A Tribute to a Rose | Lola The Rescued Cat
Monday, February 20, 2023

A Tribute to a Rose

If you've been following our blog for a while now, you know that I've been sponsoring special needs cats at Tabby's Place for several years. And you may remember Lexy and Lola mentioning their sponsor sister, Rose, from time to time. 

On the 15th of every month, sponsors receive an update on their special cat. When we get an update before the 15th, it's rarely good news. 

I had received early updates for Rose a few times over the years, and every time one came my heart sank. The updates were always about serious health issues, which Rose always overcame. When I received an email from Tabby's Place on February 8, I had a sinking feeling that this time the news was dire. 

Rose's updates were always written in her voice by her correspondent, Ilene. This update was a beautiful, heartfelt letter from Rose to her sponsors, letting us know she earned her angel wings and made her journey to the Rainbow Bridge. Rose's health issues cropped up again, but this time she could not fight them. Tabby's Place let her fly free with dignity and respect, and Rose suffered no more. 

Rose participating in the Paws to Read program.

My first sponsor cat at Tabby's was Frannie, a petite senior tortie with a big cattitude. I chose to sponsor Frannie after meeting her during a visit to the sanctuary. When Frannie passed away, my sponsorship was transferred to Hootz. Sponsors can choose to have their sponsorship transferred to a specific cat, but I kept it with Hootz. I felt she was chosen for me. Unfortunately, Hootz passed away shortly after I started sponsoring her, and my sponsorship was then transferred to Rose. Again, I felt Rose was chosen for me, so my sponsorship stayed with her. 

Rose with her nanner and one of her world-famous diapers!

When you sponsor a cat they really do become a part of your family. And Rose was a part of mine for close to nine years. It's hard to believe that nine years passed by so quickly. I was one of Rose's lucky sponsors because I got to visit her several times over the years, and I enjoyed sharing her photos on the blog. 

What can I say about Rose? This beautiful little southern girl found her way to Tabby's Place after being saved from a euthanasia list in Virginia. She had been hit by a car and was in pretty bad shape. But in their usual fashion, Tabby's Place waved their magic wand and gave Rose all the medical care she could need. She survived but was left incontinent, and her tail had to be amputated. None of that dampened this little blossom's view on life, though. If Rose could speak she would have said "Special needs? What special needs? I don't know what you're talking about!" (You can read Rose's rescue story in her very own words here.)

Rose was a sprite cat, petite in every way except for her captivating and magnetic personality. She had a way of making everyone she met fall in love with her and she never met a person she didn't like. This love and patience for people led her to become a certified therapy cat, visiting senior citizens in nursing homes. 

Rose had energy unmatched by many cats. It was often difficult to get photos of her because she was always running to and fro, darting here and there. Everything was exciting to her and required investigation. I'm sure at the end of the day she had all of the cats in her suite sitting in a circle, giving them a full report on her explorations and inspections. 

I met Rose in person for the first time in December 2014. I brought her a catnip kicker as a gift. However, I didn't know how small she was, and the kicker was just about as big as she was! After that, I always made sure to bring her one of her favorite toys, a catnip banana. 

I hadn't been able to visit Tabby's Place when the pandemic and shutdown hit the world. In August of 2020, Tabby's Place was the recipient of the Cat Writers' Association's (CWA) annual fundraiser. I was honored to be able to present their check in person and to conduct a brief ceremony on the grounds. Rose was brought outside in her famous stroller, and staff placed her next to me, proudly wearing my Rose t-shirt. I was so grateful for that because that was the last time I saw her. I've missed visiting since then. But my friend, Lisa, volunteers there, and always shares photos and videos. Ilene would also share photos, so I kept up with Rose's shenanigans through them. 

This is my absolute favorite photo I've taken of Rose. Beautiful Rose with her catnip banana. This photo won a Certificate of Excellence from CWA and is just one of the many accolades Rose earned in her brief life. 

In Rose's final letter to her sponsors, she thanked us for our love. Truth be told, we should have thanked her for her love. William Shakespeare articulated it wonderfully when he said "Of all flowers, methinks a Rose is best." I couldn't agree more. 

