Monday, June 5, 2023

A Letter of Gratitude to Carmine on His Gotcha Day

Carmine loved being close to me and was rarely more than a few feet from me.

My Dear, Sweet, Adorable Tiny Lion,

You and I had a special bond. You were my heart cat, and I cannot imagine loving any other cat as much as I love you because our souls are so deeply connected. You brought such joy, wisdom, and love to my life. 

On what would have been your 18th Gotcha Day, I reflect on all that you brought to my life during our time together. 

Thank you for bringing so much joy and laughter to my life. When you were a kitten, you were a ball of energy and a constant source of entertainment. You used to steal socks and rolls of toilet paper. I learned quickly that I had to keep the lid on the butter container or you'd be licking it up if I turned my back for two seconds. I also learned that I had to keep an eye on our game and puzzle pieces or you'd sneak off with them while Dave and I were distracted with our activity.

As a kitten, Carmine loved stealing game and puzzle pieces. Here, he's supervising a game of Sorry.

You may have outgrown your stealing phase as you grew older, but you never ceased to bring a smile to my face. I smiled every time you bounced up to the top of the kitchen cabinets - something you loved to do even in your late teen years. 

In your later years, you always made my day by curling up in my lap. You were never really big on lap time, but nearly every day  you'd grace my lap with your presence, even if it was only for a few minutes here and there. I treasured this precious time with you. 

Thank you for sharing your caring and loving heart with me and all of your feline friends over the years. From a very young age, you cared about others. You spent a week in bed with me when I got super sick when you were not even a year old. You only left my side that whole week when you needed to eat, drink, or use the litter. 

Carmine loved to be up high. It wasn't unusual for him to fly up to the top of the kitchen cabinets when he had a burst of energy.

When I  broke my foot in 2009, you knew I was injured, and you'd lay and purr on my foot. It hurt a great deal when you did that, but I knew you were trying to heal the injury, so I'd let you purr on my foot anyway. 

You weren't just in tune with my pain, you were in tune with your feline friends' pain, too. Lita was very good at hiding her pain from me. As she aged, I learned she'd seek you out for comfort when she felt particularly bad. She only chose to curl up near you if she felt crummy; otherwise she wanted her own space. She knew, like I did, that you would watch over and protect her.

Carmine and Lita
Carmine watched over Lita when she had chronic pneumonia.

When Jewel came to live with us, you were so attentive to her. You would supervise every single one of her subcutaneous fluids treatments. You'd also poke your head into her squishy cat cube to check on her multiple times a day. You always wanted the best for your feline friends. 

What amazes me is that you cared about my feelings right up to the very end of your life. On our last night together, you curled up and slept with me on my bed even though you felt terrible. I know you would have rather stayed in your heated bed the way you typically did when you didn't feel well. But my feelings were more important to you that last night together, and that is something I will never forget.

Carmine, my tiny lion, thank you for giving me a purpose. When I brought you home in 2005, I struggled a great deal with my mental health. I was active in my anorexia and self-harm. I had gone through a lot in my own life and simply didn't know how to cope, so instead I turned to starving and hurting myself for some semblance of control. While my destructive behaviors may have kept me alive, the truth is that I was completely out of control. 

Me and Carmine
Me and Carmine on our last day together.

Your mere presence helped me get into recovery. You made sure I ate by helping me eat every meal. When I went into another room to harm myself, you'd sit outside the door and cry. It was heart-wrenching, and I couldn't stand it. But I also couldn't stand hurting myself in front of you. Your insistence on being near me gave me the push I needed to get into recovery from my eating disorder and self-destructive behaviors long-term. Thanks in large part to you, I've been in recovery for well over a decade with no relapses. And even though you are now gone, I refuse to ever go back to that dark place. You helped me learn healthier ways of coping. More importantly, you showed me what it's like to be loved unconditionally; your love helped heal my heart from past traumas. 

Thank you for inspiring me and teaching me. Though I had loved cats my entire life, I was still pretty new to cat ownership when you claimed me as your human. Throughout our almost 18 years together, you taught me so much. I learned everything from why it's so important for kitties to eat canned food to how to manage feline diabetes. 

Carmine spent much of his day napping in his heated bed where he could be near me while I worked at the computer. 

You inspired me every day in many ways. In fact, it was you and Lita who inspired me to create this blog back in 2006. I wanted to share the knowledge I gained from you two with other humans owned by cats. I believe I have been successful in educating other cat owners on many important feline topics, and I know that you touched so many lives. 

Thank you for trusting me. When you were a mere 14 weeks old at the PetSmart Adoption Center where we met, you made it exceedingly clear that you were coming home with me. It was the first time I had ever had that feeling, the one where you know in your heart that a cat is yours. Even though you were a tiny kitten, you trusted me to take care of you, give you a loving home, and to always make the best choices for you. I hope I didn't disappoint you. Every day I tried to do the very best thing for you, ensuring you had the happiest life you possibly could. I knew what a blessing you were and wanted to give you all the love in the world. 

Carmine on my bed.
Carmine slept with me nearly every night on my bed.

