This letter from Bert to Turtle, Tessa, and Nelson was written on Monday, July 12, 2010

Dear Turtle, Tessa, and Nelson,

Dear Turtle,

I called you Not-My-Kitty for the first six months of your stay with us. I was sure we would find you a new home. But you stole my heart and stayed for two years. I had no idea how hard it would be to say good-bye to you. I wanted the Vet to tell me that another round of antibiotics would give us more time - he had always done so before - but I knew.

You were my time-keeper. I have never been a morning person but each day you woke me with a soft paw to the chin and a silent meow. And each morning I rose with you and the sun to feed you. You ran a tight ship needing a meal every five hours. We all got used to it. After you left, it took me a long time to stop waking with a start wondering where you were. It took a long time to stop trying to open a can of food every five hours. I don't think I will ever stop missing you.

? - 09/15/2009

Dear Tessa,

Your name means fourth child, and that is what you were to me. Losing you hurt as if I was losing a child I'd birthed. I wanted you to be ok. I wanted you to stay with me. I knew you couldn't.

I miss your snoring. I miss you standing on my feet. I miss your sweet face. I knew the day you were born that there would be a day we'd have to part - eleven years doesn't seem to be enough. Summer has begun and I miss plucking your poofs and letting the wind carry them out of the yard. You were my chunk-o-lina, my sweet pupper-girl. You raised the boys right and you taught Abby all the dog rules. You were an amazing companion to all of us.

3/23/1998 - 10/21/2009

Dear Nelson,

After losing Turtle and Tessa every one else in the house was ordered to be healthy for 365 days. You made it eight months. The cancer took you so fast. You were playing with a foam ball like a kitten on Friday and only partly alive by Sunday morning.

I wasn't sure we should adopt you. You were older than I was looking for. But when you showed us your big heart, I was sold. Little did I know just how much you would touch my life in the three years I shared with you.

Turtle was my time-keeper and Tessa was my heart, but you were my man. You took care of all your girls. You groomed them and loved them and still had time to love on me. I miss seeing you sitting by the door as I come in each day. I still look at the cat tree and want to find you there. I miss you tapping me on the leg asking to be picked up and cuddled. I miss you sleeping in the crook of my arm each night. I keep searching the shelters looking for a cat that can replace you; that's a search that will last the rest of my life.

? - 6/6/2010

Be well my friends. XO