Valderbar R.I.P (circa 1990- 2008)

With more grief than words can say, for those who knew Valderbar… she crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday. It was after a series of medical cascades, being given hours or days to live 3 times over the last year, the toll was showing. Her weight was continuously falling over the last couple years, with vomiting increasing. She was treated and rallied against odds but each rallying didn’t get to as well as before the last bout.

There had been years of medication and living with thyroid problems, irritable bowel, arthritis and heart murmurs, added in the last months to her list of challenges, kidney and liver disease. The daily subcutaneous fluid wasn’t enough to offset her systems shutting down. 

At the same time, even when these systems were going, she remained patient and friendly, curious about visitors, getting onto laps of friends and strangers, sucking up to visitors, and investigating workmen who came into her space. She loved climbing around on the desk for naps and taking over an unlikely amount of bed or floor real estate given her petite frame.

IMG_5477  We lived together for under a decade of her life. We adopted her and another, Zoe, together about 7 years ago from the shelter.

Valderbar, her Royal Purrness, would wait for us by the door, eager to see us. At night she’d sleep in the chair by the bed, or on us, or between us. Or on our heads or pillows.

Most mornings she was the first eyes I’d see, hubby waking earlier. I fed her. He does laps. She knows for food, it was me she has to bug. She loved being on a lap, or ideally, on both laps at once, sprawled over us both. Whenever we took a Sunday nap, she’d hop up beside us, napping as long as we napped. She’d prefer to eat, only when we ate. She even got in the habit of sitting on hubby’s lap at breakfast and supper. And to think, she once had a terrain of only the floor, no sofas, no tables, no couches, no beds, not upstairs.

IMG_5085 IMG_5086 IMG_5087 IMG_5088

She came to want to be carried around, loving body contact especially when she was feeling ill. She preferred books to computers since reading people are quieter and move less. When reading was done and we needed to get back to the real business of life of petting her, she’d groan and adjust and push the computer off the lap or sit in the middle of it.   

She was mischievous. Such as when she climbed onto the dinner table and ate half a bowl of mashed potatoes while our backs were turned. She, for years, delighted in stalking me at the computer, creeping up slowly, and then when I am deep in task, leap over the back of the laptop at me, making me shriek than walk off with tail high, amused. 

Back when there was her companion cat (who crossed the rainbow bridge years ago) they would tussle and wrestle and Valderbar would wait from a high vantage point and pounce Zoe every time she went for food or water. And Zoe being not the brightest whisker on a face, would be surprised every. single. time. (We won’t admit how many times I was also startled, every. single. time. ahem)
While Zoe was flumoxxed by the complexity of a receipt that (gasp!) flipped over, Valderbar ran among balls (only nubby balls with unpredictable deflection could hold her interest). She chased her tail, and ran at windows to catch pigeons or seagulls who got too close just like scampering youth, thru the hampering illnesses she kept purring, leaping onto chairs even when she missed and it embarrassed her, she was not to complain, unless her meal was late.

She added affection and a welcoming face to years.  Initially a behind-the-scenes girl who would make requests only by purring louder and head-butting, or tapping a paw, she found her voice and became quite vocal over the last couple years years.

A few years ago, she was closed in the basement by a real estate agent and left in there all day despite the door having a door stop and note to ensure that wouldn’t happen. She sat on the top step without complaint and when we opened the door she bounded out.

She always liked small spaces, finding herself closed into a closet when she went to nap with the shoes and would not scratch or meow to indicate where she was.  She gained her voice in the last couple years, especially when there was fresh cooked chicken. Then she could belt something like a doggy baritone bark to demand it while it was still steaming.

You all know the grief. Food bowls to absences of shadow underfoot. Soft warmth, eye to eye so that we feel we are the same size.

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31 Comments »

  1. Coll said

    A remarkable tribute to a remarkable little lady.
    I am so sorry for your loss.

  2. We are very sorry that she is gone. Sending you purrs of comfort.

  3. KC said

    I will miss Valderbar furry, furry much. She was mine idol an ins-purr-ashun. Such a beauty.
    I knows you haf a huge Valderbar-shaped hole in yours heart right now.
    Mine Mommie ML hopes we live that long, but says it still isn’t long enuff.
    Love and Purrs,
    KC

  4. HotMBC said

    Oh we’s so sad Valderbar hadta go to the Bridge. We will miss her. We’ll lite a candle for her. And for you, her beans….
    Lots of PURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRs,
    Luf, the Hotties

  5. Latte said

    That was a very very beautiful tribute. We did not know Valderbar but we deeply feel your loss through your eloquent words.

  6. Charlemagne and Tamar said

    We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Purrs and gentle headbutts to help during this sorrowful time.

    Charlemagne and Tamar

  7. We are so very sorry to hear of Valderbar’s passing. She was a beautiful lady and she will be missed. Know that she is in very good company at the rainbow bridge. Gentle purrs and headbutts to you.

