1-19-15 – Corbie

Jump to comments

I’m going to take the week off from blogging, but will be back next Monday.


February 8, 2010 – January 18, 2015.

Yesterday morning I walked into the kitchen to see Corbie struggling – and failing – to stand up. He was confused and disoriented and scared, and before we could even get him into the carrier to take him to the emergency vet, he was gone.

In the hours leading up to that, he was perfectly fine. He was completely normal at snack time, he sat and stared pointedly at my plate while I ate breakfast, waiting for me to share a few bits of egg with him. He spent a good part of the morning sleeping in his favorite box in the kitchen. Then he was gone.

To say that we’re shocked and heartbroken and incredulous is an understatement. He would have turned five years old on February 8th.

We buried him in the back yard, not far from the patio where he loved to roll around in the sun.


Corbie came to us in March 2010 along with his three brothers Reacher, Rhyme, and Bolitar (later nicknamed Buster). They’d been discovered under a bush near the office where Fred worked at the time, under the same bush the Wonkas had been found the previous fall. They were about five weeks old and started out as hissy spitty little brats, but it didn’t take them long to decide that we weren’t so bad.

From the very beginning, I thought Corbie was knockout gorgeous, with his caramel highlights and his beautiful stripes.

He and his brothers all tested FIV positive at first, which was no surprise to us. The Wonkas (who, we determined, were their half-siblings. They shared the same mother, who was FIV positive, and very sick when we managed to trap her.) Like the Wonkas, Corbie and his brothers – the Bookworms – eventually converted to negative. They were with us a little longer than kittens usually are, since we had to wait to retest them, and during that time I fell more and more in love with Corbie.

The whole litter made themselves at home in and amongst the permanent residents, none more so than Corbie. He became buddies with Jake and Elwood – especially Elwood – and they loved to make trouble together.

We did try to get Corbie’s sweet, gorgeous, wonderful self adopted out. But because he’d been with us so long, he didn’t do well at Petsmart at all. He stopped eating and would do nothing but hide, and we were so worried about him that I went and got him and brought him home. I believe we tried him at Petsmart one more time, but it was clear that that just wasn’t going to work, and so I brought him home for good, deciding that he’d be with us until we could find him a permanent home.

We thought, at one point, that we’d found a home for him, but it didn’t work out. I honestly thought at one point that we were going to end up with all four brothers permanently, but Rhyme and Bolitar (Buster) were adopted at Petsmart, and then Reacher was adopted to Kathy in Birmingham. Which left Corbie with us, and in early 2011 I gave up and announced that he was ours.

With Elwood.

The muscles in Corbie’s back end weren’t as developed as they should have been. We weren’t able to determine exactly what was wrong – the vet did tests and found that there’d been some muscle damage at some point, though we don’t know what caused that. Skeletally, he was perfect. More than one vet suggested that it could be due to his being born to a mother who was FIV positive. He got around fine, he was able to walk okay, but he couldn’t really climb, he couldn’t jump, and he didn’t really run. We made it so that he could get up to his favorite window bed by putting a set of steps next to it, and did the same so that he could get up into my recliner. His favorite bed in the house was on the floor just inside the dining room; he’d sit there and watch the other cats go by, and keep an eye on what we were doing in the computer room.

He couldn’t purr – he may have as a kitten, I don’t remember. I think that whatever caused the issues with his back end probably caused his inability to purr – but when you’d pet him, he’d close his eyes, and you could tell how much he loved it. He had such an expressive face.

I never made it a secret that I thought he was the most beautiful cat on earth. I mean, for a while he was the permanent resident whose picture I shared every single Friday, because I thought y’all needed to see his beauty to start your weekends off right. He was beautiful and expressive and such a character. He had a silly, funny walk that Fred called his “Chester Cheetah” walk because his back legs kicked out to the side. I often said that he marched to the beat of his own drum.

I can’t believe he’s gone.

I know not everyone believes in the Rainbow Bridge, but I like to think of him there, rolling around in the green grass, watching birds, running and climbing like he couldn’t when he was here with us. He’s purring, and greeting his old buddy Elwood and making friends with all of those who have gone before him.

And he’s waiting for us.

Goodbye, sweet boy.


If you’re of a mind to, donations can be made in Corbie’s name to Challenger’s House.

They accept donations by mail (check or money order), by phone (Mastercard/VISA), or there’s a Paypal button at the bottom of the Petfinder page.

