Welcome to Torcato's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
Torcato's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of Torcato
I had a driving lesson with Bammy in the empty K-Mart parking lot the night you were found. "Reasons" by Earth, Wind & Fire was playing. Bammy had me get out of the truck to check out my awesome job at parallel parking, and that is when we heard kittens.
Bruiser and Turbo didn't put up a fight, but you weren't sure. You hissed at me quite a few times. I don't know why I was so scared to pick you up; you were only about the size of a little potato (that's where you got that nickname). There was no question, the three of you were coming home with us. It didn't take long for you three to melt our hearts. Kendal chose Bruiser, Billy claimed Turbo, and you were all mine.
You were named after the Fresno Grizzlies left fielder, Tony Torcato. He was my crush at the time, which obviously influenced my choice in naming you. I think it's safe to say that there probably aren't other cats in the world named Torcato.
It didn't take much time for us to bond. Every night I would place you at the foot of my bed and turn off the light. As soon as I was comfy, you would walk up to my face, purr, and fall asleep. You would sit on the couch with me and wait outside of the bathroom while I showered. We were always together.
One morning, I did notice that something was wrong. Mom took you to the vet's while I was at school. Blood tests showed something was wrong with your liver. You had to stay the night, hooked up to an IV. I visited you the next day and you howled when I left. My heart broke. You came home within a few days with medicine to help, not cure. Every time you had to go back to the vet, he would always say how amazing it was that you were even still alive.
Once you were feeling normal, you transformed into one interesting character. Climbing trees was not your thing. You would run, jump about three feet up, and hang on the trunk for a couple of seconds before letting go. Your nails got caught on everything. Stalking and pouncing was not a very graceful act. You weren't very catlike at all and definitely different from your siblings. Your legs were bowed out a little, but you walked with this happy little bounce, tail high. And you loved your water bowl! You would lay down with it between your two front paws and head in the bowl. Life was always interesting with you in it.
We had nearly four years together at home before I moved into an apartment with Adam. You stayed put in the only home that you had ever known. You were safe there and still had people to love you. I kept a picture of you on my nightstand so you never felt far away, even though I still lived very close. We went over often to visit and I always greeted you first. We added two chinchillas, Asimo and Moto, to help with the empty feeling I had of not having you around. But, you were still my number one. Even after adding Dodger, Johnny, and Daisy. I never did feel like everything was in order. I always felt like I was missing something. I was missing you.
Even though you weren't one that cared much for grooming, you really started to let your coat go. You were shaved down and misted with "sugar cookie" spray. After that, Mom took you in on a regular basis for your "shampoo and shine" and bows behind your ears. The bows were a different color and pattern each time. You looked fabulous! Around this time is when your tongue started to make its debut. The tip would stick out just enough for us to notice. Over time, it became more pronounced.
The summer of 2009 is when Adam and I made our big move to Washington. I remember saying my goodbye's to everyone and holding off to say my last goodbye to you. You were lying down at your water bowl so I casually went over and picked you up. I tried my best to hold back my tears and failed miserably. I told you that I loved you and kissed you on the soft fur right behind your ears. I cried for quite some time after we drove away. You had no idea what was going on but I couldn't help but feel like I was abandoning you. I knew that your health was not 100%, and it killed me to think that every time I said goodbye could be the last.
Thankfully, I have a great family who would send me cards with your paw prints, text pictures to me, and send me your bows from the groomers. We would Skype and I would always ask for you. Mom, Dad, or Kyle would bring you to the monitor where I could see you and talk to you. Kyle would even put the phone up to your ear when I would call home so you could hear my voice. I was even told that you would rub your cheek against it. When the conversations would come to an end, I would always tell you that I loved you and would ask someone to give you a kiss for me.
I didn't go back home as much as I would have liked. But, I would drop my bags and go on the hunt for you the second I stepped foot in the door. You have no idea how much I missed seeing you. And it killed me that we didn't have that relationship that we used to. I couldn't blame you though. You did take a strong liking to Mom and I was more than happy with that. I knew that she gave you lots of love and attention.
On September 13, 2011, I gave birth to our first son, Holden. I was so excited for that coming Thanksgiving so you two could meet. You didn't seem too impressed and Holden had no clue what was even going on. But I was one happy Mommy to have my two babies together.
