Maybe you have already read it on Facebook – On May 19th, my dear Hubertus crossed the rainbow bridge to get to his beloved Joey. He spent almost 18 years in his physical body, nearly two of them with us.
Once again, I was allowed to learn that a soul that has decided to leave his body behind cannot be stopped by anything on its path. Hubertus never fully recovered from the death of his beloved soulmate Joey in June 2022. The more time passed, the more he seemed to miss him.
A few days after Hubertus’ departure, Thaddaeus succinctly stated, “The two must be together, no matter what form.”
Hubertus is a special soul to which you first had to find access. He didn’t always make it easy for you, which made you feel even happier if you could gain his trust.
How you came to us.
Dear Hubertus, we met you and Joey on July 24th, 2021, when we picked you up in your old home with your friend Joey because your owner had passed away.
This was also no coincidence, but the work of soul cat Flix. He wanted you two to come to us.
When I first saw you, you hissed at me strongly and gave me a deep look with your beautiful eyes, and it was immediately clear to me, “We already know each other…”
You and Joey were such an incredible team, soul mates in the truest sense of the word. You’ve moved into your new forever home with us.
Your first three months were undoubtedly your biggest life challenge and change. You made your home under the kitchen sink.
You, dear Hubertus, always paved the way for Joey. You were the first to venture out from under the sink in the first few weeks in our new home. Then we tackled your health issues first; your CKD and hyperthyroidism had gone undetected. Everything has worked itself out, and you have developed wonderfully. Both of you together.
Moving to the North.
Then, in February 2022, the big move to Schleswig-Holstein. Of course, you and Joey were thoughtfully prepared for the big move, energetically and via animal communication. However, on the day of the move, crisis struck you once more as everything took concrete form. Suddenly you were scared of your own courage. The apartment was already empty; you had a long drive ahead of you, but what would it be like in your new home? You were unable to imagine it. That’s why we gave you the time you needed. Martina explained everything to you while I cleared your fears. What was the refuge even in this situation? The sink in the kitchen… I drove off with you an hour and a half later, and you both slept in the car for over six hours.
As soon as you arrived in your new home, you were back to your old self. You got out of the cat carrier, looked around, and acted like the boss cat – all that happened within moments. You thoroughly examined everything right away. And found everything to be safe. And Joey was the site manager as if you’d always been here. Very beautiful.
Again, you had mastered a significant change together, as always. One was there for the other.
You two were never cuddly cats. You were with us, everyone in their way. And you two cuddling together? No, that was never really the case. It felt more like you were giving each other space and allowing each other to retreat if necessary. And yet, just like Max and Flix, you were incredibly close. And the two didn’t cuddle either.
The two of you have adapted wonderfully here—all of us together.
You got to know our garden bit by bit in the spring of 2022. That was an experience for all of us as well. Something completely new. Exciting. An even bigger territory to control. But not the focal point, neither for you nor Joey. The two of you often sat by the patio door, looking outside together. That was important–being together.
Joey was the first to cross the rainbow bridge.
Then, Joey’s health declined. A cardiovascular collapse in April, diagnosis of advanced HCM. On June 18th, 2022, at dinner time, as I was about to put the asparagus in the boiling water, Joey collapsed when he wanted to go to the litterbox. I knew immediately what it was, an aortic thrombosis. An immediate trip to the veterinary clinic. I don’t even remember how I managed to get there. Yes, I ensured you two still saw each other before speeding away with Joey.
Aortic thrombosis. I knew it when I saw him collapsing. When we arrived at the clinic, he couldn’t even feel his hind legs anymore—his time in the body of a British Longhair cat had come to an end. All about Joey’s story is here.
It was a massive shock for all of us. Your world has been shattered. Yours even more than mine. You have spent almost your entire life with Joey.
We comforted each other, cuddled a lot, and supported each other. The shock was immense, as was the sadness.
Joey’s death has triggered a profound existential crisis for you. You never fully recovered from his sudden departure. You tried, over and over again, to find meaning in life without Joey. Yes, I was aware of it, and we did a lot to help you overcome your grief.
Yes, a few months later, you wanted to have a feline companion by your side again. So, I asked my departed soul cats to send us a soul in need in divine right timing.
Your time with Thaddaeus.
Thaddaeus arrived. He was called “Teddy” before he joined us. Of course, he wasn’t a coincidence, either. No, Joey sent him. He had thought everything through carefully, just in “Joey style.”
I wasn’t even consciously searching, but then I saw him on my Facebook feed. His gaze immediately captivated me. It’s him. I knew it immediately.
He should be a cool boy, at least as cool as Joey was. He should be easygoing and follow his path once he has gained confidence. Just do it. Like Joey. Carefree, not the brooding type that Hubertus was. … and an independent cat.
Thaddaeus was bigger than Hubertus was, and he had a more Joey-like format. Joey had been very generous because Thaddaeus was also bigger than Joey had ever been.
So, Thaddaeus came to us, sent from Joey!
You were interested right away, dear Hubertus. You enjoyed observing the new one while he was still in his separate room and had a transparent cat partition door. That was very interesting.
However, when he showed himself, you immediately recognized that he wasn’t Joey. And he didn’t even look like Joey! So, the grief about Joey surfaced once more.
Step by step, you were getting closer—three steps ahead, two back, and a few ahead again. And no, you did not throw with cotton balls… Thaddaeus was and is by far the more relaxed cat. “Just do it” was his motto from the beginning. He conquered his new home and humans with his lovable, charming way.
That was sometimes challenging for you, dear Hubertus. What was he doing again? And he was naughty… at the same time, you liked it. Also, Thaddaeus had to be supervised! That was exhausting for you. But he refused to be supervised. You secretly sometimes wished you were as cool as he was.
The time with Thaddaeus was essential for you. Very important. He kept you in life for the time being. He gave you tasks and challenges. And you accepted them. And YOU grew because of it—a lot. You tried many strategies. Spending time in the closet, or better yet, staying in the living room, checking what he’s doing in the garden, and sitting in my study, helping me.
