Door: Jolanda Boekhout | 12 december 2012 | Reacties (1) >

Last November Eric Mahieu and I said goodbye to two of our best friends, Begonia and Poppy. It was a rough time on both of us. Last year we lost two special friends, Jesse and Tom. And in July this year we lost Puk, too soon too. (I still haven’t been able to write about Puk).

Begonia was our little old lady of twenty. I adopted her from a local animal shelter when she was 7 months old. It was love at first sight. And it stayed that way till she left. She surprised me more than once, climbing out of every window possible. Even the door of the frig wasn’t safe for her. In our new house I once had to climb up the ladder in the middle of the night to pick Begonia from the garage after she got scared, unbelievable, and started calling for help. The last few years she slept on my pillow to be as close to me as possible. We truly enjoyed each other’s company.

Poppy didn’t get that old, only seven. Poppy changed so much in the years she was with us. From wild stray cat to purring sweetheart. She showed me how an animal can change when he or she loves someone. So eager to learn and love. Blackie was a great example for her. Poppy became my (Instagram) muse. I wrote her special story on my website, part 1 and part 2, in 2011. (For those who read Poppy’s story: the last year of her life she wanted to be inside with us most of the time, enjoying her warm pillow).

Last year September Poppy became very ill with kidney failure. Fortunately she survived, but with the warning from the vet that she wouldn’t get old. She probably had ‘a few weeks or months’ left to live. The few weeks grew into a lot of months and even into more than a year. The warning got far away. Unfortunately the kidney failure came back in November.

The house feels empty without these two special ladies.

I’m so thankful for Instagram. Instagram gave me, and still does, the chance to document the lives and adventures of our cats.

Like to see more of our cats? Instagram: @jofabi #begoontje, #poppydoppy, #theyoghurtman, #teetje, #apeknapie and #sweetpiet.


Door: Jolanda Boekhout | 12 maart 2012 | Nog geen reacties >

Today I had something different planned to write about. Bindu Wiles’ post on Shutter Sisters touched me deeply and I think it is time to write down my grief about Tom and share it here.

Bindu’s post is about emotional pain and that writing helps to process your pain. A part of her post is about the recent loss of her beloved dog Rumi.

After reading about Bindu’s grief my tears finally showed themselves. I thought about Tom. My sweet Tommetje, to whom I still haven’t been able to say goodbye to. Maybe I never can.

“Sweet Tommetje,

It has taken a long while before I could write about you and even now I’m not sure if I am ready. My grief for you has been hidden deep. You were so precious to me that I haven’t been able to say goodbye.

“Sweet Tom-tie-diddle”



It seems an eternity that you are gone, but still so close too. It is only four months that you passed away. To lose you too after the loss of Jesse felt hard. For all this time I haven’t been able to cry. It seems that life goes on so easily without you, as if I don’t miss you.

But I do, so much. There isn’t a day that I don’t think about you. You were always honest, understanding and generous in love. You loved me, despite you were four when I came into your life, and that made it so easy to love you. The only thing I could do was love you back. And I did that with all my heart. You made my life so much richer with your presence.

You were so happy to be with Eric and me, always close. Where I went you went too. Being a nuisance sometimes too, wanting water while I wanted to do the dishes. Or slipping into the shower and running back to the kitchen soaking wet.

When I felt sad you were close, sitting with me, comforting me. You felt how I felt. When I am sad now I miss you even more. I can’t be with you, hold you close and cuddle my sadness away.

Your friends also miss you. You were so important for our little group. Even more than I realized because now you are gone Kees has changed into a scoundrel who is constantly bullying the girls. The house is so empty without you.

It was unthinkable that you would leave us. In just one week you were gone, so unexpectedly. Eric & I weren’t ready and so were you. You didn’t want to go, but your fragile body gave up.

My sweet Tom-tie-diddle, you have taken a piece of us with you. You feel so close still. I hope that it stays that way. I know that you’ll be waiting for me when my time has come. Our bond is unbreakable.


Sweetheart Jesse

Door: Jolanda Boekhout | 21 juni 2011 | Nog geen reacties >

We wish we could have told you in words you’d understand,
we wanted you to stay with us.
This wasn’t what we’d planned.
We wish that we could tell you
how empty we now feel.
A part of us went with you,
a part that time can’t heal.
We wish we’d once more hear you and your softly, rumbling purr,
and hold you on our laps again and stroke your silken fur.
We wish we had you back again,
to fill this empty space,
but one day we’ll be together in a far, far better place.

Last Wednesday was a sad day. We had to say goodbye to each other so sudden.