Holden and I made another trip home on February 15th, 2012. That week we were celebrating the arrival of Logan and Jenn's birthday. I would not have guessed that February 21st was going to be the last time I would ever see you.
Life still went on as usual. I always asked about you when I called home. Mom always sent me pictures and kept me updated on you. It was early summer that Mom told me that something wasn't right. There should be a soft spot under your chin. Your "soft spot" wasn't so. Maybe a tumor or growth, but that would explain why your tongue was always sticking out. I knew it wasn't easy for Mom to tell me this and it wasn't easy to hear. I told her to tell you to hang on until Christmas. We would be there for sure.
August 24th, 2012 was the day that I got the call I was dreading since the day I moved out of the house. Mom said that you weren't doing well. You weren't yourself and you were having trouble eating. You didn't have much time left. I cried myself to sleep that night. I woke up the next day and just stood in the shower and cried. Mom and I got on Skype later that morning so I could see you and talk to you. That evening when Adam got home, we had one last webcam session to say our goodbyes. My heart was broken. I wanted so badly to be there for you. I wanted to hold you close and tell you how much I loved you. I wanted to give you one last kiss on the soft fur behind your ears. You were not alone. Mom and Dad were with you and I found comfort in that.
I went home in November for Grandpa's 90th birthday. That is when it really sunk in. Holden and I stood at your grave as I talked to you. I told you that I was sorry for not being closer but I still loved you and always had you in my heart. I told you about the baby we are expecting in April. And even though this little girl will not have the pleasure of meeting you, she will see your pictures and hear your stories.
Torcato, you are loved so very much! Even though I was not nearby, I thought about you often. I always asked about you when I called home. I would tell Mom to tell you that I love you and to give you a kiss. I have kept all of the cards with your paw prints stamped in them. Your bows are on display on our fridge and your collars are sitting on the bookshelf in the living room. And that picture of you as a kitten is still on my night stand next to my bed.
You were such a special little kitty who touched the hearts of those who knew you. What a blessing that we were chosen to be your family and enjoy you for nine years. Thank you for the love you gave unconditionally!
Lovebug, you are loved dearly and missed greatly! I will see you again at the Rainbow Bridge where I will pick you up, kiss you on that soft fur behind your ears, tell you that I love you and then cross the bridge together, never again to separate.

I love you!

We love you Torcato.. Potato.. Papa.. Mr. Manners.. Lovebug.. Little Love.. we miss you terribly. We're thankful that God sent Brittany out that night to find you and rescue you. Thank you Lovebug for being a part of our family. You left us too soon, we weren't prepared. Our hearts are broken, we'll never be the same.
11/22/2012: Happy Thanksgiving Lovebug! I'm thinking about you and missing you today. I love you!
11/28/2012: I am putting together a photo book of you. Looking back at all of these pictures brings back such good memories. I remember all of them.
12/25/2012: Merry Christmas Potato! I am missing you a lot today. Mom put out a tree for you. You are loved so much and missed even more!
3/3/2013: Little lovebug! The other day Holden came running up to me with a picture of you in his hand. I'm not sure where he got it from, but he was smiling so big. I had a heck of a time trying to wrestle it away from him. But before I was able to grab it, he gave you a big kiss. He loves "kitty cats" and would have given you many kisses. I still miss you terribly, but the pictures I have of you on the fridge and by my bed give me comfort. I love you Potato Head!
5/12/2013: Loooooovebug! Today is Mother's Day. Usually everyday on this year Mom would send me a picture of you, usually with a rose or two. It saddens me that I won't be getting a picture of you today. I still think of you often. There are many things around the house that help make you not seem so far away. As always, I miss you and love you always!
7/21/2013: Still missing you Lovebug.
8/16/2013: Happy birthday Torcato! Today, you would be 10 years old. Adam, Holden, Hazel and I are home today and we went out and wished you a happy birthday. Holden was with me when I sang to you. Mom put out a birthday hat for you and Samoa and Siskiyou got special treats. I still think about you often and see you in my dreams. We love you potato head and miss you so much!
