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Posts: 13
What an awful and shocking day it was yesterday.

11 months ago, I walked into a bookstore near my home and I found a sweet little gift. A wretched man had actually walked in announcing his cat had kittens and he had all of them in his car waiting to be adopted. I walked outside thinking they were in the backseat, but to my horror, he opened his trunk and I saw a CLOSED box with no holes. When he opened the top, out peaked 7 tiny kittens, not even 6 weeks old. They were obviously way too young to be taken from their mother. He asked everyone in the store if they wanted a kitten before he took them to the no kill shelter down the street. I was contemplating on taking one becauase I had a 3 year old Calico cat named Ava at home, a wonderful surprise I found after my 17 year old cat Jennifer crossed the rainbow bridge in 2005. I didn't know how Ava would react to having a new playmate (or how my fiance would feel!) but I couldn't let one stay in the trunk for another minute. So I looked at the faces of these 7 cuties and thought which one will I bring home and love? I noticed the runt right away. Her eyes just clung to me and she had a bit of spunk in her, hissing at anyone who came near her. I tried picking her up and she didn't say anything, just laid against my chest. I knew right then she would be mine. The bookstore owner then said "oh no, that's a boy right there." So I thought ok! I'll take him home and have my fiance name him. After much fuss over bringing another animal in the house, my fiance John and I grew so close to this little guy, who he named Bruce Springsteen (funny!). The poor thing couldn't even lap out of a bowl yet so I bottle fed him for the first month and a half of his life.
Upon my first visit to the vet, the Dr. told me "oh have a girl here. Not a boy!" This poor thing kept getting us all confused as to what it was! We finally knew we had a girl, so we changed her name to Brucey Lucy. She always remained small, but she had SUCH spirit. After a few months of being separated from Ava, they finally got together and had a few fights before becoming close friends. Ava would lick her face and her paws and clean her up, then Brucey Lucy would copy Ava and do whatever she just did. She'd climb on windows, look outside and watch the deer walking around. She'd watch me walk our dog Luke (a present from my in-laws to John for his birthday) and stare at me from the windows, rubbing against them. She'd get into trouble and climb inside our closets, climb up our leather headboard making holes and scratches, climb up our drapes and look at us from up above.

Her temperament was sweet but aggressive, and we often wondered why she wouldn't let us touch her sometimes. After many vet visits, we were told she was healthy and perfectly fine, just small for her age, only 7.9 lbs at 11 months. That all changed last Thursday night. She started vomiting and couldn't stop. When she finally did she carried on like nothing happened, but she stopped eating, only drank from her bowl. Ava noticed something was wrong right away and started hissing at her. I thought it was because she noticed she was sick with a virus, so I separated them and kept a close eye on B. Lucy. On saturday after another day of vomiting, I rushed her to the vet. He told me she had a stomach flu, took blood work, then gave me some antibiotics for her to take all week. His worst fear was that she had something stuck in her intestines and that was making her throw up. He'd have the results monday morning (yesterday) for me so I waited all weekend, playing with her, fussing over her, giving her love. But my little one kept throwing up at night and in the mornings. She'd sleep during the day and play but the nights were rough on her.
Yesterday morning I called for results and was told she was dehydrated, had a swollen liver, and could quite possibly have something stuck in her. So I took her to the vet to have an IV in her all day and was told to go home and wait. I cried leaving her because I was so scared, but thought she'd be better by the end of the day and come home.
About 3 hours later, I called to check in on her and the Dr was breathless telling me he was just about to call me. After he took an X-ray of B. Lucy, he had her on the IV and went to check on her. He noticed her breathing had become heavy and shallow, so he took her out on the table and then she collapsed. After performing CPR, sticking a needle in her to shock her heart, and everything you coudl imagine, my little B crossed the rainbow bridge. The vet believes after looking at her X-ray that she was born with an enlarged heart and she went into cardiac arrest. The virus she had was too much for her little body to handle and she passed very quickly.
The shock I feel is too much to bear. I look around at where she was and can't believe she's gone. John and I went to the vet immediately and asked to see her body. She was wrapped up in her favorite pink baby blanket and looked so still and peaceful. I kept touching her and kissing her sweet face, rubbing her paws. We asked to have her cremated and will pick up her ashes next week.
Ava knows her little baby is gone. She's been walking around the house and looking at me confused. I don't think it's fully hit her yet, but I'm waiting for it to come. I feel so angry that after all these visits  no one knew she had heart disease or this condition. I'm upset at myself that I took her back because I think she got so nervous being in the crate at the vet and went into panic. I really think if I had kept her home she would be alive right now, weak yes, but alive. She wouldn't have been stressed. I would have kept feeding her from my fingers and kissing her.

