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Nipsy says “hi”

On June 6, 2003, we lost our cat Nipsy to cancer. A few weeks later I had a dream about her and wrote down the details below; I have never shared this publicly before because I know it will sound kooky to some people, but I truly believe it was more than just a dream…

I woke up this morning in tears. I had an incredibly vivid dream that was so real it seems like it was more than just a dream, it felt as if I’d experienced some sort of visitation from beyond. It started out as the typical nonsense dream where everything is kind of surreal; I was in the kitchen cooking something — except it was my grandmother’s kitchen, which didn’t strike me as odd. After frantically searching the fridge and freezer because I wanted to add frozen corn to the recipe and couldn’t find any, I then went out to get some from the store… I walked through a neighborhood that was completely familiar to me, but was no place I have ever lived or been in real life.

The dream sort of shifted and I was now home, sitting down at a table to eat the food I had made, which was a plate of some sort of stir-fry looking stuff with the corn I’d bought in it. Somehow I was actually in my bedroom, and the table was actually the bed with a big quilt spread out on it, but the rest of the room layout was like it is in real life. Again, the sort of weirdness that often occurs in dreams where things that shouldn’t make any sense at all just sort of happen and your mind accepts them.

It was at this point the dream changed and everything became somehow sharper, more real. I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and looked over, and there was our cat Nipsy sitting beside me staring down at my plate. I froze and my heart leapt in my chest. It wasn’t one of those dreams where someone that is gone is alive as if they’d never died, I was very aware that my dead cat was sitting there beside me, hunched over like a little silver gargoyle, waiting for a food handout as she had done so many times in her life. I was scared to move, or even take my eyes off her, for fear she’d disappear.

Joy was coming into the room to get something out of the closet in the dressing room; I quickly looked over at her and said, quietly but excitedly, “do you see her?” and she just looked real sad and said “I can’t see her, it hurts too much” and she left. That made me feel very bad for her and sad that she couldn’t share this with me, but I looked back and Nipsy was still there. She paraded back and forth across the quilt a few times with her tail held stiffly up in the air — I could even see the crooked tip where it had been broken — then she threw herself down on my left hand, which was beside the plate. This was another habit of hers, she’d flop down onto your hand and then rub her head back and forth on it and gaze up at you, and this is what she was now doing. She seemed very happy and was furiously purring.

It was so incredibly detailed to me, completely unlike my usual dreams. I felt the weight and warmth of her head, the vibrations of her purring, even the itching sensation on my face and nose from the fine wispy hair that she was shedding that always seemed to float right up into your face when you were petting her.

In the dream I was very happy to have her there, but there was an undercurrent of sadness too because I understood she couldn’t stay. I just sat and looked at her and thought about how much I loved her and had missed seeing her, taking in every detail, every hair, because I knew she would soon be gone again, and somewhere around this time I woke up. The dream was still vivid in my mind, and a terrible sense of loss welled up… All of the hurt and grief from when we had Nipsy put down just came crashing down on me again and I couldn’t stop crying. I felt comforted that she was happy, but the sense of finality was crushing.

When I told Joy I’d dreamt about Nipsy I fell apart again, then pulled myself together and said quietly “Nipsy says hi…and she’s not mad.” I knew I’d really upset Joy by telling her about the dream and saying that, but I felt compelled to say it anyway… It was as if it was something I had to say — like I was passing on a message. Joy is still very upset over losing Nipsy and can’t even talk about it, and I know she feels on some level that the horrible euthanasia the vet mishandled so badly was her fault, and that Nipsy died blaming her. The dream left me feeling very sad, but also more at peace; I know this sounds really nutty but I really believe Nipsy came to visit me, to comfort me and let me know she was alright, and to try and ease Joy’s pain…

She probably came for the corn, too; she always loved corn. Wherever she is now, I hope she has all the Brie cheese, King Oscar brisling sardines, and creamed corn that she wants.

It was such an unusual experience, so vivid and emotional, that the details have stuck with me even to this day. I still firmly believe that it was Nipsy’s way of reaching out one last time, and if that gets me labelled a kook, that’s OK.

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Nipsy’s gone…

It’s been quite some time since we worked on the site at all. Nipsy’s health had been declining and this past Friday we finally had to let her go. We are trying to move on but she was such a big part of our lives the house feels terribly empty without her.

Simon’s surgery

See what I meant about the ‘sporadic and haphazard’ updates? Anyway…Simon had his surgery last Friday and came home Saturday, he is doing very well and walking better on the leg that had surgery than the one that was previously operated on. Nipsy continues to do well. Lilly and Simon are going to the vet’s Saturday, him for a recheck and suture removal and her for another Adequan injection. We hope things quiet down for a while with critter catastrophes.

Lazy Sunday, insomnia, and a Nipsy update

Today (or should I say yesterday) we did very little except get the cars washed and do laundry. We didn’t feel like cooking and I ordered Chinese food for dinner, which arrived very late and was hungrily scarfed down along with a bottle of red wine. Now I am up at 1:00 AM working on the website because I have indigestion too bad to sleep and will probably go to work fuzzy and incoherent tomorrow. File this one under “it seemed like a good idea at the time…”

Nipsy has been in very good spirits the past few days…we don’t know why she has improved but we are grateful for whatever extra time we have with her.

Very bad news about Nipsy…

Nipsy had an ultrasound on her chest today and they found a mass on her heart. Based on her symptoms, the two most likely causes had been heart disease or cancer — we never expected BOTH 🙁

We had the vet drain more fluid off her chest (90cc this time!) and took her home to keep her as happy and comfortable as possible for however long she has left.