8/25/2013: It has been one year since your passing and it still hasn't fully sunk in. I like to think that you are sitting in your recliner or protecting the food bowl. I see your pictures every day and have one of your collars in my car. The picture of you as a kitten is still on my nightstand so I see you before I turn off the lights and first thing when I wake in the morning. I have a video of you on my phone that I watch often and share with Holden. He is really fond of you. There are a lot of people who miss you dearly and still love you very much, especially Mom. You were such a special member of our family. Nobody was ready to say goodbye. But I don't think we ever would have been ready. Torcato, you are so loved! I miss you and will see you in my dreams.
8/25/13: The sadness and hurt in my heart still lingers a year later. It's just not the same here with out. Knowing we'll be reunited one day does bring some comfort to my heart. Wait for me Lovebug.............
10/15/2013: Hello little love! The other day Holden climbed into my bed, saw your picture, and happily said, "kitty!". I know you would be skeptical about him, but he would have loved to cuddle you. I love you miss you still!
11/11/2013: One year ago today, mom and I sat down and put this page together for you. It was my first time back home since your passing. I felt that emptiness of not having you there and trying to put that into words was hard. I think of you all the time and miss you still.
11/28/2013: Happy Thanksgiving little lovebug! We spent thanksgiving together two years ago. It was a special visit for me because you got to meet Holden. I had my two babies together! I am home and miss having you here. I love you always!
12/25/2013: Merry Christmas lovebug! The last few times we were together for Christmas, I gave you a hard time by dressing you up as a reindeer and then as Santa. You were NOT amused. But I love the pictures I have of you and the memories from our time together. You are missed and so loved!
4/20/2014: Happy Easter Torcato! I'm sure Mom has put out an egg or peep or something festive for you. I love you and think about you still. Miss you Lovebug!
8/16/2014: Eleven years ago today you came into our lives. You were scrawny but had so much attitude. That attitude definitely carried through all of your years. You would twitch just the very tip of your tail if you were irritated and would sashay down the hall when you had enough. But for all that sass you dished out, you gave just as many loves. You loved having your head and cheeks scratched, and right at the base of your tail. Not too much or you'd let us know. But no matter what mood you were in, you always let me give you a kiss on that soft fur behind your ear. I think about you often and sometimes I get the special treat of having you visit me in my dreams. You are so loved and missed greatly. Happy birthday sweet lovebug!
8/25/2014: It has now been two years and it still hasn't fully hit me. Maybe because I don't want it to be true. I like to think that you are at home either sitting in your chair or guarding the water bowl. Kyle and I talked about you last week and reminisced about your silly antics. Your passing affected a lot of us. You were so easy to love. I wish I had known the last time I saw you would truly be my last. I want so badly to pick you up and hug you and give you a big kiss until you twitch your tail to let me know that you are getting irritated. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you but I know that you were surrounded with love. Torcato, lovebug, you are missed more than you could imagine and loved even greater. Please visit my dreams soon.
12/25/2014: Merry Christmas little love! I'm at home this year and it makes me sad that you aren't here with us. I expect to walk in to you sitting in your recliner or standing by the water dish. Mom has put a little tree out for you and there are Christmas lights nearby. I think of you often and see your pictures daily. I love you still and miss you lots.
8/16/2015: Happy birthday my little gentleman! There still isn't a day that goes by where you don't cross my mind. I have little reminders of you throughout the house. The kids see your pictures often and their default name they give to other cats is "Torcato". Any time I call home and the machine answers, I catch myself wanting to talk to you. I always left messages for you hoping you'd hear my voice and miss me. You will forever by my number one. I miss and love you still! Happy birthday, Lovebug!
8/25/2015: I've been thinking about you today and can't believe it has been three years. I still think that you are sitting at home on your chair or guarding the water dish. I miss seeing your face while we Skype and getting updates and pictures of you. I miss calling home and leaving messages for you. But I still see your face every day. The kids know your name. I share pictures and videos of you with them. I don't think I will ever stop missing you. You are so loved, Torcato.
8/16/2016: Happy birthday, Torcato! Today would have marked 13 years of life with you. Anytime "Reasons" comes on, which is often because it is on my iPod, it takes me right back to that day. It is still so very clear in my mind. You were so little, so adorable, and so sassy. I still catch myself wanting to ask Mom how you are doing. Years have passed but it doesn't seem like that to me. A part of me doesn't want to accept that I won't see your face until we reunite at the Bridge. So, I imagine you either sitting on YOUR recliner or protecting your water dish. You are so loved and will always be my #1.

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