Tag Archives: death of a pet

Some Thoughts On Pets

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..

 

pretty boy on towel rack

Pretty Boy

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Filed under Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers

Grief Anniversaries

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.

 

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Filed under Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Stealing Your Grief

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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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Animals Grieve Too

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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Filed under Animals, Christian Topics and Prayers

Losing A Pet

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 with Georgie Magic with Fluffy Magic looking handsome Magic chillin'

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!

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