Or would you rather live in the kitchen? On the barstool? You could also press a few buttons on the stove at night or sit next to the coffee machine. Or sit in the utility room in the dark again. There’s no fool like an old fool…
At the same time, your health was excellent. We had your CKD under control, as well as your hyperthyroidism, your teeth were restored a few months ago, and your blood pressure was also under control. Most of the time, at least. You enjoyed the energetic work, especially the Cat Code Clearing. Your health stats not only stabilized but even improved.
We found a fantastic vet in a very competent vet clinic where everything was under one roof, dental, cardiology, internal medicine, and everything senior cats require.
You introduced yourself in your usual manner. First and foremost, hiss at all new people and, if necessary, hit them. You had to establish who the top cat was, of course. Fortunately, we found a wonderful vet, dear Hubertus, who could arrange everything to work for you. And that’s how you became friends, too.
In February, you were still at a healthy weight, ate well, and had an appetite; your kidney and thyroid levels were excellent, and you got through your second tooth restoration just fine.
A life without Joey: Does that even make sense?
Yes, your sadness has reignited. You’d spent a few days in the dark utility room. It came up again, the question of whether life without Joey would make sense, as you told Martina. As always, she gave you options. Yes, representing Joey here in the physical world – you took this option to heart. You took part in life again, visited other places (including Joey’s spots), and handled it thoughtfully.
At the veterinary checkup in April, everything was still okay. Yes, you lost a hundred grams. Hmmm. We’ll keep an eye on it. I then offered you various remedy feeds, which you happily licked.
But then everything went very fast. You then suddenly ate significantly less and severely limited your radius of action. Yes, that is quite typical for old cats. After all, you’d be 18 years old in the summer.
I could not perceive more in the energy field. You would get a Cat Code Clearing from me every week or two, mainly kidney and thyroid. My vet advised us in April to have the thyroid and kidney levels checked as soon as possible, and that was on May 19th.
Everything went very fast in that week. You mostly lived in a box in the hallway. I served you everything there in the box. All you had to do was walk around the shoe closet because your litter box was behind it. I didn’t have a good feeling, but… You were unique in many ways, dear Hubertus …
There was a trace of blood in the urine Tuesday night, barely noticeable, but I rarely miss anything… Regular again on Wednesday. Okay, we had our appointment on Friday anyway…
You continued to worsen physically, and I could see you still losing weight. Last Sunday, you were out in the garden, taking a little stroll, and I noticed how thin you had become. Yes, that scared me.
The day of your departure.
We headed to the animal hospital on Friday morning, May 19th, to see our trusted veterinarian. On the scales first. 3,3 kg. Alarming, you had lost another 300 g in just under four weeks. Your blood pressure was okay; processing today’s blood test was relatively peaceful, but the palpation was not good. My vet said there is something that doesn’t belong there. So, we needed an ultrasound.
And there it was, a massive tumor in the bladder that was already spreading into the kidneys. There was already a urinary stasis in the kidney. Aha, hence the increasingly smaller but more frequent amounts of urine. Oh no, I was beginning to realize what that meant.
I heard myself asking if anything could be done about it. Unfortunately, the disease is far too advanced, and even if it weren’t, your current state would prevent you from surviving an operation. Clear words.
She gave me a severe look and said it was a matter of days, not weeks. She explained to me the urgency of the situation that could develop quickly: the tumor could completely block the bladder/kidney junction.
Oh no, my dear Hubertus…
And yes, I did understand then…. She advised me to have mobile veterinary care just in case. And no, I wasn’t supposed to wait too long… Okay, I had to process that first.
Hubertus and I drove home. He was suddenly very calm, very relaxed. It was finally revealed, and I was aware of everything. Today I know what you wanted to tell me – I want to go.
When we got home, things started to unfold.
You literally couldn’t get back on your paws…
You swayed at first, but then you laid down in the sun. Okay, let’s arrive home first… I’ll let you sleep there. You were so peaceful in this spot in the midday sun.
Then I had time to process everything and feel inside within you and me. Clear signs. You wanted to go. You didn’t want to live without Joey anymore. You wanted to be with him. In any case, you didn’t want to continue living in this body.
I then consulted my dear friend Martina (Thank god she could make time for us, just as she did when Joey departed) to support via animal communication.
She received even more explicit messages from you. Yes, you would like to request assistance. It all makes no sense anymore. This spot in the sun would be an excellent place to leave the body.
In the meantime, you tottered to the fountain to drink. Then you couldn’t keep your balance and fell over your cat fountain. From that moment, I had you on my lap until you left your body later that afternoon.
I then found a nearby veterinary practice and explained everything, including the veterinary clinic’s diagnosis. Yes, they would send us a veterinarian. She’d be on her way immediately…
Tuning into you and myself… everything seemed to happen very quickly… Yes, again, a clear yes on all levels. Martina remained by your side… Also, with her, a resounding yes for assistance on the last few miles. It’s an excellent place to die, in the sun, on my lap, you said.
A very caring vet came. Did I already mention it? I manifested years ago that I will always have great veterinarians by my side. And that’s precisely how it is.
I explained everything to her and showed her the diagnosis from the veterinary clinic; she took a quick look at you, and we both could see that you were well advanced in the dying process.
We discussed the procedure, and she gave you the first injection. You sat calmly on my lap and were already on your journey. You told Martina you were already floating and feeling wonderful … Lightness returned to you, which had previously not been possible in your sick body.
Then you fell asleep on my lap, Michael on your side, and Martina telepathically accompanying you. Your soul wanted to be free again. You floated away, and you met Joey. You knew that even if I were in tears, I would let you go with all my heart.
Dear Hubertus, I love you to the rainbow bridge and back, and your cat dad too… I wish everything could heal now that you have met your beloved Joey again.
Run free, dear Hubertus; continue your beautiful soul journey. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to accompany you on your incredible journey here on Earth for almost two years and learn so much from you…
My grieving process…
I’m writing this blog article four weeks after his departure. Two weeks later, I sat at the beach, still a little sorrowful but internally at peace. In the meantime, I have created your photobook to celebrate the time we were given here on the planet.
I’ve come a long way since then… He is here. Hubertus is here. Every now and then. His spirit is still here; I can feel him.
