Well, finally I did it, Dear Reader! I started my YouTube channel. After much anxiety & prayer & distractions, it’s now ready to go. 🙂
It’s now available at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg
Well, finally I did it, Dear Reader! I started my YouTube channel. After much anxiety & prayer & distractions, it’s now ready to go. 🙂
It’s now available at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg
On the day I’m writing this post, it’s been 3 years since losing my precious kitty baby, Georgie. Naturally, he’s been on my mind a lot today. He was quite the character- feisty, liked to tease other kitties mercilessly, highly intelligent, loving, caring & protective of his brother, Pretty Boy, especially after Pretty Boy’s diagnosis of diabetes in 2011.
Georgie died suddenly on April 16, 2014. I still have no clue why.. he obviously passed in his sleep, thankfully, so it was peaceful at least. Yet, no warning anything was wrong made losing him especially hard.
Shortly after his passing, I was still in shock & grieving terribly. As usual when grieving, I talked to God about how badly it hurt. He told me to listen to a certain song & said, “Georgie wants you to know he thinks of you when he hears this song. It’s your & Georgie’s song now.” The song was Steelheart’s “Angel Eyes” from 1990. A song I’ve always loved, but thanks to Georgie love even more since his passing.
I know, this sounds odd.. yet, this type of thing has happened after losing several of my kitties over the years. When Bubba died in 2001, I was sure I was going to die too, when Lynyrd Skynryd’s “Freebird” became our song. Magic’s & my song is Wynonna’s “You Were Loved.” “When Jasmine passed, it was Aerosmith’s “Angel.” Vincent’s & my song is “Someday We’ll Be Together.”
You get the idea.
Since so many of you who read my work are also avid animal lovers, I’m hoping this post offers you comfort. I never knew this type of thing would help me survive losing my precious furkids, but God did. Asking Him for comfort turned into receiving the only thing that could help me, aside from having my furbaby back.
If God did it for me, He can do it for you as well.
Dear Reader, if you’re missing a precious loved one, be they furry or human, I would like to urge you to cry out to God. Ask Him for comfort. He will not disappoint! He may give you songs like He has me, or maybe not. It depends on what comforts you most, I believe. In any case, trust that He wants to help you & then wait for the blessing to come your way. It will greatly surpass your expectations, that I promise you!
This is Georgie (left) & his brother, Pretty Boy in around 2005. My two handsome, wonderful brothers. 🙂 Georgie’s & my song lyrics are below the picture if you’d like to read them.
Angel Eyes, by Steelheart
“Angel eyes, you have angel eyes, such a smile that lights up my life
You’re a dream come true, now I’m holding you
And I’ll never, never let you go, I will never let you go!
First time I laid my eyes upon you, all my dreams were answered
First time I kissed your tender lips, my love to you I surrendered
I’ll never let you go, you’re always on my mind
You’re the only one for me, you’re all I need
And I’ll never, never let you go
Angel eyes, my heart relies on the love you give to me
You never let me down, you’re always by my side
And I’ll never, never let you go, I will never let you go!
When my heart starts to crumble and the tears start to fall
You hold me close with tender lovin’, and give me strength to carry on
I’ll never let you go, you’re always on my mind
You’re the only one for me, you’re all I need
And I’ll never, never let you go
I’ll never let you go, you’re always on my mind
You’re the only one for me, you’re all I need
And I’ll never, never let you go
And I’ll never, never let you go.”
Some time back, I created an android app for my website. In the years since, I made some changes to my site & never updated the app. Now, I have. It is basically the same, but looks a bit better, I think. The original one probably doesn’t work any longer as I had to delete it & re-create the app. If you still have it, I recommend deleting that app & downloading the new one.
While I was at it, I also made an app for my website’s sister site, The Butterfly project.
I’m letting you know these things in case you are interested in getting them. They are totally free. Links are below…
For my website, http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com :
Job 35:11 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? (KJV)
One of God’s greatest blessings is animals. I’ve always loved & appreciated animals, but the older I get, the more I love & appreciate them. Animals love deeply & unconditionally, they are fun, they are very intuitive & intelligent. What’s not to love?!
In 2001, my husband & I lost Bubba, a very gentle, sweet, special orange tabby cat I’d had since he was only 4 weeks old. I was absolutely convinced losing Bubba was going to kill me, my grief was so strong. In spite of the pain though, God showed me something interesting at that time- I could communicate with animals.
The day after Bubba died, I let the cats out into the backyard for some supervised fun. I went to Bubba’s freshly dug grave for a moment of grief. I told him how much I loved him & missed him, & always would. A small voice spoke to my heart saying, “It’s OK, Mommy. I feel much better now!” (Bubba suffered with feline AIDS & emphysema for about 4 months before he died) I wasn’t sure I heard this right at all, & quickly came back to the part of the yard where the cats were. Spitfire, the queen of the castle, looked at me with great concern as I came near her & I heard, “Something is wrong with Mommy.” I told my husband what happened, & he said he could believe I could hear them. After all, I was extremely close to all of our cats.
The following day, I turned on some music while I was doing housework. When Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song, “Freebird” came on, I heard what I’d thought was Bubba’s voice again, as I heard it the previous day. “Mommy, this song fits me. Listen to the lyrics.” By this time, I doubted my sanity. Once I was done my chores, I prayed, asking God what was going on. I felt no answer coming, so I opened up my Bible. It came open to the book of Job, & my eyes fell on this Scripture: Job 12:7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (KJV) Immediately, I knew I heard Bubba & Spitfire. I wasn’t crazy!