I know she's over the bridge with Jenny now and all the other loving animals, but I feel selfish and heartbroken because I want her here with me. She didn't even make it to her first birthday. She didn't experience life. She had such a horrible beginning and it wasn't fair for her life to be cut so short, not after she had a family who loved her.

I've experience the loss of an older cat, knowing in my mind it was awful but she had lived a full life. How do you make sense of losing such a small little thing who was such a baby???

Posts: 1,821

i am so sorry for your loss. It's sad that the runts seem to start at a disadvantage - and often stay there. But know you likely saved her - most shelters cannot manage bottle babies - or medically frail babies.  Because you loved her she knew love, a name, and family - and she will watch over her family and wait until that day your work here is done.


Life’s Plan

"Hey, what happened, how did I get here?
I finally got a home,a name, and a friend!
After all of the running, the fear, and the tears
My time all alone had come to an end."

"Dear little one, you have no need to fear,
Your journey was all so carefully planned,
God knew that your path was a hard one
He gave you to her to know love and a name"

"But I see her tears - it's not fair - I won't go.
She opened her home and her life and her heart!"
"She gave you love, healing, and peace little one,
Those precious gifts were to be her part."

"She allowed you to know that the world does hold good,
And to heal from the wrongs you had known in your life.
Now you job is to watch over her heart from here,
And offer comfort to her during hardship and strife."

But I could have done that and stayed there with her,
We could have been happy and took on the world,
We could have held to each other, so tight, so secure
We could have grown so as our love was unfurled.

"Dear little one, you have no need to fear,
Your journey was all so carefully planned,
And your story together has only begun
The love that you share always will stand.

© Candace

i wish you tranquility and healing,

Posts: 881
My heart breaks for you...I'm so sorry sweet Brucey Lucy found her way to the Bridge.  She'll be well taken care of but I know the pain you're feeling and it's so hard for the mind and heart to comprehend that she's gone.

Bless you for taking that sweet little one in.  You gave her love and a safe home that she may never have known if you hadn't made that decision to help her that day.

She'll be able to tell all at the Bridge how much she was loved.

Big Hugs to you sweetie,


Posts: 174
I'm so sorry for the loss of your little kitty Bruce Lucy.  I know she meant the world to you and your husband.  I tragically lost my cat Sherry 4 weeks ago unexpectedly and know how raw and intense the grief can be.  Please keep letting your feelings come and know that you are in a safe place with others who are going through the same thing.

Lots of hugs,
Sherry's mom


Posts: 1,493
I am so very sorry to read about the loss of your precious little baby.  I too know the heartache of losing one so young.  My Drew was less than two when I lost her very tragically.  A story for another time though. 
Brucey Lucy made her journey to the Rainbow Bridge knowing what it was to be loved.  You gave her that.  You did all that you could do for her and more.  You could not have known what would happen.  As to why it was never discovered before, perhaps it was never looked for because she only just now showed symptoms.  Having been a furmom for over thirty years, I have learned that our furkids are very good at hiding their illness.  You cannot and must not blame yourself.  Of course as a furmom, you know it's something we just do.  We always wonder if there was more or something different we could have done.  Even though Drew has been gone almost three years now, I still think about that day and I still wonder and say what if.
Less than a year after I lost Drew, I lost both my dogs within seven weeks of each other.  Four weeks after the second dog passed, I adopted an almost six year old dog named Issi from our SPCA.  Eleven months later, we found out she has cancer.  When I posted about it here on the message board, one of the replies I received was that God sends these creatures to you for a reason.  He knows you will love and care for them, even if it's just for a short while.  I have never forgotten that.  You are one of those special people that God sends precious babies to as well. 
Remember always that Brucey Lucy loves you and thanks you for the time she had with you.  You gave her love and care that no one else would or could.  God bless you and take care.
Your friend,

Posts: 845
I am so sorry for your loss!!  I wish I could find words to help your hurt go away. I know her time with you was far too short but for that time she was so loved and loved you in return.  I hope that the other kittens were so blessed.

Years ago I lost a very young kitten that I rescued.  Twinkie was with me for only one short month but I will always cherish that time with her.  I still mourn her passing but time does ease the pain.