What I have experienced and learned over and over again – letting go of the physical body is essential to coping with grief, in combination with gratitude for the beautiful time spent together and accepting what is now.
Not holding on to the physical body is the actual task.
So, the beloved animal is perceived as a soul rather than a physical being. Yes, that’s a real challenge! I know; it’s easier said than done. It’s not all that easy. But it is crucial to always keep the vision in mind.
Can I do this every day? Of course not… I often find myself preparing two bowls of food when he no longer needs it… Yes, of course, it brings tears… and that’s perfectly fine, too! Then I ground myself first, and on we go… It goes step by step, and each grieving process has its own pace. And that is perfectly fine.
I am deeply grateful for all the experiences I have had so far with my soul cats and their departure to cross the rainbow bridge.
Max, Howy, Flix, Joey, and Hubertus had their unique way of leaving their body behind. Everyone has taught me a lot… that this process can’t be “planned.” In terms of structure, yes; however, the individual characteristics though not at all.
Leaving the body requires no ideologies other than your unconditional love and timing—divine right timing, as I like to say.
It is about the wishes of the animal souls entrusted to us and how they want to leave. Helping them achieve their desires is the most incredible labor of love I could give them.
In the case of Hubertus, he wanted to go now. He wanted to be with his beloved Joey right away. It suited him, this departure. And Joey was here to pick him up. As soon as Hubertus’ soul was on its way, Joey’s soul was already there to welcome him… Divine right timing. Amid my grief, this deep love and gratitude for being able to accompany him so wonderfully together came up.
Being able to help him leave his body in his way fills me with great love and gratitude.
It makes my grieving process a lot easier because, deep down, I know it was what he wanted for himself. And he was heard. And he was now happy again on the other site. And he was free. And I know that firsthand…
Rituals. The power of rituals. Also very important for the grieving process. Maybe it’s the candle for your cat, the letter you write them, the funeral in your garden, and the decorating of the grave. It could also be that you want to reminisce and gain strength and love from it, or writing, such as writing this blog article for me. Writing it down helps because it is like writing it off the soul. And it might help you a little bit with your grief right now.
Creating a photo book was also a part of my grieving process. I did this last weekend. It was a tearful but healing process because I could consciously remember so many beautiful moments.
Divine right timing – the divine right time to say goodbye. This also has another meaning for me:
I’m in the middle of my first ever “From Grief to Gratitude” program with a group of wonderful cat moms. I am overjoyed and deeply grateful for the transformations that each member of this group has already undergone, some as a result of grief for their deceased cat, while others are currently accompanying sick or elderly cats in the final stages of their lives – and each one has already experienced trauma from a previous death, whether human or animal. And in just six weeks, so many have already been transformed and healed, and so many new perspectives have emerged. And now, there is so much to learn from Hubertus’ story, which I immediately incorporate into my work.
Text and pictures:
© Tamara Schenk | Soul Cats
Soul Cats in podcasts – I was invited to various podcasts throughout this year, sharing my story about “Soul Cats.” In this blog post, I capture all of them in one place!
Bernie Borgers, who is hosting the inspiring Midlife Fulfilled podcast, and whom I know from my previous corporate career, offered the opportunity to share my transition from a corporate career to becoming a trauma-clearing and cat-code-clearing master healer and teacher. Don’t forget to also listen to his summary at the end! Listen to the episode here on Apple or here on Spotify.
Check out this beautiful, touching, and deep conversation I was invited to by the amazing Fiona Shaw. She asked lots of fantastic questions, and you will learn all about myself and my book “Soul Cats,” and also about Joey’s sudden departure in June 2022. Listen to the episode here on Apple or here on Spotify.
Michelle Fern interviewed me for the famous Cattitude podcast! Check it out here on Apple or here on Spotify.
Podcast host Tammy Trujillo and I had a fascinating conversation about our soul connections with our feline friends and my book “Soul Cats.” Listen to the episode here.
11 months with Joey – June 18, 2022, was a day I will not forget anytime soon. It was the day Joey’s soul chose to cross the rainbow bridge. And his soul chose a rather heavy way to get out of his body–with an aortic thrombosis. Anyone familiar with aortic thrombosis and who has experienced it knows what that means. There aren’t many options left. Just like in Joey’s situation.
But one after the other. What was Joey’s life with us, and what can we all learn from it?
His first eleven years of life
Joey was born on April 23, 2010. For this life, his soul chose the body of a beautiful Highlander, also known as British Longhair.
I don’t know much about the first eleven years of his life, except that he lived with an elderly lady who already had his cat friend Hubertus. He was about five years old when Joey joined. And yes, a few years ago, there was also a man. For both cats, the subject of having a male human felt a long time ago. They both said they had a great time with their human guardian, the elderly lady. No wonder both cats were in severe grief when they realized she would not return from the hospital.
How did they get to us on July 24, 2021? They had already been alone for five weeks when we picked them up via an animal rescue organization. The loss of their human and the two-hour drive to their new forever home created a lot of trauma for them. You may have already read about her first 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months. Especially Joey took a lot of time to settle in and work through his grief.
And, very importantly, soul cat Flix had his paws involved so that these lovely souls in need could come to us. Shortly after his departure, when asked if he would send us cats, he said, “they’re already there.”
I could clear Joey’s trauma, and he evolved
In the beginning, Hubertus was the one who first explored and checked out everything. Joey needed more time to gain confidence and leave his hiding place under the kitchen sink.
I worked with both very consciously on their traumas so that with each clearing, they could let go more of their traumas. How cats integrate these clearings differs from cat to cat. In late summer, Joey made lots of progress and became more vital daily. He explored everything on his own, and it was important for him to be independent of Hubertus. Joey then took on the challenge with the stairs (he didn’t know stairs at all). At first, he found our open stairs to be a danger for everyone and completely unsafe. Then, he took on the challenge and sat in front of the stairs, thinking about how to approach them best. Then he got it and was incredibly proud when he first could walk up the stairs and come down again.
With his awakening of strength, Joey radiated an incredible, loving presence, his eyes began to shine, and he presented himself in his full, remarkable size. He then walked around with new self-confidence and explored his world. He often said, “I do different things than Hubertus.” It became more and more important to him to go his own way. No matter what Hubertus thought of it.
