Registered: 1206414832 Posts: 196
For some reason, I just feel the need to express some of the things about Herbie that made him so special. I've mostly written about his final days and the heart issues and his death, but I want to talk about his life, now. I just miss him so much and it is so painful.
Herbie was a light orange-beige guy with an white belly and paws and only one eye. When he showed up 12 1/2 years earlier, his eye was blind and injured and his neck ripped open and a few other things. I trapped and neutered him like all the ferals and he got the neck surgeries and other care. After six months he decided that he would live with me and he freely went in and out thru the kitty door. Vet said he was too old to withstand the enucleation (surgery to remove the eye) but a few years later another vet said it would be fine. Herbie was so glad to get rid of that nasty blind eye that sometimes got infected. When it healed and the fur grew back, he looked like a well-loved little stuffed bear missing his button eye. Herbie never jumped -- may have been because of depth perception with only one eye but he used to limp sometimes in the winter and we thought it was arthitis and the all natural pills helped. He did not have the problem in his final years, strangely. It was almost like he healed himself. Herbie would climb up on my tall brass bed by digging his front claws into the dust ruffle and hoist himself up since it was too high for him to jump. I still have the little holes in the dust ruffle and will never get rid of it. He loved having his head scratched and his empty eye hole rubbed! When at the vet once just this past fall, I comforted him and said "Herbie, do want Mama to rub your eyehole?" and the technician laughed and said "Now that's something we don't hear too often here!" When we had all of our other girls, Herbie was so busy keeping track of everyone and keeping everyone in line. He loved going up the neighbors stairs to get up on the big fence dividing the properties and keeping watch over the neighborhood and though the top of the fence was plenty wide, his furry belly would hang over the edges. He would also stay just inside the fence and lay flat on the ground and look under it watching everyone go by and monitoring his world. Such a busy boy! He would only go outside the fence when I was out there and he would stalk the dogs being walked on leashes but would only go to the edge of the yard --never on the sidewalk -- and he knew the exact length of the leashes so he'd be safe. Herbie's favorite toy was a wad of paper and he would kick it all the way down the length of the wood floor like he was playing soccer. it was especially fun since he only had one eye -- again that whole tricky depth perception thing. That made it more fun to chase shadows, too. After a new rain fell, he would go out on the back screen porch, get up on the little table and stick his nose way up in the air and just smell and take it all in -- He loved the smell of a fresh rain! Herbie would growl and scare away the racoons and was very protective of his territory. But he loved all his girls, Belle and the ferals that lived with us and they would come inside and hang out sometimes while I just watched TV. Herbie would tease them and play with them and chase them. Once in a blue moon, Belle would chase him, and he'd be in heaven! That was major big fun for him if he could get one of the girls to chase him. He also loved sitting on the widowsill on the spot where I'd open up one of the shutters and he could see the whole world -- people walking to school and work, people walking their dogs, and the cars going by. When he wanted to be petted, he'd climb up on the couch with me, stare at me with his one eye and then take his paw and nudge my arm. If I was moving around too much (say, using the tv remote control or take a drink or eating) he would take his paw and lay it over my forearm so I would sit still. He was keeping me line just like he kept his girls in line. Herbie didn't go to bed until I did, and he didn't get up until I did, no matter if I got up early or slept in. If he got up in the middle of the night to eat or drink or use the litter box, he alway came right back to bed with me, even though cats supposedly sleep during the day and roam at night. He used to hump the sofa throw even though he'd been neutered! Not often, but when he did, it sure did make him happy! He was never even embarrassed about it! Just all in a day's work... Herbie wasn't interested in my dinner (didn't eat snacks or people food except for tuna) but he always needed to sniff what I was eating, as just another way of keeping tabs on what was going on. The sounds I miss are his little grunts, his purring his rare meow, the sound of him eating and the sound of that kitty door being opened a hundred times a day. I really miss the sound of that kitty door and him coming in to see what I was up to. And wanting to come up on my lap as I sat at the computer. For so many years they were all together -- he and Belle had ten years together -- and then they all went so quickly and I am