Romeo, 17 Years Later I Am Still Thinking Of You!

Antonio65

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Romeo was Lola's brother. I found them both in a cardboard box under a bush on May 30, 2000.
He was a white and ginger tiny kitten, when I found him, with his eyes still closed. They were 10-15 days old. Along with his sister Lola, he was bottle fed and weaned at my home.

As he grew up he developed a strong personality, he was smart and determined. He was Lola's guide. Without him she was lost in the true meaning of the word. She wouldn't have found the way back home without him, even if she was just 10 meters away.
Romeo was solitary and quiet, he loved being alone, on his own. Lola was a bit more lively and rascal when she was a kitten, and would play hard with him despite she knew that Romeo was stronger than her, and inevitably the game would end up with her running away from him and looking for shelter in my arms.
Nevertheless they were inseparable, they would eat together, sleep together, play together, they would just stay together. Always!

On an afternoon, when he was just 4 months old, Romeo looked strange, didn't want to eat, play or stay with us. I took him to the vet who found nothing wrong, he thought he was just bored, and sent us home with a pack of treats. During the next three days the situation wasn't changing and I took him in two more times without receiving a diagnosis, until I thought to look for a second opinion. The new vet found Romeo had a tracheitis. This new vet became my regular vet from that moment on.

I used to go to work by bike. Romeo was very smart and he quickly learned my schedule, so he was waiting for me every afternoon at the same time. He was always there, on the sidewalk, at the beginning of the driveway. He was just sitting there, every single day. And when I was close to him he would stand up, he would raise his tail and that was his way to say welcome back. He would walk by my right foot, down to the garage where I would park my bike. And then he would follow me, always by my right foot, inside home. Faithful everyday.
He was a silent cat, I think I rarely heard his meow.

In two occasions he got stuck inside the neighbor's garage, behind the locked door, and the fact that he was rather silent wouldn't help me during my search, because he would hardly reply at my calls.

He and his sister Lola were living mostly outdoors at that time, they would also sleep outside, where they had two small cat-houses. Every night, before going to bed I would greet them both good night, and would ask them to behave and not to roam too much. Romeo loved to explore the neighborhood, and as soon as he set up to take a walk, Lola would follow him.

It was midnight, Sunday, April 22, 2001, when I greeted them both goodnight. Romeo looked back at me as he was going to tell me something, he had a sad look in his eyes...
I went to bed. About 45 minutes later, at 12:50 am (it was already Monday April 23, like today), the phone rang. I jumped out of the bed and took the call at the second ring. A woman at the other end of the phone was asking me if I was the owner of a cat named Romeo.
Romeo, like Lola, had a collar with a tag with his name and number.
She said she had found Romeo on the road. I said "What a funny cat, tell me where you are, I'm coming and taking him back home right away". She replied that there was no need to hurry, because he had been run over. I got dressed in a few seconds and ran to the spot where she told me she was. Romeo was there, lying on the road, covered in blood. From what I saw it had just happened... I passed out. The woman was with a friend of hers. They were driving home when they found him. They both helped me to stand up, then picked my Romeo and we all ran to the closest vet practice. She had the number of this vet, the same where I had taken Romeo in when he was sick at 4 months of age. She woke him up and asked him to run to the practice. When we got there, 3 minutes later, the practice was already open for us. It was 1 am. The vet tried his best for about half an hour, but all was vain. Romeo was dead at the scene of the accident... The vet was sorry, and offered to keep my cat in his freezer till the following day, when I would have been able to dig a grave in my lawn.
The woman and her friend drove me home and came in and stayed with me and my wife for an hour to try to help us cope with the tragedy.

On the following morning I dug a hole in the lawn and in the afternoon I went to the vet to retrieve my poor Romeo. The vet told me not to let Lola attend the burial, because she could have been shocked. But Lola understood that something was wrong when she saw me coming back home with a box, and she hid in the other room!

Romeo had left me, at the age of 11 months, in total despair, and her sister was now on her own. I cried relentlessly for a week, and it took me a month to get out of the dark when I had fallen into. Lola needed much more time to get used to the fact that she was alone and she had to get smart if she wanted to face the life.