Challenger’s House
112 Tristian Rd.
Toney, AL 35773

Phone: 256-420-5995


2014: No entry.
2013: No entry.
2012: Sights from around Crooked Acres.
2011: I actually think that Corbie will be okay at the adoption center, because he’s the kind of cat who takes his cues from the cats around him.
2010: “Who, US? We weren’t doing anything, honest!”
2009: From the terrified, practically-feral kittens they were to the kittens who actually seek out human interaction they are now, they’ve changed a lot.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



1-19-15 – Corbie — 294 Comments

  1. Robyn, I am so sorry for your loss. Corbie was indeed one beautiful boy. I always looked for to the Friday reminder of his beauty. May be be leaping, purring and loving on Elwood, with all the other kitties who have gone before to the Rainbow Bridge.

  2. I am so very, very sorry. The only thing I don’t like about cats is that they live shorter lives than we do, and when they die as young as Corbie, it’s even worse. Our lives would be so empty without them, but that isn’t much comfort in the moment. What a gorgeous boy.

  3. I am crying at my laptop as I read this incredibly sad news. So very very sorry to hear of your loss, Robyn and Fred.

  4. Oh, Robyn, I am sitting here in tears over this! Corbie has always been one of my favorites of yours… he was so beautiful and I remember being so happy when you decided to keep one of the Bookworms (my absolute favorite litter of all of your litters!). So much love and sympathy coming your way… I think your picture of him waiting across the Rainbow Bridge is perfect. :::hugs::: and good thoughts to you and Fred!

  5. Oh Robyn, I don’t even know what to say…except “ditto what everyone else has already said.”

    And I don’t know how you managed to put together this long and beautiful post about Corbie! I’ve never been able to write about any of the cats that I lost because it just hurt too much. So I’m in awe of this incredible tribute to him. So wonderful to see so many amazingly cute and/or beautiful pictures of this gorgeous cat.

    And of course there’s just GOT TO BE a Rainbow Bridge!

    And old vet told me this when I lost my first cat: “Our pets are just chapters in the book of our lives.” It sucks but that’s just the way life is, in the sucky way life can be sometimes.

    You and Fred and all the Crooked Acres critters are in my thoughts and prayers. All of your readers know what an incredibly difficult time this is for you. Take all the time off you need.

    Blessings, Charlene

  6. I’m shocked to read about your loss. I’m so sorry as I know Corbie was very special to you. Please know you are in my thoughts.

  7. Oh I’m so sorry about sweet Corbs! I lost my Magoo just shy of 5 too, and also suddenly. I know how you feel and my Goo is hanging out with Corbie right now! God needed a male model in the meadow…beautiful Corbie is giving his best Blue Steel look to all the kits and making all the girl cats swoon.

    So happy he got to live and love with you and Fred.

  8. Oh I’m so sorry for your loss of Corbie. I so empathize with you over the shock of losing him so quickly. Your brain is really in shock and you don’t feel like the world is the same. Corbie was such a gorgeous cat and so young that and it makes you keep asking why? I know that he’ll be running around over the bridge and for a time I think he’s still right here too if you need him. Big hugs and love to you to help you and give you strength.
    Angie and Mom Brenda

  9. I am so sorry Robyn & Fred…I love your kitties and I’m crying as I write this. Corbie is so beautiful and we love him so much, thank you for sharing him with us.
    “May your whiskers be ruffled by only pleasant breezes,
    May your bowls be filled with tuna and sweet cream,
    May your dreams be blessed with legions of mice,
    ……And most of all,
    May you forever purr (because now you’ll be able to!) in peace.”
    Fly free baby boy.

    I too want to see all of my kitties at the Bridge. Heaven will not heaven be unless my kitties are there with me.

  10. Oh, I’m so sorry to read about Corbie. What can you say that can make it even a little bit less sad and painful for you? He was a beautiful baby, and you just know he’s frolicking and head-butting Elwood, and having the time of his life. He had such a happy life with you.

    Look in on your Mom and Dad from time to time, OK Corbie? And don’t forget your brothers and sisters too.

  11. This is devastating and heartbreaking that Corbie would pass away so suddenly and without knowing what happened. Could he possibly had a stroke? My Spunky Bear acted like Corbie just before he passed away.

    We are praying with you while you grieve… I pray for God’s peace knowing that Corbie Loves you and is waiting. You will see him again. -Katie

  12. Robyn, my heart breaks for you. Corbie was a gorgeous, gorgeous boy, and he surely knew how much you loved him. No cat could have had a better life than the love, comfort, and security you gave Corbie.

  13. Robyn and Fred, I am so so so sorry about Corbie’s passing. 🙁 He was indeed a beautiful cat and brought joy to so many people around the world. I always looked forward to seeing him featured on Resident Fridays because he is such a cutie and I dreamed of snorgling his fluffy belly. I hope the other cats are able to comfort you at this time. All the love and maybe see you around again next week.