shellshocked by the losses. We lost Belle 2 years ago and Herbie was devastated and I just wanted to make it better for him. Two months later Cookie dissappeared and a few months later Ladybug dissappeared and a neighbor found her and had her put down. She went to a neighbor's yard to die. Herbie was so confused and kept lookign for them and it broke my heart. All we had left was Shirley, a feral who was the wildest. I knew Herbie was old and even though at that time he wasn't sick, I just felt he had about a year -- And that was a year after Belle died. I was determined to get him happy again for his last year and I worked very hard at it. And I am happy to say that I succeeded, even though things were never the same after losing 3 so quickly. But Herbie got a lot of extra love and attention from me and he had Shirley and even though his last months were fall and winter, the weather was like spring and summer and he got to enjoy it all. Winter came only in Herbie's final days and I lost him on February 20th. I feel like that was the end of the world for me. I now know that even if you do everything and are 'prepared' and make sure you have no regrets, it can't prepare you for the grief and pain of the loss. But my Herbie started out with a bad life and badly injured. I will never know how old he was but I think he had to have been at least 15 or 16 but possibly even older. But from the day he showed up at my door half destroyed, his life got better and better in leaps and bounds as he got surgery and care and food and love and kitty family. From then on my Herbie Lovebug was a very happy boy and seemed to appreciate life more since life had not always been good for him. It was such a joy to watch him heal and blossom and then just become the little man in charge. He was happy and content and he knew he was loved. Mama misses you so much sweet boy. I don't know how to live without you. Herbie's Mom
Registered: 1157342062 Posts: 2,719
Dear Herbie's Mom, I am so very sorry for your loss of Herbie. He sounds like the perfect little man. I know your pain and you have my deepest sympathy.
Hugs, Diane, Mom of Miss Dallas at the bridge 5 1/2 years.
Registered: 1157268148 Posts: 555
Dear Herbie's Mom, What a wonderful loving heart you have and what a lucky boy Herbie is that he was led to you. Because of your caring and love he had a wonderful life that he would have never known otherwise. Because you stopped to care your life was better for having such a special boy as a part of it just as his was better because of you. I know he watches over you now as your guardian angel. He will be the very first to run to greet you one day when your souls are reunited for always. Love and Peace, AurichWolf Kathy
Registered: 1199856214 Posts: 774
That was truly a very special well written and moving post. Please continue to remember the good.
Registered: 1196453169 Posts: 1,415
Dear HerbiesMom-- What a truly loving story of your precious Herbie! I'm sure as you wrote it, you could start to feel the healing process going on. You both were blessed with each other and enjoyed many wonderful years together. Whether our furchildren have impediments, such as your Herbie missing an eye, or they're just regular little "people", we love them so much, don't we? They enter our lives and steal our hearts.
Thank you for sharing your tale of Herbie. It has given me hope that I, too, can start my story of Teddy one of these days. Many hugs----Teddy's Mom
Registered: 1197839779 Posts: 1,328
Herbie had some interesting life. You gave him alot and he gave you alot. Sorry for your loss. Take care.
Registered: 1197250967 Posts: 258
Dear Herbie's Mom,
I was transfixed by your post! The great love you felt for Herbie and the wonderful care that you gave him comes through in every word. I can't help thinking how when Herbie found you his whole world changed, and it must have felt like a miracle to him! And it is obvious that the love that you and Herbie shared was such a blessing in your life too. You two were destined for each other, that is certain! It is so true that when we cast our love out to these little guys, they give it back tenfold! What a love-filled, happy, content life you gave your sweet boy. As you described his habits and antics I couldn't help but smile...what a rascal he sounds like! I know how much you miss your wonderful friend and I understand your pain and loneliness. I am so happy that you shared more of Herbie's story with us. I think that there is some healing in that for some of us. I hope that in time the memories of your great love for one another will once more shine light into your life. This was a wonderful tribute to a very special guy! Warm hugs, MaxsMom ~ Joanne
Registered: 1205715660 Posts: 763
Dear Herbie's (and Belle's) Mom, thank you for sharing Herbie's story with us. It is truly a love story. You and Herbie gave so much love and joy to each other you must be soulmates. What a brave little boy he was to have gone through so much horror and pain and how lucky he was to have met you. You are an angel and now you have your precious Herbie angel to watch over you. Peace and comfort to you. Donna. Mr. Meowgy's mom