The most shocking thing is that on the Saturday before his death I had gone to a cattery to book a room for Romeo and Lola, because I and my wife were going to have a holiday a few weeks later, I wanted to be sure I had that room with a view on the surrounding mountains, I booked it very early. When I came back home on that day I found Romeo lying on the grass, sunbathing. He turned to me, looked me in the eyes and I told him that I had booked a wonderful room for them both. Then, as I was sensing something weird, I asked him "Romeo, will you still be with me tomorrow?", he looked away... What a crazy question, I thought!

It was only when he died that I remembered my question to him 36 hours earlier, his silent reply and his last greeting to me, a few minutes before he died, with that sad, yet full of meaning, look in his eyes.
Romeo had announced that he was going to leave me, I didn't grasp the message.
He greeted me good-bye in silence, as he had always did in his short life.
I thanked God that Lola didn't realize of him leaving that night, or I would have lost both.

RIP Romeo, you are still in my heart. Lola is with you now, please guide her through the green meadows at the Bridge, like you used to do when you were both here.


Romeo 01.jpg

Romeo aged 4 weeks, his first steps. June 2000.

Romeo 02.jpg

Romeo sleeping in half of his carrier, aged 9 months. February 2001.

Romeo 03.jpg

Romeo in the front lawn, aged 9 months. February 2001.

Romeo e Lola 01.jpg

Lola and Romeo, aged 4 weeks. June 2000.

Romeo e Lola 02.jpg

Romeo and Lola in a large flower pot, June 2000.

Romeo e Lola 03.jpg

This is how they used to sleep. August 2000, at the age of 3 months.
 

les26

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What a sad story but a beautiful memory that you have of your faithful little friend, I am sorry things turned out that way but what struck me was that the way they are sleeping together in the last picture is the way they sleep in Heaven now, after a day of playing and fun, they are both together and fine now, not like that horrible tragic night, that was just the way that he had to leave this Earth but where they both are now is just gorgeous and they are both fine.

But the memories last forever, God Bless.....:rbheart:
 

di and bob

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What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful little soul taken away much too soon. Romeo accomplished much in his short time on this earth, he was beloved by all and will surely be blessed and a Prince among cats at the Rainbow Bridge!
Oh Antonio, I'm so sorry for the pain in your heart with the loss of those two beautiful babies. When Romeo had to go, Lola needed you so very much and you were there for her. Now she is with her brother, united in spirit as they were in life. These anniversaries are seared on our very soul. They bring back the memories of seventeen years ago and the loss of your beloved Lola, and many more, is also magnified in the remembrance. I know the pain of a broken heart can bring us to our knees, the memories can literally take your breath away. The loss to your world unimaginable, even today, seventeen years later. But time waits for no one, it marches on, minute by minute, year by year. And when we come to the end of our own lives, we will have to look back and analyze that life, did we spend it enjoying life, on our knees and grateful to be a part of the living world and what we gained in it, or do we see only the pain and the constant heartache of loss? Of course I have found that the older we become, the more precious life becomes and the more loss we acquire. You have known so much loss, but you have only endured this loss because you have known so much love. Those sweet little ones and the countless others your love has touched have brought so very much to your life and your soul. The memories you have created together should bring you comfort, not pain, because you meant so very much to all of them They were your world and you were theirs. The love they gave you is a part of you, don't let the pain of loss overshadow the joy of their love.Their love was so much more important, be grateful you knew each and every one of them, they shared your life for a reason, to bring you happiness, not a lifetime of pain. They would never want that for the one they love .
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family on this anniversary. Your little one is near, as are all the little ones you hold so dear. Love that strong doesn't just disappear, it is held in the heart for eternity. It becomes a part of the tapestry of our soul, where the love for the dearly departed become interwoven with the loves of those yet to come. Bless you my friend for loving so much to hurt so bad. Take care.....Rip dear Romeo, sweet Lola, and the many others who will never be forgotten. May the good Lord bless and keep each and every one. Until you meet again!
 