I do not know if you ever truly make sense of such a loss.  I try to remember that these precious little ones are loaned to us to love and care for, knowing that God may call them home at any time.  And I know that they are all reborn into total and utter perfection, never to know pain again.  You will see your Brucey Lucy again.  Of that I am very sure and what a reunion that will be!

Please take care.  Let the tears fall, get that pain out.  And keep coming here.  I promise that you will find comfort and support.

Love and prayers,
Marsha (Twinkiesmom)

Posts: 70

Your story touches so close to home.  I am crying right along with you right now.  I lost my baby boy Kismet 2 days before his first birthday.  He was a ferral cat who was born under the deck of one of my co-workers.  She recued the litter and since my Allie cat had just crossed the bridge, I knew this little bundle of spunk was sent to me by her.  Like your Lucy, his crossing the bridge was sudden and unexpected.  Kismet was killed by a car.  I never got to say good-bye or tell him one last time how much I loved him.  For several weeks after we lost Kismet, our other furbaby, Fluffy, who was a stray that adopted us, was moping around very depressed.  He knew something was wrong, just like your Ava.  I would sit and hold him and talk to him about Kismet- I think it was therapuetic for both of us.

Even now, a year later, I find myself asking why?  Why such a new young life?  It is so unfair and senseless and I don't know how to make sense of it.  I only know that I truly believe, deep down in my heart, that everything happens for a reason.  Though it's sometimes hard to find the reason (and sometimes truly impossible), I do believe that there is a reason for everything and often it is only the One Above who knows the reasons.  Shortly after losing Kismet, I saw his exact look-a-like in a PetSmart up for adoption.  This little one had been rescued off the streets when she was just 3 days old.  I knew that Kismet sent me this little furbaby to love.  And I knew that she was meant to find a home with us.

I am so sorry for your loss of little Brucie Lucy. 


Posts: 686
I am so terribly sorry for your loss.  It is so painful to lose our babies when they are so young.  Like you, I also lost an older cat.  While it was very sad, I had the comfort of knowing that he had a wonderful long life.  My 4 yr. old kitty, Gus, went to the bridge in December.  I was devastated and so hurt because he should have had so much life ahead of him.  I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that you gave your sweet Brucey Lucy a home filled with love.  Because of you, she had a loving home and happiness.   She had a family.

I wish I had words that could take away your pain.  Please know that you and your sweet baby are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kate (Gus' mom)


Posts: 13
I cant thank you all enough for your kind words. The pain is still so fresh and I cry every few minutes looking at where she should be sleeping or eating or playing. It's still such a shock to me, and so unfair.

Reading your stories and comments have made me feel like I'm not alone. My fiance was blown away by your kindness and understanding. I told him the story of the Rainbow Bridge, and he was so happy and secure afterwards. He said it truly will be amazing when that day comes when we can all be with our little ones that we've loved along the way.

Knowing how you've all been through the same situation, particularly those few who lost their furbabies so young in life, has made me feel less alone. I'm still not at the stage yet where I'm happy that she's over the bridge and happy and not in pain, but I know soon I will be. Just like I was when my Jenny passed. I thought I'd never get through it, but I did. And once I was ready to face life again, Ava found me.

I hope one day I can find another little one to love and cherish like I did Brucey Lucy and like I do Ava and our dog Luke. I just think time will help me through it, and most of all, coming here every day. Thank you so much for what you've given me. I look forward to reading your stories on other threads and helping you do the same.

I guess I just have to get through the day and night, the quiet times, without my little B jumping around and causing havoc! How I miss my baby.


Posts: 13

I cried again reading your reply to my post. I'm so terribly sorry your little one had to leave so suddenly like that, without warning. It truly does make it harder to understand when you don't have the preparation of knowing there's nothing left you can do to help them. It feels like you've suddenly been robbed, and of something so helpless and innocent no less.

I know that your baby will greet mine up there and help her find all the treats and birds she wants. Brucey loved to watch petals fly off our cherry tree in the yard, her tail would go crazy and she'd jump around trying to catch them through the window. I hope she has a ton of petals to jump with and catch, has all the paper balls and strings she wants, all the blankets to cover her up so just her head peaks out to say hello.

All of our little babies were special, and you're right, they were lucky to have all of us love them the minute they entered our lives.

Thank you again for sharing your heartfelt story. You've made me understand there are others who feel the same way I do.

