Monday, March 3, 2014

A Promise Fulfilled

 
There was something very special about Nigel.   He had such a hard life before he came to live with us, and he always appreciated everything he had.
 
We first noticed him in our yard, sometime in 2006.  He was young and he had a collar with a bell on it.  He would cruise through the yard like so many cats in our neighborhood.  We called him Bojangles since we didn't know his given name.   As time passed he eventually lost the collar with the bell.
 
We became worried about him when he was still outside in our yard during the big snow storm in December 2008.   We started watching him more closely and making sure he had food.  After the first of the year we could see that he was sick so we decided to get more aggressive in our attempts to get close.
 
No matter what I did, I could not get closer to him than 5 feet away.  He would spook and run off.

 
For those of you who remember, his Gotcha Day in 2009 was cause for celebration.    We borrowed a humane trap from our  neighbors and when he went in after the Fancy Feast he was ours.

 
He was super freaked out and lived in our TV room for months.  We had him neutered.   He required Prozac to get over his fears and settle down.   We had a compounding pharmacy make a mixture of his drugs mixed into chicken flavored liquid which he ate in his Fancy Feast. There was no way I could pill him.

 
When he calmed down and learned to trust me, I could brush him.  The photo above was taken after his first Furmination. He had such silky fur.  Eventually we tapered him off the Prozac.
 
He came about his name in true Cat Blogosphere style.  I couldn't decide between naming him Sebastian or Nigel, so I asked his Blogosphere furriends to vote.   They chose well.
 
Most of our cats have a kazillion nicknames, but not Nigel.  He loved his name and it fit him perfectly. No need to call him anything else. 

 
He became my big baby.  My big hunk 'o mancat.  He always felt safest when it was bedtime. He would be there waiting for me.  He would literally grind his nose into my hands, wanting pets.  He was a big boy, 17 pounds so anything in my hands would be knocked away.   That was Nigel's special time of the day.
 
Nigel adored the Christmas tree.  He was always fascinated by it and would sit under the tree staring at it for hours at a time.   I believe it was because during that snowstorm of 2008 when he was homeless in our backyard, he looked up at our house and the tree in the window.  When he was finally inside and warm...he found once a year, when the tree appeared again, it was his.
 
He had arrived.

 
If you biggify the photo above you may be able to see the Christmas Tree light reflected in his eyes.

 
He had magnificent paws.  

He learned to relax and enjoy his home and family.

 
He adored Ellie.   When he first moved in, he didn't have good manners with the ladies.  We joked that he was a cave man...and coached him on how to be more subtle.  He learned.   Ellie did love him.

 
Cory loved Nigel too.
 
I don't have a photo of them together, but Nigel and Figaro were best buddies.  They are both "fraidy boys".   When our vet did a house call last year to do check ups on everyone, both Nigel and Figaro hid in our closet.  Together.  Not just together, but completely intertwined.
 
We are giving Figaro lots of extra attention to get him through this.

 
Did I mention his magnificent paws?

 
When we rescued Nigel, we had to be extremely patient and kind.   I made a promise to him that we would let him adjust in his own time frame.  We had never experienced a cat that took so long, but we were prepared to give him all the time in the world.  It was about 5 months before he could fully integrate.
 
I also made other promises to him. 
 That he would never have to go outside ever again.
That he would never be hungry.
That he would never be cold.
That I would always be there for him.
That I would love him forever.
 
In the end, as hard as it was, I am grateful that we were both home with him when he started showing his critical illness.  We were both there with him, both holding him until his final breath.
 
I was able to keep my promises to Nigel.


76 comments:

Cheysuli and gemini said...

What a wonderful retrospective on a very special boy. It may have taken him awhile but he chose his new family wisely- Purrs to you on his loss-

Katie and Glogirly said...

What a beautiful tribute to a special, special mancat. The love and compassion you showed him is so very touching. We didn't know his story and are so glad you shared it here. Our thoughts and prayers go our to you and the kitties. We know you are missing him terribly.

(((purrs)))
love,
Glogirly, Katie & Waffles

Jans Funny Farm said...

Nigel was so fortunate to find a home where he was wanted and loved these past years. A lovely tribute to a handsome boy. Hugs and purrs.

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

What a lovely tribute to a very special boy. While we never met Nigel in person, we loved him quite a big long-distance and were always happy to see his handsome face here on the blog. It's still hard for us to believe he is gone. Purrs to you... Nigel was lucky you took him in, but I think you were luckier still that he let you.

dArtagnan Rumblepurr/Diego Hamlet Moonfur said...