Since that time, I’ve gotten better at communicating with animals. I don’t often hear them as clearly as I did Bubba & Spitfire, but I still communicate with them constantly. What’s so interesting is the more I wanted to communicate with them, the more they wanted to communicate with me. Our late chow chow mix, Bear, taught me that when he barked once it meant yes, twice meant no & three times meant I love you. Vincent, my granddad’s cat that we ended up adopting in 2008, told me one day his great great great great grandfather was a purebred Abyssinian cat. He was very proud of his heritage apparently. Minnie Rose, our dilute tortoise shell cat, actually tries to form words with her meows, so there is never much trouble figuring out what message she is trying to get across, especially when she says, “Yea” or, “NOOOO!!”. Punkin is our orange tabby with feline PTSD. He is very vocal & very clear at communicating whatever he wants me to know with certain facial expressions as well as meows.
I’m always impressed by how if you just pay attention to them, animals will make sure you know what they want you to know. You just need to be observant.
Also, not all animals are overly interested in communication with people, so if you try to communicate with some animals, they may have absolutely no interest, no matter how hard you try. Some seem to put up a mental wall.
Be careful reading about communicating with animals. Some who discuss animal communication claim it is some sort of psychic ability instead of a gift from God. They make it sound almost occult in nature. I have asked God to help me to communicate with animals His way, & with whatever animals He wants me to communicate with. I believe keeping God involved keeps anything bad out of what really should be God’s gift to His children.
Several years ago, I wrote my first book on the topic of animals. I even included some about things my animals & I have discussed. If you would like to check out this book, it is called, “Pawprints On Our Hearts”, & is available at this page on my website, simply scroll down : http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Books-For-Sale.php
Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV)
I realize many Christians will disagree with me, stating that humans are much more valuable than animals. I respectfully disagree though. God loves the animals He created. Reread the Scripture I opened this post with: Ecclesiastes 3:19 “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (KJV) The Scripture states. “that a man hath no preeminence above a beast,” so obviously God believes humans & animals to be equal.
Other Scriptures speak of the value of animals:
Animals are a wonderful blessing to people! They offer us companionship, unconditional love, help us with chores (such as on a farm), & if we pay attention, teach us a great deal. I’ve had pets since shortly after moving out of my parents’ home at age 19, & pray there never will come a time I don’t have any! Mine have blessed me in more ways than I can count! They have made me laugh or comforted me when I was upset, defended me to people who were nasty to me, & taught me many things, including how to be a good mom.
I hope you, Dear Reader, aren’t one who thinks animals are “just dumb animals” like many people do. If so, though, I pray you’ll consider what I’ve written, & reconsider your position!
And, if you’re an animal lover like me, but never thought about such Scriptures, then please, also consider this post. Maybe pay a bit more attention to your furkids- they are wonderful teachers, & you can learn so much from them. Don’t forget to let them know how much you love & appreciate them, too! They appreciate hearing such things just as much as you do! 🙂
I’ve noticed an interesting trend with this blog. When I write about my mistakes, failures or struggles, my blog gains more followers & views. My recent post about a bad C-PTSD day gained me quite a few more followers & a lot of views.
I believe this is because people are tired of people who claim they’ve been completely healed from their past, saying all you have to do is pray & believe, & God will deliver you completely from your past. People who are completely delivered from their pain are in the minority, yet they are the ones most in the public eye, it seems.
The problem with this is it makes people feel like failures. It sure did me. I felt like I must not have enough faith or I was praying wrong. Maybe because my experiences weren’t as bad as some other folks’ God wasn’t going to set me free- maybe He thought I was over reacting & needed to realize that.
Then one night while watching TV a few years ago, I saw Josh McDowell doing an interview on TBN’s show, “Praise The Lord.” As a child, he was sexually abused. His story was heartbreaking, but it gave me hope at the same time. Why? Because he admitted that as a grown man in his 50’s or maybe 60’s (my guess.. not sure) he still had issues stemming from that abuse. He said when people touch his shoulder in a certain way, he can’t handle it, because it reminds him of his abuser.
Realizing that this wise, caring, good man of God still had issues from childhood abuse so many years later released the feeling of shame I had. He’s obviously no failure, yet God didn’t wave that magic wand & set him free of all symptoms of the abuse. Maybe, just maybe, that means I’m not a failure either!
Two Scriptures also came into my mind in a new way. Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” & Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” I realized that God is truly there with me during all the bad times. Not only the times that I’ve lost a loved one or had a fight with a friend- all of the bad times. He is with me during flashbacks, panic attacks & depressive episodes. He is with me during all of those valley of the shadow of death times, not just some. Also, I realized you learn a lot more going through something than you do if you’re just delivered from it. The things I learn by going through are the things that I’ve been able to share in this blog, & in my books, too, & I believe people are being helped by these things. I’ve received plenty of messages to prove it.
Also, He is the one who showed me I needed healing. He started me on the healing path by gently showing me what was wrong with me & how to heal. So, since God started that “good work,” it seems logical to me, judging by Philippians 1:6, that He will continue working on healing me until Jesus comes back. This tells me there is nothing wrong with continuing to have issues for years after the fact. It’s normal!
These revelations gave me a new heart for how I write. Rather than constantly trying to encourage or teach readers what I have learned, I felt it would be a good idea to share my mistakes & struggles, too, to let my readers know that they aren’t alone. Everyone who has been through narcissistic abuse struggles to some degree. It’s ok! God is with them & helping them to heal.
So, Dear Reader, this is my promise to you- to be real, not only encouraging or educational. I’ll also let you know that I understand your struggles, because I struggle too, every single day. And, there is nothing wrong with you or your faith if God hasn’t miraculously delivered you. There are plenty of us in that same valley, so at least you aren’t alone!
Not long ago, I shared that my husband & I had lost our second cat in three months. Grieving the losses has been very difficult. However, I realized that in one way it is easier than it used to be- since my parents have stopped speaking to me, that has made it much easier. Typical of narcissists, my parents have no empathy, so when I’m grieving, their calloused words hurt me.
One way they have hurt me regarding my pets is hinting that I’m a hoarder. Yes, I have a lot of cats & a dog, but hoarder? No. And, they aren’t the only people who seem offended by the amount of pets I have. Other people over the years have made snide comments like I have too many pets, I need to get rid of them, no one can care properly for that many pets, etc.