Bowel and teeth
No doubt, Joey was growing tremendously at soul level as soon as he fully arrived in his new forever home and as soon as I could help him clear his past traumas. In parallel, some physical symptoms showed up that we started to treat. It often happens that as soon as the cats have arrived and their whole body/mind/spirit system can relax, physical symptoms appear that the body had to suppress first since survival had to be secured first.
He kept throwing up frequently. The diagnosis showed that his intestinal walls were thickened. He got TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) pills and vitamin B12 because his B12 level was too low. Medicinal mushrooms for his intestines were also on his plan. Joey had no problems taking medication or supplements. Luckily.
During this vet visit, his slightly inflamed gums were noticed. So, I immediately made an appointment for a tooth restoration (dental X-ray, cleaning, and, if necessary, extraction of diseased teeth). In November, he had his appointment, and as expected, five teeth had to be extracted. FORL, the hidden drama for the teeth of cats.
His kidney values were slightly increased, but his urine was fine. From that on, I performed a particular energetic clearing program for him to clear the source of any kidney issues. Not only has it brought his kidney values back into the normal range, but it also opened him up even further. The kidneys always have something to do with relationships. I also observed the same effect with Hubertus, but I will write about that separately.
Relocation and HCM diagnosis
Then, we moved from Wiesbaden to Schleswig-Holstein, about one hour North of Hamburg. Both cats were energetically prepared. Joey mastered this process wonderfully and felt super comfortable in the new home from the very first moment. There was so much to discover, explore, look at and observe. He was ecstatic and often said, “I have such a beautiful life!”
And guess what–when we had his blood values checked in March in the new clinic, his kidney values were back in the reference range. Yes, energy healing works. However, heart murmurs were noticed during this vet visit. We scheduled a heart ultrasound for him. And we got the diagnosis of HCM (Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy), also a condition that unfortunately often comes with his breed. His soul really didn’t choose the most robust body. And he was still young (for me, as a senior cat specialist, 12 years is still young).
Even more important is to stay present to the present and celebrate his 12th birthday on April 23. He was an expert in relaxation, just lying down, stretching out all four legs, airing his long fur, having fun, and being pampered with fresh chicken. A beautiful day! Enjoy the moment, one of Joey’s key messages.
And there were signs…
I’ve only known Joey for nine months, and he’s always been a quiet cat who needs a lot of time for himself, one of the more “quietly happy” cats. As it turned out, he knew exactly what his body was capable of. He had slowly adapted to his lower cardiac performance. As our new vet, a cardiologist, suspected, he had been carrying the HCM for a long time. I’ve checked his respiration rate many times, and we’ve done it every night since the HCM diagnosis. It was always higher than Hubertus’, but not in the range where you go straight to the clinic. I have been in close contact with our vet since his diagnosis.
Yes, he should also be on medication, Clopidogrel, to thin the blood, and a beta-blocker, Atenolol. At first, it wasn’t a problem, as Joey usually accepted medications and supplements.
Circulatory collapse on May 10
This day was quite warm for our region, and the weather had changed rapidly compared with the day before. Joey just collapsed. He stretched out all four legs in the living room, then slowly dragged himself up the stairs and the same situation again. He was breathing frantically, didn’t eat anything, and didn’t drink anything. I served him his heart tonic (a liquid supplement) and his medication. It did not get better. Rather worse. I switched to autopilot, didn’t hesitate, took Joey, and drove to the veterinary clinic. This was a case for the emergency service. When we arrived at the clinic, it had already started raining and cooled significantly. Joey’s head was up again. And he looked a lot better. Luckily.
Great, Joey, you’re feeling better! Tell me, should we still go in to see the vet? I immediately asked myself whether or not I had overreacted. No, it didn’t feel like an overreaction, given his context. So, I checked us in, and a few moments later, it was our term. The vet on duty looked at his compiled reports and examined Joey. He couldn’t find anything specific, and he wasn’t even dehydrated. But, his breathing was way too rapid, and, yes, his blood pressure was way too high, well over 200. This was alarming because he had never had high blood pressure before. We should have it checked again in the next week or two. Sure, that makes sense.
His blood pressure was in the normal range when we rechecked this a week later with our cardiologist. She also performed an additional examination of his fundus of the eye. Also, there were no signs of high blood pressure. I also learned something new, in cats whose blood pressure results are in the upper range and close to high blood pressure, this examination can be used to see whether veins in the fundus of the eye have burst or not. If so, you are dealing with high blood pressure. If not, everything is fine. Excellent! We drove home calmly. And yes, I should stop administering the beta-blocker, the vet suggested. But he should definitely take the blood thinner.
Joey realizes and changes his behaviors.
It’s only in hindsight that I realize that. After that collapse in May, Joey changed. First, he changed his behavior regarding medication. He started to reject everything. No, he didn’t want to take the blood thinner either. I perceived severe discomfort from him. He said it wouldn’t do him any good. He explained to Martina in more detail that he couldn’t take it; it gave him a bizarre feeling in his head. So, alternatives were required. Auricularia is the name of the medicinal mushroom, which has been proven to also serve as a platelet aggregation inhibitor, i.e., it helps keep blood flowing. Joey took it for the first few days, and by then, I was just getting started with smaller amounts of the mushroom powder. Then, he also refused the medicinal mushroom. No, he didn’t want to take it either. Now, I had to practice acceptance. I sensed that it would happen for a reason.
At the same time, we started with both cats to check out the garden. First with a cat harness and leash and then without it, as we could secure the garden even more. Joey enjoyed it, but it didn’t become a big issue. The same with Hubertus. Joey sat at the open terrace door for hours and observed the garden. Today, I know that what mattered most to him was the fresh air, the oxygen, and less about the garden. At that time, Hubertus had made no specific attempts to go out. At this time, he preferred to be in his cave, next to Joey, for hours. Being together. That counted—quality time.
So, since the medication was no longer an option, I focused even more on supporting him energetically with a particular protocol. He accepted these treatments gratefully, always relaxed, and his breathing became calmer. I always felt we could have opened up something in the blood flow. His whole system felt a lot more balanced.