  14. I get teary eyed for poor Corbie and you and Fred as if he were one of my own babies. I believe in the rainbow bridge and know our pets wait for us and are with us when we arrive as well. (Mom sees my Dad with our pets who’ve passed all the time – along with all the poor babies on the side of the road she and I tell him to take care of)
    Love and Hugs – always in our hearts

  15. Robyn,

    I know that Corbie’s loss is devastating for you both. My condolences for your loss and I know that he’s having quite a time right now over the bridge.

    Lisa E.

  16. Robyn I’m so sorry for your loss. Though I occasionally started reading your blog around the True Bloods, I didn’t fully start reading until the Bookworms. I just fell in love with every one of them, and Corbie was my favorite. At one point I had even emailed about the possibility of adopting Corbie but you recommended Rhyme with my situation. In the end I couldn’t adopt one of them because two new cats had fell into my lap. But Corbie always held a special place in my heart and I’m just really sad that he’s passed away. I’m so glad you were able to share his life with us, from a sweet kitten, to a goofy adolescent, to a gorgeous adult. RIP Corbie we’ll never forget how you were the most beautiful cat in the world.

  17. Oh, sweet Corbie. It wasn’t the years in your life, but the life in your years. And you were very, very loved during that short time. Robyn and Fred, my most sincere condolences to you, and know that our hearts are aching with yours.

  18. I am so, so sorry for your loss! Those little tabby boys have a way of taking hold of your heart, don’t they? I hope you take comfort in the fact that you provided him such a wonderful home, full of cherished love, for his short time here and that you were there to comfort him in his final moments. Much love to you and Fred.

  19. I let out an audible gasp when I saw the beginning of the post and the tears started flowing and still are. Not Corbie!

    Death is never easy and a sudden one is even harder. My deepest sympathies to you, Fred and the rest of the Crooked Acres gang. I do believe in the Rainbow Bridge. Corbie’s there doing all the things he couldn’t do here. Running, jumping and purring up a storm at seeing Elwood.

  20. I am so sorry Anders0n family – obviously a shock to you as well as the rest of us. Wow. 🙁

  21. I’m so, so sorry. I loved and looked forward to every Corbie picture and story. He reminded me so much of my own brown tabby, who passed away about the same time that the Bookworms arrived… so I always felt a special affection for Corbie.

    Thank you for including the Challenger House donation information. I’ll be making a donation so that other kitties have a chance at the wonderful life and love that you gave Corbie.

    Huge hugs to you and Fred.

  22. I can only imagine the smallest fraction of what you and Fred might be feeling right now. From the glimpses you’ve shared, the love I feel for Corbie (and all of Crooked Acres), and the devastation I’m feeling now must be magnified 100x for you. All of my love to you all. <3

  23. Oh Robyn, I’m so sad and so, so sorry. The first thing I thought of was the recent entry where you said that after you saw Corbie’s picture, you had to go and give him a kiss. You showered him with love in his life, and that’s all any of us really wants. That he wasn’t alone and you were with him at the end means everything, too.

    Love & hugs to you and Fred.

  24. I am so very sorry, such a terrible shocking sudden loss. He was beautiful, he had a lovely life with you. Scant comfort but all I have to offer. Heartfelt condolences.

  25. “Love and Kisses”….kiddo. Don’t you love it when life kicks you right in the ass when you weren’t looking?

  26. Thank you, all of you, for your wonderful, heartfelt comments. I know that most of you know the pain of losing a kitty. It’s never easy, but I am so grateful that we had him with us for almost five years. <3

  27. I’m so sorry he’s gone so unexpectedly, but his sweet loving feline presence was likely desperately needed elsewhere in a hurry. Such beautiful photos, thank you for sharing them.

  28. Robyn- my heart breaks for you and Fred on the loss of your gorgeous boy. Sending much love your way. He was meant for you and I am so glad you were able to share so much love with each other. I know he is giving little buddy head bumps to Elwood right now. I hope you can find peace and happiness with your good memories.
    Wishing you the best,

  29. So sad to hear about Corbie, and my thoughts are with you, Fred and the rest of the Crooked Acres gang. Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful boy with us readers.

  30. I’m so, so sorry to hear about Corbie. He’s been my favorite permanent resident since i started reading your blog. He was a beautiful kitty. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  31. Wow, that’s a bit of a shocker. He was a beautiful boy and he was much loved by you guys and many of your readers. I’m glad you kept him and gave him a wonderful home full of love.
    This one must be a hard one. Love to you and Fred and the rest of the kitties.

