Good-bye 2011!

Well the Christmas holidays are drawing to a close and the new year fast approaches.  2011 has been a year of extremes for me; great sadness and also great joy.

As most of you know my brother succumbed to pancreatic cancer in March after a fourteen month battle.  No other event in my life has been as harrowing as Angus’ death.  Luckily we had the opportunity to gather at his London hospital as a family just a week before his death and say to each other all the things in our hearts that we would never have the chance to say again.  It was at this time that I shared with Angus the confidential details of Robert and my upcoming elopement in May.  

happier times, family holiday West Sussex 2010, Angus and the gals (L to R, me, Sarah, Mum)

Actually it was Angus’ illness which was the impetus for our decision to get married because it illustrated how quickly things change and that the important things in life should not be put off.   We felt a big celebration was inappropriate, but a quiet getaway for just the two of us was perfect!  I wish Angus had lived to see the pictures of our happy day but at least he knew our secret plans and I was able to tell him about the special place we had chosen in Hawaii for our ceremony.  As it turned out, our wedding was an intimate and magical experience and I could not have wished for anything more.   Surprisingly some people disapproved of our secret wedding, but the essential family and friends in our lives showered us with generosity, well wishes and cards when we returned and we felt very loved indeed.

Hawaiian Wedding

When we were away in Hawaii our dog Rio who was just under a year old broke her leg and required surgery.  She was boarding at a farm outside the city and apparently fell while playing with another dog, when she stood up she was holding her leg off the ground.  Rio had snapped her femur and required a metal plate with seven screws to be attached to the bone by an orthopedic surgeon.  Robert and I were both very distressed that this happened in our absence and in an environment we trusted would be safe and enjoyable for her.  Even though Rio still limps, she is at the height of her recuperative powers and we are hoping for a full recovery.  We are very thankful that this trauma has not effected her happy and mellow nature.


The last major event to take place this year was at Halloween.  Robert and I adopted Kip (Kipling Moonshadow) from the same private rescue where Jimmy came from.  Kip, the stunning house panther, has made a seamless transition to our home and integrated beautifully with Rio and the cats.  He is a happy, cuddly, curious and playful youngster with a sweet and gentle disposition and we are so very thrilled to have him as the final addition to our furry family.


Well there you have it kids my year in review, the highs and the lows of 2011.  Life sure is a rollercoaster ride but as I've said before, I am truly blessed to have such good friends who commiserate with me in the sad times and celebrate with me in the glad times.  I cherish each and every one of my Cat Blogosphere friends and send to all of you heartfelt wishes for a healthy and happy new year!!!  See you in 2012...

much love,


Fuzzy Tales said...

Happy new year to you all, Cat. 2011 definitely was eventful for many of us, in ways that were difficult to bear. Let's hope 2012 brings more laughter and Light and joy than tears and sadness.

Universal Peace and Blessings to you all.

Sparkle said...

You have had quite a year! This has not been a great one for us - nothing truly devastating happened, just a lot of little not-good things and a couple of good things that didn't completely cancel out the not-good things. Basically a year to forget - I am hoping 2012 will be better!

katzenfreundin said...

I wish you a happy new year!!!

looloo said...

I remember you told us about Angus, it moved me to tears to see this handsome man be so brave, smiling to the camera in those hard moments.

I was so free to quote your comment about becoming older, to a blogfriend who found it unfair that she was 40... This is the post I am talking about: "My brother died last month at age 55. For a year I watched cancer steal him from me and my family and that put a lot of things in perspective. I don't think I will ever complain again about getting older (and wrinklier) because I've seen the alternative. Living, loving, laughing and learning these are the truly important things!"

I wish you and Robert and the pets a very happy new year!


Marg said...

Oh Cat, I am so sorry that I missed the news about Angus. That must have been so darn hard. Sure glad you have Robert and all the animals. 2012 is going to be a great year for all of us. Sure hasn't been the best here either but I am always thankful for one thing and that is my health.Thanks for telling us about your 2011. Take care. And Happy New Year

Simba said...