Liza, Brucey Lucy's one and only Mommy

Posts: 13

I am so deeply sorry you've had to go through so much pain with so many of your young ones. First with Drew, then with your dogs, and now recently with your little one with cancer.

A friend of mine asked me this afternoon, "If you get so attached, why do you keep getting animals? Why not just stop after they pass? It seems like the pain is too much to handle for you."

After I paused for a moment, knowing full-well she just didn't understand the bond between a human Mom and a furry baby, I contemplated what she said. Why do I keep going after more when the pain is so great? When I know that the minute I get a little furry one, one day I'll have to deal with their loss?

I finally said "Because they need love and I need to give it to them."

You don't think of the bad the moment you lay eyes on a little one who needs you. You think of what you can do to help them. You change your life around, you shuffle your others at home and get them adjusted to this new addition to the family. And then they become your family. You love them just like they're your kids, because they are. They need you to live. Not just because you have food and water and take them to the vet for shots...because you show them love, real, true unguarded love. You don't ignore them for a few days because you get in a fight like you do with a human friend. You get annoyed with them, maybe say "no!" and then not 2 seconds later they're there rubbing against you and purring, or licking and woofing. Yes, they need us to survive and thrive and feel love, but honestly, I think we need them more. We need them to show us what true and pure love is. Non-judgmental love. Love that knows no bounds.

I will forever hold my decision to take in Brucey Lucy as one of the best decisions of my life. Had you known if your doggie was going to have cancer, wouldn't you have taken her anyway? I'm glad all of these special animals had people like all of us to care for them the way we have. They could have come across sadder situations, and most do. That's why we have to keep moving on and finding more to love.

Just think, Drew and your dogs will be there to greet you one day. The more the merrier is what I'm thinking! I can't wait for the day that I see Jennifer and B Lucy running up to me. It'll be like we never left them.

Thank you so much for your story. I'll be thinking of you and your little guy as you fight this cancer. Be thankful you've found it and just appreciate each moment you have together. Treat him with the love and affection you've always shown him, with maybe a few extra pats and snuggles on the bed at night!

Liza, B Lucy's forever Mom


Posts: 343
Dear Imarques,
I know what you are feeling.  About a month ago I took in some fosters, and two didn´t make it.  It´s not easy to see them go.
I am thinking of you and Brucey Lucy and your family.  She´s at peace...Take care...know that we care and know how it feels.

Posts: 13

Thank you so much for your beautiful and kind words.

I'm so terribly sorry to hear of your two kittens. How awful to not only go through the pain of one, but to lose another so soon.

We naturally want to recount those last few hours, and think back on what we could have done differently. As you saw, I kept thinking of what could have changed if I hadn't brought her in on Monday morning, hadn't gotten her nervous and stressed at the vet which caused her to have the heart attack. You keep thinking if you had brought her in earlier she wouldn't have passed on the way home.

I was talking to my fiance about these feelings last night and he told me Brucey Lucy was destined to leave the earth and cross the bridge this way. It was better that she passed at the vet than at home, because then I would have berated myself for not taking her in at all. The images I have in my mind of what it must have been like for her those last few moments make me think that luckily the vet was there and tried to get her back for us, but God had already taken her spirit away.

Your kitten was destined to leave the earth, knowing a kind hand and gentle touch from you. She was off to meet her little brother (who wasn't a blood brother but was her brother since they shared the same Mom, you!) and to play with all the others at the Bridge.

We can't make sense of these small little ones losing their lives so suddenly and so unfairly. I keep thinking: at least the older furbabies had a chance to see things and live life to the fullest. They had time on earth with their parents. These little ones didn't make it to their first birthdays.

To move on from the pain, we have to keep thinking of the positive. We gave them a chance to feel love. They could have easily died on the street, scared and alone. Instead, they went to the bridge with love and security in their hearts because they had people who loved them.

I know I have to live the rest of my life caring for more babies and helping all I can, going through more pain when they too pass. I just can't wait until the day that it's my turn, hopefully when I'm old and grey, and I can see all my little ones for eternity.

I commend you for taking in such a big brood and for loving them so well. You're a very special lady.


Liza, Brucey Lucy's forever Mommy

Posts: 1,493

Liza, thank you for your kind words of comfort.  Even in your own pain, you find the strength to comfort others.  I am so glad to have you in our pet loss family.


