Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Pawing It Forward 15th Birthday Celebration

 July 1,1999 
August 12,2013
Today marks Abby's 15th birthday.
My first without her.
Today will be a hard day no doubt. There will be tears shed and there will be joy as well. I am not far enough along in my Journey to be able to truthfully say I am without the sorrow deep in my heart, in fact the sadness still sits so heavy on me at times that it makes me wonder how long I will carry it.
Today will be one of those times that I will wonder how far I can carry it.
I am sharing many pictures of Abby throughout her years with me and also today I am sharing a special story about two extraordinary people whose story interwines and it's my Abby that ties it all together.
I want you to meet Abb. Isn't he gorgeous? Abb came to Clara Showalter around the time Abby was so very sick. Clara is a volunteer extraordinaire at Austin Pets Alive, a No Kill Rescue in Austin Texas. Clara works with many of the cats that come in with high health risks. She is special. Many of you may remember CancerCat, Sandy who Clara shared with us at Feline Foster Follies. I think this is actually how Clara and I met, you see Sandy was a manx too. Sandy was a true feline warrior and her story is one I highly recommend you read about.Sandy may no longer be with us but her spirit lives on.
 Clara honored Abby by naming this sweet ginger boy Abb. She fostered him through his eye surgery and got him back up on all four paws. Sadly, during this time Abby lost her battle. But, it was such an honor to have her name carried on by this sweet boy. When the time came for Clara to send Abb along his way, his adoptive Mother came all the way from Oregon to Texas to adopt this very special cat. Clara shared with Natalie (his adoptive Mother), the story behind his name and Natalie was so moved that she decided to keep his name as Abb. Abby became his well honor Angel Godmother and Abb I hope you know that you have a special guardian Angel watching over you.
Abb has his own Facebook page it's called Abb's Squirrel Tail.
That brings me to wanting to do something special since it's Abby's birthday. I thought I would do a commentathon and donate .50 per comment to Austin Pets Alive in Abby's and Abb's honor. I hope you will join me. One comment from each household please.
Plus Abby is going to send one special person a $25 gift card to PetsMart. If you want to be considered for the random drawing just let me know in the post.
Also please leave a way for me to contact you, an email would be great!
I will be using random.org to make the selection.
I began Day 1 after I lost Abby by posting one B/W photo a day of her on her Twitter account under the #hashtag #rememberingabby. I was doing it in any constructive way in the beginning. It became  a way of remembrance. As time went by I refined that idea and began putting quotes with each photo. So things evolved and it became a year long project. I plan to put all the photos together on her one year anniversary. These photos are many I chose to begin that project with.
I have so many photos of Abby. It was hard to go back through them and pick and choose. I found in the beginning it was just so hard. When I uncovered things I hadn't seen in a long time it brought forth so many memories. Along with so many tears.
Abby loved sitting on the kitchen table. As you can see the sun was perfect for afternoon napping. Abby's garden is now right out of these windows shown in these pictures. I chose that area because of her love of looking out of this big picture window and the close proximity to the house. I see her garden every time I cross through the kitchen and that is how I wanted it to be. I wanted to see her and think of her.
It's so easy in my mind to just see her lying there.
I also love photos of her in silhouette. The one below shows the afternoon sun acting like a halo around her and that plush double coat of fur is so full.
Another of Abby's favorite spots was the back porch. Being in Florida with our milder climate the porch is a near year round room which all the cats go back and forth onto. Abby certainly loved whiffing!
It dawns on me that so many of the photos I've chosen throughout the years are in the kitchen. Abby is again on the window sill in the kitchen.
When I look now I can see some aging in her face in this photo from 2012 (in the kitchen on top of the kitchen table, I am sitting down below her looking up). I sure do miss seeing this face.

