Rainbow Bridge – Harley

Harley’s person died of cancer. Cats do bond to their families and when they lose them, they do grieve. Harley hid for several months. We made sure he ate and drank and used the litterbox and let him know we were there for him and waited. One day he wandered out, came to us for a pet and then started purring. It was like he had decided it was time to live again. Harley was put up for adoption. A wonderful couple from Canby drove down to meet Harley and fell in love. Harley started the second chapter of his life with Chrissy and JR in December 2015. The following excerpts from updates from his adoptive mom tell this chapter of his life beautifully.

12/11/2015 Hi! Hearty didnʻt say a peep in the car – an uneventful if not long ride home. Heʻs doing great. He has a hidey hole under the bed but appears to have spent the night on top of the bed. He ate all his food last night, drank, and used the litter box. He came out from under the bed to collect pettings this morning. JR built him a shelf under the window so he can watch the birds. Heʻs already been eating his breakfast. More later!

1/30/2016 I was quite beside myself to see Hearty’s baby picture! Thank you so much for sending it, and for the additional medical record. I will put that in his file. He is doing so well. I have attached five photographs. As you can see, he has appropriated our paperwork, tv remote, magazines, and our hearts. He sleeps at our feet every night, in his bed when we’re not home, and hangs out with us when we get home. Last night he came tearing out of the hallway, skidded onto his scratch pad and made a dashing loop around the family room before making a break for the back bedroom. Hilarious! We’ve had him just shy of two months, and he has made such great progress.

4/15/2016 Ice cream?? Heʻs got a sweet tooth. But otherwise he doesnʻt seem to care for much people food, which is good. Weʻll get him weighed in June, but Iʻll bet itʻs down from Dec. He even runs around some when he gets the devil in him.

12/11/2016 Yesterday was Harley/Hearty’s one-year adoption anniversary! I thought I would send you a note to let you know he is doing great. He adjusted gradually and consistently over the course of the year. It seemed like he took a giant leap forward at about 9 months. He is fully settled in now. I took him to the vet several weeks ago and his kidney function is about what it was a year ago, so it’s stable. We have him on a kidney diet that he loves. He still needs to reduce a little, but the vet said she was surprised at his age because he looks/acts a lot younger. Remember how we bought him his own bed? That didn’t last long. He sleeps with us and has almost from the beginning. JR rolls his eyes and gives Harley whatever he wants. He’s such a good boy. We are very proud of him and love him very much. Thank you for saving Harley and for giving us a light in our lives. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

9/14/18 I have been meaning to send you an update on Harley. I’ve attached a few pictures. As you can see, he is not obese anymore! He actually lost more weight than ideal so we took him in and discovered his thyroid was failing. We did the radioactive isotope treatment and he spruced right back up – he’s doing great now. Remember that hairless patch on his stomach? It’s completely covered in white fur now. No more obsessive grooming. He’s the only cat I know who loves his tummy rubbed. I will always be grateful to you for stepping in and offering Harley a second chance at life.

9/20/21 I think of you often and know I should have updated you but it’s a hard thing to tell you. We lost Harley in May 2020 after a 7-month decline. He kept rallying but in the end, fluid kept collecting in his lungs. They thought it was his heart but then maybe cancer. We never received a conclusive diagnosis. He was 18 years, two months, and went peacefully with the kindest vet, me, and JR holding him. It was heartbreaking. He was such a good boy and we loved him so much. I’ve included a few pictures taken during the last year of his life. I will never forget you and the gift you gave us with Harley.

RIP Sweet Harley.


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