Today we will be celebrating the life of Stryker Bee. He was our first customer in Canada. Stryker Bee lost his life in November, very unexpectedly devastating his human, Jay-Ann. You see, Stryker was not just Jay-Ann’s cat, he was her savior. Jay-Ann was going through a very difficult time in her life and her life was changing quickly. She knew it was going to be a long rough road. So, she decided to find a Maine Coon kitten. What she didn’t know is that the kitten had already found her. Stryker was born on a Sunday and on the next day, Monday, Jay-Ann called to order Stryker a Cat Solarium. We made Stryker’s window condo and shipped it to Toronto.
Styrker and Jay-Ann was now a part of the Cat Solarium family. On occasion, Jay-Ann would send us pictures or videos of her little man playing in his Solarium. He would go nuts watching the birds and squirrels. And, I have to say, he grew into the most handsome kitty cat on the planet.
Jay-Ann always liked the posts we put on our Facebook page but one day, I noticed her likes had stopped. I tried to tag her in a post but it did not highlight. It was like she was gone. And then yesterday, she was back. I sent her a message and we began to talk. I asked her to send me a picture of her baby. I could only imagine that he had grown to a giant.
She sent me two pictures and I replied back, I believe I have these already. I told her wanted a new one. Then, the sweetest message came. Jay-Ann told me that Styrker had passed but she was too afraid to let us know. She said, “I was trying to avoid laying that on you.” Immediately, I called her because I couldn’t have this conversation in a text.
Jay-Ann answered, and she told me that she had recently moved and was going through a divorce after 15 years of marriage. I could hear the pain in her voice. She said one day she noticed that Stryker had thrown up, but she thought it was just a hair ball. He is a Maine Coon. She woke up the next morning and found another pile. She took him to the vet right away. They did x-rays, blood tests, and gave him an IV. But he did not survive. He passed within 24 hours. The vets said they believed he had a chest infection, but Jay-Ann said he had no signs or symptoms and he was eating and drinking fine. It is still a mystery today what took Stryker’s life. And the tears began to flow… on both ends of the phone.
What I have not told any of our Cat Solarium followers, I recently lost my Boxer, Boo Boo. It has almost been 3 weeks. I laid in bed 8 days. James made me broth and gave me saltine crackers to get me to start eating again. He also took me to Nashville to be with friends to help change my mood. It worked, and I now feel close to normal again.
What I realized is that Boo Boo came into my life about a month after my mother had died. Then I ran into a old school mate and we agreed to meet at his house on a Friday evening for cocktails. When I walked in the door, there was little Boo Boo. He was 6-8 weeks old and adorable. His “father”, Jim, went to work at 6am and came home at 4pm. I was working as a full-time writer at the time from home. I convinced Jim to give me a key and I would go get Boo Boo every morning and he stayed with me
through the day and with his dad at night. If Boo Boo went poo poo, I was right there with a baby wipe. He slept on the side of my right thigh as I wrote. Eventually, he grew too big to be next to my leg, he moved up on the chair and wrapped around my neck.
No one ever knew the love I had for this dog. He was my life, my soul, my breathe and my tears. He helped me get through so many difficult periods of my life; including the break up between his “father” and I. Yes, Boo Boo brought Jim and I together into a relationship. Boo Boo had a beautiful home and two loving parents. But, soon the relationship became volatile and tumultuous. But I didn’t leave. I couldn’t leave Boo Boo. I tried everything I could to make it work, to keep things calm, to keep my family together. But it was futile. Nothing I did could keep the peace, so I left leaving Boo Boo behind.
I laid in bed crying all night long because he was no longer with me. I missed his warm body and his long sticks, (legs) around me or in my face. I missed his smell, his kisses and him being wrapped around my shoulders as I worked. I begged Jim to let me keep him from time to time. But Jim was a monster controller, so the answer was always no. I would come by almost every Saturday to see him. Boo Boo would flip out when he saw me. The hole in my soul was quickly healed. But Jim always started fight, said something nasty and would never co-parent with me without all the drama. Every time I left, and my face looked like Niagara Falls. It was so painful. Jim would text me horrible messages and left me terrible voice mails. It was insanity. Then there was the mid-night text for me to come over or all the calls where he was sorry and wanted to try to get back together.
Fast forward, I met James- The Cat Daddy and my life changed for the better. But I still longed to see Boo Boo. I would come home to James, after a visit, crying and he would say, “why do you do this to yourself”. He said that to me 20 different times. Eventually, I listened, and I stopped the visits. Guess what, no more pain. But then, Jim sent me a text telling me Boo Boo had died. Not a phone call but a text.
For the last 6 months of Boo Boo’s life, he did not get to see his mommy. I blamed myself for his death. Did he die of a broken heart? Did he wonder where his mommy was? Had I abandoned him? I failed him. But as the days ticked away, I began to see that Boo Boo had died for me. Boo Boo realized that I was never coming back. But knew that him being alive was still breaking my heart and left a pathway for Jim to get to me. So, he died. Now Jim will never- ever have a reason or cause to hurt me again. This realization lifted all that pain right out of my body, but it wasn’t until I had the call with Jay-Ann that I had this realization
As she spoke, we cried, we laughed, we reminisced, it occurred to me that Stryker Bee had a mission to save Jay-Ann even before he was born. I mean, the day he was born, he already knew what human he was going to heal. And he did heal. But Jay-Ann had not realized that she had gotten over the hump and was living her life still with all the pain from her divorce. Styrker’s death was symbolic that Jay-Ann had survived and made it over the hump. She did not know that until I told her that last night.
I think Styrker is a very special cat. He selects people who he knows he can help and heal and finds a way to get to them. He stays in their lives until he is sure they have made it through all the choppy water and are afloat. Then he leaves to go to the next person in distress. Styrker Bee may have left Jay-Ann but not without a million memories, adorable pictures and lots of snuggles. He is now with someone else that is hurting and helping them heal.
It is truly amazing what the journey with the Cat Solarium has shown me. Our followers love James and I and love our product. When we started, I never realized how much we could affect people and their cats, moreover, how much you have touched us and shown us love. We are so thankful for all of our customers, our future customers, our followers and cat lovers all over the world.
Thank you for being there for anyone that has lost their fur baby. Thanks for being our family.