This photo is one of my all time forever favorites of Abby. I had it made into a over sized photo canvas last January. I photoshopped it to erase out the ugliness that her illnesses had done to her,so you'll have to forgive me for editing out the harshness. I would never publish a photo of her that was unflattering. But the story behind this is it was the last hurrah she had. That morning, August 3rd, a Saturday, she jumped up on the dining room table and had bath , then got down and came and sat with me and all the other cats in the morning sun. I mistakenly thought she had turned a corner, but in retrospect it was truly the last time she felt strong enough and decent. It was all downhill after this. In fact the day this photo was taken she had a set back and had to be rushed back to the ER for the second time in less than week. I didn't know it then but it was the beginning of the end.
It's been close to 11 months since that fateful day and it's been a  long and hard Journey. I'm still trying to find answers. Now I'm guessing, but I doubt I will ever find them. It seems I am not supposed to find them, not in this life. Over the next few weeks so many milestones happen, this summer will be full of triggers. Grief is such a tangled complex thing. Tied to our memories which we all hold so precious to our hearts, the smallest thing can spin the entire process into a raging storm. I miss her. I have looked for words to describe it better but they fail me. I just miss her. Still.
Thank you Natalie for letting me borrow these great photos both you and Clara took of our Godson!

But today I am trying to let Abby give back. So I hope you'll help me do that. I will total up all the comments and make a donation in Abb & Abby's honor to Austin Pet's Alive. I will leave the comments open until July 4th and let you know next week what the grand total is. Thank you all for compassion and love you've shown Abby through all of these years. Thank you for listening to me as I've traveled on Abby's Journey. I hope my own personal outpouring of grief posts have helped shed some light to anyone who may be going down the path themselves.That has been a part of my message.Grief never stops, it bends, twists,slows and takes many curves but it never stops. Once you hold something in your heart, it never leaves, but the missing doesn't either. That is my struggle today. I am missing the future we will never share during the rest of my lifetime.
Happy Birthday Baby.
I love you
to the moon
and back


  1. Happy 15th Birthday Dear Sweet Angel Abby, you were always very special to us and we send you and your Mom purrs and love today. What a special boy Abb is! Love all the photos here, such a beautiful tribute to a precious girl and the beautiful love the two of you share. (We would like to enter your draw please.)

    Clooney & Neytiri

  2. What a lovely birthday remembrance for Abby- Purrs

  3. Abby is looking down on you from the beyond the rainbow bridge with a glint in her eyes and purrs from her lips. She is happy knowing how much she was/is loved.

    Happy birthday Abby.

    Emma and Buster

  4. This moving post bought renewed tears to our Mommy. Abby was such a special girl and this is such a purrfect way to commemorate her birthday.

    Happy 15th, sweet Angel Abby.
    Hugs and kisses from all of us at Angel Prancer Pie.

  5. What a great way to honor Abby's memory. Your tribute to her is awesome on so many levels. I went over and Liked Abb's Facebook page - he sounds like a really good guy to know!

  6. Happy 15th Birthday Dear Sweet Angel Abby <3

    I went over and Liked Abb's FB-page. He sounds like a really good guy to know :)

    Me skip your give away , since I live in Sweden :)


  7. This is a wonderful way to honour Abby's memory and her 15th birthday. We love that Abb's adopter kept his name; he looks like a sweetie, has had a hard go of it, but now lucky to have found a wonderful forever home. Absolutely Abby is keeping watch over him. :-)

    Sending you purrs and hugs today and always.

  8. What a beautiful girl Abby was, Abb, her godson is very handsome and special as well. It is a beautiful photo look back, I truly think this type of tribute in her honor will help you thru your grieving process. It is so hard and long, eventually it gets easier to bear, she will always be with you in spirit. I too am going to visit Abbs page. You are very generous to offer the gift card along with a donation to the shelter. Sending you many purrs and love to help you heal. Connie Marie,constancehopenoble@gmail.com

  9. What a beautiful rememberance of a very special girl. You are so eloquent about your grief, and you're right, it's a journey, one that doesn't really end, just gets easier over time.

    We did know about Abb, but weren't aware of his Facebook page. We've liked it now so we can follow his progress and adventures.

    Happy 15th birthday, Abby. Big purrs from all of us, and big hugs to your Mom.

  10. ((((Hugs))) and comforting purrs. Abb is a very handsome boy and we think it is great he is named after Abby.

