“If writers stopped writing about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty pages.” -Elaine Liner
Hello my lovely readers:
I would be lying if I said these past few days without my little girl have been easy. They haven’t. In some ways the worst part is over, moving her body (a horrible thing. I reminded myself that she was still her and that I would do anything for her, otherwise I probably would have had a nervous breakdown.) and bringing her to the vet temporarily while I order a coffin and decide exactly where in the backyard she will go. It might seem morbid, but at least this way, I know who is visiting her grave and exactly where it is at all times. Her sister is buried at a cemetery and because I lost my Mom right after burying her, I haven’t been back out there. It’s not far from where I live now, it just opens up a lot of wounds. Burying is for the living, truly. I damn near had a coronary when I was asked twice by my vet’s office if I wanted her cremated. That’s like asking me if I’d like to personally experience the Holocaust. Yes, that’s the image that pops into my head every single time someone says the word “cremation”. I cannot burn anyone I have ever loved, and that includes my cat. (Ok, I could probably burn someone I didn’t particularly care for, but that’s a discussion for another day. I don’t care about being politically correct, I’m just me.)
Friday was solemn for me. Initially I went into a bit of cleaning frenzy. I tossed the place-mat where her food and water were in the kitchen. Not out of cruelty or anger, but because I was planning on tossing it anyway, losing her just gave me a reason to do it sooner rather than later. I cleared her food and water from the mat upstairs, but that particular mat is just a few months old, all it needs is to be wiped down and put away for the future. I tossed a small scratching post. It was nothing fancy and I know new kittens won’t touch it because they’ll smell her pheremones and start looking for her. That’s only natural. I’m not stupid enough to think that tossing those few things I was unattached to will mean anything, but it was something I had to do.
My next step was walking into the loft space which separates my room from the other half of the top of my home. I’ve had boxes sitting there since I moved in. I went through some things and threw stuff out. I recycled an old storage container and turned it into a container for the weekly recycling that I haven’t done in years. That’s a positive change, right? I then tossed all the empty beauty products I had into it for recycling. Soon after an empty soda bottle and iced tea bottle would join. Progress. Sometimes it comes in baby steps. I am planning on donating some clothes and home items that I do not want/need or cannot use. I take great care of my clothes, so whoever gets this stuff is basically getting brand new clothing. Helping someone in need is never a crime.
The people closest to me have expressed some concerns. Apparently my methods of coping are bizarre to those who don’t understand that we all cope in our own ways, at our own rate, but that we have to do it on our own in many respects. I’ve been asked to leave my home for a while, as if that will erase her memory somehow. I have been asked to “remember to eat”, as if I have ever gone on some kind of starvation diet in the past when I’ve lost a loved one. I’ve buried over 60 people in my life and this will be my third cat, I’m not “new” to death or loss. I have been reminded that “a few drinks won’t hurt”, and that I should be using something to “numb the pain”. That only managed to piss me off. One, I’m not a big drinker. The only time I actually buy alcohol is when I know someone who drinks will be visiting and staying with me, or if I need something for a recipe. I don’t turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with anything in my life. Suppressing what I think and feel is to lie to myself, and I won’t do that.
Everyone that has expressed concern means well. No one is saying anything to hurt me, they just have a point of view that I don’t particularly agree with. That’s ok, and I’m not taking anything personally. Just as they should not take it personally as I choose to do things my own way.
I prefer not to have my feelings psycho-analyzed right now. I’m a very extreme person. I don’t deal in a lot of mundane thoughts or feelings. I understand that this is going to be a long, painful process. I understand that every time I put my necklace on, which bears her name (The design is called Who Do You Love? and has an owl hand-stamped on it. Her name is also on it and the smaller one that has a crescent moon has her sister’s name on it. I’ve had it for a few years and I love it. Now it’s my daily necklace in place of the family crest design with my initial on it.), it’s going to sting a bit. I washed a load of her blankets yesterday and it hurt to find one lone strand of cat hair on my shoulder a few hours later. That’s where it’s supposed to be though. I have her brushes, one of which she stole from my purse a few years ago. My little mini-me was such a girl’s girl. She loved to be brushed, she loved being told how beautiful she was, loved being told how beautiful & silky her coat was, and my brother always said she smelled exactly like me. No matter what I did, she somehow became the second wearer of my perfume each day. I’ve been wearing that perfume for a little over 10 years. I love it, but now I love it for the both of us. I have her blanket, which I had specially made for her five years ago. I refuse to part with it, I may have to be buried with it.
A few people wanted to know when I was going to adopt again. I really gave that a lot of thought. I’ve perused Petfinder’s web-site quite a bit, and I did stop at a local PetSmart to see if they had any kittens (they had older cats. I’m looking for true kittens, 8-10 weeks old.). In the end, I made the decision to give myself sufficient time to kitten-proof the house. Kittens are unlike older cats that are already calmer and set in their ways. They’re curious by nature, they want to smell and jump on EVERYTHING, and even with enzymatic cleaner used on my carpet, they are going to smell that another cat lived here. By the time they are six months old they will have free run of the house and I am sure they will do exactly what she did when we moved in, which is mark every single wall and piece of furniture as her property. I, myself, was marked as cat property a good 50 times a day, lest a stray cat attempt to thieve me away on my way to the car, mailbox, or the grocery store. I’m still convinced she had some kind of kitty Lojack attached to me so that she knew where I was at all times. Eventually, they will do the same. I wonder if the kitty Lojack gets re-registered in their names or if a new “device” is installed?! LOL.
I have decided to honor her by adopting another Tortoiseshell. I’m truly in love with this unique, but unofficial breed. Many cats can have Tortie coloring, but my little girl’s coloring and very unique tri-colored eyes are what I’m looking for in a 2nd Tortie. The eyes are rare, she had grey eyes for the first six months or so of her life, and then they became gold with blue and green bordering outside the gold. You couldn’t always see it because, like me, her eyes were almost always fully dilated. Not all Tortie’s will have her eye color, but I know I will find one who was every bit as special as she was. Special and different, because no one and nothing will ever replace her. I hope to add the new addition(s) by the end of the year.
My other way of honoring her is with two small tattoos. They will go underneath mine, that way our lives, spirits, and futures will remain intertwined. I am on the hunt for the perfect, ultra feminine looking font. If anyone has any recommendations, please send me a message and/or a photo, or leave me a comment so that I can get in touch with you.
So yes, I am coping. I have good days and bad days. I will eventually be ok. I don’t think the pain will ever disappear entirely, I think it lives within you and becomes a part of who you are and how you grow. People talk about broken hearts, but it is the losses we experience in life that are the deepest cuts. We either slowly bleed to death or we somehow suture ourselves together and keep moving. It’s not easy, looking at it too closely is extremely painful, but eventually we all hit that fight or flight moment in life where we decide which direction we’re going in. I’m a fighter. I am the pitbull of my family, the one who will be the epitome of loyal, but will rip you to shreds if she has to. Unfortunately, running never solves anything, so fight I shall.