So you can read my books

Thursday, April 7, 2011



and she taught by example :

1.) How to take adversity -

A.) She was three years old when abandoned by those she trusted,

mauled by feral cats,

and tricked into my apartment by the sound of crunchies in a cat food box.

B.) She could have chosen to be untrusting, afraid of every sound, wildly destructive --

acting out her anger at those who betrayed and hurt her.

C.) Instead she was kind, patient, loving,

and the most intelligent cat I have ever known.


Maybe it comes down to that, being intelligent enough to know not to drag the hurtful past with you

but to only bring the sweeter, purer parts of your nature into your future,

thus making it filled with love, understanding, and warmth.

D.) I shall try to learn from her quiet, loving example -- though I know I will not ever equal it.

2.) Love never demands ...

Not once did she meow for food.

She merely sat by my side, looking up with open, imploring, expectant eyes.

And she was rewarded with the best food I could buy for her.

3.) Love still needs reassurance ...

I had surgery some years back that necessitated me being gone for three days,

though Sandra came to feed Gypsy.

Since that time, Gypsy would leap into my bed at night,

snuggling under the crook of my left arm when I turned on my left side, facing the room.

It was as if she needed the reassurance that I was still there,

then she could relax and fall asleep.

I shall try always to reassure those I love that I am there so that they can relax in the darkness.

4.) Love is inventive, supportive of what the other likes ...

Gypsy invented the game of Ear Plug.

Finding one of my ear plugs dangling from my computer counter,

she commenced to bat it like a punching bag.

And thus was born our eternal game of Ear Plug.

Though she loved more the game of laser tag.

And she loved sitting on the puffy arm of my recliner,

watching the same DVD's over and over again.

Because it was the company that mattered not the movie.

I will remember that in the future, seeking to find enjoyment in those things my friends love because I love my friends.

5.) Love makes a hard day softer if ...

No matter how harsh or hard my day had been, my steps became lighter the closer to the end of the work day (night) came.

I knew that when I entered my apartment ...

Gypsy would be seated on the end of my bed,

facing the front door (efficiencies are just big bedrooms).

{Although with all the bookcases, it could double as a library.

And with all the signed movie posters, it could be mistaken for a movie lobby}

No endless refrain of "You just don't know how lousy my day has been!"

Only a happy purring as she nuzzled the top of her head against my open right palm,

as I recited our mantra, "The force is with you, young Gypsy, but you are not a Jedi yet."

She would stoically endure my kiss on the top of her head to get to the good stuff :

Food! Food Guy was home!

So I learned from her why we are given one mouth but two ears.

To listen more than we talk. And listening always should come first.

6.) Love never hurts those it loves ... Gypsy never scratched me.

Not once. I can't say that of any other cats. Gypsy has spoiled me. I probably will never get another cat.

Gypsy was one of a kind. I would only be disappointed in any other cat.

Even today when I hurt her sensitive, enlarged right kidney, she never turned to scratch.

She yowled from the pain and hissed. But never scratched.

I do not think I can say I have never hurt those I loved.

But Gypsy has given me a loving, courageous example to copy.

7.) Every HELLO holds a GOOD-BYE behind it.

But the last GOOD-BYE promises an eternal HELLO.

Today after Gypsy had been given Twilight Sleep as if to prep for surgery,

she gazed into my eyes with her amber ones

that seemed to know this was our last good-bye.

Gypsy steadily gazed lovingly into my eyes with a calmness that comes from being in the arms of one you love.

Gypsy seemed to silently say,

"Don't cry, Roland. There's a HELLO coming for the two of us that will never end."

And I choose to believe Gypsy's eyes.
I always end with music. But there is nothing worthy of Gypsy and all she taught me.

So I will end with the haunting poem Francine gave me today.

The one I will always think of as "Gypsy's Song."

"We have a secret, you and I that no one else shall know,
for who but I could see you lie each night in fire glow?

And who but I could reach my hand before we went to bed
and feel the living warmth of you and touch your silken head?

And only I walk woodland paths and see ahead of me,
your small form racing with the wind so young again, and free."


  1. I'm not only choked up, but weeping. With you, for you, for Gypsy, for me and the one I chose to be with at her end.

    Friendship is so precious, and the love of a trusting, trusted animal is priceless. You have honoured her -gently, beautifully, elegantly.
    Sue@JumpingAground (alliteration & drabbles)
    Sue@traverselife(Workplace bullying)

  2. Thank you, Sue :
    Tonight of all nights, I needed to hear the voice of one who understands. Thank you for being that voice. Roland

  3. That is lovely Roland. Gypsy is really proud of food guy right now.

    Your strength is admirable and the care you show here is lovingly portrayed.