  11. Happy Birthday at the Bridge Angel Abby.
    This is such a beautiful post and I recognise my own thoughts and feelings in it, but you express them far better than I ever could. I would like to enter the draw, but if I should win I would like the gift voucher to go to Austin Pets Alive along with your donation for your generous commentathon.

  12. Happy 15th Birthday Angel Abby. What an incredible memorial Birthday post. You always touch my heart deeply and say what I feel in the most eloquent way. {{soft purrs}} for you today. Marty and I would like to enter the drawing. If we win please donate it to the shelter along with your generous donation.

  13. We almost forgot handsome Abb. What a blessed boy! So glad Abby is watching over him :)

  14. This is a lovely way to honour Abby. It was nice to meet Abb. Wishing you more joy and laughter then tears today. Hugs

  15. It is such a blessing to have a fur who reaches deep into our hearts. To have that connection and to give ones all is what makes lifes worth grow beyond measure. At the same time it can cut deeply as we generally outlive our dear fur family.
    The anniversaries again lay bare the injury but a bit less as time passes. Each year the complexion changes with the balance going to happy and light rather than the hurt. This may be from some deep part of self that whispers we too are moving closer to our time, our mortality, and of meeting all who have passed. This is in my mind only and I bow to others feelings on this matter.
    Thank you for sharing your love and loss with us all. Our humanity grows richer for our tears

    I would appreciate being entered for the gift card as I have an idea where it can be sent for great good.

    Dad Pete and Timmy T

  16. Sometimes it was very hard for me to read what you had written because it tugged at my heart so ... but I also appreciate that you had the place to write down those feelings and share ... thank you . ((hugs))

  17. Happy Birthday Angel Abby! Watch over us until we all meet again.
    Timmy and Dad

  18. That was a wonderful post and must have stirred up so many happy memories of Abby and the love the two of you shared for each other. We know today will be sad for you but she is at peace and surrounded by your love. If we by chance win your draw we would like you to send the gift voucher to Austin Pets Alive in her memory.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  19. I feel as though we are kindred spirits. Your grief journey with Abby is so often how I'm feeling about my Tara, but you are able to express yourself so much more eloquently. This is a rough week for me because one year ago, this is the last week I spent with Tara. Her one year anniversary of going to the Bridge is 7/7. The tears still flow so, so easily.

    Happy Birthday in Heaven, sweet Abby. I hope you and Tara have met and become friends. You are both loved beyond measure.

    Please enter us in the drawing and if we win, donate the card to Austin Pets Alive in honor of our sweet girls.

  20. What a lovely post and gesture to have a coomentathon for Abb and Abbey. I just passed Chica's birthday - so hard to go thru the special days without them here. Sending hugs. Wishing Angel Abbey a wonderful day at the bridge.

    Cats of wildcat woods

  21. As I near the second anniversary of my father's death, just to hot, humid weather can throw me into the deep, dark pit of despair. Thank you for reminding me I am normal and not alone.

    This is a wonderful way to honor a wonderful cat.

    If I when the drawing, give it to the shelter.

  22. Happy Birthday Angel Abby. That was such a moving tribute to your dear girl and we know she will be with you forever. Please check your email for a message from us.

  23. This is such a beautiful and poignant tribute to your beloved Abby. Thank you for sharing her -- and your continuing journey with her -- with all of us.

    Please enter us in the PetSmart card drawing, and if we win, we'd like you to give it to Austin Pets Alive in Abby's honor.

    Happy birthday at the Bridge, sweet Abby. You are loved and remembered always.

    Much love and hugs.

  24. Happy Purrfday to mine darling sweet Angel at the Bridge - purrrsss n nosekissies- your adoring floofy cocoapuff meezerman Sammy

    I miss you every day mine sweet tuxie princess.

  25. What a lovely post for Abby's birthday memory and what a joy it must be to know Abb will carry the name proudly. We went by his FB page to meet him.

    We would love to enter the drawing but we don't have a PetSmart anywhere near us. :(

  26. Very touching, and a great way to remember Abby. We truly hope one day your heart will be healed and you can remember the love and joy Abby brought you wihtout tears to go along with them. Purrs to you, my friend.