If you too have several pets, I’m writing this for you, Dear Reader. No one has the right to say that you have too many pets, so long as they are well cared for. Ignore the idiocy of people who say these things. Or, come up with creative comebacks for these situations. For example, if someone says they think you have too many pets, you can tell them that you believe they have too many children. When they get offended, let them know that is how you feel when people say the same thing to you about your pets.
Hoarders are very different than pet parents. I have looked into it, because honestly, I was afraid my parents were right about me. I didn’t think many of people have a lot of pets like me, so I did question briefly whether or not I was a hoarder. Thankfully I don’t meet the criteria! Some of the criteria used to determine if someone is a hoarder are:
This behavior is obviously VERY different than a pet parent or even a rescuer. While parents & rescuers may have large numbers of pets, they receive good, quality food, they see vets when necessary, they are spayed or neutered, litterboxes or cages are plentiful & cleaned regularly, homes are clean, & parents & rescuers learn the best ways to care for the animals in their home. We also know our limits- we won’t have 100 cats at once because we can’t provide proper care for that many at a time.
If you are like many of my friends & readers, & you meet the criteria in the above paragraph rather than the criteria for a hoarder, you’re in good company. There are a lot of us out there! So if an ignorant person claims you have too many pets or are a hoarder, rest easy knowing that person truly has no idea what a good person you are! Keep on rescuing those babies! There are so many animals in need, & you can make a difference!
I know, I’ve been posting a lot of animal posts lately, but they have been on my heart a lot too. Partly because I have lost two beautiful cats since May, but also partly because of the two cuties below….
There are two precious new members of hubby’s & my family. Meet Grace O’Malley (named after an Irish pirate queen). She has a heart on her back!!!! How cute is she?! She is extremely feisty & loving at the same time.
And this is Fergus (named after an Irish king), her brother… is he not adorable? I found him in the food bowl his first morning here.. lol Fergus is also extremely feisty, & very protective of Grace. He’s a wonderful brother.
One of my best friends texted me about a week ago, saying she knew someone fostering 4 very young kittens in need of a home. They were about 4 weeks & in need of a home. They were born to a barn cat who had abandoned the litter. She was hesitant to ask me if I’d take them because we have lost 2 kitties in the last 3 months, & honestly, everyone in our household is having a hard time with the losses. After talking to my husband & finding out Grace has a disability, we decided to adopt two of them. I am so incredibly glad we did, too.
Grace & Fergus have been home since about 5 on this past Monday, but already are a very loved part of our family. Punkin is a great big brother, which isn’t surprising. He’s a kind, gentle kitty. Plus since he has feline PTSD, he’s very compassionate.
As I type this, Grace is napping on my chest, so if you see typos in this post, that’s why.. not easy to type with a kitty in your face..lol
After losing two other precious cats in such a short time, I’ve realized that adopting new ones fairly quickly is a good thing. I’m not trying to replace the ones we lost by any stretch, but instead, honor their memory by adopting other babies in need. The bonus is these two being young babies, they are at the super fun, silly stage of kitten development, so they are cheering everyone up just by being their cute selves.
It can be so hard when you lose a beloved furbaby. That being said, adopting a new one in need can really help to heal your broken heart. They can’t replace the one you have lost, but they can bring more love & joy into your life which helps to mend your broken heart. Please consider doing so! There are so many animals in need! If you can save even one, you are doing a wonderful thing!!!
Human beings aren’t the only ones who can suffer from mental illness. Animals can as well.
Contrary to what many people seem to think, animals have emotions like people do, & even process them much the same way as humans. This means that animals can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, following trauma.
Unfortunately for animals, they can’t verbalize their pain. You have to observe your pet to figure out if they have PTSD, & it can be tricky to identify.
My 2 year old cat, Punkin, has Feline PTSD. When he arrived in our home at 3 months old, I had no idea of this fact. All I knew was he showed up on the deck of the neighbor of my friend’s friend, & he was in need of a home. He was immediately friendly with the other cats, & seemed indifferent towards our dog, Dixie. A few months later, Punkin attacked Dixie out of the blue. My husband & I hollered at him immediately. He stopped, looking completely baffled, then ran away & hid. Thankfully Dixie didn’t even have a scratch, but she was visibly shaken, understandably so! My husband was mad at Punkin, but I realized he looked like I felt during a flashback. Once Punkin calmed down & apologized to Dixie (looking sheepishly at her & trying to be nice to her), I did some research & learned that yes, animals can have PTSD. I realized some signs to look for, at least in cats, but probably they are much the same in other animals:
After realizing what was going on with Punkin, I had to pray to figure out how to handle this problem. It’s not like I could take Punkin to a therapist, & he could discuss his feelings. As far as I know, veterinary medicine doesn’t even acknowledge PTSD in animals, so even a vet check up wouldn’t help. Thankfully God showed me some things.
Did you know that there is a specific day of the year devoted to loving our adorable feline friends? Well there is! Although in my home, every day is Black Cat Appreciation Day…lol
Black animals, cats especially, are the most overlooked in shelters & the least likely to be adopted followed closely by solid white cats. Silly superstitions are probably behind this as well as misguided beliefs that black cats are always the familiars of witches, therefore evil.
I call b.s. on this. Sorry to be crude, but the sentiment fits very well!
I have had 6 solid black cats & 3 solid white cats in my life as a cat parent. They have been some of the most amazing, fun, silly cats I’ve had the privilege of parenting. Magic was my first cat, & I have written about him before. He was something special. Loving, devoted, extremely intelligent & very opinionated. He knew my moods better than any human ever has & responded to me well. He protected me once when an argument with a former boyfriend not long after adopting Magic almost got physical (interestingly, the man’s dog did nothing- only Magic protected me). He scared my mother in-law away from me once & another time pooped on her carpet to show he disliked her. Magic was a handful & an extremely interesting way to start life as a cat parent, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. He has been gone since 2007, & I still think of that precious guy daily.
