How do you describe what I believe to have been (at least partly) a Turkish Angora cat? These traits include: “Intelligent and companionable, loves attention, loud and talkative, keeps his kitten-like playfulness well until his old age, is friendly towards guests and a sociable breed. A bored Turkish Angora can cause a lot of mischief. He is affectionate and always ready to help and participate in all your activities.”

Bianco Nove came into my home in August of 2007 and though he was ‘greeted’ by 3 other cats and 2 dogs, he quickly assigned himself to be in charge. While my orange tabbies just basically ignored him, my elderly silver tabby, Simba (Pim) was often the recipient of his mischievous behavior. In her final years (she lived to 20), he would still chase her through the house on a rampage. She, though, gave it right back to him. “Outa my face, you…” (fill in the blank)

My golden retriever, Bo, was only a year older and he established a very close relationship with him that lasted until my dear golden left this earth. (He did tell Bo what to do on occasion, but being a generally laid back chap, his older brother took it all in stride.) When Bo became very ill in spring of 2016, he actually held vigil by his bed until his passing.

It was a strange time then for both of us, after being in a home with an additional three cats and two dogs, to be the only Beings wandering through what felt like a very empty house. That was about to change when only 5 weeks later, a beautiful rescue golden named ‘Bailey’ (who I call Nanda – means bliss) through very auspicious means came to join us.

Snow Lion developed an immediate connection with Nanda and I think I physically heard him breathe a sigh of relief.

My two furry family members then supported me through the sale of my long-time home and move into a condo. I was disappointed that he wouldn’t have his fenced-in kitty yard to play in and lounge in the sun, but Mom bought him a little kitty condo for the patio that would have to suffice.

Not long after our relocation, his health began to decline. He was diagnosed with IBD (irritable bowel disease) and then with liver imbalances. Over the last year of his life, he was the most amazing trooper. Through multiple trips to vet, he would rally and let me know he was still intent on being here. The last few weeks, though, the decline became more evident. Though he still perked up, it was less frequently and shorter lived.

And so, today, August 14, 2018, my little Snow Lion went home. It’s never something one gets ‘used to’, despite the number of furry companions that grace our lives. The simultaneous emptiness and heavy heart battle for dominion. It brings to mind words of a poem I wrote when I lost my first golden retriever, Chica 19 years ago:

I cried
til there was nothing left to cry.
And now all that’s left
is a gaping
hole in my heart.
How can a hole
weigh a million pounds?

I honor you, my little Snow Lion. I will feel you at my feet, on my lap, on my bed and forever in my heart.

May 28, 2007 – August 14, 2018

BiancoN-chilling-sm-1

P.S. A huge thank you to my partner, Tim, who was a shoulder through this entire process of change and loss.

 

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