    In August my mom will be gone for 2 years. By small degrees it does get easier, the first year is horrid sometimes it's one step forward and two steps back.

  27. I think Abby had a part in Quinn's adoption. I so love the "coloring". Now if you enter us in the drawing, please, if we win, send it to Feline Rescue in St. Paul. Where Quinn found me.

  28. Such a lovely post.

    Pour une fois je vais écrire en français. Trop compliqué en anglais....
    L'histoire de Abb est très belle.
    Les photos d'Abby aussi.
    j'ai une préférence pour celle où elle est derrière la fenêtre. Comme si elle gardait la porte d'entrée d'un univers, vers la lumière. De l'ombre à la lumière.
    Cat's are bringer of light !
    Douce soirée
    Nat à Chat

  29. Abby was a special girl, and her namesake is carrying on the tradition. :) Thank you.

  30. Oh my gosh, we love this chapter in Abby's story and we think Abb is terrific. Great story. And a very Happy Birthday to you Angel Abby.
    We would love to have a Pet Smart gift card. This is such a lovely post. Take care.

  31. Very moving post, and lovely memories. The commentathon is a great way to keep her memories alive. Purrs

  32. What a wonderful birthday! I am blessed to have my life brightened by both Clara and Natalie......

  33. I'm so sorry--Clara is a friend of mine and I remember when and why Abb got his name. I had the great pleasure of meeting Abb and in fact baby sitting him one weekend, and he was and is full of verve and life.

    I lost my precious Clarice in November 2009. She was 16 1/2 and had kidney disease. Losing her changed my world. I will never stop grieving for her.But I honored her by fosrtering and adopting two kitties who needed me. I keep fostering for Austin Pets Alive because Clarice taught me so many things that I can now use to help other animals. I would love to be considered for the gift card because I would be happy to use it to support my fostering. Thank you for loving Abby.

  34. What a beautifully written post. Abb is a very handsome ginger boy and how very meaningful that he is named in honor of Abby. We wish Abb the very best with his Mom Natalie and having Angel Godmother in Abby.

    We will not be entering the giveaway as we are not from the US. :)

    Happy Birthday at the Bridge, Abby!

  35. iz it oh kay if we say that abby iz smilin down on her mom two day...

    that herz sendz her love two her mom two day... two de sun & bak...

    N abby iz meowin bout how kewl her mom, dad, N familee iz...coz we iz havin one H...heaven ova partee for her... heer at peets pound oh perch pub N eatree N her cake iz 98 miles long N made outta toona, ham & flounder


    dude & sauce

  36. Happy angel birthday, Abby. May your sweet face remain in our memories forever.

  37. This is such a beautiful post - full of beautiful pictures, beautiful memories, and beautiful love. Though I didn't start reading your blog until after Abby had crossed the rainbow bridge, I can so strongly sense the connection you two had through the photos and posts you have shared. I am so very sorry that you have lost someone so special to you. It breaks my heart. The story of Abb is very heartwarming, and he sure is one handsome boy! What a great namesake and legacy for Abby. All of us here at Kitty Cat Chronicles will be thinking of you on this tough day. This commentathon is a wonderful idea. We would also love to be entered in your giveaway for a Petsmart gift card. Thank you for sharing Abby's stories with us.

  38. Happy birthday, Abby...it sounds like you had a wonderful family!!

  39. this is an exquisite memorial for precious Abby, she is greatly missed by all of us! I would love to enter your give-away but if I win, I would like to donate the Petsmart card to YOUR favorite shelter xoxoxo (in Abby's name)

  40. We are sure this will be a very hard day for you, and we are so sorry for that. ::hugs:: Abby certainly was a beautiful baby. Now she is a beautiful angel. <3

    It is so sweet that Abb will carry on Abby's name; what a wonderful story!

    We would love to be entered into the drawing.

  41. This is such a beautiful and moving tribute to your Abby. Amazing.

    I also loved hearing about Abb and will go and like his page on FB.

    I would love to enter the drawing and I think it's just lovely about the donation to Pet's Alive.