Magic was just one example of the wonder that is black cats. They are sleek & beautiful, often strongly resembling a black panther. They are highly intelligent & intuitive. They are creative, dignified yet can be silly sometimes. All cats are wonderful, but I have found there is something special about black cats.
If you’re a cat lover but never adopted one, then I strongly suggest opening your home to one. You won’t regret it! It will be an experience you’ll never forget or regret 🙂 Just look at these beautiful babies of mine… don’t you want to have your own mini house panther now too?? 🙂
This past Thursday, we lost a beloved & very special member of our family. Our cat Pretty Boy passed away suddenly of unknown causes at just over 14 years old.
I’m not sharing this for sympathy. I’m sharing because I want to remind you fellow pet parents out there to enjoy every moment you have with your furbabies. The time together can end in an instant, so make it a point to treasure every moment you have with them. Pray for them regularly. You may be surprised how much your furbaby likes it when you pray for them. Pretty Boy had diabetes for 5.5 years, & I regularly prayed for him. When I prayed for him in his presence, he purred & cuddled me. It can be a bonding experience, praying for your furbaby.
Also, I have asked God to help me to understand & communicate with my furkids. As a result, we are all very close. And, I think this also has helped them to become the wonderful little creatures God created them to be. It’s not just me that thinks they are wonderful either. I’ve had several friends over the years who have said almost exactly the same thing- “I’m not normally a cat person, but there is something special about yours. They’re so friendly & loving.” I had one friend who was terrified of cats.. until he met my first cat, Magic. Magic became his buddy in no time. This friend also was no longer afraid of cats after spending time with mine.
Communicating with animals is possible, & God will show you how to do it. It is beneficial for you as well as them, & draws you closer to the furbaby. I wrote some about it in my book, “Pawprints On Our Hearts” & will discuss it in a bit more detail in an upcoming blog post. Job 12:7 says, “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” (KJV) God will allow us to communicate with animals & be blessed by it. It is truly a glorious gift He has given us, to communicate with these wonderful creatures He has made. By communicating with mine & becoming so close to them, I have been blessed more than I can say. In fact, one of those blessings has come in the form of music. As my cat Weeble, was dying in May, she told me that the song “Angel” by Jon Secada reminded her of me. I still have trouble listening to the song since losing her was so recent, but at the same time, it gives me comfort. Also about a year ago, I was listening to Queen when the song “I Was Born To Love You” came on. Pretty Boy & I were snuggling when he stopped & looked at me, giving me the slow blink cats do when saying they love you as the song came on. Immediately I knew he was saying this was our song.
Just because… here is a picture of Pretty Boy. RIP, my angel boy. I love you with all my heart & will see you again one day soon..
As I wrote about earlier today, our little family became a bit smaller recently with the sudden loss of our cat, Pretty Boy. Losing a furbaby is absolutely the worst part of having pets. It feels like my heart has been ripped out, to tell the truth. Not only because of my personal loss, but watching my husband & the other furbabies grieve is so incredibly painful too.
Thankfully, I’m surrounded by friends who love animals as much as I do, or at the very least, understand how much I love them even if they are not avid animal lovers themselves. They have been sending their condolences & praying for my little family, which is simply awesome. I’m incredibly grateful for them!
Unfortunately, not every single person in my life is this kind. My narcissistic parents come to mind. As of the time of me writing this post, they don’t know about Pretty Boy, & I hope to keep it that way for a while. The reason is they end up hurting me each time I lose a furbaby. My mother has said things like the one who passed is better off dead than with me as his or her mom, “at least you don’t have any sick ones anymore”, repeated a story about losing her cat when she was 14 years old, or simply ignored my loss. My father sort of tries to be comforting, but he has no idea how to. He has no empathy.
When you’re grieving, whether it’s losing a human or furbaby, you are especially vulnerable to the cruelty of narcissists. They know this, & that is why they attack at this awful time.
I want to remind you Dear Reader, & myself as well, that it is very important to protect yourself during such fragile times. There is nothing wrong with keeping a distance from narcissists when you are grieving. In fact, it is a wise thing to do to protect your mental health.
You owe them no explanation as to why you need time to yourself, either. Just state that you need some time to yourself, & if they insist on calling, texting, visiting, etc., ignore them. Don’t answer the phone or the door. That is your right! If later when you speak to them, they try to shame you for not answering their calls, etc., simply remind them you told them that you needed time to yourself & ignore the guilt trips! Easier said than done, I know, but it can be done. I’ve done it myself. By calmly stating that fact & ignoring the guilt, the narcissist may get annoyed, but sees that the tactic isn’t working, so usually he or she abandons it.
Also, narcissists don’t understand what it’s like to grieve. To grieve means you loved someone, which is something narcissists don’t do. This may mean they try to invalidate your feelings or shame you for grieving. Do not allow their poison to get inside you!! Just because they are unable to love someone enough to grieve a loss doesn’t mean you are wrong for grieving.
When you are in the throes of grief, it is especially important to take good care of your mental health. Do your best to rest often, do nurturing things that help you to feel better, eat healthy & avoid toxic people (especially narcissists). You need to do these things so you can go through the painful grief process, & eventually learn to live without that special person or pet.
My publisher is having another great sale on print books. 20% off if you buy two or more. Simply use code 2FORYOU at checkout. Sale ends August 7, 2016.
Find my books at:
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My books can be found at:
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This time, my publisher is offering 15% off all print books & free mail shipping until June 12. Simply use code COOKBOOK15 at checkout.
My books can be found at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug
At the time of me writing this post, it’s just over a month since my sweet tabby cat, Weeble passed away suddenly at 16. She was the oldest member of our family, & deeply loved & respected by the other furkids.