On two other days, he felt poorly in the morning and didn’t want to get up. I gave him a small subcutaneous infusion each time, significantly improving his well-being—everything in close consultation with our vet.
The Day of Days: June 18, 2022
This Saturday went really well for Joey. He spent the afternoon with Hubertus in the living, and both hung their noses in the fresh air at the patio door. Nobody wanted to go out; it was time to cuddle and relax.
It was dinner time. Both had already received food. I was cooking asparagus with potatoes. The potatoes were already done, and the asparagus water was boiling. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Joey going to the litterbox; but oh dear, his hind legs stopped working. He dragged himself in and out of the litterbox and then collapsed as he got out.
I dropped everything. We immediately put him in his cat carrier, then the carrier in the car, and I rushed off to the vet clinic. At that point, he wasn’t in significant pain.
However, on the way to the clinic, he got severe shortness of breath; he turned his position and had relapsing pains of the most severe kind. Anyone who has ever heard a cat screaming with aortic thrombosis knows what I mean…I immediately realized what it all meant.
During the car ride, I tried to calm him down with clearings and took off the transport box’s lid so that he could always see me and I could hold his head. At the same time, I called my dear friend Martina, an excellent animal communicator, to see if she could possibly help us in this emergency. She could—what a relief. I also had to manage my fears, drive and calm down Joey. I couldn’t conduct an animal conversation myself in this situation.
As soon as we arrived at the clinic, I checked in and said, “Joey, HCM patient, suspected aortic thrombosis, you have everything on file!” we were already in the emergency service’s consulting room.
Joey’s realization and his journey to cross the rainbow bridge
The vet immediately diagnosed what I had already suspected: aortic thrombosis. His hind legs had already given up, were no longer supplied with blood, and were already getting cold. When I asked what options we had, she said, “with a cat his age and in this situation, only euthanasia.”
She then made it clear that I had to decide on euthanasia immediately and added, “your cat is slowly suffocating.” That statement created enormous pressure, even if everything was factually accurate.
That was the physical diagnosis. However, at soul level, things looked different.
Joey looked at me, his eyes filled with fear. “Please help me; what’s wrong with me? What’s happening now?”
There was no way I would “let him go” in this fearful, unclear state. We first had to achieve clarity and peace together. He had to be prepared, and we had to say goodbye. It is of great importance how one leaves this incarnation, no matter if an animal or human.
I told the vet that I understood all of this, that Joey was terrified and not ready to leave yet, and that I needed a moment alone with him. In the meantime, please give him oxygen. She put the oxygen tube in my hand, and I could support him with oxygen so that he was more stable for the time being.
I quickly phoned Martina and explained the situation, and she then explained everything to Joey, while at the same time, I continued to clear his fear and resistance. After a few moments, he relaxed. Through Martina, he had now realized that his body could no longer be a home for his wonderful soul. He also realized that he could no longer feel his hind legs and what that actually meant. That was the breakthrough for him. He was also not prepared that he would have to die now. But he understood that his soul could not remain in this body.
His thoughts immediately went to me, to us, and Hubertus. He then understood that when his body could no longer carry him and started dying from his hind legs, his soul had to leave his body.
Joey also understood that the moment of death was essential for him and his future path. Suddenly he was in a hurry; he wanted to cross over gently and without further pain, with me at his side and Martina on the telepathic line. He then looked at me–his eyes were calm and in trust–put his paw on my hand and said, “It’s okay, I’m ready to leave.”
I immediately signaled to the vet, “we’re ready.” He received an anesthetic injection. He was relaxed; he knew that the way for a smooth transition out of this incarnation was now being paved for him. Then, after a few moments, he received the actual euthanasia injection. I kept stroking his head, sending him love, talking to him, and holding his paw. Then, Joey’s beautiful soul left his body and quickly embarked on his journey to rainbow land.
Then, I burst into tears. The pressure of the last hour (more time hadn’t passed between Joey’s breakdown, driving to the clinic, and his transition) slowly eased away in the form of my tears.
Short consultation with the vet. Yes, of course, I’ll take him with me, and Hubertus has to say goodbye to him. And no, we’ll send you the bill; you don’t have to pay it now. Thanks so much for understanding. She, too, felt the difference that the few moments it took Joey, Martina, and myself to allow him to understand the situation and its terminal impact was essential for his smooth transition in trust and peace. Last but not least, these few moments also made her work much easier.
Joey’s soul then gently slipped away, quite quickly and purposefully. His soul looked back on the way and saw me crying by his body. Martina passed him on gently. He should continue his journey, as free and blissful as he felt now.
When his soul left, my tears were flowing. Yes, we are attached to their bodies, no question—another lesson to learn.
Rainbow communication with Joey
Not even two weeks later, I was able to connect with Joey. I took a day off, went to the beach, and wanted to let everything sink in and sort myself out internally. However, Joey didn’t show up. When I packed up my things in the afternoon, bought lemonade at the beach bar, and sat down in a beach chair, he was suddenly there. My beloved Joey sat next to me in the beach chair. It was sunny and windy, weather he liked, and his long-haired silhouette looked like a “storm hairstyle.” He happily breathed in the fresh sea air.
We just felt inside ourselves for a while and were in the moment. I was very touched, not sad, but happy. Tears again, but tears of happiness and love for having this moment with him.
I asked him how he was doing.
“Wonderful. I am floating, traveling, gliding, free from my sick body. You know, I’ve had such a beautiful life. And the last year with you was so beautiful and intense, with so many new experiences. I learned and experienced more that year than I had in all previous years. You made my life complete. Thank you so much.”
We chatted for a while but mostly enjoyed the moment together. Then he said goodbye and slipped away and disappeared into the blue sky. My Joey. A truly great soul that is only just about to unfold. I am grateful that I was able to give him so much inspiration. And that I could be his human guardian for eleven months.
The next blog article will be about the lessons learned from Joey’s sudden departure, why dealing with life and death is so important before the situation occurs, how you can develop guiding principles that help you navigate in difficult situations, and why the responsibility for your cat’s life and death is up to you and why one is inextricably linked to the other.