    Take good care of yourself Roland. Gypsy would want that.


  4. Thanks, Michael. Your constant friendship is a wellspring of strength for me. May better things be in store for both of us. And Sue, too.

    Sue,I am grieved to know that you stood by a dying animal friend as did I today. Roland

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  6. I don't have the words...this is such a beautiful tribute to your beautiful Gypsy. My heart goes out to you. Much love.


  8. I can't write much. I can't see for the tears. I am more sorry than I can say. I've been there, I know how you feel.

    Thoughts, prayers, and lots of hugs.

  9. Such a beautiful tribute to your friend and family member. I have lost many furry friends but never truely lost them because their memories always live on. Cliche, I know but it is true. You said no sad words so why do I have tears in my eys? Thank you for sharing.

  10. What a lovely loving tribute to a very special and wonderful furr friend.

    Take care

  11. I have tears in my eyes. I've been the proud "mother" to two cats in my life, and they were such special souls. They used to come running when I called them, meowing to let me know they were on their way. They'd put their sweet little heads on my shoulder and "hug" me back. What a beautiful celebration of your Gypsy.

  12. I'm sorry for your loss. I've been there myself a time or two. It's always a heart breaking experience. This was a great tribute to your friend and again sorry for your loss.

  13. You will absolutely meet again after The Long Step. My own Timmi waits for me there, and Sugar and Sera and Hachiko...all my dear friends and litter mates who shared my life and heart for too brief a time here.
    I serve a God of excess, not waste. He would never allow such love to vanish like mist. Love is eternal and a soul shared can never be lost.
    May God comfort you in your loss. We do not grieve as those who have no hope.

  14. I am sorry for your loss...and glad for the time you had with your Gypsy.

  15. This was such a sweet post- tears came to my eyes as I read. I truly wish the best for you Roland- you are so strong. My thoughts are with you.

  16. Jo :
    No words for me either, but thank you for yours.

    Jo Schaffer :
    Your friendship helped yesterday.

    Thank you for the huggs and compassionate love.

    I, too, have been here before. It never gets easier, does it? Thanks for the prayers and hugs.

    I tried to make my tribute worthy of my Gypsy. Thanks for realizing she was family.

    Thank you so very much.

    Yes, it was a celebration of all that Gypsy was, wasn't it? Thank you for revealing that to me.

    Thank you for caring and understanding.

    Yes, The Father does loves in excess.

    When He restored double all the possessions Job lost,

    He only replaced the exact number of children who had died.

    His other children were waiting for him in Heaven.

    You express my exact feelings : sorrow for my loss but gratitude for having had such a friend as Gypsy for as long as I did.

    Tears. No words. Just love. Those are me at this moment. Thank you for caring.

    Thank you for caring and thinking of me as I painfully mend this old bruised heart of mine. Gypsy always thought of me as strong, so I guess the best tribute would to be to try to be that strong right now. Blessings on you and all of you who have written to me in this dark time, Roland

  17. Funny how we need animals to remind us the proper way to be human, eh.

    Funny how few humans are that perfect.

    - Eric

  18. Hi Roland .. loved this - and our loss and grief we feel for animals close to us - just seems to grab us ... we can't rationalise their love for us .. we're just so grateful. It sounds as though you had the best of times together ...

    Gypsy will always hold a special place in your heart - and in ours as you've told us so much about her - and her stories will continue with you and through you ..

    Wonderful post to a beautiful creature of our earth .. a blessed one. Thank you so much - with many thoughts and a hug from across the ocean .. Hilary

  19. Eric :
    Perhaps it is because animals have to be so intuitive to survive in a world of humans which must appear to be so chaotic and mystifying to them. It could be the answer to your observation. All I know is that Gypsy has made me a better human being. Thanks for caring.