Since her passing, I haven’t been able to wash the linens on the guest bed where she & I spent her last 30 hours as she fought so hard for her life. Aside from the obvious fact that grief takes a lot out of you & I haven’t had much energy, the other cats have spent time on that bed quite a bit since her passing. Chester in particular naps often in the very spot where she passed away.
I think it was 2 days after her death that I found him here, & asked him “Are you missing Weeble?” He meowed a soft, mournful meow, & pulled the covers close to him. It broke my heart. Grieving is hard enough but the hardest part is watching the furbabies hurting too & not being able to do anything to help them feel better.
Animals feel deeply. Moreso than many humans I’ve known. Please remember that about your pets. They hurt when another animal in your home dies too, so don’t forget to give them extra love & comfort during this trying time. It will help both of you to feel better.
And, keep their feelings in mind at other times too! They can be hurt just as easily as a human can if someone snaps at them after a bad day or ignores them for the TV. Criticisms hurt them too. Don’t forget, animals understand the words you say, not just the tone of your voice. If you call your dog fat or your cat lazy, they know exactly what you mean, & it makes them feel as badly as it would you if someone called you fat or lazy. (This topic has been the cause of many arguments with my narcissistic mother, as she thinks it’s acceptable to come into my home & tell my pets who is too fat, too skinny, too whatever. It took over 20 years to get her to stop that awful behavior.) Calling your pet beautiful, smart, etc. will have a very positive effect too, just as it would if someone complemented you. I also tell my furkids how proud I am of them, how smart & caring they are. I praise them frequently & they respond to it well. Do the same with your pets, & see if they don’t love the praise!
One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that my furkids love to be prayed for. Pretty Boy was diagnosed with liver carcinoma at the end of 2013. The vet said he only had a short time left. I knew the vet was right- not only was she a very good, but she showed me the bloodwork results. He also had lost 2 pounds- a fair amount of weight for a cat. His side where his liver is also felt somewhat enlarged, which the vet said was his liver. She saw it on an ultrasound. I prayed for him constantly, & every time I did, Pretty Boy would purr the entire time. I even asked him before I prayed if he wanted me to pray for him, & many times, he would rub on me or headbonk me. The best part of this is when he went back to the vet the following year, there was no sign of the liver carcinoma! No swelling, he had gained back the 2 pounds he lost, & his bloodwork was fine. In fact, the vet said “it was perfect.”
Just please remember, your furkids are people too! Treat them with the love & respect they deserve, & talk to them with love. When you must correct them, do so gently & with respect. They will respond very well when you do this!
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Tomorrow marks the thirteenth anniversary of my paternal Granddad’s passing. Like every single year on May 31, I know I’ll be depressed & missing him more than usual.
Grief anniversaries are rough days, but I think they can be a good thing in a way as well. They remind you of someone you dearly loved yet lost. They gently push you to remember some good times, & the things you loved about that person. As sad as May 31 always is for me, I also look forward to the day in a way because it gives me an excuse to remember the good times, like sitting around what is now my dining room table with Granddad, listening to him telling me stories of our family. Or, going to our favorite little Italian place for lunch & chatting over a yummy meal. I also remember how after his death, butterflies started appearing in my life, comforting me. I also laugh how my talking teddy bear that he liked has started talking without me pushing the button since he passed, & I’m pretty sure he has something to do with my talking bear. His way of saying hi.
Sometimes, too, the day reminds me of the viewing the day before & the funeral. Those memories are extremely hard & all these years later, still make me cry. But, sometimes tears can be a good thing. They can be cleansing & healing. They also are proof of having loved the departed one a great deal. Loving someone is truly one of God’s most precious gifts.
I’ve also noticed grief anniversaries can be spontaneous. The scent of your loved one’s cologne or perfume, the sound of his or her favorite music or even a sport he or she loved can be enough to bring you to tears for missing that person sometimes. Even now, there are times I think, “I should call or email Granddad about this” or “I wish I could talk to him about this” & experience a renewed grief with the reminder I can’t talk to him anymore until I see him in Heaven one day.
I really believe these days are important to acknowledge. They keep your loved one in your heart & mind, close to you, so he or she is never really gone. That is why every May 31 & August 15 (his birthday) I remember my granddad. I also remember days I’ve lost others I’ve loved- my grandmother, great-grandmother, & my furbabies. They’re always close to me, always in my heart.
I recently mentioned in this post how I’d had a big argument with my parents on May 5. I tried mentally to put the incident in a box on a shelf, so I could grieve the loss of my sweet kitty Weeble that passed away only 3 days prior to the argument. I discussed that in this post.
This actually worked pretty well for a short time. Not perfectly- I kept having dreams that I didn’t remember, which was evidence my mind was still trying to process what my parents did to me. It also left me quite tired. But at least while awake I was able to focus more on grieving my loss, as I needed to do. Recently though, I felt I was unable to keep my parents in that box any longer. I knew it was time to deal with what they had done to me.
I wanted to mention how it worked out because if anyone tries to do as I did, you need to know it really is NOT a perfect solution. It definitely helped me, but it certainly wasn’t perfect.
It is also not a permanent solution. Stuffing your emotions or refusing to face things is never good for your mental health. You need to deal with what happens in your life, good, bad or indifferent if you want to remain mentally healthy!
Even keeping these things in mind, I still would recommend mentally putting other problems in a box if you’re feeling overwhelmed. The time I was able to successfully do so enabled me mostly to deal with the more important & pressing matter at hand, which was grieving my loss. By the time I felt that box had to come off the shelf, I was more able to handle dealing with it than I had been.
