Ladder to the Sky

This past Saturday, I attended a friend’s Absolute Auction.  Her mechanical contracting business is closing after a long, very successful 57 years in business.  I had the good fortune to be able to document the history of the business, the fascinating aspects of an auction, and the culture of contractors, subcontractors, small business owners, and incredibly hard workers. It was a bittersweet day but a successful, and even a joyful day, as we celebrated all that was this business and the family associated with it.

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be sharing some photographs and thoughts from that day, but for now I’ll share this one.  My friend Kelly gave me the most perfect title for this photo.

Ladder to the Sky


Sadly, but fitting for this Ladder to the Sky post, I had to say goodbye to my Abby this week.  She was a sick little thing and could not recover.  I’ll miss her presence in my home and my life.  Abby was the last of my pets, with two dogs and another cat having gone on before her, and for the first time in 28 years, I have no children (pets or human) in my home.


Abby was a cute little thing and like her human, knew what she liked and what she didn’t like.


Rescued and with six toes on her two front paws, Abby was a joy and a pain, as only cats can be (I say that with a smile).

Thank you, Abby, for allowing me to share your life,

47 thoughts on “Ladder to the Sky

  1. Great title for the post Laurie and I’m sorry to hear about Abby, I know how much losing a pet hurts. Thats one of the reasons after our Beagle went we never were able to go out and find another dog, we just couldn’t go through any more sadness when it’s time to say goodbye. So now we get our jollies out of feeding the family of rabbits living under our deck 😀

  2. Oh Laurie. (((Laurie)))

    What a heartbreak losing a beloved animal, and the last in a history of companions, too, at least for now. I understand the feelings all to well. I’m holding a tender spot in my heart for you today. If you were here I would wrap you in a big bear hug.

    She was a beauty and a cutey. You’ve captured her essence beautifully.

    Your photo is beautiful and haunting in this context.

    As for your friend and her business, I’m glad she had so many great years of success. I look forward to hearing more in future posts. xox

    • Thank you, Alys. When Kelly suggested the name, I knew that it would be perfect for the photo and perfect for Abby. It is definitely quiet in the house and I sure miss her presence.
      Thank you, too, for your comment about my friend and her business. The auction was almost like a wake … a celebration and a loss.

      • I remember coming home from the vet without a beloved cat, and how empty it made me feel. Then all her little things were here to remind me that she was gone. It’s so hard.

        Perhaps a time will come when another furry friend graces your hearth.

        I can’t imagine the emotions someone would feel giving up a family business with so much history. I’m sure it was very much like a wake.

  3. A golden ladder to the sky for a dear wee pet who was both pleasure and pain – as all cats can be! I hear you sister – that moment when there truely is an empty nest – and we know real freedom from home-tied responsibilities and the gut wrenching loss of those home-tied responsibilities and the myriad range of emotions and experiences that opens as a result. I found that no amount of busyness could stop me feeling that small of hole left by kids grown up and pets gone and eventually went out and got me another kitty to love 🙂 Who is both a pain and a blessing 🙂

    Here is the opening to a wee ditty that I always think of when someone loses their pet:

    I will lend to you awhile, a cat. God said,
    To love while she lives, and mourn when she is dead.
    Maybe for twelve or thirteen years, maybe just two or three,
    But will you, till I call her back, take care of her for me?……..

    • I’m so glad you get the “pleasure and pain” of cats 🙂 and also the mixture of emotions that come with the empty home.
      Thank you for the poem and your thoughts.

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss of Abby LB. Whilst cats can be such a torment to have at times, you miss them when they are not around.
    Take care. 🙂

  5. I agree, that title is meant for today. Well, if only they could be with us longer. Honestly, I doubt that it could it ever be long enough. I had Petals in my lap when I first arrived, she was enjoying attention as she always does. For a brief moment, I thought about that pain in the future, the time will come no matter how hard I wish it wouldn’t. I didn’t allow myself to dwell there for more than a moment. I wish you didn’t have to this week either. Sadly for the most part, these things are not for us to decide. The joy is in the fact that we get to spoil the be-geezers out of them for a while and in return they make us so happy (most of the time, ha). Your photo’s are really sweet LB. Abbey looks so content too. Be well, very sorry for your loss ❤

    • I knew when you called the photo a Ladder to the Sky that it would be perfect not only for the photo but for Abby. Thank you for being inspired.
      She did look so good when I went to say goodbye that I almost doubted my decision. I’m just glad I got some photos, especially the profile … I always loved her little profile.
      Thank you …

  6. Oh, my friend. I am sorry to hear of your loss. Pets aren’t just pets: they’re members of the family, and the death of one of these loved ones is heartbreaking. My heart is with you in this sorrow.

    The photos are beautiful, and, as others have noted, the photo of the ladder and the title are beautifully fitting.

    May peace be with you.

  7. I’m sorry about Abby. Truly. Loss is hard. Somehow, though, I think Abby probably enjoyed her metaphorical climb to cat heaven. Turtles make a sensible pet in that they live longer, but a turtle can’t lick your hand or brush against your leg – back and forth, in and out. They can’t purr. The only thing better than a cat’s contented, dreamy purring is a child’s sleepy sweet breathing.

    I think I’m going to go pour myself a glass of chardonnay and raise it to our empty nests. May we make the most of what we have!

  8. I was appreciating the ladder and that striking blue metal and the rust…thinking how perfectly it suited a climb to the sky, when you told me about Abby. And the photo is even better now, because there was someone for the ladder. It’s not a random ladder, but one with a purpose. I really love the photo.

    Oh, pain for the kitty though. My dear friend just let her old Frank go on Sunday. It makes me cherish my sweet Racecar even more. How many years did you get to spend together? I can’t stand losing a furry child. I grieve for so long. I hope you have the chance to be completely sad, and then to learn some joys about your new world with no children nearby. (at least for now) I am giving you the biggest, warmest hug.

    • I adopted Abby only 8 or 9 years ago. She was only 10 or 11 years old! So young for a cat to go. But then I got to thinking that 8 or 9 years is plenty of time to make it seem so strange when they are gone.
      knowing me though, I will as you said, learn some new joys about a child free home 🙂
      So glad you like that photo … it was a thing of beauty that day.

    • Thank you … I’m so glad she looked so good (even though it made the decision harder) and that the pictures are “so Abby”. I loved her little profile.

  9. Oh, Laurie, Your photographs of her are wonderful.

    I have been kept by many cats over the years, and each cat is special to us for the simple reason that each cat is unique. No two are the same in any other respect save for they are feline and they warm a spot onto our hearts. We love each of them for their own specialties, and regrettably, for only a while…

    I am sorry for your loss.

    • Thank you, Lynda. I’m grateful for your thoughts.
      And I’m also hoping you’re getting some of the sun that I am seeing here in Virginia today!!

  10. great photos! And I’m sorry to hear about Abby the Cat passing away, I know the pain. I have 7 cats at the moment, but a lot of my previous cats died because they were poisoned by the neighbors. It’s horrible to see a cat die from poisoning, and the worse part is that we can’t do anything to help the poor animal… So i hope Abby died of natural causes at least 😦

    And i can relate to cats being a joy and a pain, especially when they jump on my back! It hurts! 🙂

    • Oh gosh, that is awful!!!
      Abby did not die of natural causes but she did not suffer the awful death caused by poison. Terrible!
      But yes … that joy and the pain 🙂

Because Boomdee dared me: Lay a little sugar on me :-)

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