Clarence the grey, brave cub is running with the wind.

My  intuitive healer and friend Brauna came to my house yesterday after being out of town for a few weeks. She walked in, took one look at Clarence and said he was tired, he couldn’t do it anymore. She had been receiving messages about him for awhile. It’s not that I was in denial. Or maybe I was. Ignoring portentous signs is easier than reality.  I was doing everything I thought would help and to save my grey, brave cub.  Between the western vet and the holistic vet, I was giving Clarence medicine for constipation and anti-biotics for elevated white blood cells and Anemia.  I had been giving Clarence ocean plasma for six days. In front of Brauna, he literally cried out when I gave him his final shot.  No more. I put my head down on the counter and cried that the injection made him cry out. He cried, then she cried and I cried. These photos were taken of him last night and this morning, before he left us.

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Yesterday Brauna drove us to the first vet to have an enema administered since it had been days for Clarence.  We were told Clarence needed a scan because something else was wrong. She said to call Roger Valentine; the holistic vet. Across Topanga Canyon we went, this time with Clarence in my arms as Brauna drove.  He was calm and moved very little. It was a relief to not be driving alone with Clarence as my emotions were heavy. Brauna was familiar with me crashing my car once before when I drive with upset. She wasn’t taking any chances. She understands my fragility.

Roger inserted a large needle into Clarence’s swollen belly. Nothing. Flipping him over, he cried out in pain. The unwanted fluid seeped out which would enable Roger to find out the problem immediately instead of having to wait for a scan. Roger was shocked at how much Clarence’s belly had protruded in a week. He had rarely seen it progress this quickly.

Clarence had a tumor, his liver was mottled and had grown in size. It’s no wonder he was so hungry, thirsty and having troubles going to the bathroom.  My eyes filled with tears as I listened to him tell me it’s time to let him go. “A tumor”? I kept repeating in my mind. “I thought he’d have another year”. It wasn’t sinking in fast enough. “The fluid will come back tomorrow” Roger said.  He rubbed a little marijuana paste on my jupiter finger to rub on Clarence’s gums so he would settle back home. He wasn’t sure Clarence would make the night. Brauna and I both knew he would.

Clarence had more turkey breast and cold filtered water back at home.  We opened up two more cans of canned tuna and salmon. We stayed up with him for hours until it was time to try to sleep. It was a fitful night with no rest for either of us. All the useless thoughts going through my mind of if only I had known he had a tumor two weeks ago and how sorry I was that the last shot caused him to cry out. It’s as if Clarence went along for two weeks with all I was doing out of love and care. He knew I was trying to help him. He knew I wasn’t ready for him to leave me. When Brauna walked through our front door, he was relieved to see her and he cried “no more”.

She texted me in the middle of the night “Ask Michael Jackson to step back into the light when it’s time and sweep Clarence up in his arms”.  She came back in the morning after we each had an hour of sleep. More tuna, salmon and unquenchable thirst. My boy cub wasn’t getting nutrition because the cancerous tumor was shutting down his functions.

In the front door at seven thirty in the morning before she went to work, Victoria brought him ahi tuna, which he tore to shreds. She lit a special candle with a painting of a horse, bull, sheep, lion bear and tiger to guide his way. She’s known him since the day he came home sixteen years, six months ago. Her goodbye to him was filled with anguish as my sister knocked at the front door with hugs, love and support.

I walked slowly down the hallway to my bedroom with Clarence in my arms as if walking slower would give me just a moment longer with him. Brauna was right beside me as I walked, taking on my suffering.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace”. I began to pray in my bedroom with Clarence in my arms to which Brauna joined in. I have been saying St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer every night for years. I didn’t know she said it daily. Together we continued “where there is darkness, light” and “for it is in giving that we receive, for it is in dying, that we are born to eternal life”

Roger, Brauna and I were in my bedroom where we layed him in front of the fireplace on the pink towel I used to wrap him in for vet visits with the burning animal candle on the mantle. One injection into his leg to anesthesize him. His green eyes were wide open, his heart rate slowing down and I couldn’t contain my sadness and grief.