This is such a beautiful tribute to such a special boy. He loved you so much and was so loved in return. Some people (and kitties) are just meant to be together - even if it is for far too short a time.

You're all in my thoughts.

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Gen-Chan, Vidock, Violette said...

Sweet Nigel. Things were so rough for you in the beginning but then... but then... you found yourself the best home in the whole wide world and you were loved as much as anyone could ever be loved for the rest of your life. That is a life well-lived, a wonderful life. We are so sorry it was cut short but we know that the love you shared with your family will always be there.

Purrs, Woofs, Neighs and Hugs,
Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chabn, Gen-Chan, Tommy, Vidock, Violette and #1

The Furries of Whisppy said...

A beautiful tribute to your Big Mancat. We're so glad you were able to fulfill all the promises you made to him. Sending lots of comforting purrs.

Kjelle Bus said...

What a beautiful tribute to a special, special mancat <3 <3 <3

Sending lots of (((purrs))) and huggies !

Georgia and Julie said...

Lovely tribute to a lovely kitty.
Nigel was lucky to be taken in by you and he had a lot of love in his life.
Purrs to you and your family as we know you miss him so much.
Purrs Georgia and Julie,
Treasure,JJ
and Angels Tiger and Tillie

Cat with a Garden said...

Your love for Nigel shows so much through these wonderful words. You have touched our kitty hearts and mom's too. It is so sad Nigel couldn't be with you for longer, but he had an amazing life and the best end to ita cat can wish for. We are still sending super strong purrs to all of you.
Siena & Chilli

milocat said...

Such a beautiful post *tears* ~ Nigel was, and still is, a very special cat. Thank you for loving him so much and keeping that wonderful promise to him. We can remember his story as it happened ~ and the joy we felt when you trapped and homed him.
Love Milo and Alfie and our mom xxx

onespoiledcat said...

So very sorry for your loss. Nigel was a magnificently gorgeous kitty who obviously was well loved and well cared for after he learned to trust. Bless you for giving him a happy home for the time he was with you - we send love and prayers and purrs as we know the pain of loss is sometimes beyond description.

Hugs, Sammy and his Mom

The Florida Furkids said...

Thank you for sharing Nigel with us. We'd never read his Gotcha Day story and we're so happy that you gotcha'd him and he had a wonderful and loved life with you. He was a special ManCat and, yes, he had magnificent paws!! (((Hugs)))
The Florida Furkids and Mom Sharon

Zoolatry said...

One of a kind, on earth and in heaven... and a blessing to all.

Angel MoMo said...

What a beautiful tribute to a gorgeous mancat! So sorry to hear that he has left for the Bridge. We will miss him here but Angel MoMo would sure be there to welcome him.

Purrs from Charlotte and hugs from SS

The Church Cat Family said...

We're so sorry about Nigel's passing. He was young, but he was loved so very much and he knew how lucky he was to have you. I hope you'll be comforted with memories of that love and that the kitties will not be missing him too much, especially Ellie who had such a soft spot for him!

Sending comforting purrs. RIP Nigel <3

Mom Julie, Tinker, Anastasia and Chopin

Fuzzy Tales said...

Bless you for loving him and caring for him so well. He knew and still knows how much he meant to you all.

This is a wonderful tribute to Nigel....Sending soft purrs and gentle head butts to you all.

Peace.

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

Nigel was so lucky to find a home that let him adjust at his own rate and loved him just as he was. And you were very lucky to have such a wonderful boy as Nigel as part of your family. Comforting purrs and love, ~ATCAD

Melissa and Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

What a beautiful tribute to an extra special little boy. You were so fortunate to have found each other.

I am so very sorry for your loss.

Sending our love and purrs your way...

ANGEL ABBYGRACE said...

Nigel would tell you thank you Mom for fulfilling all of your promises and never giving up on him. You love you have for Nigel comes through with each word, and the sadness you feel now in your heart does as well. It is something all of us hold in our hearts, but we do the best that we can with this fragile circle of a lifespan we know it is much shorter than our own. What you gave to Nigel in the past 5 years was everything he needed and what he gave back was all you needed too. We are all so blessed to have these wondrous magical loving beings in our lives to share the love. I myself do not believe that the journey stops, for me it continues on, and it's not about the days that have passed since our dearest friends have left for the RB it is the days moving forward until we see them again. Nigel's spirit will always be there for you. Forgive me for being so verbose, this touches my heart so deeply. My continued prayers for your gentle slow healing and missing Nigel. That is a given. You will miss him until you see him again. Thank you for sharing your Nigel with us all of these years.

xoxoxo

Austin Towers said...