Text and pictures:
© Tamara Schenk | Soul Cats
For more about myself, click here. For more about trauma clearing, click here.
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Hubertus and Joey’s 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months journey with us begins with – soul cat Flix. Flix had prepared – “prepawed,” to be precise – everything perfectly. A few weeks after his death in June 2021, he told me – via animal communication – that new soul cats who needed help were already there. I didn’t understand anything at first.
But very soon, I did. I observed myself offering help to senior cats in need. There were a lot of animals that required assistance in July 2021 because of the flood in Germany.
Flix’s legacy: Hubertus and Joey
Hubertus and Joey were already in trouble before the flood occurred in their region. Their human guardian, an elderly lady, was hospitalized due to a severe illness, and it was soon apparent that she would not come back. Hubertus, still called “Hueby” at this time, 16, a European house cat, and Joey, 11, a British longhair cat, were alone at home. An animal rescuer with lots of obligations took care of them. However, they were on their own most of the time, for weeks.
Tanja Fey, the leader of an animal rescue organization in the flood area I already knew, saw my offer and contacted me right away. Yes, two senior cats needed help. Hueby and Joey. No, not a foster home. Ideally, she needed a forever home for them. Due to the flood disaster, all foster homes in the region were fully occupied or did not exist any longer.
Those of you who know me in person know that I am a quick decision-maker if something feels right for me. And this felt right from the very beginning. I had contacted both of them and already felt how much the two boys were traumatized and required help. Help I could provide for them. And I also felt a special connection right away.
I contacted Flix again to double-check if he had these two senior cats in mind. Yes, that’s right. Go, get them. Said and done.
We picked them up on the following Saturday, July 24, 2021. And our story began. First, it’s our story of the first three days, three weeks, and three months. The rule of 3 is a golden adoption rule for rescued cats. I initially wrote this blog post after the first three months they lived with us in their forever home.
Here you go, my rule of 3 experience with Hubertus and Joey:
For the first three days – it’s only safe under the sink.
Both cats lived their entire lives with their previous human guardian, an elderly lady. In addition to their trauma due to the loss of their human and home, it became more stressful for them before it could get better. They had to go into their cat carriers, and they had to leave their previous home. And on top of that, they had to stand a two-hour drive in the car. They were overwhelmed and exhausted when we arrived home in the afternoon.
However, the trip was uneventful, without any problems. Both cats were sleeping the entire time. Arrived home, we put their cat carriers in the middle of the hallway so they could see a lot. Then, we opened them. They both sat at the back corner of their cat carriers and were very anxious. That’s where they stayed for the first hour.
Then, I offered them treats and some cat cream, which they hesitantly accepted. Slowly they turned around in their boxes and looked at their new surroundings. After a while, when none of us were around, Joey came out. I couldn’t find him at first, and then, you won’t believe it, he was sitting under the kitchen sink. Hubertus was still in the box. Another hour later, he came out too. Of course, he also disappeared under the sink where his friend was.
I left them where they were sitting. They needed to arrive first. Everything was new to them. Strangers took them out of their home, they had to be in the car for two hours, and now, they were in a new, strange place with these two strange humans. Being overwhelmed and hiding first was a natural behavior.
We experienced all the attributes often described for those first three days of adoption. How did they feel? Extremely insecure, fearful, sensitive to noise, always in hiding mode, hardly eating or drinking anything. Their true nature? We didn’t get to see their true personality for the next few weeks. And that is precisely what is “normal” in such an adoption process.
I served them their food under the sink for the first few days. They ate tiny quantities, but they ate something, and that was good. I offered different variations of wet food to figure out what they liked to eat—coming out and drinking? Not a chance. So, I also provided water and cat soups under the sink—also various kinds of treats.
This way, they could slowly get used to our routines. Who was coming into the kitchen and when? When did the humans provide food and treats? All these steps happened regularly. Small steps for us. Giant steps for them.
They didn’t use any of their litter boxes during the first night. And not the next day. I started to get worried. Really worried. But they used their litter boxes during the second night! Yeah! What a relief! Again, a huge step forward!
These days, some well-intentioned advice was, “when they come out of the sink, you should close the door under the sink right away.” Of course, I did not. Why? I would have immediately sabotaged their first steps of safely exploring their new home and destroyed their slowly growing confidence. So, I kept this door open in the future. Whenever they needed to hide for a while, that was their place to go. Why would I not allow them to be there, as it was apparent how important this hiding place was.
The success after three days?
The essential functions, eating, drinking, and using their litter boxes, got back into their rhythm. We could build on that. These steps might seem small for some of you. However, these steps were massive for traumatized cats, who lost everything that defined their lives so far.
The first three weeks – checking, understanding, realizing.
Hubertus was the braver one and, as it turned out, the boss cat. He first dared to get out of the sink in daylight. On day 5, the time had come: he dared to get out in a cautious, crouched position and started to explore everything. First, he went into the living room, onto the sofa, and into the furthest corner of a shelf. This also gave him a sense of security. Joey continued to stay in the sink; his look was still fearful. He let Hubertus check out everything first.
Touching? That was almost impossible. I didn’t push it either. They would let me know, in divine right timing. And that’s precisely how it was.
In the first week, I started with animal communication and energy clearing work with an Advanced Auric Clearing. I wanted to welcome them into their new forever home. It was about clearing all the energetic blockages they had built in their entire energy field due to the extreme trauma they had experienced.
They both perceived the clearing as something new they found pleasant. It was also another confidence-building activity. They realized that good things were happening to help them. This first step was essential before getting into the actual trauma clearing work.
Then, as with Flix during his last months, I asked my friend Martina to talk to them. I wanted to offer them a neutral person to build a relationship with. This way, I opened a channel for them to openly articulate themselves and express things they would not necessarily share with me.
These three weeks were very intense. Hubertus was very interested in my work and often visited me in my study. On the desk, in front of the keyboard, or on the keyboard. And, of course, he also attended some of my video calls.