“Run with the wind my brave cub” I told him gently as I kissed him over and over on his face near his left ear. Brauna held the space for me, for him and for us. Her presence soothed me and Clarence felt that. He knows we love each other. I held onto Clarence, with my left hand, I held onto her foot with my right hand as she held him with her right hand and we were all connected.  She’s done this transition work for so many people and cherished pets. Her compassion, empathy and assurance of him going to a place where he was no longer in pain helped me to allow him his transition. Roger okayed the final shot with me. “It’s the last shot Clarence ” I promised him with a whisper into his ear. As the final needle was placed in Clarence, I felt searing pain throughout every part of me. Clarence’s breath was even slower. Roger left the three of us in the space alone. When he returned Brauna, sitting on the floor, looked up at Roger and said “he still has a heart beat”. Once again Roger repeats “I have rarely seen this”. Clarence wasn’t fully letting go.”I’ll be okay, Clarence”. I assured him. “Let go”.  I know he sensed my difficulty. He finally let go. I finally let go.

Brauna stayed and helped me remove his self-contained village, his litter box, food and medicines. Even The Lion King mat I bought for him over ten years ago was thrown out. His energy was everywhere in the house. “It is important to let the material reminders go” she gently reminded me.

Where I used to hear his familiar cry asking for running water in the bathroom or more au juice from the wet mushy canned tuna, there is not a peep. He loved Fatburger’s hamburger with cheese medium rare and sour cream.What I wouldn’t give to find a trail of cat litter that he used to leave behind only in the last year. I’ve never felt alone in this home when he was here. His presence was powerful. He held the space with love.

Clarence was a love machine. He never tired of the love I gave him and that he gave back.  He shined it right back to me.The silence in my house is shattering but I am feeling a sense of relief knowing my grey, brave cub isn’t putting up a gutsy show anymore. My grief is in stages where it overwhelms me.

Brauna said “Clarence is helping me. I’m trying to be more human. I spent a lifetime trying to be spiritual.” I suffered from a childhood of lack of safety. There wasn’t a childhood of constant loving. She continued “This soul of Clarence 24/7 did nothing but love and accept you. He was a constant source of loving. To lose that right now, which is all we have is right now, is big.” Brauna reminded me we have to go through this because steps of grief are how you can climb in peaks of joy.  Clarence said to me “I’m here to love you. Let’s have at it.” He was my greatest teacher. Clarence didn’t judge. He let me be who I am which is sometimes a bottomless pit of need and love.

I keep looking for him. I feel like he’s going to pop his head around the corner and ask for a Party Mix tuna treat. Brauna said he’s resting with the angels before he goes on his next adventure. Now I understand why I gave him the grey, brave cub endearment the day I met him sixteen years ago. We’ll never forget a moment of unbelievable clarity- “I’m done.”

About hannahkozak

I am passionate about photography & have been making photos since I was a little girl. I have been a stunt woman for twenty five years. I have a passion for exploration, discovery, and escape. I dream of every place I seek to travel to. A recovering adrenaline junkie, I seek authenticity in everyday experiences. I love Kundalini Yoga,travel, books,writing and authentic, real experiences and people. I brake for squirrels. Que le vaya bien! View all posts by hannahkozak

27 responses to “Clarence the grey, brave cub is running with the wind.

  • Floyd


    My thoughts are with you and Clarence. Your post really put me in touch with your loving and the magnificence of Clarence’s spirit. Sending both of you love and light for an uplifting transition.

  • sonia

    Dear Hanna,
    I am so sorry for your lose. I am with you, sending you much love and peace, now and always. Much light ahead,

  • SB

    Dear Hannah, You write so well. I’ve been through this probably 8 or 10 times thru the yrs. Each time I swear “no more”. I have 4 right now. Why do some people love pets so much??
    You’re dear Clarence had a wonderful life with you, and he gave you so much in return. You were both blessed!!
    As I write this my face is wet with tears and my heart aches for you,

    As i was typing the above I heard our oldest cat Sam make a horrible cry of distress. I found him with his head under the bed-cats are so silly sometimes-thinking he was hidden. I got him out and saw he was almost in a diabetic coma! I rubbed a lot of Karo syrum in his mouth on gums and wherever I could get it. He gradually came out of it but he’s still not out of the woods.