Also, for me, I knew it was time to deal with that box on the shelf because thoughts of what happened started forcing their way into my mind even though I didn’t want them to. I also started remembering my dreams again. Sometimes when things are too difficult to process or you are too overwhelmed to deal with them, you don’t remember your dreams. It’s your mind’s way of dealing with things you don’t feel able to deal with. Remembering the dreams means you are more able to cope. So pay attention to your dreams! They are valuable teachers! Not only what you dream about, but whether or not you remember them. (Just FYI, I like using http://www.dreammoods.com for a dream dictionary. That site plus prayer has enabled me to understand many of my dreams.)
And, regarding my parents… I reached a decision on what to do regarding them. After some prayer & talking with my dear friend, I realized what I need to do. Nothing. I had wondered if I should go no contact or try to work things out or what, but doing nothing makes the most sense to me. I’ve always been the one who tries to work things out, & frankly, I’m tired of that. I quit. They did me wrong, so they can apologize or not- it’s up to them (although I don’t expect to hear an apology since neither one grasps why I was so angry). I had planned on taking some time away from them, but unfortunately I slipped up & answered the phone when my father called recently. I had taken something to help me sleep & was starting to feel a bit woozy, plus it’s such a habit to just answer the phone. UGH!!! (I need to remember not to answer the phone after a sleeping pill..) Turns out he thinks all is fine now. He gave me some passive/aggressive, snarky comments so he’s happy & doesn’t seem to care that I’m not. Life with narcissistic parents.. so much fun isn’t it? lol
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I coined this phrase, stealing grief, after losing my sweet kitty, Vincent. Vincent had been my granddad’s cat, & a cousin took him after Granddad died. Several years later, she asked me to baby sit him while she moved, then said I could keep him. I was blessed to have him for just over 2 years when he passed away very suddenly & unexpectedly. Losing him was especially hard for me, not only because he was an awesome cat, but he had been Granddad’s best friend. I felt like I was losing a part of Granddad as well as losing Vincent. The combined loss was devastating.
I told my father about losing Vincent a day or so after his death. The following day, my mother called as I was not only grieving but in bed sick with the flu. She told me my father told her about Vincent. She also said how he was never happy with me- he was only happy with Granddad. He was miserable in my home, according to her. Between feeling very sick & grieving, I couldn’t even respond to what she said. I just cried. Her words hurt me to my core, even though I knew they weren’t true. For a while, I was so hurt, I focused on that instead of grieving Vincent. I felt my grief process had been stolen due to the hurt I felt from my mother’s hatefulness.
Prior to that incident, when losing cats, if my mother even acknowledged the loss, she told me that they were better off dead than with me as their mom or “oh well.. at least you don’t have any sick ones now.” Each time her callous & evil words interrupted my natural grief process, leaving me wounded & hurting even more than usual because of being oversensitive due to grief. I stopped telling my parents when we’ve lost furbabies because of this.
I realized that this was done purposely. My mother, in typical narcissistic fashion, likes to hurt me, & when I’m already hurting, she is capable of hurting me much more deeply than usual. She is opportunistic, kicking me when I’m down, as narcissists are.
I also realized that this isn’t simply another jab at me. It’s incredibly disrespectful to my furbabies, because she is distracting me from the natural course of grieving the loss of a wonderful creature.
I know that grief isn’t fun. In fact, it feels like hell on Earth when you’re going through it. However, it’s also necessary if you are to process the pain of losing someone you love in a healthy manner. It’s the price you pay for loving someone. It shouldn’t be interrupted! It should be allowed to run its course until you reach that place of acceptance that the one you love is gone, & you can begin to adapt to your new life without that person.
Interrupting grief drags the process out & makes it much harder than it already is. It adds to & prolongs your suffering, which is no doubt what the narcissist enjoys so much. Now your grief will take longer & be harder, plus she was able to dump more pain on you! YAY! Sick? Oh yea. But that’s how narcissists think.
I have learned the hard way that this has to stop. I can’t make my parents stop trying to steal my grief, but I can continue grieving in a healthy way in spite of them.
When we lost our 16 year old tabby cat with an attitude, Weeble on May 2, a few days later, my parents & I got into a big argument. I mentioned it in this post. It was extremely hurtful, even though I’d been expecting a fight, just not quite this exact one. In the heat of the fight, I told my father I couldn’t deal with this topic since I’d just lost Weeble. I ended up telling him 2 things about that- please don’t tell my mother because I don’t need to hear her nastiness & I also need time to myself to grieve. He disregarded this & called me non stop two days later, trying to bully me into answering the phone, because HE wanted to talk to me. My wishes meant nothing apparently. When I finally did talk to him, I told him again I need time to myself, leave me alone. This past Monday, my parents’ number showed up on my caller ID repeatedly. Again. UGH! Wednesday night, my mother called & my husband talked to her since I wasn’t up to it. Would be nice if they listened when I set boundaries.. sheesh.
Anyway, I’ve taken the time to mentally put his & my mother’s horrible behavior on the back burner. I imagine putting them in a box, & putting it on a shelf, to deal with later, when I am able to. For now, I’m focusing on my grief. I’m grieving fully the loss of a beautiful, wonderful little girl who made my life better, which she deserves & I need to do.
If you too end up in this painful position with a narcissist, then please remember this! Don’t let them steal your grief. You need to take care of yourself during this fragile time. If you need space, take it & without guilt. If you must deal with your narcissistic parent(s), then try doing as I have- imagine putting her (them) in a box & placing it on a shelf, until you are able to deal with that pain. I know that stuffing emotions is a bad thing, but this is different- it’s simply postponing dealing with them temporarily until you are more able to do so.
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On this day in 2014, my husband & I lost one of our special cats, Georgie. We adopted him & his brother, Pretty Boy, when they were only about 4 weeks old. They were adorable tiny, fluffy black powder puffs, born to a stray living in a local lady’s yard. She said she was going to have animal control take all of the cats later in the week. Rather than let them take their chances at the shelter, we decided to adopt the brothers. After all, we had lost 2 cats in a short time prior, & another one was dying from cancer- we knew she had very little time left. Kittens always help to cheer us up (they’re so fun & silly!), these two were in need, black cats are the least likely to be adopted & also my personal favorites. It seemed like everything was saying we needed to adopt these two precious little boys.