There were so many ups and downs with your health over the years. You had a heart of gold, but you didn't get the best hand genetically. You trusted me to listen to you and to do what was best for you, always. I helped you fight a long and hard battle with your health the last few years of your life. You inspired me every single day you held on, every single day you chose to stay with me. But your body had had enough, my little lion. You and I both knew the time had come for you to go to the Rainbow Bridge. 

I wish you could have stayed with me another 18 years. How I miss our lap time, the way you slept with me nearly every night, your fuzzy lion haircut, and the way you'd stick you arm over the side of the bed while you were hanging out. I miss your gentle pushiness to get your Hydra Care early, your excitement to see our friend Steve when he came to visit, and your kind heart. I miss your constant presence. I miss you. Our home is so much emptier without you in it. Tylan misses you, too. He seems to find comfort in laying in your favorite heated bed where he can absorb your scent.

Carmine after he went to the Rainbow Bridge. He was at peace and whole once again.

My sweet little Moo, you did what God put you here to do. You did your job with grace, love, and compassion. Thank you for blessing me with your love, kindness, and compassion for nearly 18 years. I am beyond blessed to have had you in my life for so long.

It's time to rest now, little one. We will be together again someday. I will never forget you and I will always love you. 


Carmine badge
Thank you to Mom Ingrid of Meezer's Mews and Terrieristical Woofs for this beautiful graphic of Carmine. 

February 18, 2005 - May 26, 2023

Forever Loved.


Carmine loved his feline friends. I thought a commentathon would be a great way to honor him. 

I will donate $0.50 for every comment up to 100 comments to Colorado Foster Feline Rescue. The commentathon closes at 11:59pm on Friday, June 16, 2023.


  1. I hope this goes through. I always have problems commenting on blogger. I wanted to participate in honoring Carmine. I know he much he meant to you. He was a beautiful, precious boy.

    1. It’s Emilia - since I can only get it to post anonymously

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your Tiny Lion. May his memory, like his life, be a blessing to all who loved him.

  3. This is the line that summed things up so perfectly: "My sweet little Moo, you did what God put you here to do." I'm so grateful Carmine helped you keep going. I know it seems impossible to do it without him, but, in time, you will find your way. And you are surrounded by people who care about you. It won't be the same. But carrying forward what he taught you is the greatest tribute of all.

  4. Beautifully written. Forever in our hearts. Hugs.

  5. Hugs and purrs and hopes for comfort in good memories. This is a beautifully written tribute to your Carmine.

  6. Our companions fill our lives with joy, love and stability. And although we love them all, we do have extra special bonds with some, and their departure is that much harder to bear. He will always be by your side in spirit.

  7. You and Carmine truly shared a special bond. I have experienced that, too. It’s a deep pain of loss but also of joy that you wrote about sharing with this special cat. You and he will be reunited one day. I have no doubt about that.

  8. This is such a beautiful tribute to Carmine. You were always there for each other, and he will be there waiting for you when it is your time. Until then he will be with you in your heart and memories.

  9. Such a special tribute to your special Mancat Carmine. He will forever be loved, remembered and special to so many of us.

  10. What a beautiful tribute to your sweet Carmine. Sending hugs.

  11. Gentle woooos, may we all meet again,

  12. Beautiful tribute to the love of your life. He's keeping a gentle eye on Lita and Jewel now.

  13. What a lovely tribute to Carmine! He was such a handsome boy. One of a kind! There is no doubt that while he left pawprints on your heart, you left gently kisses on his heart. Sending you, Lita, and Jewel hugs.

  14. That was beautiful. Carmine was a blessing. XO

  15. What a beautiful and loving tribute to your tiny lion. Carmine lives on…in your heart.

  16. Such a beautiful tribute to your Carmine. The love you two share will live on for eternity. We are grateful that you shared him with all of us, and we will never, ever forget him. Sending you love and gentle purrs, Sierra.

  17. Such a precious soul with his sweet little freckled nose. Thank you for sharing your memories, he truly is a very special kitty. Love and purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang. (Had to post anonymously - could not get blogger to work)

  18. A beautiful tribute to Carmine! Sending you and Tylan lots of love and purrs!

  19. What a loving tribute to such a wonderful cat. Through your blog so many of us came to love Carmine (and your other kitties). You two were destined to be together.

  20. A beautiful tribute filled with all of your heart's love for a precious little one who was with you so long and inspired good changes in your mind and heart. As with everyone here, I understand the emptiness and sadness right now. Sending you love and care.

  21. Marjorie and Toulouse here:

    We have been so moved by your loving and heartfelt tribute. Carmine was your hero, and your rock and he lifted you to a bright and light place. His job was done, you walk tall thanks to him.

    Letting them go is the hardest part of loving them and I still miss Harvey my sweet boy, as Carmine has been yours. Carmine's loss is so sad but he chose you and you alone to be his life's companion. I believe you can be so proud of that.

  22. Oh, What a heartfelt and sweet tribute to Carmine. ((( ♥ )))

    (I am glad you got that memento; I wasn't sure you did...ignore my comment to that effect in your Saturday Blogville post...)

  23. A beautiful tribute to your handsome ManCat.

  24. He was an extra special little guy. This is such a beautiful tribute. I was struck by how you said he slept with you that last night. I've never forgotten how the night before I lost Truffles I had stayed up extra late and she was so eager to go to she knew it was our last night together. If only they could stay with us forever. Yet they do.