Meanwhile, Joey dared to come out and have a look. But then he was bothered by the open staircase. It scared him so much that he literally went “backward” right away, back under the sink. He explained to Martina that these stairs were a highly unsafe construct and far too dangerous. She convinced him to take small steps, make it “his” project, and then show Hubertus how to do it properly, walking on the stairs. He set to work a few days later. It was beautiful to watch him work out the “stairs” project step by step. Hubertus followed him up the stairs a little later, and Joey had conquered something all to himself. That was very important to him, and he built a lot of confidence this way. They were not used to any stairs until now.
Then, life continued, and my older sister passed away. Not, that was not to be expected at all. I had to travel for her funeral. It was vital for me to be present at the funeral and catch up with my relatives. Of course, it was another challenge for Hubertus and Joey. And all of this happened in their first three weeks in their new forever home. It was a real challenge for me as well.
They noticed right away that something had happened. They noticed my grief. It was essential to prepare the boys to be able to cope with Michael alone, their #catdad, for a few days.
At the same time, I cleared their past trauma (death of their human and losing their home). There was a lot to clear. Five weeks alone in complete uncertainty regarding their human had traumatized them greatly. And then the relocation to us, new human guardians, and a new home. It was a lot to process for them.
They managed the days with #catdad very well. This also allowed them to form closer bonds with Michael. In the end, it was a positive experience for everyone involved. The trip was essential for me, too. I could better deal with my sister’s death, and I came back in a much better condition.
What did we achieve after the first three weeks?
Towards the end of the first three weeks, Hubertus and Joey bravely explored their new home outside their “sink” hiding place. They have conquered most of their new home, developing their preferences. They started to actively engage with us as their new humans, and they consciously spent time with us.
First attempts to play were also lovely to see. We checked out what toys they liked. The activity feeder for treats became an exciting thing. They learned our routines, and we developed new habits together. They have shown more clearly what food they liked. Also, the switch to high-quality wet food has been surprisingly easy.
They both allowed and even demanded to be touched and stroked. Both have clearly signaled that we can be good friends, and they have embraced the idea that they now have a forever home with us.
The first three months-They have arrived.
After the first twelve weeks, we were in the final stretch of the three days, three weeks, and three months principle. For Hubertus and Joey, the arrival and integration phase was already emotionally completed. Even though everything was still slightly fragile, we could establish a strong emotional bond. We were building on this. And they learned that we would discuss every change with them in advance. And they knew that they were always well prepared, energetically and with animal communication.
There were two more challenges to overcome. One was the renovation of our loggia. Both were hiding under the sink during these two days as this was their first and best hiding place. OK, they are allowed to do that. This place gave them protection and security. As soon as the work was finished and the craftsmen left, they came out again and took over the reins in their new home.
The other challenge was a one-week trip I had planned for a while. We were planning to move to North Germany. And there was a lot to check out and coordinate to find our new home. Both cats did great during this week with their #catdad. He was a bit stressed, but the three of them again used the time to strengthen their bond. I connected with both cats every night and “listened in” to how they were doing and feeling. It always felt good. They built up a lot of trust in that short time and showed a lot of courage.
And I found a beautiful house that I wanted to show Michael. As soon as possible. And that required another trip with their first night alone. Something we prepared very well. I explained it to them, and also Martina communicated with them and explained every little detail.
A dear neighbor, Sabine, who used to have cats herself, took care of our boys. She spent time with them during the week before our trip and got to know them. She also prepared food for them whenever she visited us. Her loving and calm manner made it easy for them to trust her.
However, Joey became very nervous. A few days before we left, he started vomiting—night after night. I had to stabilize him and re-establish trust before examining what was potentially going on. He got an auric clearing first, and as to be expected: his solar plexus was totally blocked. I first cleared these blockages. I also spoke with my vet, and she suggested administering a small dose of cortisone now until we would be back to keep him stable and then switching to TCM tablets if needed. I booked an appointment right away for the week after our trip to check his blood work and perform an ultrasound if necessary.
He recovered pretty well until the end of the week when we left for our short trip. Our cat sitter took super loving care of both. And they have built trust and even started playing with her. I was so happy when I got Sabine’s messages and pictures of my happy playing cats.
As soon as we were back, a new cat tree was delivered. They had both conquered the big ceiling cat tree by now. That was great. However, Flix’s small senior cat tree in front of the balcony window was too small. It was perfect for Flix and Howy, two smaller tomcats. So, I bought a new cat tree, and an animal shelter enjoyed the old one. As soon as we assembled the new cat tree, they stood in front of it and couldn’t believe it. I never saw bigger cat eyes! However, it took a few days until they made the new cat tree their own. But then they loved to sit there and watch cat TV, our resident squirrels, and the two wild pigeons on the balcony.
What did we achieve after the first twelve weeks?
They have arrived emotionally, moved freely throughout their new home, developed their own routines, and discovered favorite places for themselves. They started cuddling with us in the evenings, playing habits had been established, and even Joey was beginning to play with the fishing rod.
Our relationships with both cats became closer. We already mastered a couple of challenges that helped deepen the bond between us. Hubertus has been very attached to me from the beginning, and Joey has slowly and gently approached both of us. He then started to develop bonds with his #catdad. It was touching to watch Joey creating important tasks for himself. He declared himself responsible for bringing us to bed at night and waking us up in the morning. That became his most important task, and he was very serious about it. And he is still doing it today.
Hubertus started to spend a lot of time with me in my study, helping me with my work. If he thinks he has to interfere, he likes to show himself in a zoom call. I continued working energetically with them regularly. They could overcome most of their traumas of losing their previous human guardian and home.
Their new life has begun, and they have started having fun and enjoying their cat life again. What did Hubertus say when we came back from our short trip?
“It is most beautiful when we are all together as a family.”
That’s exactly how it is.
Now, it’s mid of April 2022. Hubertus and Joey are living with us for nine months. I couldn’t be more proud of them and happier about all that evolved since we adopted them. In the meantime, they both got a complete vet check-up, Joey needed a tooth restoration, and Hubertus developed thyroid issues that had to be treated. In February, ten weeks ago, they moved together with us to North Germany. Another big project. Stay tuned; I will share what we experienced and learned during our move soon.
Text and pictures:
© Tamara Schenk | Soul Cats
Related blog posts:
For more about myself, click here. For more about trauma clearing, click here.