  32. Out loud gasp just as with Mister Boogers. Corbie was the first one that actually got to me – I don’t know why but I instantly fell for him. I’m so sorry to hear this. I don’t know why his life was cut so short, but I do know that he had the best possible life a kitty could hope for with you and Fred at Crooked Acres. Hugs to you all.

  33. We are so sorry to hear you’ve lost your Gorgeous Corbs! You did your best with the time you had – you can tell by the Eyes of Lurrrrrrve in his photos! Warm hugs!!

  34. Oh Robyn, I am so very sorry. I know just how awful it is especially when they are so young. He was such a beautiful cat and so lucky to have such a loving home. God bless Corbie. <3

  35. I am so, so shocked and sorry to read this, Robyn 🙁 I know Corbie held an extremely special place in your heart. He really was a beautiful boy. So glad he got to spend his days on earth in the company of people who loved him so much. Big hugs to both you and Fred!

  36. Oh Robyn, I know how heartbreaking it all is. I’m teary-eyed as I’m writing this. I had a cat, Lele, who that happened to. And two of my precious Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. All of a sudden, even though the two Dogs did have heart problems. As for Lele, who knows. We had gotten her as a feral kitten. It’s shocking when that happens. I still tear up when I think about them. It seems as if I often have “visitations” when my loved ones go, so because of that I believe in an afterlife. This includes actual visions, but especially the clicking of toe nails on the floor. Very strange. Anyway, it’s my bet that Corbie is alive and doing fine, just “somewhere else”. My heart goes out to you both.

  37. Robyn! I am so incredibly sorry for your loss!!! Such a beautiful tribute for a beautiful boy.

    I’m glad that he had such a lovely, love-filled life.

    What a gift our dear animals are… and how it hurts when they leave us. So many of us here know that pain, and we sympathize with you and Fred — so very much.

  38. I’m so sorry about Corbie. His passing reminds me of Calpurnia’s, like a bolt from the blue. You and Fred are in my thoughts.

  39. Oh Lord…
    Such a sweet beautiful boy. He gave you so much joy and you gave him so much love.
    Sorry is the best I can say… but that is such a small insipid word that isn’t able to tell you how deep is my sorrow for you and Fred.
    Corbie… Bless and we will see you at the Bridge-

  40. I am so very sorry, my deepest condolences to you and Fred for the sudden loss of your sweet beloved Corbs. What a gut punch when they are young and go so suddenly. We lost one like that too, our Scarlet O’Hara. She was Michael’s most favorite of our cats. I believe in the Rainbow Bridge too. Hope it is some small comfort. He really was an exceptionally beautiful sweet boy :'(

  41. I am so sorry to hear about Corbie. I, along with so many other readers, looked forward to Fridays so I could see his beautiful sweet face. The love you have for him is so obvious in the way you write about him. This was such a sweet and touching tribute. I’m sure he knows how special he is to you and how much he means to you. I’m also sure he heard lots of purrs and received lots of loving headbutts when he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. He will be in your heart until that day when you are with him again. I hope that you and Fred will take some comfort in knowing how many lives Corbie touched, how many people loved him (even those he never met!) and how precious the time was that you spent with him. Sending you, Fred and the whole Crooked Acres gang lots of love and prayers.

  42. I’m so sorry to hear of Corbie’s passing, and to say I’m shocked and saddened is an understatement. I know you and the Crooked Acres gang feel his loss deeply, I hope you find some comfort in knowing that you gave him a happy and wonderful life.

  43. Oh Robyn…. there are just no words at this moment… 🙁

    *huge hugs to you*

    Ann & BillCat

  44. I am so *very* sorry to read this. I know how much you loved that beautiful boy and what a wonderful life you gave him. My sincere condolences.

  45. I am so very sorry to hear about Corbie. He was a beautiful boy and I always loved seeing his sweet little face.

  46. Beautiful Corbie. I’m so sorry, Robyn and Fred, for your loss. My heart is hurting for you.

  47. So, so sorry and shocked and tearful… I adored your pictures of Corbie-Corbs… he looks so much like my kitty Bunny. I know how much you loved him, and I pray that you can find comfort in knowing how happy he was in your home.

  48. Oh sweetheart .. my heart is breaking, it’s hard to type this through my tears. Your tribute to Corbie is beautiful. I LOVED seeing all the pictures you’ve posted over the years of the most beautiful boy.

    Beautiful Corbie is absolutely at the other side of the Rainbow Bridge and will see you again. Our beloved Furbabies leave holes in our hearts.