Nigel picked you and eventually learned to trust and love you! You gave him all he needed and more. A wonderful tribute and I am so sorry for your loss xox

Carolina Cats said...

What a byootiful post for Mr Nigel. You earned his love and trust. He will be with you furever, watching ofur you until you are together agane.

Lots of hugs & purrs & kisses,
Finnegan, Buddy, Jazzy & Mom Nora

Brian said...

Such a loving tribute. We are so sorry and so sad that dear Nigel had to go so soon. Hugs.

savannahspawtracks.com said...

Your tribute to precious Nigel is so intimate. What a magnificent mancat. And you were all blessed he called you family, peace be with you all. Paw pats and purrs, Savannah and Mom Linda

Random Felines said...

what a wonderful tribute. sometimes the most rewarding lives come to us, not when we are looking for them, but when they know we need them. Nigel was a very lucky boy to show up in your backyard....and to find a family willing to accept him for who he was. we are very sorry for your loss.

Hannah and Lucy said...

We didn't know Nigel very well but we can see how much you loved him and will miss him. He knew he was loved when he decided to come and live with you indoors.
We are sending purrs and hugs to you
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Oui Oui said...

Such a nice tribute! Nigel sounds so much like our Mica Moo! I am glad he had a wonderful home for his last few years, and that he knew what safety, love and regular meals were. Our deepest condolences, and we were sending purrs to all who loved Nigel.

CatInTheFridge said...

So very sorry for your loss. You were kind to take him in and I'm sure he'll always be by your side. Such a lovely tribute. Sending hugs. - Crepes and Alana.

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

What an awesome tribute to an awesome mancat!

Maggie May said...

We love and miss you, sweet Nigel! You certainly were a lucky fella to live in the home with Cory and all the others.
(((hugs))) & <3

www.shelter-cats.com said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. He was lucky he found shelter with such a kind and patient family. It sounds like your love was well rewarded even though your time together was too short.
With sympathy,
Maggie

Everycat said...

This is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful friend. He had such a wise face, he must have been through many bad times before he found your family to settle with. He chose wisely.

He couldn't have found a nice family to become part of.

Sending love and purrs
Mungo & The Ape xx

Old Kitty said...

We are so so so sorry to read that handsome and beautiful angel Nigel has run off to the Bridge. He was loved completely and will be most missed. We send you comforting purrs and hugs. Take care
x

Forty Paws said...

We are so sorry that Nigel had congestive heart failure and had to cross over. It is so hard to lose them, but especially when they are still "young" in our eyes. Many hugs and purrs and purrayers to you during this difficult time.

Luf, Us and Maw

The Monkeys said...

We love Nigel and you guys so much! This is a beautiful tribute for such a wonderful mancat.

Clooney said...

What a beautiful tribute to your precious Mancat Nigel. We are so, so sorry to hear of his unexpected passing and send you all our gentlest purrs. It warms our hearts to know that Nigel was so loved and safe once he came into your home and found his true place and family.

Be Well Sweet Nigel

The Whiskeratti said...

A lovely tribute to a special cat. We're glad he found you.

Grrreta: Ambrose, Clarence, Teddi, Baskin, and Abner said...

What a lovely tribute to a very special cat. Thank you for giving Nigel such a great home and family, surrounding him with love, and caring for him so well. We remember reading in one of your posts after he was rescued that Nigel never wanted to go outdoors again,...and with that we knew Nigel really did appreciate and knew how lucky he was to be rescued by you.

L. E. Mastilock said...

Beautiful post. He was so loved. What a lucky kitty to have been part of your family! I know how hard it is to let go, I'll be praying for you. ~Rascal and Rocco

colehauscats said...

Sweet Nigel, we love the words your mom wrote about you and thank her for sharing them with us. Sending comforting purrs. Purrs....

Marg said...

That is such a terrific tribute to Nigel. We are so so glad that he came to your yard and that you were able to catch him. It is so rewarding to get on like Nigel to trust you. And I thank you so much for taking him in. He sure was a good boy and we know he was well loved.