My mother-in-law, God rest her soul, used to ask me the same thing.  Why do you keep bringing home pets when you cry so hard every time you lose one?  I told her I just can't help it.  They need a home and they need my love.  And I really don't think about the pain of when I lose them at the time I am bringing them home.  What I think of when I look at Moose, my brat cat, is if I hadn't given him a home, his previous owner was going to have him pts.  When I look at Sandy, Peek and Pip, I think, what would have happened to them if I didn't bring them home?  Their mama, Maddy, disappeared a few months after we took her in, but she knew she was loved for that little while she was with us.  When I look at Issi, I see an older baby who had been at the shelter for many weeks and likely never would have found a home if I hadn't brought her home with me. 


I would like to add that my name comes from my mother-in-law.  Because I am so sensitive and such a cry baby, she used to call me her little tender hearted pork and bean.  Thus, TenderHeartWolf.


I look at our SPCA site every single day.  Our shelter is in the running for the makeover.  They have recently had a bad case of parvo where several of the pups had to be pts.  They have not been able to adopt out dogs until today.  When I was at the vet on Monday for Issi's bloodwork, I asked the doctor about adopting as there was a beautiful little terrier mix I would dearly love to bring home.  She said she would never tell anyone not to adopt, but given Issi's situation with her cancer and the fact that it compromises her immune system, it was not advisable to adopt from the shelter at this time.  Therefore, all I could do is pray for little Champ to find a home.  Lo and behold, when I checked the site this morning, Champ's picture was gone.  He found a home!!!!  Woo hooo!!!! 


As the days go by, your pain will become less.  Keep in mind always, that you gave this baby a very much needed home and love, love, love.


My furkids and I will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.


Take care,




Posts: 1,205
I am so sorry that you have lost your little girl.  She was so young it is so sad.  I think that she was such a special little soul, that she didnt have to touch the Earth for long.
I am thinking of you, Much Love, Di xxx

Posts: 13

I've been meaning to write you back since you were the first to reply to my post. I must admit, I've been waiting a bit as your reply was one of the most incredible things I've read and it made me cry so much reading it over and over.

Today I got a little scared about the authenticity of the Rainbow Bridge. I thought "what if it isn't real? What if we just make this up to make us feel better about our little babies that we've lost?"

In my moment of doubt, I came back and read your poem. It reaffirmed my original thoughts: the bridge does exist. And even if it's not a bridge with a rainbow, our little ones are REALLY up there in Heaven waiting for us. God has reasons for everything, and though we feel that in these times he lacks compassion, I believe that he takes away these angels because he believes they deserve to be in such a wonderful place. Those that suffer no longer feel pain, those that were limited by sickness can run freely.

Those with too large of a heart have bodies that are stroung enough to hold it.

After I learned my B Lucy passed, I looked up at the ceiling and started screaming at God. You see, this isn't the first horrible thing to happen to me this year. In January, I was rushed to the emergency room and was operated on to fix a near fatal intestinal twist. My small intestine got sucked into my large intestine, cutting off blood supply to my organs. 2 feet of my intestines were removed along with half of my colon. I lived in the hospital for 12 days, missing my fiance and my Ava, B Lucy and Luke. If I hadn't been taken in that day, I would have died at home in my bed.

A week after that, our dog Luke ran away for 6 days. We thought we'd never see him again, but he came back, shaken up but healthy. The following week our new car was hit. And just last week, while in Florida for a friend's wedding, my rental car was sideswiped in a parking garage.

After all those moments, I thought to myself: "Can this year get any worse?What else could go wrong?"

I curse myself tonight for asking. Because I feel as though it was a challenge.


I'm not quite sure still of what God's plan is or why he felt the need to allow these bad things to creep into my life. I'm not sure I'll ever know. But coming to this message board and meeting all of you, sharing your stories with me, has made me believe that there are still good things in the world. There are still those who need us. And with grieving comes healing.

Thank you again for your beautiful poem. I keep replaying it in my mind and seeing my B's cute little face, purring those words out like she used to do. She was never a meower, she'd just keep her mouth closed and purr with a tone. I imagine her having that conversation, and I can't wait till the day I meet her again.

With heartfelt thanks,

Liza, B Lucy's forever Mommy


Posts: 343
Dear Liza,
I wish you strength and calm through this time.  I am trying to regain the reserves of my energy to move forward in however way I can, a day at a time, and gain acceptance. 
I wish this for you too...and that you may know your beloved kitty is at a peaceful place

Posts: 699
Dear Liza,

Thinking of you and sending my deepest sympathy - I'm so sad for your loss of your little sweetheart Brucey Lucy.

Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever
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