Mamanyt1953

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Rest you gentle, Romeo, dream you deep. You truly walk in someone's heart forever.

The memory never leaves us, does it? 50 years later I still miss Gray, the tomcat who was, along with his doggy sister, the constant companion of my early years.
 

tara g

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Thank you for sharing the story of your handsome Romeo and beautiful Lola, even if Romeo's "story" here was way too short. They never do leave us, we always hold them in our hearts regardless of how long or short a time we had them, or how long or short a time it's been since they crossed the bridge.

I lost my Monte in a similar way, at 11 months old, in 2008. He and his sister were almost exactly the same as your Romeo and Lola.
 

babiesmom5

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Thank you for sharing this tender, yet heartwrenching story of Romeo. The pictures were precious. We here who have followed the story of Lola, now have a more complete understanding of how these two dear kittens lives were intertwined with each other, and how their lives were intertwined with yours.

I think as a result of Romeo's sad, untimely departure, you took over Romeo's role as Lola's guide, protector, defender, play mate, and best friend.

Lola, missing her brother, bonded extremely close with you. You, also missing Romeo, bonded closely with Lola. Each of you clung to each other for support and your love for each other grew, your souls intertwined.

Now, Romeo and Lola are together again. Romeo has resumed his role guiding Lola through the meadows on the Bridge where they will both be waiting for you.

Romeo and Lola's sweet spirits live on through this site and in the hearts of all who loved them.
 
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Antonio65

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Romeo, my beloved Romeo, you're still in my heart, I think of you even if 18 years have gone by.

I still remember that last night, a few minutes before midnight on April 22, 2001, when you looked at me through the window, right before I went to bed. Your eyes told me you were going to leave me and your sister Lola for good, but I didn't get the message.
I still remember the phone ringing at 12:50 am, a few minutes into April 23, and that call, those words, who were saying to me you were gone, that a car had taken you from me.

But I also remember you waiting for me when I would come home from work, and how you would walk by my side to the home door.
I remember you playing with the snowflakes on your only Christmas, and how you would protect your sweet little sister Lola when she was in trouble.
And even further back, when I found you both under a bush, you were only 10-12 days old, and I had to bottle feed you and you both thrived despite my clumsiness.

Romeo, you were a silent cat, but your eyes would always say a lot. You were so young and yet so wise.
Stay close to Lola, and don't forget me, because I will never forget you!
 

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This is a beautiful and sad story about Lola and Romeo and i am glad you have shared this with us. They look beautiful in the photos and it is sad they cant live with us forever physically but emotionally and spiritually they are still there in our souls and hearts until we die. Romeo and Lola wont forget you as they are watching over you from heaven and waiting for you in time. I still expect my cats to greet me and i still say good night to them when i look at the 2 brightest stars at night which is always there right next to each other and their photos before going to bed, and in the mornings i go outside and i look up into the sky and i say Good morning Leo and MC, how are you guys doing in heaven ? And it makes me smile kind of that they are not suffering anymore, but it makes me sad that they arent here physically.
 

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Oh, how we long to hold them once more in our arms.....it seems a lifetime since we gazed into those beautiful eyes that held such life and joy in living. And it hurts so much to know we have to wait here without them to share our lives. We were so unaware of what was to be, so ignoring of the fact that they would one day not be there, until that horrible day when our worlds changed forever.
But like all life's lessons, it did teach us something. How to love what we have right now, this minute, because it can change in the blink of an eye. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own misery, we forget that there are others right now that love and need us. Others who we will lose one day too and who we will mourn unless we are the first and then they will mourn us. That we should greet each day as a new beginning, as the birth of ourselves. To see the world and immerse ourselves in it. To feel alive and be happy for it. We cannot let death rule what living we have left. Death is a dark emptiness that has no place in the light of living. We have to purposely banish it to where it belongs, in the past and the far future if we are lucky. It is said cats live in the present. They have no thought for either the past or the future. They are the fortunate ones. But tomorrow morning when you open your eyes once more, look around you and really feel what it is to be alive. To know that each moment is a miracle, that you have experienced love and all the happiness it brings, that that love is what you should hold on to and bring with you into the rest of your life. Not the sadness, the emptiness. That love will always be there, waiting for you to unleash it into the new day and help you to form your future. Bring it to the front and embrace it, it is a part of you that will never go away, it is eternal.....Romeo, you have been bestowed such a great honor by being remembered, by being loved for so long. Your tiny spirit will forever be a part of this one's heart. To have one's memory and love be so cherished and held dear is the greatest honor one can receive. You are a prince among cats and always will be. May you always rest in peace knowing you have that love forever. Good night, sleep tight, dear one!
 