    Ironic-I’m bawling over your heartache and my cat
    is in the next room in such distress. I once had a small white kitten with Leukemia and my vet continued to treat her. We force fed her a nutrition paste, etc. We prolonged her misery so long! One morning I picked her up and knew she was dying. I held her tilll she gave up. Like you I had to give her permission to let go. I held the cat and cried for at least 3 hor more. I couldn’t let her go!

    Sorry I went on with my experiences. That doesn’t heal your heart!

    Try to think about getting another kitten. I know it is no comfort now-even makes you angry. But Clarence would want you to, I truly believe that. Sharon

  • Steve

    Love and hugs to you. You know I loved Clarence, the few times I met him he always hung out. Your light and strength will be your guide out of this difficult place..XXOO

  • savannah johnson

    Clarence was always my little green eyed monster. I loved him so much, and i know you did too. He’s in a better place now where he doesn’t have to suffer. He is watching over you and loving you even when he’s not there. He’s in kitty heaven and you will see him eventually. Feel better i love you tons<3

  • Sarah Najjar

    Hi auntie hamster im going to miss my grey brave cub. i remember coming home all the time after i saw A movie with you i would always shake the bag of kitty treats he would always come running. I loved Clarence so much he was the best dark grey light grey white brown kitty there is. I love you so much I hope your doing better.. Always remember he is in a better place not suffering any longer running in kitty heaven with all his friends.

  • Sarah Najjar

    Hi hamster I wanted to tell you im going to miss my grey brave cub he was the best dark grey light grey white and brown kitty there is, he is in a better place now running in the wind with all his kitty friends not suffering any longer. I remember when i came home with you from a movie one time and you handed me a bag of kitty treats and you said if you shake the bag he will come Clarence came running with a happy look in his eyes. All never forget him I love you so much!

  • Nic


    I am in tears. I love you very much, and can only imagine the sadness and pain you are experiencing. Blessings of peace, light and love to such a brave beautiful cub. And the same blessings to you, his mama and his love. I know how much you love him – I experienced such tenderness, loving and authenticity every time I witnessed the two of you together and every time you spoke of him. I, too, love Clarence. He is one special soul. And a handsome one at that!

    My family and I have lost many precious and loving souls over the years – cats and dogs, a beloved horse and a few hamsters. The losses were always excruciating and we grieved deeply. You are not alone.

    Although I have lost many animals with my family, I have yet to lose one of my own three beautiful cats that have been with me in my independent adult years. One of my kitties is also 16, born the same year as Clarence. I cried hard tonight for Clarence, and a part of me was also crying tears ahead for the day Soleil may too make the transition. She is still sprightly and full of life, so may she live many more years to share with me and Petra.

    Hannah, cry all your beautiful loving tears…

    Call me anytime you need me… I am a phone call away 24/7. I will also check in with you.

    Love to you and Clarence,

  • Greg Fitzpatrick

    I’m so sorry for you Hannah. I miss Clarence too. He was a beautiful little love. Life is tough and you are experiencing the toughest. I pray you see him again. I really do. I think you will!!! Love, Greg

  • Kathryn McCusker


    I just read the link and I’m so sorry to hear about Clarence!

    He certainly was a very brave cat and I know how dear he was to you so I hope you are coping okay.

    It must feel very strange not having him around but it sounds like it was his time to leave and having a tumor cannot have been easy for him.

    Be reassured he is at peace now and will always be looking out for you.

    An end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter for both of you!!!

    Sending,love,light and blessings.

    Kathryn xx

  • A. J.

    I feel for you Hannah, it’s so hard. Love you, A.J.

  • pauline

    My sweet sister,

    We are holding you and Clarence the brave cub in deep prayer. Gosh how we love our kitties, i know it can be so hard, almost feels like one is loosing a child.
    But know that a lot of love and time will heal all.

    You are love and so is Clarence. Stay on your meditation

    Love you

  • Anita


    I know how hard it is to lose a Love Angel like this. Another friend of mine just lost his sweet boy kitty yesterday, too. So, I know Clarence and Vincent are sharing some catnip and lounging on clouds at the moment, reflecting on the sweetness they shared with their cat-treat-providing charges — since, as you know, *we* are theirs. It is a sacred agreement that we enter into when we make that deal with them — to be theirs. We learn to hear their hearts and hear their needs, so that we can be better attuned to hearing others and especially our own.

