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jharbeck
46 years old
Female
Chicago, Il
Born Dec-7-1972
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Joined: 17-July 08
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Last Seen: 8th December 2009 - 10:53 AM
Local Time: Dec 12 2018, 08:30 PM
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jharbeck

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23 Aug 2008
It's been two weeks since I lost my little guy and I have been missing him terribly. I guess I just wanted to share my memories of this special kitty.

I remember the first time I saw him at the shelter where I volonteer. He was actually hiding under the only thing available to him in the cage……his kitty bed. His brother was up front, meowing and looking for attention. Bartlebee was so afraid, so little and shy. I wanted to say hello, so I removed his bed to pet him. He instinctively cowered further into the corner of the cage as I gently stroked his head with a single finger. He barely lifted his head to look at me. He was a sweet little furry bundle of fear and confusion. I immediately felt for him, but knew I was only further stressing him out, so I put his bed back over him said goodbye, and shut the door.

I began playing with him every time I came to the shelter. I would move my hand closer to the end of the toy each time. Finally he began to get use to my hand being close to him and stopped running to the back of the cage. He slowly started trusting me as I petted him. He would still shy away but never for long. He began enjoying our petting sessions. In no time he became so comfortable with me he would let me pick him up. I couldn’t let him roam the room since he was still sick so he would sit patently on my lap. He would be so relaxed his little head and front paws would be hanging off my leg as he slept. Sometimes he would even fall asleep next to my chest.

For a while he was kept in a cage. I remember letting him out to play with him. He was tentative and looked around first before slowly putting one little arm out, then the other. But once he was in the main cat room, watch out! You’d better keep an eye on him because he was on the move! He wasn’t afraid of anyone. He was shy, but not intimidated. It’s very common for cats to bump into each other, hiss and bat each other. Bartlebee would play with GUSTO! But he would never hiss or bat another cat and when he received such treatment, he never fought back. He would kind of look at them as if to say “Sorry ‘bout that. We’re cool, right?” He would acknowledge that he slammed into someone but would move on. He never got caught up in the heirerarchy, power struggles or even strike out due to stress or boredom like so many of the other cats. He was truly a unique and special cat. He was smart, peaceful and loving. We all could learn a thing or two from Bartlebee.

Speaking of Bartlebee’s “Zen-like coolness”, I remember one time he was watching birds from our back door. Ramses, our oldest cat, wanted to kick him out of his spot, so he walked up to him from behind and hissed at him. Bartlebee just looked over his shoulder at Ramses and went back to watching birds. Ramses paused a second (he used to getting his way), the hissed and lightly batted Bartlebee. Again Bartlebee just looked over his should at Ramses as if to say, “I acknowledge you and I know you want my spot, but I’m here minding my business watching outside and I’m not done yet.” Ramses gave up and left. Maybe Ramses cut Bartlebee slack because he perceived him as being a kitten because he was so small. Or maybe Bartlebee was just special and we all knew it.

Thanks for letting me share Bartelbee's story. He is always in our heart and will never be forgotten.
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17 Aug 2008
I have posted in hear before about my little 1 1/2 year old cat Bartelbee when he was diagnosed with dry FIP. I guess I just am sitting here lonely, really missing his cute little face. On Monday of last week his disease finally took over his body. For a month I watched him go from wobbling while he walked to only being able to move his front legs. On Monday morning he couldn’t even raise his head. The Bartelbee light had gone from his eyes. It was the hardest thing I had ever done letting him go. Holding him as he stopped breathing with his little head that had given me so many nuzzles laid in my hand. I couldn’t even see him clearly due to the tears in my eyes. Through my grief, and my tears, I was still able to let him know that it was ok he could let go and that I loved him.

I have three other cats but Bartelbee was my special little guy. I volunteer at a shelter and about a year ago 4 kittens were dumped at there backdoor. One of those kittens was Bartelbee. He was scared and shy but after months of loving him he came out of his shell…we truly bonded. I knew we couldn’t be without each other and as soon as I could I brought him home to be a part of the family. I never wanted four cats but I couldn’t be without him.

So many nights he would snuggle up and sleep on my chest with his little purr going. He would follow me wherever I went. All he wanted was to be near me. He would rub his face against mine anytime I was close. Half the time his forehead was covered in my make-up. He never seemed to mind. I didn’t know that a cat could love as much as Bartelbee did. How can I go on without that?

I feel like I am missing part of myself. I have an empty hole in my heart. I was so strong for him while he was sick but now that I don’t have him anymore I feel broken. I lost the most precious thing in my life and there is nothing I can do about it. When he was sick we would lay next to each other with our foreheads touching and I would just talk to him. My voice always seemed to relax him. I would tell him that I wish I could take this disease from him and fight it myself, that I would do anything to make him better. I guess I just don’t know how to deal with this…to deal with losing him. My home seems empty without my little guy.
18 Jul 2008
I sit here and watch my newest and most special kitty slowly weaken. His body is not his own anymore. The light in his eyes his still there but his body won't do what he asks. He can only watch and wish he could play as my other cats run through the house. He has to work to even make it to the litter box.

I never thought I would lose him so soon. My best friend...my little bird. Everyday is a struggle to not break down, to not give in to my grief. I need to be here for my little Bartelbee, the light of my life. How does one get through everyday knowing what the future holds? A house without my little guy, a family missing one. I didn't know it would be so hard. That I could be this sad. I don't know how many days I have left with him but I will not leave his side.

Thank you for letting me get this out. For letting me share my grief. It helps a little to know there are others out there and I'm not as alone as I feel.
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