Ivy has decided she is a clock. This meowing cat begins poking me in the head around 7 a.m. or so.

Even though I get up and put dry food in her bowl, she eats it quickly and is back beside me soon after. She sits behind me on my bed and meows and pokes me with her paw until I pet her.

I try to fend her off for a bit. But she is insistent. It’s time to get up because Ivy has taken the role of running the morning show.

Once I’ve gotten up, gotten dressed and fed them their morning meal, which for her is a teaspoon or so of wet cat food, she darts about the apartment like a fly refusing to light.

I step over the toys she has dragged out of the toy bin during the night and begin to pick them up.

Now there are birds chirping outside the front window. And even though you can’t see out for all the condensation, Ivy is up on the window sill, still as a stone as she listens to them.

Though Ivy is a big girl she romps around this place like she has springs in her feet.

She goes through the apartment looking for shadows and has memorized when one will appear where. If she can reach the shadow she will paw at it curiously.

She likes to lay on the table next to me so I’ll stop what I’m doing and pet her head.

She has hopped and run and played until she grew tired and sleepy.

Ivy has done her work for the morning. She’s gotten me out of bed, gotten her morning meal, danced around like a ballerina on stage and now she needs her morning nap.

She likes to sleep on the pet bed behind my recliner.

It was five months after I lost Abi that I felt at all ready to introduce a new pet into this home. Those months of grief were so hard I didn’t think I’d ever find my way out of them.

I still grieve for Abi. I still cry. She was a mischievous silly little girl and I cherished her. But the grief has lessened somewhat.

I cry at times like this when I’m writing about her and feeling emotional.

Ivy came into this home and seemed to immediately take on a role.

She stared into my eyes and saw my grief and touched me with her paw as if to say: “I know it hurts. But I’m here now to help you move forward. I will make you laugh again.”

And with laughter comes levity. It eased the tight grief in my chest and I could watch Ivy play and I smiled and laughed at her antics.

I see Abi in my mind’s eye. She had such a sweet and fun filled personality.

I loved her so much. Still do and always will. Nothing can ever take that love away.

Ivy found her way into my heart quickly. She sat next to me patiently while I cried with a look of concern in her eyes.

Then she would reach out with one of those big paws and touch me. She would leave her paw there until I calmed down, her head tilted to the side as though she understood the grief I felt.

Then she would jump down and grab a toy and start playing. And I would smile watching her.

After you lose a pet you may be reluctant to rescue another. You may think your heart cannot love like it loved before.

But that’s the thing: there is no limit to how much you can love. There is more than enough love to go around.

“Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.”

John Galsworthy

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  1. I cried reading this beautiful post .I feel the same as you .I went thru so much loss the last five years I could not have made it without my precious Kramer cat he helped me with my grief .
    At the time we think we cannot get thru it but with their precious love we do .
    God bless you Brenda !
    And your precious pets.

  2. Lovely post, and adorable sweet photos of Ivy and Abi..What would life be without pets? Grief is our cost of their Love…which is priceless.

  3. Some cats are healing cats. Looks like Ivy is one. We had one. I had cataract surgery and he kept trying to lay on that half of my face!! Another one laid around my daughter’s back. She has scoliosis and he knew it the first day we had him. Cherish a healing cat, they are lovely creatures.

  4. A wonderful post ~ and a wonderful poem from Marilyn ~
    The line I really love is the one you wrote, Brenda ~ ” there is no limit to how much you can love.”
    So VERY true!

  5. Beautiful post,Brenda,my Buddy does the same thing,but his “tummy clock” seems to be set in the 6 a.m. hour.
    They give us unconditional love for so little in return…wouldn’t know what to do without my 2 little furkids,Bellia is 8, she’s always been “chill” as long as I’m nearby she’s a purring machine,Bud is my clown,never a full moment with him around…I’m staying at a relatives guest house taking care of her elderly dad while they’re away,last week he climbed all the way to the top of the kitchen cabinets! I caught him out of the corner of my eye,smiling and purring.
    Our cabinets at home go to the ceiling,lol

  6. So well written, my friend. I adopted Lily just days after my little Reilly died very suddenly at the age of 7. Lily needed a home, and I needed her love. I was so blessed to have her in my life for 16 1/2 years, and she most definitely helped me through the grieving process. I highly recommend to anyone who has lost a pet to give another pet a home….there’s nothing like it to help you through.

  7. Brenda it is so hard when we have that open hole in our hearts that will never heal after losing our fur baby. I am glad that Ivy is helping you and Charlie grieve and it helps lesson that great loss. I find it so beautiful and amazing that our pets understand our emotions and can find a way to comfort us when we need it most. Buddy is the same way in the morning. 7am on the dot he is licking my face and saying time to get up and start our day. Happy Thursday.

  8. I miss my first dog too. I hope if there is a heaven he is waiting for me. All of my pets, really, but especially Niko. He was 13 when he died, a good dog to the end, 40 years ago. We
    Lost a ten year old boxer last month, and I miss him too. We have a new puppy and you are right: there is enough love for all.

  9. Such a beautiful post Brenda. My husband always had cats and dogs growing up. I never had any pets except for the goldfish we would win at the May Day festival in elementary school. Eleven years ago with our only daughter moving 5 hours south and my husband 5 hours north 2/3s of the year, he pushed for a dog to keep me company. Kaia is our constant companion. I am such a homebody so this suits me just fine. Should have gotten a dog many years ago! You three have a great day!

  10. Hi Brenda, This poem is posted in one of the rooms at my vets. I read it with teary eyes this past Dec. 30, when we had to put one of our English Setters down. She was 14 1/2 years old. Then a week later found out that one of our rescued Irish Setters had cancer. Jul had surgery yesterday that looks to be very successful.
    Here is the poem: ‘ It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.” I’m soon to be 72 years old and Jul is number 13. I think I’m almost there! We have one other rescued Irish Setter as well. His name is Ronan. Jul is Norwegian for Christmas because we rescued her at Christmas time 4 years ago. Both setters are 9+ years old. I love reading about Ivy and Charlie!

  11. Where is the “like” button. Love this post..or “love” button.. Amazing how us pet lovers keep on loving..even while always missing our babies who have crossed over “Rainbow Bridge”. Your writing is calming reminder of what is real in this crazy world. :0)

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