HoneyBear a tiny, young female Siamese cat came into my life just before Christmas 2002. My husband had been asking repeatedly what I would like for Christmas. A pair of diamond earrings perhaps? I always gave him the same answer, ” meow” to which he would roll his eyes and shake his head. It was the last week before Christmas when he suddenly caved in. He would pay the rescue fee for a Siamese cat I had seen online. She was perfect, except for one thing. I was in Boston and she was 70 miles south of Kansas City. Nothing loath, on December 22 nd, I cashed in my entire stash of airline points and flew to Kansas City, staying overnight at the airport as my new cat was delivered to me by her foster mommy. Delta airlines only had one plane seat available for my return trip the next day in first class. The trip was distinguished by every time a little meow came from underneath my seat, it was responded to by a deep woof from a hidden dog somewhere in the vicinity. My fellow passengers looked a bit startled.
I had been warned that HoneyBear preferred men. For the next 10 years she tried to make friends with my husband. He repelled all her overtures, declaring that he simply did not like cats. But when he got brain cancer, and spent many hours either sitting or lying in bed, Honeybear’s persistence paid off.
She was like Velcro and never left his side, and was with him as he died. He learned to love an animal for the first time in his life. She howled for days after his death. We kept each other company.
10 days ago, on a Thursday afternoon, at nearly 17 years old, I had to put HoneyBear to sleep because of kidney failure. Her death hit me particularly hard, as it was another link to my husband that was also gone. So it was with a very heavy heart I that left the next day to attend a 3 day weekend workshop. I was completely jammed up with grief, and hardly able to concentrate on the first day. On Saturday night, on a breakout session, I was having a discussion with a fellow workshop participant who was a complete stranger to me.. She asked about my late husband, and then asked if I had a photo of him which I could show her. I was puzzled but complied with her request and found a photograph on my IPhone. You can imagine my surprise when she said ” He was here last night, standing at the back of the room”. And then I smiled through my tears. Of course he was! I was so consumed with grief that I could not hear his counsel from the other side, and he had to knock on somebody else’s door instead. His message was clear, I was not to worry. HoneyBear was safe with him. He loved her.
I will scatter her ashes around his grave. He will like that.
HoneyBear RIP January 26 2017.