On the morning of February 8, I was sitting at my desk working when all of a sudden I had a vivid vision of a yellow catnip banana in my mind. I said out loud, "I have to send Rose some bananas." A couple of hours later I read the announcement of her passing. Thinking of that vision brought me comfort because I felt like Rose was visiting me one last time. 

Fly free, my beautiful little Rosie. I'm sure you're enjoying a never ending supply of catnip bananas, wrapping all beings at the bridge around your little paw, and planting a garden full of blossoms for all to enjoy. Thank you for leaving your tiny pawprint on my heart.  

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Would you like to comment?

  1. I'm very sorry to hear about sweet Rose and we all send love and hugs. As a sponsor of two kitties there I can say without doubt that they do capture the heart.

  2. I am sorry hear about Rose. She did sound like a very special lady. I have no doubt that whet the catnip bananas came into your mind that it was a message from Rose.

  3. I'm in tears. I was when I first read this from Tabby's Place, and I am again with your loving recognition of precious little girl Rose.

  4. Farewell, Angel Rose.
    How wonderful that you visited Dawn; that love link was strong.

  5. What a lovely tribute to beautiful Rose! We have long loved Tabby's Place and the work they do.

    The Chans

  6. I am so sorry your special kitty Rose is now a beautiful angel. This was such a loving tribute to her memory.
    Hugs to you as we know how much you will miss her.

  7. Your post made me absolutely sad. Farewell brave and amazing Rose, goodbye fearless little friend.

  8. Run free deer Rosie kitty girl. Lola an Lexy youss' were so guud to Rosie an shee was such a deeservin kitty. Shee so lookss like mee adopta-Sistur 'angel' Binky who left us last yeer. Mee hopess they find each other inn Purr Land an beecome frendss!!!
    Wee are furry sorry fore yore loss....trulee....
    gentell ~~~head rubss~~~BellaDharma~~~ an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum

  9. I'm so sorry to learn of the loss of your Rose. What a beauty she was! This is a lovely remembrance of her. The kitties and I send hugs and purrs

  10. What a loving tribute to sweet Rose. We sponsor a cat at a local shelter...a boy who was rescued from being chained to a post in the basement (!!!!) of a rental property where the landlord finally was able to save him.

  11. Oh, this lovely story about Rose was such a beautiful tribute to Rose and her courage and spirit. How lucky you and many were to have had her in your lives.

  12. My comment is mistakenly from Anonymous but is actually from Loulou and family. Rose will be remembered by us.

  13. Farewell, lovely Rose. Dawn, my condolences on the loss of your special girl. I share and paraphrase a line from a poem that always held much meaning for me ~ the rose that grows beyond the garden wall may be gone from sight, but its fragrance lingers on. So shall she linger on in your heart.

  14. What an incredibly beautiful tribute, Dawn. I'm so sorry this precious little angel had to go to the Bridge, but she sure was fortunate to have such wonderful people like you loving and taking care of her.

  15. Such sad news. I am so sorry. XO

  16. What a beautiful journey you had with Rose. It sounds like you were very connected to her and that she sent you the image of bananas to let you know she's okay now. I am sure she appreciated your love. <3

  17. This tribute to your dear friend is beautiful, thank you for sharing her with the world. xoxo

  18. We are so sorry to learn of your dear Rose's passing. Your heartfelt tribute, which made us cry, is beautiful. Fly free, sweet Rose. You are loved forever.

  19. So sorry of the loss of your sweet Rose, Lola, Lexy and Dawn. What a beautiful sign she sent you๐Ÿ’— Soft Pawkisses to comfort you all๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜ฝ๐Ÿ’ž Fly free beautiful Soul✨

  20. I'm so sorry about Rose's passing. I'm sure it's comforting to know she visited you one last time.

  21. This is a wonderful way to remember Rose, and that we can have an amazing impact on cats we can't adopt.

  22. This is a beautiful TRIBUTE TO SWEET ROSE. sending furry hugs to you xox


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