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

Such a Beautiful tribute to your Beautiful Nigel. He was very lucky to have you, as you him. We are just heart broken to see another kitty leave for the Bridge.
We send comforting Purrz ^..^ x5 and {{Hugs}}

and ^..^ x5 *headz bowed*
We purray fur light to shine Brightly to guide your way Nigel, may thoze who came before be there to Greet you~

Safe Journey Nigel ~

♥♥♥♥♥ +:'(

Julia Williams said...

Such a lovely tribute to your beautiful boy. He was so smart to have chosen you for his family. His extreme toe floof was da bomb!!

The Island Cats said...

What a beautiful and moving tribute to Nigel. We remember you talking about him...the cat in the yard...and when you finally trapped him. And gave him a forever home. He knew the right house to go to. You gave him 5 wonderful years of him feeling safe and secure. We know it is hard for you now...but you have such great memories of Nigel...and we hope that when you think of all those good memories you'll smile. oxoxox

We'll miss you, Nigel.

Wally, Ernie, Zoey and the mom Sue

Katie Isabella said...

This wrings my heart. It's just breaking for you. I love the happiest news about him being captured with love and brought in...promises being made and kept. You have mine and mommy's love for that. Thank you for reducing this dear little one. xxoo

Katie Isabella said...

This wrings my heart. It's just breaking for you. I love the happiest news about him being captured with love and brought in...promises being made and kept. You have mine and mommy's love for that. Thank you for reducing this dear little one. xxoo

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

A Beautiful tribute to your beautiful boy. So very heartfelt. You gave him unconditional love and he gave it back to you. You did indeed keep your promise and gave him a wonderful life with you right to the end. I know you are hurting so much right now and I send hugs and love x

Timmy Tomcat said...

That is such a wonderful tribute to a really handsome fellow!
Watch over us you big good looking Man-Cat until that day we all get to play in the sun
Purrs and Love from all of us to all of you!
Timmy, Dad and Family

Flynn said...

I know how hard it was to make this tribute for Nigel, but you have done him proud. It is a beautiful tribute to your handsome boy. (((hugs))) and purrs.

Meg & Quill said...

::Sniffs:: That was a lovely post for a truly lovely mancat. Purrs and hugs to all of you.

Sometimes, Cats Herd You said...

What a beautiful tribute. We didn't know Nigel's story since we haven't been reading your blog that long, and we can see why he was so special to you. Sending lots of purrs in this sad time for your family.

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

That was an absolutly beautiful tribute. He was obviously a very loved kitty and I'm glad he had you and you had him. Hugs and purrs to all of you.

MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

Beloved friends...it has been so long since we have come by for a visit....forgive us that such a sad event brings us back. We are so dreadfully sorry to know that your beautiful man Nigel has left for the heavens...
I was moved to tears reading you tribute...that does not happen to me often. I see so many kitties in his lifestory who were so lucky to be Gotchad! Out Miss Hunny Bunny for one....she is a sweet grateful kitty like Nigel and we made the same promise to her that you made to your dearest Nigel. Right now we have 3 kitties in the yard that we wish we could get close to...but we feed and give the sanctuary from the dangers of the streets...
Take heart in knowing how much we care and hold you close for the goodness you give to those who can not help themselves.
Much love Karla

Dr Tweety of da Fab Five said...

I was so sad to read about Nigel's passage to the rainbow bridge. The rest of the kitties and I certainly remember your sweet cat family as one of Angel Dr Tweety's friends, and such a happy blog. Your post about remembering how Nigel came to love with you, and how you tenderly accommodated your king brought tears to my eyes. How lucky he was to have you all! Sending much love to your family during this difficult time. May healing waters cool your throats, and may your lovely memories of this special boy live on with you forever.
Hugs from Delilah, Maxie, Iris, Ella, da Momee , da Dadee, and da Angel Dr Tweety

Dr Tweety of da Fab Five said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Derby, Ducky said...

Such a beauty-full tribute to a fine mancat.

Pattyskypants said...

What a wonderful tale of love! We are so sad for your loss and send hugs and purrs to all! xxoo Patty & Bhu

Eileen said...

What a sweet tribute for a handsome mancat. These memories, while bittersweet now will be yours to treasure forever.

Thanks for sharing Nigel's story with us.

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

a beautiful tribute to a beautiful life. Those kitties that take that extra bit of work always seem to be that extra closer to the heart..

Purrs of comfort and healing

Samantha & Clementine said...

