Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thank You

There is a bond of understanding amongst those of us who love animals.
I'm thinking here of those who come to know the cats, dogs, horses, who share our space for a number of years as individuals, each one unique in personality.
It is these friends, whether we have met in person or not, who rally round with words of comfort when the loss of a pet leaves a hole in one's life. 
Having experienced the desolation of parting with a loved pet, we are gentle with the sensibilities of  those whose loss is fresh.  We remember and we feel the prickle of tears as we read another's story.
It takes a while to adjust to the empty spot beside us, time to realize that we won't see our cat curled in that favorite sunny spot on the windowsill; the dog won't be lumbering to his feet, tail wagging, ready to walk out with us.
We've had a few dogs over the years;  we're not notably clever about dogs, perhaps a bit too impatient to deal well with the training needed to integrate a dog into the household.
We've had several horses for varying lengths of time.
Our Pebbles is 25--and I watch her anxiously, knowing that the remaining  years or even months with her are surely numbered.
For me, it has always been cats.  The feline race intrigues me and I find them to be the best of
animal companions.
Some cats--like some people who cross our paths--are more memorable than others.
There are the pleasant cats who are happy to be part of the background--seemingly asking little more than to be fed, housed and well treated.  In return they make themselves agreeable.
There have been those few who were misfits, never quite settling in, remaining wary and distant.
There are the heartbreakers--those darlings, often mischievous, always original, to whom we become deeply attached, whose eventual passing leaves us diminished.
Mrs. Beasley's was not a front and center personality. She was not noisily demanding, she didn't [until her recent deterioration] do things which were disruptive. She was, for most of her 10 years, a quiet, amiable presence.
I have moved her favorite big basket out of the bedroom. I'm not ready to see it empty or appropriated by another cat. It is strange that she is not here in the room with me, purring wheezily at my feet.
I can visualize her still in so many places in the house or the cat yard.
Slowly the other cats are settling down.  Willow is still skittish, but there have been no hostilities, no cat fights shattering the calm.
I am relieved that the recent weeks of tension and indecision have passed, though wishing the outcome could have been different.
I have been warmed and encouraged by the comments left in response to Mrs. Beasley's story.
The lifespan of the animals we love is too short at best.  We take joy in their brief years with us, cherish them, adjust to their loss.
We share the tales of our cats and dogs and horses with those friends who need no explanation of the place these creatures hold in our affections.
My thanks to each of you who have taken a moment to share words of understanding.


11 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful post. I am going to print it and save for a day when I need it. I am so sorry that you lost your Mrs Beasley like that; I can scarcely begin to imagine how you must have felt.


    (I did leave a comment yesterday, but I see it has gone astray, disappeared into the ether, and for that I am sorry.
    PS. I just tried to leave this post when my computer completely shutdown, mid-reply. There must be microsoft gremlins at work!)

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  2. So sorry about Mrs. Beasley. She will be sorely missed. Scruffy is nine years old now. We adopted him when he was eight so I do hope he has a few more years left for us.

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  3. As animal lovers, we all share these same heart-breaking experiences. Of course, we all want them to go on forever, or at least, until they fade away in extreme old age. Sadly, it doesn't always pan out like that. I know you did the right thing for Mrs Beasley - it was right in the terms of the behavioural problems you were having with her (and certainly right when you discovered the cause). Short of keeping her confined to one cat-free room you had no choice - and that wouldn't have been much of a life for her.

    We all face these choices - the horse with arthritis or sudden-onset Laminitis or inoperable colic. The rescue horse so badly treated before my friend rescued her that she attacked on sight and was so dangerous that she even killed the stallion when she was sent to be a brood-mare. (In her case she disappeared into the mountains, never to be seen again).

    Pebbles is 25, but horses often go on into their 30s. Keep an eye on her weight, keep her feet well-balanced and her teeth floated, and you may well find she has another 10 years ahead of her.

    Animals may break our hearts, but what a barren desert our lives would be without them.

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  4. Another beautifully written piece ...from your heart.I know when Georgie passed several years ago, I heard and saw her in her favourite places for weeks. Hugs xx

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  5. You are a true lover of animals, it comes through in all you write about them.
    We're primarily cat people too, though we've had dogs, goats, horses and a miniature burro.
    I think that we like dogs in theory, but in all breaks down in practice, I mean that I want a dog to be like a cat and train itself.

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  6. So sorry about Mrs. Beasley-we had to put our Dusty kitty down last year. Until we moved this month, I would still catch myself stopping to check where he was before I opened the front door. (He was an indoor kitty who loved to escape!)

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  7. I'm just catching up tonight and was so sad to read about your cat, Mrs. Beasley. No matter what the reason it is so hard to make that final decision. I love your words, you express your heart so well. I hope you will soon smile at the memories of her without feeling the pain of loss. They are all so precious, aren't they. Take care

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  8. A lovely post.
    Lillian
    lillianscupboard.wordpress.com

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  9. As another blogger struggling with last weeks loss of my beloved dog, I read this with a lump in my throat. My home is so empty without Sammydog, i am finding this period of adjustment difficult. He still feels close, i think I hear him sometimes.
    sending you a hug sharon, as someone who understands exactly how you are feeling right now

    Leanne x
    talesofsimpledays.blogspot.com

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  10. These losses are hard.. just plain hard! I feel for you. My beloved cat has been gone 30 years and I still dream about her. This is a lovely post, thank you.

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  11. I know it is so sad to lose an animal, those final weeks when we are not sure what to do, poor Mrs.Beasley and poor you for missing a comforting presence in the house. So many times I have had to take that 'final' decision. Moss my collie is still with me every day in my thoughts.
    But you have your other cats that need you...X

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