Notes from a parish cat and his author Julie Mackenzie

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I am Father Tom Fish, esteemed member of the religious team at Temptation of Christ Parish in the novels by author Julie Mackenzie. As to my background, I was invited into the rectory as a stray, laid on the charm, and was invited to stay, even honorarily ordained and no less spiritual than my sidekick Father Will. He dotes on me to high heaven and forgives all of my street cat proclivities, whatever the hell that means.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hurting, But Still Here

I knew I had to face and make it through the first year anniversary of Tom's unexpected passing. He has never once left my mind nor my heart and probably never will. It pains so much to write this, but I know he is physically around me, guiding my determination as I muddle through a most challenging period ever in my life. They say not to look back with regret, but focus forward. I'm trying my best to do that.

In my writing, I know I create a sort of immortality. Tom continues to have adventures, make people laugh, and seek out those who need a comforting purr. He also inspires some really out-of-nowhere creativity like the poem below. If you remember "Dog and Butterfly" by Heart, you can appreciate my attempt to have the same lovely tribute to cats everywhere:


The cat and dragonfly
Never really tell me why
The cat and dragonfly
Want to keep their secret
In hushed and still reply.

The cat and dragonfly
They’ll share it with the sky
The cat and dragonfly
Whisper it to birds, but why?

The cat and dragonfly
They’ll never tell you or I
The cat and dragonfly
They’ll keep their secret
Til they die
Til they die
Then watch the sky

6.17.14 ~  ©Julie Ross Mackenzie


Fuzzy Tales said...

Of course he'll never leave you and your love for each other always will surround you.

The "firsts" are the most difficult, though of course even years later something will trigger the grief all over again.

Lots of hugs and purrs to you. It's really, really nice to see a post, it's been a long time.

And we don't recall Bridget, perhaps because we just can't keep up on all the blogs we follow, all of the time. She's certainly a pretty girl!

Peace and Blessings.

Kim, Nicki and Derry

Connie - Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

One of my co-workers lost her son a few years back, and this held strong significance to her.. I thought you would like it.

Ivan from WMD said...

We understand.

My mom still mourns my bro, and even though she knows there will never be another Russell, she looks for him in every cat she visits at the shelter.

Tamago said...

I know how much you miss Tom and that he never leaves your heart. I miss my girls who've been gone for more than a decade. Sometimes many regrets come to my mind when I think about things I couldn't do for them. It's hard but I try to focus forward, too.
Sending warm thoughts and hugs to you xoxo

Quinn and Angel brandi said...

Carrying loved ones in our hearts, remembering sweet things we shared, this is what makes missing them a little easier.
We definitely understand your sadness, and wanted to send you a little written ((((hug)))).
QUINN and Carol,
and yes, Angel brandi

Brian's Home Blog said...

Tom's love was special, that's why it hurts so much. I do believe that Tom would really like your heart to smile once again. Hugs from all of us.

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

I understand so well. They never leave us and are always around us.

The Furries of Whisppy said...

It is especially hard when they leave unexpectedly. Sending you hugs and purrs. xoxo

Sparkle said...

We too miss Tom very much. Your poem is such a beautiful tribute to his spirit.

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

It is so hard when time passes so quickly, yet also so slowly. We never stop hurting for the loss of our loved ones but with time the edges of the pain soften a little and allow us to remember the good times with a smile.
(((hugs))) to you.

Katnip Lounge said...


Clooney said...

Oh Mom Julie, we think of you often and wonder how you and the kitties good to see this post, your poem is beautiful and so fitting. Much love and gentle purrs as you continue to navigate this loss of your precious Tom. (Bridget looks like such a sweetheart, welcome to her!)

The Island Cats said...

Gone but not forgotten...and always loved. Purrs.....

(angel) Grrreta and Fam said...

They never leave out hearts. Your poem is lovely.

Jans Funny Farm said...

They do live on in our heart but we miss them so when they are gone. Hugs.

Mr Puddy said...

If love could have saved Tom

He would have lived forever

Me & mom love him

Soft purr & hugs to you

Saku said...

What a wonderful tribute to your loving man cat Tom. I hope the pain eases but the memories never fade.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

(((hugs))) as you remember dear Tom. The first year of holidays and anniversaries are the hardest and I hope time brings heart's ease to you.

CATachresis said...

As Layla says, going through the "firsts" after a loved one leaves is always poignant and painful. Beautiful poem Caro x

Unknown said...

Time is such a mystery. When the heart is involved, it can just stand still and the loss of a friend like Tom can seem like it only just happened yesterday. Much love and many hugs, Jobi and Fisher

meowmeowmans said...

Of course you miss your beloved Tom. And you always will. But that love you share will never die, and I do believe you will be reunited with him when the time is right.

How interesting that the poem is about a cat and a dragonfly. In Japanese culture, the dragonfly is seen as the spirit of ancestors coming to visit...

maggie@shelter-cats said...

It's a bitter sweet time - the loss is still painful but the memories are so very precious.
Sending comforting thoughts,

Sweet William The Scot said...

I believe as you, that animals who love us deeply can make it back from the other side to give us comfort. You know the Native American Indians believe that to be true and have several stories they tell of it happening. Some day on my blog I will have to tell the story of my second Scot and the mystery about him.
Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. You helped me to reach my goal of sending a kitty on the Scooter Shuttle.
Sweet William The Scot

Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey said...

My heart aches with you - such a well written post. The anniversary of my Mr. Jazz will be here before I know it - in his case, I at the very least knew he was dying and I could say goodbye to him. Harley, however, the pain of a cat that leaves us in a brutal, cruel, and unexpected fashion... that is entirely different and I don't know how I will ever get over her loss. RIP darling Tom. Purrs from Deb and the Zee and Zoey Gang.

Unknown said...

"Our Church Cat Family" has been included our Sites To See #384. Be assured that we hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

P.S.: I would like to believe that all of our beloved pets will join us in Heaven. Granted, it may very well be just wishful thinking on my part, but I cannot imagine Heaven being all that it is promised to be without them.

Avalon's Garden and Mewsings of Garden Cottage Cats said...

We understand how hard this iz ^..^ da mom hazn't been able to do any blogging since Sunny & Penelope left fur da Bridge....... she sayz it's jus not there right now......

We luved de Cat & the Dragonfly!! ♥♥♥♥♥ *loud purrz* ^.,^ x5