By: Janice Holladay
Timmy’s Ashes Project April 27 2016
Ah, Timmy, today was a wobbly day. I woke up really excited because I knew where I was going to place you were ashes and the stones. But in spite of that initial energy, I ended up not feeling very well today. I thought of you, and I remembered all I’ve learned in the last few years about how sometimes the best things in life are perfectly imperfect. So today was just a ripple for me; the first ripple. In the days to come, there will be more.
I thought of grand places I can put your ashes. I thought about beautiful places that would be significant. And then I realized, all I really wanted was for you to be at home with me. My home is not nice. I’ve fought for many years to keep my home, and today I’m still facing that fight. It needs tremendous work. This is the home where I grew up. This is the home I was again when I lost Lilith and when I started Killeen Pets Alive in her honor. This is where most of my animals who were at the Bridge once lived. This is where the animals I have now live including my rescues. For the first time since childhood, cats live in this house.
So today, I put your ashes into place. The four dogs and I went outside in the backyard and placed them on the side of the house. It’s a ramshackle mess, but it’s where I plan to put a catio for the kitties in my house. As I was taking pictures, one of the cats was in the window looking on. It was Maddie who is supposed to be a foster. I’m not sure if she’s mine or if she’s just passing through, but I want her to have a happy life. It seemed appropriate that she was sitting up in the window watching. Someday in the not-too-distant future, the foundation of my catio will be built upon where I placed some of your ashes. I had overdo it a little bit, because that’s my style. So there will be four stones in the catio. I think I’ll call it Timmy Town.
The rest of your ashes and four more stones are placed in my front yard. They were placed on and around this amazing big stump. It, too, has a different future. My best friend and I plan to turn that crazy ginormous stump into a fairy house. I thought you just might like being with the fae. As I placed those stones, this scrawny cat I hadn’t seen before walked down the sidewalk. He turned to go up my driveway to where I have a little dog igloo which serves as homebase for my one feral cat, Will Feral. I know my neighbors have a cat, but I hadn’t seen another cat coming to eat at my house before. I went in and got food and water, and sure enough he was in the igloo looking for food. He was skittish and ran out of the igloo when I put the food and water in there. He sat in my other neighbor’s yard a couple feet away and watched. It seemed fitting that after placing those stones and leaving some ashes with the fairies that I feed a hungry cat.
I have a secret plan for few more ripples. Because it was a wobbly day for me, those ripples may have to wait a few days. It’s nothing fancy, just a few more stones skipping across the surface.
Neither my home nor my hometown are anything special. There’s a lot of shabbiness and a lot of difficulties. It’s not my biggest dream to stay here, but while I’m here I plan to make as many waves as I can and make things better. From this moment on, my beautiful boy, you are part of the very soil of my home and of this town. Your resilient spirit and your ability to enjoy life so remarkably are desperately needed in this place. So, I honor you not in any big fancy way but by making you’ve literally part of a place where you are very much needed. You are needed in this town, and you are needed in my life.
Please look for them all at the Bridge, Timmy. Look for Blue my bunny and Lady my dog who helped me find you and your mission. Look for Lilith, the love of my life, my soul dog. Look for Lucan and Dixie who further motivated me to fight for No Kill. Look for my dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, and every other animal I loved. Look for my mom. She’s probably scrambling eggs for dogs and trying to tell God how to manage things. Look for my brother philosophizing and arguing. But, he has a special love for cats and probably lots of loving and cuddles to share. Continue to whisper in all our ears and help us continue to learn from you how to really live.