That was in 2002, & in the 12 years we had both boys, we had a lot of laughs, mostly because of Georgie. He was mischievous & ornery, where his brother is much more serious. In spite of their very different personalities, they were inseparable. Georgie was always Pretty Boy’s protector- if another cat went to mess with Pretty Boy, Georgie intervened, even if the other cat only wanted to play. When Pretty Boy was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, Georgie was always there to comfort his brother, especially when he came home smelling like the world’s most horrible place, the vet’s office.
Then on April 16, 2014, I realized around 10:00 that I hadn’t seen Georgie since the previous night. I texted my husband who said he hadn’t either. I thought maybe Georgie sneaked outside (as he had a couple of times before), or was hiding somewhere napping. I searched the house & couldn’t find him. He didn’t come when I called, which was very unusual. In a panic, I asked my husband to come home & help me find him. He found Georgie in our bedroom closet. Apparently he passed away in his sleep, why we don’t know.
Pretty Boy was devastated, & as you may know, stress & emotions can play havoc with one’s blood glucose levels. For a month, Pretty Boy’s already sensitive levels could jump 600 points or sink 600 points in a 12 hour period. Thankfully, his glucose levels started to level out after about a month. Pretty Boy has not been the same since losing his brother. He became even more serious, but at least he has developed closer friendships with the other cats.
Losing a furbaby is excruciating for people, but we aren’t the only ones who suffer. Their furry family suffers too. Blood related or not, if you have more than one pet, chances are good that they are bonded to some degree. Maybe they don’t show their love as openly as Georgie & Pretty Boy, but there is a bond there. I have had 27 cats in my adult life, & have lost 17 to date, plus had 3 dogs & lost 2 of them. I can tell you that the survivors always grieve. Not all grieve as hard as my Pretty Boy did for his brother, but there was still a great deal of pain when others passed on. I have seen it over & over
If you have lost a furbaby, please remember this! I know you are suffering, but so are your surviving furbabies. You need to help each other through the grief process. It will help you both to get through & bond you even closer.
How do you help when you feel like you’re falling apart? First, pray. Ask God to help you to help your furbaby. Pray for your furbaby- lay your hands on him or her & pray out loud. I have yet to have one pet not like this. They understand what you are doing, & they do appreciate it! Mine certainly have.
Offer your surviving furbaby extra love. Lots of snuggles & saying “I love you” truly help you both a great deal. Don’t think animals don’t know what you’re saying, only the tone of voice- they understand exactly what you’re saying! And, like humans, hearing a heart felt “I love you” is always welcomed, but especially when they are hurting. This helps you too- when you receive snuggles in return, it helps to lift your spirits.
You can take your baby for a walk- not only dogs enjoy walks, but some cats do as well. In fact, some cats enjoy walking with a harness & leash, believe it or not. If your kitty isn’t a fan, they make pet strollers that safely protect your cat in a netted cage of sorts, allowing her to enjoy the fresh air & remain protected at the same time.
Playing is always a good bonding experience with your pet, & it helps to elevate both your moods. I have yet to meet a dog who didn’t love a good game of fetch or tug of war. Most cats enjoy cat nip, chasing a piece of string or rope & some even enjoy jingle bells or small crinkle balls. The experience also helps to cheer you up because it’s such fun watching your furbaby have fun.
Losing a pet is a painful, horrible experience, but never forget, it also hurts your other pets. They need you now more than ever, & you need them.
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Tomorrow is a day I can’t forget. On January 21, 2007, I lost my sweet cat, Magic. He died quietly in my arms after over three years of dealing with heart problems, which was twice as long as vets expected him to live.
Magic was very special. Not only was he my first cat, but he was also my soul mate. He was extremely in tune with me. He defended me when people were cruel to me. He comforted me when I was sad & snuggled me when I was happy. He was extremely intuitive, intelligent, fun, caring & a wonderful surrogate daddy to the other cats & dogs. It’s hardly a surprise that after his death, he was still special..
One day not long after losing Magic, I was listening to the soundtrack from the TV show, “Touched By An Angel.” Wynonna’s song “You Were Loved” came on. God spoke to my heart & said, “This is your & Magic’s song. He wanted you to know that.” Even now, I cry when I hear the song, remembering that precious moment.
That wasn’t even the first time something like this happened. In December 2001, I experienced my first kitty death. My sweet boy, Bubba died from FIV & emphysema at only age 9. God gave me Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” two days later. In 2002 after Sugar died suddenly & completely unexpectedly, God told me the same thing about Lonestar’s “Not A Day Goes By” There have been other songs too. In December 2010 when Vincent died, on my way back from burying him, the song “Someday We’ll Be Together” started going through my mind. God told me that was Vincent’s & my song. A similar thing happened the following year when Jasmine passed, except the song was Aerosmith’s “Angel” & in 2014 when Georgie passed with Steelheart’s “I’ll Never Let You Go.”
My point in sharing all of this with you, Dear Reader, is to reassure you. Not only people go to Heaven or Hell. Animals do as well! Mark 16:15 says to preach the Gospel to all creation or to every creature in every single translation I’ve seen. This tells me that animals also can accept Jesus as their savior. This means they can go to Heaven & we will see them again one day!
I also firmly believe that death doesn’t mean that they no longer think of their humans once they are gone. I have no doubt they think of us & miss us as we think of & miss them. Otherwise, why would God have told me they wanted me to know that these songs are ours?
If you have lost lost a precious pet, please be reassured that your baby still loves you & thinks fondly of you. And best of all, you’ll see him or her again one day. I know it hurts more than you can describe when you lose a furbaby, but knowing you’ll see them again one day is very comforting.