What a wonderful tribute to Nigil!! Thank you for sharing him with all of us!! Lots of purrs and prayers to all the Family!!
Hugs from your TX furiends,

Katnip Lounge said...

A lovely and purrfect epitaph for you Most Special Boy. We are so happy to have known Nigel, and to witness all the love he shared with you. Headbutts and smooches from all your friends at the Lounge--we are thinking of you.

Sweet Purrfections said...

What a beautiful tribute to Nigel. He knew what he was doing when he wandered into your yard and eventually into your home and heart. I know your heart is breaking right now and that you'll miss him for a long time. Our thoughts, prayers, and purrs are with you.

Bellen said...

Beautiful Nigel. It was wonderful of you to be so patient with him while he was adjusting. I work with a rescue group and know that many people who claim to want cats aren't nearly so patient. Most people want an 'easy' cat. They don't know the rewards of patience, of seeing what is beyond the surface. Nigel gave you his trust because he saw you were willing to wait for it. Thank God you found him.

Cheri Wildcatwoods said...

Wonderful tribute to Nigel. Thank you for taking him in and caring for him so tenderly. Sometimes I have found the ones that take the longest to tame or adjust end up being the ones most grateful and loving. Nigel is in your heart always.

Cats of wildcat woods

Team Tabby said...

We loved hearing about dear Nigel, your very special kitty! His story makes us feel good, but we are also sorry he has passed on so soon.

Mindy
Moe
Cookie
Mike

Karen Jo said...

What a wonderful tribute to handsome Nigel. I am glad that you were both with him until it was time for him to go to the Rainbow Bridge. I send hugs and the kitties send comforting purrs.

Helen said...

Your beautiful boy - I remember when you caught him and took him indoors, I was so happy for him. Our Ricky-Tiki-Tavi looks so very much like Nigel. Again, we are all so sorry for your loss of such a sweet and special boy. I guess that you can take some comfort in knowing that you kept all of your promises to him. He left for the Bridge knowing what peace and love were all about thank to you. And, this Christmas, I am sure he'll be looking in on all of you perched somewhere on "his" Christmas tree. (((hugs)))
Angel Perfectly Parker's entire family...

Marty the Manx said...

What a beautiful memorial. Nigel's story is wonderful and I am so very sorry for your loss. Prayer, purrs and caring thoughts.
Marty, mom and the gang

meowmeowmans said...

This is such a wonderful and poignant memorial to your sweet Nigel. He was so blessed to have found you, and you were blessed to find him. Sending comforting purrs and prayers to you, and knowledge that you will one day be reunited. Hugs!

Pasha said...

Sucha a sweet tribute.
It makes our hearts very achy when a sweet angel has to leave the erathly adventures!
(hugs)

Jacqueline said...

This was a lovely tribute to your gorgeous boy; it made our Mommy cry for your loss of such a special sweetheart...Darling Nigel knew he was loved and cared for in every way and that is truly priceless...Wishing you all comfort during this time of sorrow...hugs, dear friends...J, Calle, Halle, Sukki, Mommy Cat, Daddy Cat

Goldie, Shade and Banshee said...

Hi sweet Cory Cat family!!! We were so very sorry to read about dear Nigel. He was a very special man cat for sure. That was a touching tribute to such a dear feline.

Big hugs and purrs out to you all.

Goldie, Shade, Banshee and Danica

Deb said...

I'm so sorry that you lost Nigel. He was a very handsome boy who was lucky to have found someone who really did love him. Rest in Peace, Nigel. Hugs, Deb

www.shelter-cats.com said...

I came back to wish you Happy Jonesie Day after turning over the page on the Cat of the CB Calendar this morning.
I reread your tribute to Nigel and was touched again by your love for him.
Hope you're doing well and comforted by your other fur babies.
Maggie

Mama Bear said...

I have just seen Nigel on Our Rainbow Friends ..such a sweet looking boy. It is so heart rending to lose a family member ...and it is so wonderful that he came to a home that loved him so thoroughly. It takes a big heart to take in a cat that needs a forever family ..and it is clear that he found the place he was meant to be.

Mama Bear said...

I have just seen Nigel on Our Rainbow Friends ..such a sweet looking boy. It is so heart rending to lose a family member ...and it is so wonderful that he came to a home that loved him so thoroughly. It takes a big heart to take in a cat that needs a forever family ..and it is clear that he found the place he was meant to be.