Registered: 1197081544 Posts: 686
Dearest Herbies Mom
What a wonderful tribute to a very special boy. Herbie definitely knew what he was doing when he adopted you. He knew he was choosing the best possible mom, one who would not only care for him, but would give him so much love. God gives us these precious little creatures to love and care for. Then, in such a short time, he calls them home. It breaks our hearts, but it would be so much worse to have never known their unconditional love. You have been so blessed to have known the love of your sweet babies. I know you are hurting over the loss of your Herbie, just as I am still hurting over the loss of my Gus, but I hope you can continue to remember the happy times and can find comfort in knowing that someday we will see our boys again at the Rainbow Bridge. Warm hugs and thoughts Kate (Gus' mom)
Registered: 1160702030 Posts: 847
Dear Herbie’s Mom, It was healing for me to read about your beloved Herbie. Much of what you wrote (in your other posts as well) remind me of the Kitty Soup Kitchen days here. My mom and me fed many cats over the years, trying to domesticate Sweetie the feral, Tweeny showing up as a purrmanent resident, and my oldest cat Rusty being the last of the soup kitchen kitties. My mom named it that after the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit that feeds homeless people among other charity work. Herbie just has absolute personality and there will never be another like him. I love how he kept you from fidgeting with the remote by putting his paw over your arm, and how he hoisted himself up onto your bed. I have a raccoon story of my own but that will be for another time. I know you must really miss the sound of the kitty door. I’m sorry for your loss of your precious Belle. It sounds like she went to the bridge around the same time as Tweeny, so maybe they are old friends. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it on the board, but Tweeny had an ear canal removed due to a tumor and it left her with some nerve damage. She could not blink her eye normally anymore and learned to blink her inner eyelid so quickly, it surprised people who never saw her blink like that, and with Herbie and his one eye, they would be precious company for each other! Though it never even fazed her just like Herbie I’m sure. He must have felt so much better after the surgery healed, that is sweet how he loved that place rubbed! I am so grateful that Herbie made it to your place, I’m sure an angel told him where to go and you fixed him all up and what a wonderful life he had with you- and Belle and the others. Thank you for sharing your blessed story with us.
Love from Tweeny's ma
Registered: 1208278231 Posts: 199
Thank you so much for sharing your "Herbie tales." You were a great mother to your babies. I want to thank you for being such a great mother and taking him in. Not a lot of people would take in a stray and one is injured so I feel its important to thank you.
Your Herbie sounds like quite a character with a spunky personality. Those are my favorite kinds of cats! The stories really made my day. They made me smile. Thank you for sharing them! I'll be thinking of you. Love, Piggy's Mom
Registered: 1192815206 Posts: 1,198
Thank you so much for sharing your memories of Herbie with us, they were written with so much love and tenderness and they truly touched my heart. It is clear through your stories how much you loved Herbie and how much he loved you. I am convinced there is a special place in Heaven for people like you that take in these wonderful creatures and give them a life that is so much better than they could have even hoped for. Thank you for giving Herbie such a wonderful and long life, and thank you for sharing it with us. I am glad you are able to find some happiness in your memories. I hope to be there one day as well. Take care, Kelly Blackie's Mommy
Registered: 1194492978 Posts: 5,100
What a beautiful, loving tribute to your Herbie. I have to admit I laughed out loud for quite some time when you related how you offered to rub Herbie's little eye hole at the vet's office. I wish I could have seen that vet tech's face. ;-) That story, above all else you wrote, made him come alive for me. What a special love the two of you shared, and how blessed you were to belong to each other! Hugs, Melissa
Registered: 1206704663 Posts: 317
Dear Herbie's mom, I loved to read about your sweet Herbie. His story reminds me of a sweet kitty I found when I was little and she was a young cat that had a very bad injury in her eye. We took her to the vet and took good care of her and she became a wonderful girl. She never went more far than the garden and she was such a sweetheart!!! It's a shame that my father gave her away (he did not even ask us) when we moved from a house to an appartment. I really felt bad about that. Anyway, I think she is now on the Rainbow Bridge, enjoying with other kitties and having her two sweet little eyes again. She must be with my Jessie. Thnaks for sharing about your baby, Diana, Jessie's mom.