Of Friends and Companions

October 16, 2001 to November 24, 2017

A Tribute to a True Companion

It took me nearly three Months to write this, so bear with me. Slightly motorcycle related, but mostly not.

I have a few simple, yet complicated, joys that I have surrounded my life with. Motorcycles, Bicycles, Guitars, My Farm (The Blue Mouse Ranch) and Animals. Naturally, Family is also that part of the joys, but for this exercise I’ll leave them out of it.

Fellow riders are those people who, like you, have a passion and love of the motorcycle. You get together when you can, pack on as many miles as time allows and belly up to your favorite or any bar, diner or greasy spoon you find along the way. This happens on the weekends, the days off, the vacation.

Friends, like fellow riders are the ones you see once in a while, share a common interest with, have fun with, get help from or ask of, perhaps vacation with and have over for those summer bar-b-ques in the backyard with other like friends and family members. This happens on the weekends, the days off and the vacations.

Companions, unlike the other two groups, are with you always. They become and are your rock. They are the near staple of your existence and your ability to cope with every day life. They don’t abandon you, they don’t laugh at you, they don’t hurt you. They only love you, need you, want you and want to be near you.

My beloved cat Tucker, whom I called Tuc-Tuc, was my best friend, my buddy and my handsome little boy. We had a bond unlike any and like my wife says, “I’ve never seen a cat so loyal and so attached to any one like he is to you”. It would but insufficient to say I loved him and he loved me. I have never met a cat that would talk to me as he did, he would call for me all hours of the day, he would look for me in the house and when it was bed time he would gallop down the hallway and follow me into bed. There, he would lay on my chest, place his paw on my face and put his head down to sleep.

Me and Tuc on the way to the cabin.

He would travel with me to our cabin in the woods 5-1/2 hours away. Along the way he would come out of his travel crate in the back seat, cry for me and come up front, curl up on my lap and sleep all the way to the cabin. At the cabin, it was his domain. He was the king of the castle there as many times it would be just him, myself and my Sheltie Sadie. Sadie and Tuck didn’t interact much, but Sadie knew Tuck was in charge there. It was also there that Tuck would purr so loud, unlike at home in New Jersey. That told me he was super happy and glad to have me all to himself.

I got used to all of these and many other things that we shared together, the routine of daily life that included him. I expected these things and my day was never complete or normal if they weren’t.

Tuc was 16 years old and as I have been frequently told, that’s a long life for a cat. You can never prepare for this even though you can see it coming. He had been going downhill for a few weeks and just before we left to go to my brothers for Thanksgiving dinner, I said to my wife that I didn’t think he was going to make it through the long weekend. I had been quite depressed and sad during those weeks, I knew what was coming.

I was introduced to an anonymously written bit of prose called “The Rainbow Bridge”. I’ve read it once. I cannot read it with breaking down into tears at the loss of pets of my past. I am reminded of it in this case and I pray it is true and want to believe that is what we can expect for us as we pass from this life.

After my wife and I returned from my brothers house at 10 p.m., I picked up Tuc and held him close to me. I brought him into the bedroom and lay on the bed with him on my chest. I pet him and spoke to him. With my voice trembling and tears in my eyes I told him how much I loved him and how much I needed him in my life and thanked him for loving me as he did. I prayed for him to be happy and comfortable in the afterlife, I knew he’d be in heaven. At 4:00 a.m. Eastern Time, I felt my boy’s heart stop as his last breath left him and my boy passed away. I fell apart.

I have never cried so much, for so long. My companion, my buddy, my boy would no longer be physically with me. All of the things that I had grown used to and expected in my life would no longer be and each time I remember these things I break down, I fall apart and the gaping hole in my heart grows with every minute.

Companions, be it a pet, a riding buddy, a close friend or family member are memory makers, they are the fabric of our lives though we do not acknowledge it to them or ourselves. Every moment of our lives, our memories do go on and the creation process never stops. Tuc was always in my thoughts and was a focus of my concern. When I rode the Harley or was away from home, “How’s Tuc?” I’d ask. When you go away do you ask how your companions are? Your Dogs, your cats, your birds, your kids, your loved ones?

Life is never long enough, memories are never enough, Love is never enough. The trick is to grab as much of all of it that you can.

Life, is for the taking, NOT watching.

I miss you Tuc-Tuc.

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