Thank you for your post about 2011. And thanks for the reminder not to put things off, because we are great putter offers here. We loved the photos of your Hawaiian wedding when you posted them. We had not drawn the connection of the private wedding to your brother's death, but it did make sense. I lost both my Mom and my sister to cancers just before they turned 60 - too young.

Kip is such a beautiful cat and seems like a wonderful addition to your household.

May 2012 be a wonderful year for all.

Simba's Mom

Father Tom said...

Cat, your post is so special for us in that you share so much. We are sorry to hear about Angus and the emptiness that remains with his passing. Your wedding which I'm sure he shared in spirit, sounds totally blissful and your Kip is adorable!

We wish you the very happiest of New Years filled with blessings you all so richly deserve.

Tom, mom Julie & Mittens

The Island Cats said...

Cat, thank you for sharing your highs and lows of the past year. We are sorry about your brother's death. I lost my younger sister a couple of years ago and it does make you realize how short life can be.

We are so glad Kip has fit into his new family so well!

We wish you, Robert and all the animals much happiness for 2012!

Wally, Ernie, Zoey and mom Sue

Cat said...

Hi Looloo, I remember very clearly writing those words and this year when my birthday came I celebrated with genuine gratitude in my heart that I was lucky enough to turn another year older :-)

Random Felines said...

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2012!! The losses always hurt, but the joys keep us moving forward!

Hannah and Lucy said...

We remember your brother passing just after you had all visited him - I was so pleased you all were together for a short time and able to talk and even laugh about life. It is so important that things are said because there suddenly is no tomorrow to say them.
We love visiting you and the boys -
you are very outnumbered in your home but know you can keep your head with all those men adoring you.
We hope you have a great New Year and a wonderful 2012.
Luv Hannah, Lucy + Mum Sue xx xx

weaverpat said...

Dearest Cat,
I hope that the good memories of the past year will help ease the pain of the unhappy ones.
The addition of Kip ended the year on a very positive note, so I hope the happiness extends into 2012.
Our very best wishes to you and Robert and all the adorable Boys!

Alex aus dem Gwundergarten said...

Well, you really had a year with lots of downs but also ups. I hope for you that 2012 has only good moments waiting for you.
What a lovely couple you are! And Kip and Rio are so sweet as the rest of your cats family.
Take care and have fun

Brian said...

That was a great post and we all wish you the a truly wonderful 2012!

Cory said...

Happy New Year Cat! What a beautiful post and a great reminder to appreciate all the good things in our life as everything can change so quickly.

We remember with sadness your brother's passing and the joy of your wedding...and the heartwarming adoption of precious handsome Kip.

Hope that 2012 brings you all much happiness.

Becky~ said...

Hi Cat!Many blessings to you in the New Year!Many happy times!

The Cat From Hell said...

Remember the laughter,the joy, the hard work, and the tears. And as you reflect on the past year, also think of the new one to come. Because this is a time of new beginnings and the celebration of life.

Madi and Mom said...

Hi Ms. Cat, Robert, Archie, Ben, Casper, Jimmy, Kip and Rio!!!
Thank you for such a lovely post...and for sharing. Surely Angus is smiling over the changes you made in your life and the blessing you have had. You and Robert make a beautiful couple!!

OMD Rio is the softest looking puppy I've ever seen. I'd love to sink my nose into his furs.

Hugs and Happy New Year,
Madi and Mom

Avalons Garden and Mewsings of Garden Cottage Cats said...

Yes, 2011 was a very eventful year in so many ways and for so many people..... I remember about your brother Angus, I am sorry for the Emptiness that you have been left with:(, but I am very sure that he saw your wedding and was smiling down on both you and Rob :) And poor Rio,,,,, I too would have been very upset , to say the least... But Beautiful Kip sure does make up for ALOT!! :))) What a Gorgeous Boy :) Thank you for sharing your life with us all :)
May you All have a Blessed New Year ~ Angel

Katnip Lounge said...

