When I finally got off my keister and started blogging (something I’d casually talked about for a long while), I never imagined that by only post two I would be one of “those people” who blogs about the death of a pet. So it goes.
Nor did I anticipate when I wrote the tag for my first post that there would actually seem to be a theme established that would connect with the subject of the second. I apologize, therefore, for the “cheese factor” that results. I sincerely hope the trend stops here.
This morning at about 2:30am eastern time my cat companion of 16 years Pepe (named after Pepe le Peu, but not because she smelled at all like him) — a talkative, cuddly, sometimes bitchy (she was my cat after all) seal-point Siamese mix (meaning she had the gorgeous coloring, blue eyes, and constant chatting tendency without the funky angular head shape and anorexic body shape of the “purebred” Siamese) — died. We don’t really know from what — other than general complications of being old when bodies just decide to shut down.
And though I like to say I’m one of those people who’s OK with not knowing things (which, of course, doesn’t mean I don’t try like crazy to learn them), I find I’m having difficulty with not knowing the why. As a result I find myself questioning anything and everything — did she have some sort of reaction to her new catnip toy? Was there something funky in the latest batch of kitty treats? Did my reporting of a problem with her leg at our first visit to the vest on Saturday throw them off their diagnosis so they didn’t notice whatever killed her just a bit more than 24 hours later? Did I not notice something I should have even earlier than that? Is this all her way of punishing me for not buying her something fancy for Christmas? (yes, this Atheist celebrated Christmas — because I don’t really think it has much of anything to do with the birth of any particular person anymore either in society in general or in how it is celebrated in my home. I’m sure there will be plenty of time to talk about all that later…)
This is all, I’m sure, my way of dealing with my grief (that and blogging instead of sleeping while watching home improvement shows on cable. Who knew there were so darn many paid programs on this time of the morning? Thank goodness Discovery Home actually has programming!)
It is occasions such as this that are about the only time I envy people with religious leanings (indeed, aren’t these occasions precisely why most religions have such traction and see conversions around times of grief?). It would be so much easier, I imagine, if I believed “this was meant to be” or “it was just her time” or “she’s gone to a better place” (do people believe in pet heaven?). Instead, I’m left with the simple fact that we don’t know why — and will never know why — but she is dead. She is no longer here. She is gone. So it goes…
And though I don’t know the why, I do find that this has taught be something. (Schmaltz alert!!!) There’s never enough time. No matter who or what we love (or like or even have a slight fondness for) — there is never enough time to spend together. Never enough to mean that, when the time is over, we feel like we’ve done everything we wanted and needed to do.
This probably sounds rather pessimistic, but that is not my intent. Indeed, I find it to be highly potentially positive. There is never enough time — so what matters most is what we do with it. We need to make the time to be with those people/animals/whatever and do those things that are important in those relationships. We need to figure out what is really important to us, and then do that without all the extra crap that gets in the way. And though, in the end, we’ll still feel we could have done more if we’ve done what we can and tried where we should, we can be confident in that.
So, I will still wonder and regret and grieve, but I’ll also remember that two days ago she was standing on my hair and walking on my end table to try to wake me up to giver her cat treats. And earlier this week she spent most of the day snuggling me — a day when my current cold was hitting me particularly hard and what I really needed was a small furry thing to cuddle. And a week ago she was laying under the Christmas tree batting at the cloth ornaments that Pkin and I intentionally hung there so she could play with them. And even earlier tonight/this morning, before I decided we needed to take her back to the animal hospital, that I held her and petted her and — if only for a little while — she rested in my arms and purred.
Goodbye, Pepe. You will be deeply missed. So it goes…
My girl loves her some ornament (Yes, she’s biting the stuffed cat)!