"Baby behind a kitchen-window screen, staring at his sister outside on the terrace, could almost pass for one of those abandoned kitties left behind by a flood-fleeing family, waiting to be rescued, except that we cannot imagine leaving our animals behind were we forced to flee our home for whatever reason," we captioned this evocative image of the Babe back in September of 2005. You remember. "Bush's fault!"
"And again, with your amazing Chronicles of Baby and Tiny, you have given a great gift to all of us," imails our sis as we reflect upon the good karma just sent our way from Carol Ward, our dear friend and fellow ailurophile from just down the pike across the Mystic. First, listen to Carol's tough love in the comments:
You are right: there will not be another one like him. And that is as it should be. You had both the responsibility and the gift of The Babe: to take care of him during his time on earth. And part of that was to let him go when his body said it was time, to not hold onto him for you. (I remind myself of that constantly when Snowball becomes unwell …)
A fast-growing tumor said that it was time, even if it wasn't the right time for you.
I am sure it is hard (editors note: tears starting now, keyboard out of focus), but try to be grateful for the twelve-year gift that was Baby Cakes, that unique large ball of fluff and love.
No, there will not be another one like him. But some day there may be another one, with its own special feline-ality, who needs Sissy and Tuck love just as much. It really is all about the love.
"The Babe and the Duncan Phyfe chair — classical beauty seeks its own level," we captioned this image in our April 2006 post "A major and lasting influence."
"Of all the wonderful things that have been said, it's maybe one of the most helpful," says Tuck:
It really helped. Baby was a gift, and we had both the responsibility and the gift.
"Susie notes the 'Don't mess with me' gaze Baby and Condi share when dealing with recalcitrant turf challengers," we captioned this portrait pair in February of 2005, observing that "Lucianne's caption under Condi's photo applies equally to Baby Cakes: 'Dr. Rice will entertain an extremely brief question.'"
Back to that imail conversation with our sis:
She: Remembrance of the ones we've lost, and a reminder of how we keep them, always, in our internal album of portraits. I am thrilled that you finally got an acceptable response from Angell. It reminds me of what Dad said about his own doctors … a FABULOUS guy, but unable to keep track of his inept "front line." Again, the only way to deal with the loss of someone so beloved is to give THANKS for the time you shared.
She: The blessing and the curse of loving so much. I also agree with Carol in this way … right now, I feel as though I will never get another pet, it's just too hard. And yet, I know she is right. it can happen again, at any moment.
"Baby grants us an audience in the dining room just after sunrise, where photo ops are coming out of the woodwork as feline magnificence interplays with early-morning light," we captioned this image from that same post of April 2006.
"He helped build a whole world of friends we never had before," says Tuck:
It's your blog, but all these wonderful people that we never knew before, and the Babe had a big part of bringing them to us.
And your photographs are beautiful. Just outstanding. I think you could make any puddy look good. I admit that Babe gave you some advantage, but I really think it's your photography. You capture the moment. Your photographs speak so much to the puddy's personality, and in the case of Baby, to the gravitas. You know, how he always looked a little bit cross [see "Don't mess with me" above], as if "Why are you taking my picture, and do you have an ID?"
Another tribute just in from blogfriend Steve of Modulator, the blogosphere's Noah of the Friday Ark.