    Thanks for sharing this on your blog. You express your love for Abby so beautifully.

  42. You have done an amazing job of remembering Abby. It is also nice of you to turn the sad day of her death into something hopeful by donating. I am sure she is with you in spirit.

  43. Sending loving thoughts to Abby over the bridge - and hugs for you. What a nice tribute for Abb to be named for her. Such a handsome boy.

  44. What a lovely post.
    A tribute to Abby and a fine kitty called Abb.
    We understand so much how you feel.
    I still miss Tillie so much.It still hurts.
    Happy Birthday at the Bridge Abby :)
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ
    and mom Nancy

  45. Abb is a sweet cat. And you are in our thoughts on this Remembrance Day.

  46. Oh how full of LOVE this birthday tribute is for Abby. Doing the photos in black and white goes with the words and feeling behind it. Every photo is a treasure that will grow more precious in time.
    It's been a honor to glimpse into your journey and the world is wiser for your courage to share.

  47. What a wonderful tribute to a very special cat. And how fitting that you honor her memory by helping others.

    We would like to be entered into the drawing for PetSmart card. If we win, we would like you to donate it to Austin Pets Alive in Abby's memory.

    Purrs to you as you remember your sweet Abby this day.

  48. In reference to Abby and you, what I'm thinking of is "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." that's what you are doing and it's a perfect way to honor her.

  49. Happy RB Birthday, Abby! Hope you’re pawtying like a diva and I hope Nicky, Autumn, Chizzy and Faith brought you the balloons I axed them to. What a wonderful tribute. Abb is a fine young fellow.

  50. I send hugs and kisses. {{{hugs}}} xoxoxo

  51. A beautiful tribute to a beautify soul. Would love to enter drawing and if win please give to the shelter.

  52. Thanks for sharing your story. No doubt, he was a very special cat to you. I am involved with APA! and it is such a great organization, so thank u for offering to donate!

  53. Hold on...mom needs a tissue. Abby was a special girl and what an honor to have her name carried on by a special boy. Love and loss are those things that keep us human and compassionate. Annabelle is the best example of looking beyond the grief to give more.

    If we win the gift card we would love to donate it to our local rescue in her honor. (Randomfelines@hotmail.com)

  54. What a wonderful way to remember Angel Abby. We know today you'll go through many emotions and we're sending comforting purrs that most of your thoughts are happy thoughts of your precious Abby.

    We'd like to be entered in your give away.

  55. What a wonderful way to celebrate your beautiful girl!
    (Enter us in the drawing, but if we win give someone else a second chance and draw another name.)

  56. Such a beautiful and heartwarming birthday post to dear sweet Abby. She was such a special little girl.

    Please enter us in the drawing.


  57. I LOVE the story of Abb and Abby! What a sweet legacy for Miss Abby. We see that we are comment #58 so your commentathon is on its way to being a rousing success! If I get picked for the card, you may send it along to Pets Alive too ;-) XOXOXOXO as you continue on your journey!

  58. We have waited for this day- to sit beside you as we read your words. We have tears falling from our eyes too.
    We know this pain in your hear is so deep,,, we understand.
    This post is so beautiful, and you did a beautiful tribute,,,
    thank you for sharing with us.

  59. Happy Birthday Angel Abby!! We miss you lots!!
    Samantha & Mom

  60. Oh my......sweet sweet kitty, such beautiful photos. I am almost speechless right now. I teared up through this whole post.I can't imagine your pain. I am so sorry, but I am glad for your happy memories as well. I think this post was a great idea, a great tribute, and just simply a beautiful way to remember. I thank you for sharing your story, and my heart is with you.
    You can throw my name into your giveaway if you like, I would love to take part.
    Thank you for your story, and opening your heart to us.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  61. We feel like Jenna, such a beautiful tribute to the birthday girl. xxxoxxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  62. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. Abby, loved by so many will not be forgotten. Purrs to you, Angel Abby, and your family.

  63. Those we love are too much a part of our lives ever not to think about. They often become our lives, and we feel lost without them. But remembering, however painful, brings them back to us once more, if only in our minds and hearts. God bless you all.


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