    Remember all he taught you and focus on that rather than the painful memories of the last days. As Brauna said, right now is all we have and his pain is no longer present right now. Fortunately, the Love remains even though his presence is no longer here emanating it out with such strength and clarity. THAT Love never disappears.

    I am glad Brauna was there to help you both. She is such a sweet, gentle, and strong spirit.

    I wish I could have met Clarence — from your words, I feel like I have. And I know I will feel his Love bursting through your soul the next time I get to hug you.



  • Hope Edelman

    What a sweet boy, and what a moving story. Hannah, I just know that his spirit has moved on but will carry with it, always, the love and care you gave it. My belief is that “pet owner” is a misnomer–we are really “pet guardians” who are given little souls to nurture. I still dream of my cat Yashi, who was with me for 14 years. She was my soul sister, no question about it.

  • Cathy Ross-Pierce

    Dear Hannah,
    I just read your blog about your dear and precious Clarence.
    Please know that I understand your sadness at losing your sweet and dear cat who was also your loving companion for so many years. He was so lucky to have been sooooo very loved by you. You were so lucky to have such a loving and devoted cat who you were quite obviously so connected to.
    Take care of yourself and know that your feelings are completely normal. Your Clarence would not want you to be sad! Give yourself time to grieve. Keep talking and writing!
    I’m here for you!
    Much love,

  • Christy

    I’m so sorry for your loss hannah. He was so so beautiful. I’m sending you my love and strength and hope that you find peace through this loss. Your friend, christy

  • Louise

    It takes a person with a lot of personality to appreciate an animal’s unique spirit and contribution to the self. I know you and Clarence both understood that, from the moment I first heard his name in one of your writing pieces, to the first time I met him. Losing friends is never easy, but in this case, it’s comforting to know that he was always 100% appreciative of all of your love and selfless efforts into his teenage years.

    I had a dog for fifteen years and I still think about her, but not in a way that causes me to grit my back teeth and want to squeeze my eyes shut, it’s in a light, peaceful, energetic and satisfied way. Here’s hoping this stage comes soon for you.

    • esther kramer

      Dearest Hannita:
      My heart goes out to you. Your dear little brabe
      cub is resting now and watching you and sending you
      lots of love and kisses. He will always look after you.
      You will never be alone, because no matter where you are
      he will be inside your spirit giving you strength to go on.
      You have such wonderful memories of your dear Clarence and when you go to sleep,just think of them and embrace them.
      I am here to listen and to give you support in every way
      I can. The soul of animals like Clarence are powerful Totems and they do give you peace and joy because they are innocent and that is the beauty of it all
      Aunt Esther

  • Tiffany

    This is especially emotional for me to read as I know you so so well. I do know how you loved and cared for him as a family member. He held on for as long as he could. Let’s remember the joy and companionship he gave. There will only be one Clarence!!

  • Susan

    Words will never be able to convey the sympathy I would love to feed your soul with. However, memories are the some of the greatest gifts we have and the memories I have of Clarence of being your ‘boy, boy” as you called him were wonderous. You were a wonderful mother, companion, and friend to your trusted cub and forever he will watch over you with his caring, unconditional loving spirit. May your empty heart be healed by filling it with the memories and visions of what a loyal companion you had and knowing what a wonderful life you gave him. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Carolyn Kramer

    Dear Hannah,
    I just heard that Clarence is running with the wind.
    I am hoping that he and Lauren (Bingle Bell) are running together and happy to be reunited at last.
    I know how much you love Clarence, your dark grey, light grey, brave cub.
    I know this must be a very, very difficult time for you. 16 and a half years with your best friend….and now he is
    somewhere else…but it’s only his “costume” that is not with you. His spirit and his love and his soul will always be with you
    forever and ever.

    I found this poem by Kahlil Gibran for you. I know Clarence is not just running in the wind, he is dancing in the wind!

