Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mindfulness and Slowly Losing a Pet to Cancer


Does it sometimes hurt inside knowing loss is an inevitable process?
Yes.
Is it sad to watch his body grow leaner as his appetite increases to a feverish pitch that cannot be sated?
Yes.
Does it conjure up memories of the past and how this small, loving, beautiful creature ran across the street into your arms and purred the moment you made contact with its soft, cold, wet snow fringed young body?
Yes.
Does it make me feel warm inside knowing this "stray" of sorts found my husband and I, out of all the other places it could have run to hide from the abusive environment it knew as its only home?
Yes.
Does it change the fact that this cat has been a "whiny, needy, pain in the you know where, maybe we made the wrong decision when we brought him into our home" kind of cat?
No
Does it any way change the fact, that this loving, HUGE, orange tabby cat, with the incessant voice, the deep, vibrational purr and the constant need for attention of any kind, has been with us for almost 14 years?
No.
Will his larger then life personality, and loving nature to just about everyone who has known him, be missed in a deep and heartfelt way?
Yes.
Will I be able to mourn his loss, when it arrives, and know that the last of our "Jersey Cat" connections is gone?
Yes.
Would I have changed anything knowing he had a heart murmur that prevented us from any type of surgery over the years, as it may have caused his heart to fail during the procedure? 
(In fact, this prevents us from removing the growing tumor in his jaw to help stave off the inevitable progression of cancer.)
No.

To everyone, everywhere that has ever lost a pet for whatever reasons, and to all those that will, take comfort, as I do every day that this loss is indeed an inevitable part of life. Doesn't mean the loss is felt any less, but perhaps it means we can allow ourselves to feel it and let it be, not trying to fill up the painful places or the void with other distractions or worse, another pet, to replace the one we are losing. Just be with it: the pain, the sadness, the loss, the joys, the fun, the smiles, the snuggles, the warmth, the annoyances, the sorrows, the liveliness and all the things that make this pet just like a friend and family to everyone whose lives have been enriched by knowing these very special animals.

When the time comes, I will know when to say the final good bye, until then he is one of the most  spoiled, loved and appreciated cats on the planet.

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