The songs I’ve gotten are also quite comforting. Granted, not every single furbaby & I have a song, & I don’t know why that is, but the ones I do share a song with? That song comforts me & helped me to get through the initial, devastating pain of losing them. If you haven’t experienced this, it may be a good idea to ask God about it. He certainly won’t object to it! And, who knows? Maybe you were too caught up in your grief to notice God gently trying to tell you about a song. It’s certainly possible to be grieving so hard, you don’t listen to God. I’ve done that myself.
If you have experienced the pain of losing a furbaby, please know I understand. It’s devastating!
As most of you know, I’m an avid animal lover. I also have a weird knack for remembering dates. So, I naturally remember this day in 1990 when I adopted my first cat, Magic…
Magic was very special, my soul mate. He was extremely intelligent, loving, devoted, protective, a great surrogate daddy to kittens, stubborn, devious & so much more. He was in my life for over 16 years when he passed away quietly in my arms one afternoon. Although he’s been gone since January 17, 2007, I still miss him daily.
I was thinking about Magic when something occurred to me. So many people act like when you lose a pet, it’s no big deal. “It’s just an animal” they say. They fail to realize that animal is like a child to you. You love him, take care of him, provide for him, comfort him when he’s sad or upset & nurse him when he’s sick. How can you not be shaken to your core when you lose your furry child?!
If you’ve lost a precious pet, I would encourage you to honor his memory in some special way. It will bring you comfort when grief threatens to overwhelm you, & remind you of fun memories as well. I have a locket that has a small tuft of Magic’s fur on one side & his picture on the other. You could do something similar. Or, you could get more creative. A photo album or photo display in your home would be nice. A special garden with a memorial plaque in your yard also would be nice. Paint or draw your beloved pet’s picture. When our neighbor’s Akita dog died, our dog, Bear, was devastated.. he loved Mathilda a great deal. I decided to knit him an afghan since he liked to nap on them & a couple of my friends sent me squares to add into it. All squares had two hearts on them in some unique way. It brought him comfort when he was hurting. You could do the same for yourself if you are into the yarn arts. Or, you could sew a quilt. The possibilities are endless.
Losing a pet is a horrible experience, but it has one good part. Grieving hard means you loved hard. As painful as it can be to believe when you first lose your furbaby, one day you will realize that it was worth it, because you had that special little angel in your life. Remember that when you are in pain- it really will comfort you one day.
And, ignore those who try to invalidate your grief. They are foolish or cold hearted. Grieve that precious furbaby however you see fit. You probably never will stop grieving completely, & that is ok! It just means you loved that little one a great deal.
Tell God how you feel- He understands. . In fact, God may bless you in a unique way at this time. After losing Magic, I was listening to a CD one day, the soundtrack from the show “Touched By An Angel.” Wynonna’s song “You Were Loved” came on & God spoke to my heart saying, “This is from Magic.” I can’t hear the song with it’s moving lyrics without thinking of Magic now. It always brings me joy & reminds me we’ll see each other again one day. This has happened with other cats I’ve lost, too. Bubba’s song is “Freebird” (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Sugar’s is “Not A Day Goes By” (Lonestar), Vincent’s is “Someday We’ll Be Together” (The Supremes), Jasmine’s is “Angel” (Aerosmith), Georgie’s is “Angel Eyes” (Steelheart) & Sneezer’s is “Carrying Your Love With Me” (George Straight). If God has blessed me like this, He may do the same for you. Why not ask Him to do so?
Also, if you have other furbabies, then please never take them for granted! As I’m writing, my Pretty Boy is napping on the sofa, snoring loudly, while Zippy is laying across my wrist as I type, purring loudly. Their contentment brings me joy. I love my boys so much, & tell them so all the time, just like I do with the other cats & dog. Animals, like humans, need to know they are loved. And, you need to enjoy the time you have with your little furry angels to the fullest!
I’ve always been an avid animal lover, especially cats. In 2009 after losing my 18 year old tabby cat Sneezer, I thought I’d study what the Bible has to say about animals. It was very eye opening! I learned enough to write a full book on the topic, “Pawprints On Our Hearts”
The Bible has so much to say about God’s love for the wonderful animals that He created. Two verses though really spoke to my heart about how valuable animals are:
Job 12:7-10 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” (ESV)
Job 35:11 “Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’” (ESV)
I’ve always known that animals can make wonderful companions, but they also are wonderful teachers. After reading those verses, it began to click in my mind just how good they are at teaching.
My first cat, Magic, taught me how to be a good mom to my cats. He was always loving & patient with them, even the neediest young kittens. He knew exactly what they needed & how to meet those needs.
Vincent taught me to appreciate the little things & people. One day I was walking him outside & he stopped to let the cool fall breeze flow through his fur. The look on his face was sheer bliss. When it stopped, he looked at me, then grabbed my hand & kissed it, I believe to thank me for allowing him to enjoy the experience of being outside.
Jasmine inspired me to never give up. She had 4 strokes in just under 2 years, & fought incredibly hard to recover from them, even when a vet told me I should put her down.
If you just pay attention to the animals in your life, you can learn some really amazing things. I have asked God to help me to learn from my furbabies. They are also some amazing teachers, always willing to teach you.
I also talk to them just as I talk to people. Animals are very intelligent, & they truly understand what we say to them, not only the tone of our voices as some wrongly believe. They also find ways to convey their messages to you. I remember one time before my dog, Bear, passed.. he had arthritis really badly, & one day he needed a pain pill. He came into the kitchen as I was washing dishes & looked at me. I could tell he was hurting by how he walked, & asked if he was ok. He looked at the fridge, then me. I asked if he needed a pill & he barked once as if to say “yes!” I gave him his pill, & he gave me a kiss in return.
Animals are truly a blessing & a gift straight from God. If you aren’t enjoying them or enjoying them as much as you could, I urge you to give them a try. Get to know them. Ask them questions. They’ll find a way to answer. Most of all, love them & enjoy their friendship. It will bring you great joy!