    Much love,

    On Death
    by Kahlil Gibran

    You would know the secret of death.
    But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
    The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
    If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
    For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

    In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
    And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
    Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
    Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
    Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
    Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

    For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
    And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

    Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
    And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
    And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

  • Lauren Gross


    You must know my friend that this is EXACTLY what I went through. My beloved Sailor the Siamese had to go to sleep on October 27, 2009 at the age of 18. He was my Boy and meant the WORLD to me, Hannah. I gave him fluids under his skin, tons of medication and he hated it and would look up at me with such unhappiness in his eyes that I couldn’t take it anymore. I have never had such a strong bond with anyone in my life like I had with that Cat. He was dying of kidney failure and his life was about living for me and sleeping with me every night even though he was in such pain and discomfort. I couldn’t let him suffer anymore. I have his ashes on my dresser with his picture on the box and I look at it everyday. I also have an amazing, large black and white photograph that a photographer took of Sailor in Tahoe. This woman sent me the photo from her studio in Boston and told me she had won an award for the photo of my Boy. I miss him so much that my stomach is sick while I write this to you. In reading your story about Clarence and his life, it sounded just like the way I needed to let go of my Sailor. My heart is broken and my heart is heavy for you today too. It will be a very long time until I can even think about getting another Siamese. No cat can take Sailor’s place. I took him everywhere with me from San Diego to San Francisco to Tahoe to Napa Valley(stayed at a lovely Bed and Breakfast with my Kitty, curling up at the fireplace in our cottage), Mono Lake, Mammoth and back again. He was quite the traveler, my dear Boy. I have him on video the last couple of days he was alive., but it makes me cry to watch it because I asked him on the video if he was ready to go. His eyes were the most amazing blue you’ve ever seen and in the video he looks very handsome, but annoyed. It breaks my heart. I miss him terribly. I know how you feel, I really do. I’m sorry, Hannah. When I held Sailor when the Doc gave him a shot to relax him, I felt his head drop on my shoulder. My Mom was with me. He looked so peaceful and that is the last I saw him. They took him in the back to give him the final shot. I felt good that he looked so restful and relaxed the very last time I held him. My Mom told me that it was so quick, he still thinks he’s on my shoulder. Wow. I have to go now, this is so hard! If you need to talk, call me. I love you Hannah. All is well and your Clarence is much happier now. xoxoxoxoxo

  • Lauren

    Hi Again Hannah…

    The pictures are so sweet. It is reminding me of Sailor. He looked the same way. I can also see the pain in your face, Hannah. I’m feeling very emotional about this. Your Kitty’s face looks so good though. He looks so lucid, but I know his little body just gave out. I’m so sorry Hannah. I really am. I love you. xoxoxox

  • Gurmukh/Marlene

    Hello Hannah,

    Gurmukh shared your email with me today and I told her about a card I received when my beloved cat Fellini passed. Clarence sounds like a very special kitty. I told her I would try to find it and send it down for you. I hope it helps. We both send you our love.

    Beyond The Rainbow

    As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
    I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.
    I saw a wondrous image then of a place that’s trouble-free
    Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

    I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side
    Were meadows rich and beautiful — lush and green and wide!
    And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
    Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!
    My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
    And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

    I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I’m alright
    That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.
    ‘Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold
    And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

    For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,
    We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.
    So whenever you need to find me, we’re never far apart
    If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart

  • colin

    H – your brave soldier has accomplished his journey, here with you. He has been your soul mate, a reflection of your very soul. He is your mirror. He is your sentient soul companion and will be there for as long as you wish him. He chose you. To trust, to have faith that we could ever be half of what he represents to you is the gift of ever being able to accept pure love. Love and light to you Hannah. I honor your strength, your devotion and your compassion. XoC.

  • Maya North

    I am flooded with tears, with my bra full of one little chihuahua, another scrabbling at my knee because he wants to be the one in there and my big(ger) boy off napping. The day I hold those little limp bodies will be the day I go down and don’t come up for a while. You gave your little one the perfect kitty life–no regrets. Your love framed his world and made it beautiful. Cry all you need to cry; the day will come when it’s mostly laughter at the memories. Hugs!

  • Bonnie

    Thank you so much Hannah. I needed to read this right now. It’s helped me more than you know. ❤ – Love, Bonnie

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