Copper and the Rainbow


One day in 2007, our neighbor, Annette, brought home an orange tabby kitten she named Copper. That’s him in the fountain. About a week later, she brought us an orange tabby kitten that she’d found somewhere. We named him Simba.


Copper had copper colored eyes and Simba’s are green. Otherwise, they were hard to tell apart, particularly at dusk or when one of them darted into the house in search of catnip or treats. Or if were laying on the floor together.


Over the years, Copper dropped by frequently for visits. He knew we always have catnip and treats. Quite often, Simba and Copper were on our front porch, sunning themselves together, and when I came out, they would indulge in catnip and treats like a couple of siblings. What can I say, these enjoyed getting high together.

Copper was accepting of everyone. He wasn’t ever afraid of Noah, who is many times his size, or of Megan’s dog, Nika. And he lived with two dogs. Whenever Annette and her family go away for vacations or a long weekend, I take care of her animals – and vice versa. Copper usually followed me out the door when I left and then would come over to our place to visit. His roaming area was the yards of our two houses, which are side by side.

This afternoon, Rob was coming home from Publix and saw a bunch of kids on bikes by the side of the road, across the street from Annette’s house. She was just coming out her front door. He knew something had happened, but couldn’t see anything because the kids blocked his view. He came hurrying into the house and shouted, “I think something happened to Copper.”

I ran outside and saw Annette on her knees on the grass, sobbing hysterically and huddled over Copper’s body. I raced over to her and started crying, too. His body was still warm, so it had happened within the last several minutes. Annette picked him up, cradling him like a baby, both of us weeping, and we walked across the street to her place and went into her bedroom.

She sat in a rocking chair with Copper’s body in her lap, and I hurried into her utility room for a towel. Megan, who is home for the holidays, came over and we rifled through gift boxes for one in which Copper could be buried. We found one and when Annette set him inside it, I sprinkled catnip over it.

There is something so terribly raw and painful about losing a beloved pet this way. But awhile later, I was taking the dogs to the dog park and saw the most incredible rainbow and snapped a photo of it.


I called Annette and told her to hurry outside to see it. Megan and Rob were on their way to the garage to pick  up her car and she took a picture of it, too, and texted it to Annette: Copper is saying hi! That rainbow symbolized hope.

 This evening, Annette came by and asked if it would be okay if they buried Copper between our two houses. We decided on a spot under the tree he used to climb to get to our roof.Here he is, doing cat-aerobics!


Other neighbors turned out to help dig the grave and to say their good-byes.

RIP, Copper. You are already missed!

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8 Responses to Copper and the Rainbow

  1. A lovely post, so sad when a member of the family moves on.

  2. Dale Dassel says:

    That was beautiful, and it made me teary-eyed just reading it. There are many doxies that I miss very much and I dream of seeing them all again someday. Animal heaven must be the most wonderful, joyful place in existence.

    • Rob and Trish says:

      Thanks, Dale. And I agree, animal heaven or whatever it is must be an incredibly joyful place.

  3. Sherri Bosley says:

    Beautifully written with love in your heart, Trish. I know this meant the world to Annette and her family. Thank you forvyiurvcaring words and love for Copper. I hope she sees Boomer and chases him.

    • Rob and Trish says:

      Sherri! Thank you for stopping by. I miss that little guy already. I went outside tonight, shaking the treats container…hoping he might show up, that it had all been a nightmare. Even Simba has been looking around for Copper.

  4. c.j. says:

    My heart weeps for Annette and for all the humans who belonged to Copper. Remember this:

    written by Anonymous

    “Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water, and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special to them who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge.”

    I believe Copper sent a Rainbow for his human family, for everyone who loved him so deeply and who treasured his presence, to tell you he is there, and waiting.

    Our tears for their loss are the rain that creates the Rainbow Bridge.