    Hilary :
    Thanks the warmth and friendship of your words seems closer than across the ocean. Have a healing day today, Roland

  20. Beautiful post, to go along with Francine's lovely tribute to Gypsy. Be gentle with yourself, Roland.

    “The cat has too much spirit to have no heart”
    —Ernest Menaul

    “By associating with the cat one only risks becoming richer.”
    —Sidonie Gabrielle

    "A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
    —Ernest Hemingway

    “Time spent with cats is never wasted.”
    —Sigmund Freud

  21. Thank you, VR. I agree with all the above quotes. Your caring and friendship, along with grieving with me, means more than I can say right now. Roland

  22. Roland, that was so heartfelt and beautiful. Thank you for sharing that with us.
    Four cats own me and each one is special and wonderful. They are my children, my friends and pains in my butt. But the love, the love is amazing.
    Take care.

  23. Hi,

    A lovely tribute Roland. The pain will lessen over time, and as memories fill the void tears give sway to smiles.


  24. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Beautiful post; a wonderful tribute.

  25. Such a loving and moving post for your friend. My heart breaks for you and your loss. I am glad though that you felt the love of such a magical kitty. Hugs. I hope each moment becomes easier for you.

  26. This is truly a lovely tribute to your best companion. My thoughts are with you.

  27. I don't know what to say...

    Love is everlasting and those we love are never truly gone...

    They are forever there in our hearts...


  28. So sorry to hear about this. The bond we feel with animals are special and it is so difficult when they are gone. We never forget them though, because they change us for the better. Hugs to you,

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  29. Ah, Roland, the love of a cat... I had to put my cat to sleep 3 years ago. May you be consoled by many fond, furry, and fuzzy memories--some of which you spoke of here. Take care, & cyberhugs to you.

  30. I'm so sorry for your loss Roland. This was a beautiful tribute to your life-friend.


  31. Just getting in from my midnight shift :

    Donna : Yes, Gypsy was a friend whose spirit will stay with me for life. Thanks for caring.

    Carol : I grieve for your loss of three years ago.

    Angela : Yes, they do change us for the better, don't they?

    T.D. : You said it well enough. Thanks for caring.

    GigglesAndGuns : Love can heal. Thanks for sending yours.

    Tiger85 : Thank you. Yes, Gypsy gave me more than I realized.

    TheCautionaryTale : I pray each day the loss does, as you hope, become easier to bear, while the memories stay clear and fresh.

    Golden Eagle : Thank you for your kind, caring words.

    Francine : Thank you for your words and for the wonderful poem of yesterday, Roland

    Heather : You understand what special souls cats can be. Thank you for your support.

  32. I'm so sorry about your Gypsy, she sounds like a wonderful friend and companion. Your tribute was beautiful.

  33. Thank you, Brooke. She was a wonderful friend. And thank you for your compassion and caring, Roland

  34. ...a wonderful tribute honoring your lost friend.

    So very sorry, Roland.


  35. Your beautiful tribute came straight from the heart and had me in tears for you and your lovely Gypsy. Love like that lives on and her spirit will never leave you.
    Take care and be kind to yourself.

  36. What an incredibly touching tribute Roland. Not a dry eye in the house! It sounds like you are truly blessed to have known Gypsy and she you.

  37. My heart is with you Roland. I know how this feels. There is no greater love than a treasured pet. I have out lived so many. We haven't gotten a new dog since our last one. I tried for a couple months but the dog kept running away. Someday, I will have a home with a fenced back yard and I will try again. Right now, it is too early for you. Just remember, love multiplies and will find you again.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  38. I'm so sorry for your loss, Roland. I know what it is to love furry family members--they are so much more capable of unconditional love than people can ever be. I'm sending virtual hugs.

  39. *sniff* got me all teary eyed *GiantHug* sooo very sorry for your loss, Gypsy was beautiful.

  40. Elliot :
    Thank you. Just got back from a long day alone at work -- except for being chewed out by my supervisor for making a mistake last night

    (I worked til midnight, alone from six -- I told him I wasn't fully fucntional, but he wanted to go home -- he'll forget I told him I wasn't fully functional - he has anger management issues among others.)

    An empty apartment. No friendly yowl from Gypsy to make me smile. But I read your comment and those of others, and I am healed a bit. Thanks.

    Teresa :
    I believe, like you, that love like Gypsy's, and mine for her, lives on in the shadows bordering reality. Your wisdom and caring means a lot to me.

    Heather :
    You're right. I often lay in bed at night, stroking Gypsy's fur as she lay asleep in the crook of my left arm, thinking how lucky I was to have such a loving, gentle, intelligent, non-destructive, intuitive cat.

    I knew her days were limited but somehow she seemed forever young -- no stiffness in her movements, always playful. She was healthy up to her last two days. A blessing for her and for me. I was blessed.