  8. We didn’t know Valderbar but she sounds like one we would have enjoyed meeting. She had a long life and for at least 10 years she had a loving home. We know you will miss her terribly.

    We send purrs, prayers and tail wags.

  9. We’re so sorry! Your lovely tribute made our Lady leaky-faced. Purrrrrrs, love & hugs from all of us. We’ll miss Valderbar.

  10. Fat Eric said

    We are sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful cat.
    Sending you big purrs.

  11. we are so very sad. We loved reading Valderbar’s posts. Thank you for letting us get a look into her life – she was beautiful and obviously very well loved.
    we are sending purrrsss to you. She will be watching over you from the Bridge, and waiting for when you will be reunited.

    We just cannot say goodbye to another friend so we will just say “Until we meet at the Bridge…….”

    Sammy and Miles and Billy and MeezerMomMary

    Valderbar, please give Trixie and Norton head butts for us.

  12. What a beautiful tribute to your darling girl. We are so sorry for your loss. We will light a candle for her tonight. We just went through the same thing a month ago.

    {{{HUGS}}}

    Laila, Minchie and their mom, Peggy

  13. We is sorry to hear this sad news. We read often but din’t comment a lot…we understand the pain, the hurt and the feeling of “something” missing. We hope her memories help you heal. See you at the Bridge Valdebar…

  14. We are so sorry we did not know Valderbar, but we understand your loss! Our purrrr and purrayers are with you!

  15. ((( Hugs ))) Purrs and headbutts

    From All of us to you …

  16. We did not knw Valderbar, but we are sad that she went to the Bridge. We share your tears….

    Wally, Ernie & Zoey

  17. Cheysuli said

    We were very sorry to hear about Valdebar. Purrs.

  18. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved family member. You are in my thoughts and prayers. What a lovely tribute you have written.

  19. We are so sorry. We will miss Valderbar and her wonderful posts. We’re sendin’ purrs for you all.

  20. We are so very very sorry. We did not know Valdebar well but we do know the grief…
    She sounds like a most wonderful cat, what a great personality – we are sending lots of purrs to her humans.
    Karl and Mrs. OZ

  21. Max said

    Aw, no 😦 I am going to miss Valdebar. Her observations were always the best, and I kinda thought that deep down she was as snarky as me.

    I really like that first picture of her in this post. She looks like she’s thinking “Oh yeah? You gonna make me?”

    I hope she finds Bonnie and Storm and Ayla and all the other kitties at the Bridge really fast, so she has someone to show her the ropes, especially where the Cheetos are stored.

    I’m really sorry she’s gone now.

  22. Karen Jo said

    I am so sorry that Valderbar is gone. I used to read her all the time, then somehow lost track of her. I remember enjoying her posts very much. She was quite a character. Like Max, I hope she finds the other kitties at the Bridqe quickly so they can tell her where the Cheetos are.

  23. Junior said

    We are so sorry to hear of Valderbars passing. We hadn’t been around to visit in a while and for that we are sorry.

    We will be purring for comfort for you and yours at this time.

  24. Kelly Cat said

    We’re sorry to hear the sad news about Valderbar. She must have had a great life with you, and you will always have those happy memories. We hope those memories give you some comfort now.

  25. Tiger Lily said

    We are so sorry to learn of your loss. We did not know Valderbar at all so we just went back and read some of her posts. You gave her a wonderful home with a ton of love and she was very happy with you. We do know the grief too. Sometimes it takes a long time but the good memories will help you.

    prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs and gentle tail wags,
    Jemima, Zeke, Sushi, Tiger Lily and Ruckus

  26. O no, I’s so sorry! Valdebar was such a lovely cat an her posts were clever an got to the point of fings. It sounds like she found the bestest home, efun tho it took awhile. Her love for you was a reflection of your love for her. Yup, I’s sure she’ll see Bonnie at the Bridge.
    Hugs an purrs to all those left saddened,
    Victor

  27. Jane said

    I’m so sorry to read that little Valdebar has left us. She was a beautiful wise gal and I hope that you can remember her with a smile once the sadness has passed. Sending love xx

  28. The Zoo said

    we are so sorry to hear of Valderbars passing. she was a very pretty kitty. until owr bean was blocked from the net at work she read here all the time. now shes on home net only and feels bad but lost yall in the shuffle of all the cat blog sites. but we do hate to hear of her passing. so sad.

  29. Big Piney Woods Cats said

    Valdebar was one of the first cats we met on the blogosphere. This is so sad, and we are so sorry! Purrs from all of us.

  30. William said

    Oh no. This is so sad to learn. Valderbar was a beautiful girl and I enjoyed visiting with her in better days. I hope she has lots of new friends now.

    What a lovely tribute. We will all miss her.

    Kissies,
    William and co.

  31. The Zoo said

    we are so sorry for your loss. thats a great tribute.

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