Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's hard to know how to compose this blog entry.

At least it has been less than a week since the last entry - which is better than my average when not on the road.

But sadly, the only real 'star' of the blog will not be taking an active part in future entries. Harley (the most amazing cat) will no longer outshine the Golden Gate Bridge, talk back to the US Customs or the Mexican Army checkpoints, and he will not try to leap out of my truck into the drive-thru window at a Tim Horton's! He will not stroll the Mexican beaches or chase geckos, or stalk flocks of gulls on the coast. Nor will he curl up contentedly on my lap as we drive on further adventures.

Within a few hours of the last post on December 18, he was laying quietly on the carpet behind my desk, patiently waiting for me to come to bed so he could crawl in and stay warm!
Within minutes, a massive heart attack or blood clot occurred, and my best little buddy and traveling companion of 9 years was gone.

It was a complete surprise and shock, but I was just glad I was there with him, to hold and comfort him as he passed on to his happy camping grounds.

To be fair, and to save him from embarrassment, I did not tell you that he had been diagnosed with diabetes prior to last year's road trip. He was on special food, but it was not enough and his back legs slowly lost their coordination and strength. If you were counting, you may have noticed that he did not pose on many signs last year, but his attitude and demeanor did not change at all.
Back at home, working with the local veterinarian, we finally found the correct insulin dosage, administered twice a day by injection, and his mobility returned. I was thrilled when he once again was able to walk and run properly, and even zoom up the stairs from the basement - when the goblins were after him! And his litter box, which had been moved by necessity to the main floor, was moved back to it's original location. He was as happy and content as ever.
Even the needles, which I had not looked forward to, proved to be no problem at all for either of us, and he rarely even noticed them with his little face deep in the food trough!
So, with the apparent success of the treatments, I was making plans for another 5 or ten years of travel with my little buddy. We don't really know if the diabetes had any link at all to his final medical condition, but I do know that he had never looked better.

This post (and all future posts) is therefore dedicated to my friend and travel companion of many years.

1 May 1998 - 18 December 2008
(photos below)

I’m Still Here

Friend, please don't mourn for me,

I'm still here, though you don't see.

I'm right by your side each night and day,

And within your heart I long to stay.

My body is gone but I'm always near,

I'm everything you feel, see or hear.

My spirit is free, but I'll never depart,

As long as you keep me alive in your heart.

I'll never wander out of your sight.

I'm the brightest star on a summer night.

I'll never be beyond your reach.

I'm the warm moist sand when you're at the beach

I'm the colorful leaves when fall comes around,

And the pure white snow that blankets the ground.

I'm the beautiful flowers of which you're so fond,

The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

I'm the first bright blossom you'll see in the spring,

The first warm raindrop that April will bring.

I'm the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,

And you'll see that the face in the moon is mine.

When you start thinking there's no one to love you,

You can talk to me through the Great Spirit above you.

I'll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,

And you'll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.

I'm the hot salty tears that flow when you weep,

And the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.

I'm the smile you see on a baby's face.

Just look for me, friend, I'm everyplace!

Author Unknown

Before I was big and handsome!

My first real camping trip - to Yellowknife, NWT!

Ya, ya, some ol' bridge. I need a cat nap.
Biggest tummy

November 2008
At least I got to go on a few short trips in the new 5th wheel!

I like the 5th wheel, too!
My favourite hunting grounds near Sundre. We went here a lot.

Mexican hunting cat.
Cape Mendocino, California.
Waterton Lakes National Park, AB
Jasper National Park, AB

That bridge again. Rub my belly, OK?
Looking for sea lions ...
Utah movie set.
Canyonlands National Park, UT

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ
My sixth birthday + card!

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet
goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and
play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those
who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember
them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss
someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and
looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers.
Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs
carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you
cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses
rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once
more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never
absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown... (link)

If you've read this far, there's a chance you might like to look at even more pics of Harley here.


  1. Just found your blog and was reading through some old posts. Harley was a beauty, and your tribute to him was wonderful.

    Kerri in AL :-)

  2. Just found your blog and was reading through some old posts. Harley was a beauty, and your tribute to him was wonderful.

    Kerri in AL :-)

  3. Well, yeah. Thanks for sending me the link to Harley's story, although it made me cry of course. What a cat. What a guy you are to appreciate that cat and love him so well.

  4. Ivan, I feel so badly about Harley's passing. As I mentioned recently, I adored him. And, I could tell that he was loved, by you. I'm sure Harley knew this, too. May God bless you... Lynn