using scrapbooking supplies from The Cherry On Top.
Shadow: Uncle Panther, I has a sads. I has many sads.
Panther: Me, too, Shadow. It's not just a kitten feeling. We big cats have it, too. Anytime we have to say goodbye to a family member, it's hard, and especially this past year. We had to say goodbye to the three oldest.
Shadow: But why? Why did they have to run off to the Bridge? I only just got here, and only just met them, and now not only Auntie Tabby but Auntie Rori and Auntie Starla are gone, too!
Panther: Because no one lives forever, little one. Not even aunties and uncles, or mommies or daddies. We all will someday run off to the Bridge, too, but hopefully not for a long time.
Shadow: I know they didn't feel well. Is that why? Were they all sickies?
Panther: Yes, Shadow, they were all sick. Rori and her sister Little Bit, who went to the Bridge before you came to live with us, both had seizures and Rori's were getting a lot worse. She was so weak that she could barely move around, yet somehow she kept going when we thought we would have had to say goodbye to her a while ago. I don't know how she had the strength to keep on going, but that's part of what made her such a wonderful Big Kitty. I miss her, too. I wish she were still here so that I didn't have to be the Big Kitty now. Even though I'm in charge, I don't want to be.
Shadow: Really? But you're a great kitty to have in charge!
Panther: Thank you. But yes, really. Rori was the best Big Kitty, even better than when Auntie Tigress was the outside Big Kitty. Tigress doesn't want to be the inside Big Kitty, though. She's done with that job now that she's inside.
Shadow: Oh. Was it just the shakes that Rori had that made her sickies?
Panther: We don't know. Not even the vet knew for sure, although they think that she had pancreatitis, too. She had that for a while. All we know is that Rori was very, very sick and one day she just couldn't hold on any longer. She stopped eating and drinking, and then got so weak that she couldn't barely pull herself to the litter box. She was begging Mommy and Daddy to help her, so they helped her to the Bridge. She was hurting a lot.
Shadow: I'm glad she's not hurting any more.
Panther: Me, too.
Shadow: But what about Auntie Starla? She smelled bad. She peed on the floor.
Panther: Yes, she did. She never really learned how to use the litter box. Her original people were bad.
Shadow: You mean they returned her like my first people did?
Panther: No, even worse than you can ever imagine. They didn't ever take care of her. They scared and hurt her and wouldn't let her inside their house.
Shadow: That's super-bad!
Panther: Yes, and there's more, but I'll wait until you're a little older to tell you that. So she never was taught to use the litter box like most indoor kitties. She used the floor instead, although Mommy and Daddy taught her to use the floors that were easier to clean up.
Shadow: And the tub.
Panther: Yes, and the tub. That was easiest to clean up! But then she got really sick and forgot to use the easy-to-clean-up spots. She used the new wood floors, which was a big no-no.
Shadow: Is that why she ran off to the Bridge?
Panther: No, not really. Mommy cleaned up after her, and so did Daddy sometimes. They didn't like cleaning all that up, but they knew that Starla couldn't remember to use the other places. The reason she had to run off to the Bridge just before Christmas was that she got cancer.
Shadow: What's that? Whatever it is, I know it isn't a nice thing! Mean cancer.
Panther: Yes, it is mean. It means she was very sick, as sick as Tabby was, but in a different way. That's why she was so skinny. Then, when she was too tired and sick to notice that she was peeing when she was sleeping, Mommy and Daddy knew it was time to help her to the Bridge.
Shadow: What does Mommy mean when she keeps saying that it's the end of an era?
Panther: Well, none of the kitties who are here now were the ones who moved here with Mommy and Daddy ten years ago. I wasn't even born then, and neither were any of the others who are here now.
Shadow: Not even Freya & Heimdall? They're old, but not as old as the others!
Panther: Not even them. The ones who moved here were Tabby, Carbon, Skylar, Rori, Starla, and Spooky. He looked like you and like me, but he ran off to the Bridge when he was a kitten. Everyone else, everyone who is here now, wasn't even born then.
Shadow: Oh. I don't want anyone else to go away!
Panther: I don't, either. *licks the top of Shadow's head*