    Nancy :
    I know how badly you must miss your Sheltie. My Sheltie, Lucky, was the cornerstone of my heart when I was teacher/counselor. I held him, too, when his kidneys played out and he had to be put to sleep. He deserved, like Gypsy, to be held and hear the voice of his friend as the darkness swallowed his world.

    I will pray that love does, indeed, multiply. I could use a miracle right about now. Your comment and those of my other friends help keep me sane. I work with "Good Old Boys" who claim not to understand.

    Thank you for being someone who understands.

    Hart :
    Like you, I always thought of Gypsy as a furry family member. She seemed more intelligent than any other cat I have ever met.

    And like you said, Gypsy taught me what true unconditional love was -- and what calm acceptance of the moment meant, leaving the hurt in the past and taking with you only the better part of your nature.

    And tonight I stood in need of those virtual hugs. Thanks, Roland

    Steph :
    Yes, all my memories of Gypsy are loving, healing ones.

    Nicole :
    Sniff, right back, as I am writing to all of you thanking you for making me feel not so isolated and alone in the empty night. And yes, Gypsy was beautiful.

    Even my rough-edged supervisor called her the most beautiful cat he had ever seen.

    Your caring and compassion helped heal me a bit this throbbing night. Roland

    Thank All Of You. Blessings on you and yours, Roland

  41. Roland - I'm so sorry for your loss... and happy for you that you have experienced such companionship and love. I cried at your words for Gypsy. Lots of love to you.
    Laura x

  42. Your blog looks beautiful. I am excited to follow your posts.

  43. Laura :
    Your compassion and sorrow for my grief helps ease the pain a bit. That you cried for Gypsy spoke to her spirit I believe. Thank you.

    Josh :
    Thanks for the compliment on my blog. Please come back, Roland

  44. I love that poem. I'm crying now because we had to put our cat down this week, too. F was for Final Curtain, our Matilda. She was so sweet. We miss her. She had cancer.

  45. Mary :
    I am so grieved for you and your precious Matilda. There is no easy parting with a furred friend, who loved unconditionally and listened no matter the time of day.

    The doctors thought for a time that Gypsy had cancer, too. There are no words to ease your pain. My prayers are with you.

    I read "Gyspy's Song" often. It helps, though it brings hot tears.

    May healing soon come to you, Roland

  46. Roland! Been a while since I've been able to visit one of my favorite blogs! Any Sam McCord or Melia excerpts on the horizon?

    This A to Z Challenge is kickin' my patootie...but I had to mosey on over to see what you're up to. =)
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  47. Raquel :
    The loss of Gypsy has scooped a hole out of my heart. Thanks for caring and for visiting. I'll be back soon, Roland

  48. This is the most beautiful tribute I've ever read--for anyone. There WILL be an eternal HELLO one bright shining morning.

    May the "force" be with you to comfort and bless.

  49. Ann : I look forward to that eternal HELLO.

    And thank for the beautiful praise for my tribute. I pray The Father will be with you in your trip to your daughter. Only happy surprises once you're there! Roland

  50. That is such a beautiful post, you were right, I loved it. I wish more humans were willing to learn life's lessons from those who love them!

  51. I've just found this post and I'm glad I did, although it made my tear up.

    Gypsy was beautiful and the love you had for each other.

    I have many 'furbabies' waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge, and I love them all. A couple of cats, five horses and four dogs. We can learn so much from them, and if at the end we are able to look in their eyes and see the promise of union, we are truly blessed.

  52. Gosh, this post has me bawling like a baby. I'm sure Gypsy's beautiful picture has made this post a popular one. I have a rescue cat, too, her name is Rosie. She lived in an abandoned coal mine and survived on pigeons. She and Gypsy sound a lot alike. I can't imagine her not snuggling up with me at night. I'm sad for your loss, but happy for your coming hello! Beautiful post. :)

  53. Thank you, Celeste:
    With my vivid imagination, I imagine Gyspy as a ghost cat purring her thanks to you as well!

  54. Thanks for sharing this link with me; she did teach you lots of lessons, especially unconditional love. Seemed like a very special cat indeed. (We did stay with Koda when he was put to sleep, like you, we had to make sure he was with someone that he loved and loved him to the end.).


  55. Betty:
    I'm glad you enjoyed this post about Gypsy. Love is healing in memory. :-)