Happy New Year to your crew from ours!

I think you have the right "Cattitude" for life, to embrace whatever may happen, and find joy where you can.
Say, Rio is a handsome fella, I'd enjoy seeing how he interacts with the felines...that is, if he wants to. My crew will purr for his recovery.

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

we are so happy to have met you and are honored to have you as one of our friends. We think the world of you and think you are super special! (Gorgeous to boot!!)

We look forward to reading more from you and sharing your life in 2012!


Catherine said...

Beautiful post! Wishing you Peace Health and Happiness in 2012!
xo Catherine

Oui Oui said...

What a beautiful post. We didn't know any of this (we just started blogging in August). We're so sorry for your loss but it sounds like you have a happy family life and a great attitude. We're wishing you the best in the new year.

ArtemisiaFSS said...

Cat, we are so sorry about your brother Angus, we know you must miss him terribly. We are sending healing purrs that Rio makes a full recovery. She is a very pretty doggie. We are all sending wishes that 2012 is full of happiness for all of you. Happy New Year!!!!!!! ~AFSS & Alasandra

(Prince Casper, I am going to teleport over a little before midnight so I can share a New Year's kiss with you. ~Arty Mouse)

Eric and Flynn said...

Thank you for sharing the highs and lows of 2011 with us. We are very sorry for the sad loss of your brother. We hope the highs help to ease the pain.
we wish you all a happier and a healthy 2012.

Jacqueline said...

A bittersweet post, filled with deep sorrow and happiness=wishing you all a very Happy New Year filled with blessings of great health, much love and tremendous joy...love and hugs, precious friends...J, Calle, Halle, Sukki

Anya said...

We all wish you a Happy New Year
hugs and love
from your Dutch friends

Kareltje =^.^= Betsie >^.^<

ABBY said...

We were sad to share in the loss of your brother and rejoice in the happiness of your wedding. We hope for more joy, health, and happiness in 2012.
Happy new year

Meg said...

Hope you have a very Happy New Year, filled with joy.

Meg & Fin

Clooney said...

Yes Cat, it was definitely a year with great loss and great joy for you. We wish you a 2012 that is filled with many blessings. Thank you for your special blog friendship in 2011. And Neytiri thanks Young Master Archie for choosing her as his special Ladycat...she'll be waiting at midnight for a kitty kiss...Happy New Year!

meowmeowmans said...

What a bittersweet year, filled with both sadness and joy. Thank you for sharing your lives with us, and for being our friends. We love you guys, and wish you a 2012 filled with love, happiness and abundant blessings. Happy New Year.

Tamago said...

Happy new year, Cat. You did have a year with big sadness and happiness. I was very sad to hear about loss of your brother, but so glad you could say good-by and share your wedding plan with him.
I hope Rio will fully recover soon. Welcoming Kip to your family is definitely one of the great events for you in 2012.
I hope you will have more happiness this year!!

Poppy said...

Thank you for the comment on my blog Cat, glad you enjoyed the photos :) You have had a very mixed year, I am very sorry about your brother, it must be hard for you. Your wedding looks lovely, I wish you a very long, happy married life together :) Rio and Kip both look totally adorable, we need our furry friends don't we? I wish you all a very Happy New Year :)

Team Tabby said...

We also want to send you healing hugs and purrs on the loss of your brother, hope this helps in some small way.

News of your wedding makes us smile,yay, congratulations! We wish you all the very best for 2012!!

- and mombean Nina

Huffle Mawson said...

It was a tough year but a good one in many ways. Happy new year to you all, Cat!

The Purr Diaries said...

Wow what an eventful year for you! Love the post. Happy new year!!!

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

Happy new Year to you all. 2011 was certainly a time of great sadness for you, as well as much happier moments. Sending you love and purrs and hoping that 2012 brings you peace and health and joy in abundance. xx