Luckily my husband could stay back until 10.30am before leaving for work and my mother could come over so Bobby would not have to be left alone.
I had arranged with James Kho (or Pet Memorial Services) to do the last rites for Bobby. James did Vixey's and Mac's some years ago. He is an extremely compassionate and kind-hearted person.
After work, I drove to the florist to buy some flowers for Bobby. No whites - we are celebrating Bobby's wonderful life and giving him a send-off. Pink would be nice; the colour of fresh, young, new life. Bobby is in a better and happier realm now, and we must wish him well on his new journey in his new life and be happy for him.
I came back home and my husband had just left for work. My mother was there with Bobby.
Here are some touching photos of Tiger, Indy and Bobby, taken by my husband while I was at work.
Indy accompanied Bobby for hours.
In sickness or in health or even in death, Tiger will always be ever grateful to Bobby.
It comes as no surprise that the cats love Bobby so much. Bobby is always giving and always forgiving. At times when the cats bullied him, he would never retaliate. He had never ever hurt any of the cats, not even unintentionally despite being blind. Once in a while, when he bumped into some of them and they are not in a good mood, they would scratch him, but Bobby would just move away. He never retaliated.
Saying goodbye to his nanny, protector and best friend.
Indy kept vigil.
Tiger comes again.
Indy stayed by Bobby's side throughout.
My mother arrived and she brought a yellow covering from the Tibetan tradition for Bobby.
Jasmines and yellow chrysanthemums for Bobby.
Indy still did not want to leave Bobby.
My mother did her prayers for Bobby.
Whatever cultural traditions we come from, last rites are very comforting for the living.
It seems like Tiger wants to say his goodbyes, as much as he can.
I came home and placed the pink flowers for Bobby.
In a way, Bobby had kept himself really "clean" for his departure. Over the weekend, I gave him his bath. He ate breakfast yesterday, then he defecated. He did not want dinner anymore and even vomited some digested food (maybe his stomach did not have any need for the bit of food anymore). He even allowed me to trim off all the stained fur from his snout and paws. Yes, Bobby wanted to go off really "clean" and neat.
My mother said when someone refuses food towards the end, it means he wants to leave the food behind for his loved ones because he cares for them. So, my mother said Bobby wanted to leave something valuable behind for all of us (symbolised by food). You'll see how culture has a way of giving meaningful and compassionate interpretations to certain actions. It's comforting for the living.
Bobby certainly left something very valuable behind for us - how he had lived his life, giving unconditional love to everyone who had ever crossed his path.
Tiger stayed with me while my mother chanted. In between we also talked about all the good things Bobby had done, especially for the cats.
Cow finally came to say goodbye too.
I know, Cow. You're sad too.
James Kho arrived at around 1pm.
It was time for Bobby's final journey.
I remind myself that Bobby's spirit and consciousness have been reborn in a higher form now and he is happy in his new life. Funerals and last rites are for the purpose of paying respect to what he had left behind. They also give closure which comforts the living.
Keeping it as simple as possible, James said we would wrap Bobby in the yellow covering with the flowers and place Bobby in the icebox that he had brought.
Goodbye, my dearest Bobby.
You are going to be a great person, doing great things, in a happier realm.
You can shed tears that he is gone,
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all he's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him only that he is gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what he'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
My family and I would like to thank everyone who has sent kind wishes, emails, comments, facebook messages and smses to comfort us in our hour of grief. Thank you very, very much for your kindness. We are deeply touched that so many of you share our loss and love Bobby so much. We are deeply grateful.