Mia6

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Oh, Antonio,

They were such beautiful babies! I didn't know they were brother and sister. Romeo loved his sis and is now taking good care of her at the bridge. Your tribute made me cry but I am glad I now know the bond between him and darling Lola. I bet bottle feeding them is a joyous memory.

Thank you for sharing Romeo's story. I now know there is a fine cat at the Bridge where so many of our babies are and he and Lola are together.

Hugs,

Mia
 

babiesmom5

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These very unwelcome "anniversaries" always evoke a flood of memories. While handsome Romeo's life was cut far, far too short, he enjoyed an enviable quality of life with his sweet sister Lola and both were showered with loving kindness by the best cat dad.

In memory of Romeo, let's all hug and love our present kitties an extra amount today. Romeo and Lola would surely approve!
 

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Romeo was a handsome boy. Thank you for sharing his story with us. We never forget, do we.
 
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Antonio65

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I still expect my cats to greet me and i still say good night to them when i look at the 2 brightest stars at night which is always there right next to each other and their photos before going to bed, and in the mornings i go outside and i look up into the sky and i say Good morning Leo and MC, how are you guys doing in heaven ? And it makes me smile kind of that they are not suffering anymore, but it makes me sad that they arent here physically.
You're doing such marvellous things indeed!
I just think of them from the very moment I wake up till I close my eyes at night. Their names come out of my mouth a few times a day, even if they're not here anymore, they will be always part of my daily life!
Hugs!
 
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Antonio65

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We were so unaware of what was to be, so ignoring of the fact that they would one day not be there, until that horrible day when our worlds changed forever.
Your whole post was a masterpiece, di and bob di and bob , but this passage is amazing and so true.
When we all began our adventure with our cats we were totally unaware of what we had to experience ahead.
And the thought of losing them was the last in our minds, the future was bright and happy.
Thanks to our cats, our lives have changed forever, not only to the worst when we lost them, but even to the best with all the incredible and unique experiences that each of us has lived with and thanks to them.
Just imagine the same days without them, how dull and meaningless they would have been.
Having our cats in our lives has been and is a blessing!
 

di and bob

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Antonio, what you stated was true..."the thought of losing them was the last in our minds", and it still should be. I know how hard it is to not let your mind go there, to that dark and painful place. But somehow you muct find a way, anyway, anyhow.
Sometimes my mind goes there, and I can feel the physical changes take over, the lurch of my heart, the deep depression dragging down my soul, my eyes filling with tears.I have to force myself to concentrate on something else. Happy times, which far outweighed the bad in time, the love, the ignorance of what pain was to come, the joy of watching her zest for life. The good I have done, the saving of lives, the work involved in making sure my little ones know they are loved and cherished. And you know what, I HAVE saved lives, I have made the world better for a few precious little ones. I have found countless homes for the homeless, I feed the hungry, I nurse their wounds and illnesses. I know you do the same. I know there is not a thing we can do to change the past, but we can concentrate on making the future a better place. None of us are perfect, we are human so we make mistakes. We have to live life because it is what we have at the time. And we choose how we want to go through it, in darkness and pain, or with joy and happiness. Either way it is our choice. Either one takes work. I, myself, didn't like the person I saw in the mirror, what grief had made me. We ARE capable of change. One day, and one little one at a time........
 
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