Not yet registered for my Soul Cats Newsletter? Subscribe here; Howy is managing this process.
Pet loss – Transmuting Grief into Gratitude. When our pets transition to the other side, we usually go through an extreme situation and are pushed way out of any comfort zone. Every case is different, as you and your pets are.
Let me share what I learned from the last months of my soul cat Flix’s life and his transition, and how I learned to transmute grief into gratitude.
Flix joined us at age 15 with his best friend Max, 12, soul cat, alpha cat, and the cover cat on my book Soul Cats.
We had 6.5 beautiful years that we could experience and master together. For some, it sounds short; for others, it seems long. Time is not that relevant. It’s the quality time we shared and how we could learn and grow together. Flix and I went through many challenges and the most beautiful moments I will never forget. You will read about this special boy a lot in my book.
In this article, let me share some additional insights on how to best transmute grief into gratitude. First of all, we start with tears…
Tears are a good thing!
I see tears as something positive. For me, everything my heart wants to articulate, and that’s way beyond our language, comes in tears. That’s usually a lot. I’m often near tears.
Many tears have flown after Flix passed away, especially in the first week. I can only recommend letting it happen. Let the tears flow. And please don’t care about anybody who wants you to stop crying. This isn’t helpful, and in fact, it is counterproductive.
My tears continued to flow when I took his ashes home and put them next to Max and Howy. Then it became a bit better. And it got better when we spent a few days on the Baltic Sea, and I got in touch with him and could talk to him on the other side. Everything was fine with him. He was free, reunited with old soul friends, with his previous human who passed away, and with Max and Howy, of course.
I know it is an advantage to be an animal communicator myself. Please ask for help and ask an animal communicator you trust to connect with your transitioned pet. You can also find more information here.
In addition, many tears have already flowed in the last few months of his life. Whenever we entered another phase, it became obvious that the goodbye was getting closer and closer. For instance, when he decided not to take his medication any longer. When he wanted the quantity of subcutaneous fluids reduced. And then when he canceled his fluids altogether. And again, a few weeks later, when he quickly became physically very weak and at the same time spiritually very big.
Today I am very grateful for this long, shared process of letting go. Flix and I needed this time. Now, I only fully understand Flix when he said last fall, no, I don’t want a feline friend anymore. We need this time together. It’s the final phase of my life. And he was right as he always was.
During the Twelfthtide of 2020/2021, he told me that he would be leaving the planet in 2021. I am very, very grateful for him sharing this with me. This way, I could shape this last phase of his life as consciously as possible.
Review memories and transform grief into gratitude.
Then, when the tears slowly dry up, it goes into the next mourning phase, processing memories. I created a photo book about Flix’s life with us in this phase. I had already done that for Max and Howy. Just the process of going through the many pictures and videos and creating the booklet was a very intense, emotional process that filled me with heartfelt gratitude and love for my beloved Flix.
When I was finished with the photo book, I had relived our history together. Of course, there were tears again. And that’s good. But then there were other tears. Tears of emotion and joy because I fondly remembered beautiful moments together. And more tragic moments too. Of the moments when we both grew beyond ourselves. Moments that transformed our lives forever. For the better. Because we both have learned to follow our soul’s path, we drew the courage to do this from the strongest of all energies–from love.
Every farewell is different. Always situational. And highly individual.
It is now my third farewell to a beloved cat, Max, in 2017, Howy in 2020, and Flix in 2021. Each time a completely different situation, a different process, and very different needs that the little tigers had in this situation. I tried to respond as best I could so they could each go their own way. Looking back, that was an extremely steep learning and development curve for me!
My key principles – Acceptance. Surrender. Trust. Love.
“It’s all said and done,” Flix said in an animal communication a few days before his death. Indeed, not all animals or humans can say that at this point. So, this is an immense gift. For that alone, I am infinitely grateful.
Because I know other situations where people were not allowed to clarify everything with their animals before they passed away. Because there was an operation from which the animal never woke up. Because the animal had disappeared and was found dead or never found at all. Because there was an accident, and the beloved animal passed away unexpectedly.
The grieving processes in such situations are entirely different because everything comes unexpectedly, and you didn’t have these parting and grieving steps, this phase that Flix and I have been going through for a good eight months. And then, with the sudden death of your pet, all the shock and sadness come at once and have to be mastered at once. In the aftermath. After the animal has embarked on its journey.
I imagine that to be many times worse than my situation with Flix. We knew since the third kidney crisis in October 2020 when we started the fluids that Flix was now in the last phase of his life.
My Flix journal was an excellent help to me.
No, I didn’t plan that. Like so many things, the idea of the mourning journal came to me intuitively. A few months ago, I was suddenly drawn to symbol cards. Exciting, because I had never worked with cards before. Then it was probably the right time for me to start.
I ordered a set of symbol cards and started experimenting with them for myself. Then I integrated the work with the symbol cards into my energetic work with my clients and their animals. The horse was so enthusiastic that it even asked for the cards at every appointment. It was fascinating to see the accuracy with which the symbol cards reflected the challenges we were working on.
So, I spontaneously started working with a card every morning after Flix’s death. The theme of the card then accompanied me through the day. Very helpful. Again and again, I reflected on the topic through the lens of the card. For example, the card said “lightness” or “gratitude” or “trust.” Amazing how valuable it is to reflect your grief through the lens of your daily theme. And I should reflect. That’s what Flix told me to do!
In the first few weeks, the cards said: “heart-to-heart connection,” “angels of light,” “healing on all levels” came up again and again. Then, things changed. Cards with the themes of “lightness,” “joy,” “abundance,” “manifestation,” and so on came much more often now.
After a month of intensive work, I changed the flow a bit. I continued to work with a card every day. But whether I will write directly about it every day, I will keep that open. Yes, that’s exactly how it feels. In any case, this work was an excellent barometer of my energy, which is now clearly increasing in frequency towards lightness.
My beloved Flix. Soul cat. Teacher. Pure love. Pure wisdom. Pure trust.
Our love extends far beyond this life. Our love existed before we met here. And we’ll meet again.
© Tamara Schenk | Soul Cats | https://soul-cats.com/
Image Source: Tamara Schenk