    You’ll never not miss Corbie; I pray that, in time, the pain eases a little, but the memories always be with you.

  49. Oh Robyn. My condolences on the loss of your lovely boy. I am glad he was so well loved in his life, and so sad that it wasn’t for longer. We do the best with the time we have. I wish you comfort and peace.

  50. Robyn and Fred, this just breaks my heart. I’m so sorry you lost your Corbie. I know there is a Rainbow Bridge and hopefully, my Shortie, Doc and Kramer welcomed him there…

  51. I shed tears over every kitty that goes to The RB. I am so sad to hear Corbie left you suddenly. We’re sending hugs to you and Fred. I wish there was something one could say that would really help the pain 🙁

  52. Robyn and Fred, I am so saddened to hear about Corbie’s passing, my heart sunk and tears rolled down my cheek as I read about him. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers during this difficult time.

  53. Robin,

    I am so sorry. I know the pain of the unexpected loss too. Your blog helped keep me sane after I lost my Hershey. Your willingness to share your ups and downs with us makes me feel like I know you. All I want to do is give you a hug and split a bottle of wine while we talk about the sweet babies waiting for us at the rainbow bridge. I know that Corbie is playing with my Hershey and Sapphire while they wait.

  54. (do you leave a like a stone or something to mark their final places? just wondering)

    I know you aren’t blogging this week, I came to see Corbie’s photos again.. while I don’t know if Rainbow Bridge exist, I think animals were created to grace us with their wonderfulnes and simple love,& hopefully they are all having lots of fun somewhere else now.

  55. I’m so heartbroken for you and Fred. And I’m so so sorry about Corbie. From the beginning, he reminded me of my Gomer Pyle and I always had a special soft spot for him. Because you generously let us into your lives day after day, we’ve come to know and love all of the kitties that you care for, and we feel their loss when they’re gone. We’ll all miss him. Thank you for giving that beautiful Corbie such a great life while he was here!

  56. Today was the day we buried my grandmother, and to come home tonight and see this news on top of it all has me bawling like a baby. I’ve followed Corbie since he was just a wee one, and over the years felt myself grow quite attached to him. I’m so, so sorry, Robyn and Fred. My thoughts are with you both.

  57. I have never before posted anything on the “web” – I think I’m a bit too old for the process to be really comfortable (I still write letters on paper – egads!)) but I am moved by this post and the comments. While on the one hand the internet is such an impersonal place, with people who you don’t know posting whatever they want without any attribution or consequence (resulting in a butt-load of plain crap), on the other hand there are also moments like this. People who don’t know each other sharing moments that are universal, giving the precious gift of knowing that you are not alone in whatever trouble or travail you are facing. Sorry for your loss, deepest gratitude for sharing it with us.

  58. I’m heartbroken for you & Fred. I saw your FB link while traveling and just knew it meant your gorgeous Corbie was gone. Poor little monkey, I’ll miss him so.

  59. Oh, how they break our hearts! What sadness for you and Fred. You gave a wonderful, loving home to a very special cat and he is, indeed, waiting for you. Godspeed, Corbie.

  60. Just a second comment to say that i am coming back every day and spending a few minutes reading this post again, and thinking of Corbie. I’m thinking of you guys too, you must be hurting. xo

  61. Robyn,

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Corbie. He was a beautiful cat you guys gave him an amazing life. I know how much you are hurting and my heart goes out to you and Fred.

  62. Just wanted to comment again, because I am still thinking about you guys. I am so sorry. Hugs to all.

  63. I am in shock right now, I just read this-I started a new job so I am behind. I am so sorry for your loss, I just can’t believe it. If there is any justice in this universe, there is a rainbow bridge, and Corbie, and my dogs Cody and Belle are all there, having a great time. I really can’t say how sorry I am.

    The thing most comforting to me? Your cats have the best lives ever, so while Corbie was with us-he had the very best life any cat could ask for. That sweet, sweet boy…

  64. I just now saw this. I can’t read your blog at work anymore and missed this for a week.

    I am so sorry. My heart sank when I read the words. The sudden losses are so often the hardest.

    Corbie lived the best life possible. I hope he is playing with my kitties at the Rainbow Bridge right now. Much love for the Corbs coming your way.

  65. I too just saw this post and am in tears. I’m so sorry for your loss. there are no words that will help as much as the passing of time. Then you will smile and remember how beautiful and how silly and how loving Corbie was and how happy he was with you and Fred. He could not have had a happier home.

  66. I’m woefully late but I just wanted to give you my condolences. He really was such a beautiful boy (and secretly) my favorite of all your residents. Hope your heart mends send 🙂