I have a parental relationship with my family of seven cherished cats, which is reciprocated by them. I wouldn’t trade their dear hearts for anthing, even though it’s a bond beset by a limitation. We love them as much as anyone (or more!) but these are children who do not outlive us. They live five times less long. The love doesn’t end and is worth having. Being together, if we pay attention here & now and savour all of it, cancels brevity by being wonderfully full.
The unthinkable hit us July 31. My cats are my brightest joys. All I ask is full lifetimes; that they reach their twenties or at least become elderly. One of the four born here, not 4 years-old until this Sunday, September 7, inexplicably died. No chance of toxins: those weren’t the symptoms and he hadn’t been out. He ate early enough that it wasn’t that either. It was internal. He was breathing fast. A vet offered non-threatening explanations and said I needed a major vet, if there were a problem. Those were closed. The options were an after hours drive to the city, or watching for an improvement. He died in 5 hours! For weeks there was guilt: “How could I not save my son, the only time he had a problem”! It could only be natural and without remedy: a ruptured or stopped body system. My fiancé believes it was his time, 20 years too early to accept.
Most anguish is resolved because I’m reassured God didn’t pick on us. Terrible things happen, like loss despairingly early. But the rapidity and his age make it hard to grasp he’s gone. I gaze at his face and wonder how could he not be here? What’s left is getting through the kittens’ September 7 birthday, kittens I’ve been with EVERY DAY ever since they first breathed in 2010! A month is a long time without our son, Love. I’m expressing this news because he is worth knowing. I at least have the power to share how special he is. To garner support from you who understand, or strive to. I don’t have to explain cats for anyone to understand what Love means to us. Everybody has someone who is the centre of their life, whom they would be aggrieved to lose. Telling you that this is mine, under the most peaceful circumstances God could contrive, can be understood.
I wish he hadn’t stopped at 1/5 of his lifespan. But I learned something good, through photographs of this dear, familiar face. Future writings about Lovey will be happy stories to acquaint him with. I’ve become aware years don’t matter, if they were full and paid attention to, in the moment! I notice every time a cat sits next to me and shower them with affection. I strongly remember petting Love before I let him out the day before, saying I love him before he took a walk. I have always paused to take all of these daily joys in. I smile when they walk up to me in the gardens or lawn. I have always spoken and played with them. It struck me that four years of photographs, highlighting many of our activities, overflow! They surpass low quantity of years. Lovey is our largest but wonderfully gentle, respectful, and loyal. He is named Love because he GAVE so much love since he was a newborn. He placed a bright light of joy in our family, so bright: it is permanent. When we’re through the understandable duration of grief, especially considering the shock of an unforeseen passing, I hope to notice his presence in all non-physical forms, a great deal more. Especially his bright smiling light that doesn’t end in physical death, any more than our reciprocated love.
May we face the just-missed birthday, find it hopeful! We will honour Lovey and his three siblings, also celebrating this birthday! His sisters Angel, Petal, and brother Conan will officially be four, as we will refer to Lovey’s age. As sad as we are by this special group being broken (a litter seldom has a home together with their Mom), the rest of them are here. Their Mom is Marigold and our elder cats are McCartney and Spirit. Each of them and my spouse, all adore and remember Love well. My parents are going to celebrate with us this Sunday. Our cats have been their Grandchildren, well before a brother provided a human Granddaughter! ;) I will be grateful for warm words from you. Yours truly, Carolyn.