That you aren’t here anymore is unreal and unthinkable. We were together 17 years and the time that you would leave seemed still so far away.

You suffered two epileptic attacks in one month. After the last one your resilience had vanished. The you I knew so well disappeared within short time and I felt that you wouldn’t be around for long. Too soon we had to make the decision to let you go.

Time together is never enough when you know the end is near. I hadn’t suspected that you would leave. I am not ready for a life without you, my sweet one. You are such a part of me that it feels like there is something missing inside of me. A part of me has left with you.

It feels so strange that you aren’t around. Not seeing you sleeping in your favorite spot, not hearing your presence when you need to go outside or drink in the shower hurts so much. For 17 years you were my best friend. A modest, loving, touching and special person, always close and with so much love for me. You even grew fond of Eric in the few years together and Eric couldn’t resist you either.

Your acquaintance with Eric’s cats went miraculously well. You always behaved suitable indifferent, as a sweet and wise cat. They all had loving respect for you. Puk adored you. After a journey together to the vet the ice melted. And Tom gave you sweet kisses on your soft head after you had gone.

Inside the house you were a sweet and kind cat but in the garden you changed into a troublemaker. Even on your last day Poppy had to run for her life when you most innocently had a walk around the garden. You were so unaware of your charisma.

Being together with you made me feel blissful. I felt happy, warm and safe when you were around. And you loved me too. You danced with me in my arms to my favorite music and you loved to stretch yourself in my arms. You are the only cat that I know that smelled so good. I loved to bury my nose in your soft neck and sniff you. We enjoyed each other intensely. Eric told me yesterday that it was so visible for him how much you loved me. The bond we share is so special.

The last weeks you were even more attached to me than usual. Luckily I could spend all my time with you and give you the attention and love you needed.

In moments like this the hope of an existing afterlife is great. Not being able to hold you close and cuddle, smell your special scent and caress your beautiful black tail hurt so much.

Today is a rainy day. That feels like an appropriate farewell because my heart cries for you. You hold a special place in my heart Jesse. The thin thread that connects us is unbreakable and will always be there. I miss you and will love you forever. I hope that Tipsie and mom are with you now to comfort you.

When it is my time to go we will see each other again. My sweet love, beautiful Jessebesse I love you always. Thank you for being you.


The story of Hummie

Door: Jolanda Boekhout | 26 april 2011 | Nog geen reacties >

This little chicken wasn’t born at Easter. When I think of Easter I think of eggs, young birds and spring. And so I remembered this beautiful little creature. Eric & I haven’t got children and raising this little one made us feel like parents.

Two years ago two of our hens, Clara & Grijs, laid three eggs each. With excitement we waited till the little ones were born. Five eggs hatched short after each other. Clara left the nest with her three babies and one moment Grijs also had enough of waiting till the last egg hatched and left the nest. We checked the last egg with a torchlight and discovered movement inside.

“We checked the egg with a torchlight”

We couldn’t leave this last egg be and built our own ‘nest’ assuming it wouldn’t take long to hatch. It took a whole week and on the day we wanted to give up there was Hummie.

The plan was to put the little one back with Grijs as soon as it was up and running. Unfortunately it was already too late and Grijs didn’t accept Hummie as her baby. So Eric and I had to take care of her ourselves. That is how it happened that we slept with a little baby chicken in our bedroom for almost two months.

We built Hummie a closed home inside the henhouse so she could get used to her other family. It wasn’t safe for her to be out there without a safe place because she was still too small to defend herself against the big chickens. With pain in our hearts we decided after a while that Hummie had to be more with her own family and that she also had to sleep in the henhouse at night.

The first day that I dared to leave Hummie alone with the other chickens she must have left the henhouse in a panic. When I came home Hummie was gone. I searched everywhere in our neighborhood, asked around at the school, hung up flyers, but nobody had seen her.

Hummie never came back.

We believe that Hummie was taken by schoolchildren at the playground behind our garden. She was so used to people that she probably was attracted by the sounds of children. And she was such a sweet little one.

The disappearance of Hummie broke my heart. I felt so bad about leaving her alone that day. She was only a chicken, but she was my little one. I should have taken better care of her. I held her when she was just outside the egg. She loved to sleep on my shoulder with her head tucked away in my hair. She followed me everywhere in the garden and we used to go out on spider hunt together.

As a tribute I use the photo with Hummie as a little chicken on top of my head as my profile picture in Facebook and Twitter.

I haven’t forgotten her and I never will. She has a place in my heart forever.