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Not Just a Cat

blog Mar 22, 2021

Grief is an emotion I find hard to show. When my dad passed away it was something I dealt with very internally, and that would be a blog of it's own. When one of our loved ones die we unite, gather together to celebrate their life and bond with others over the love you had for the person. The loss of a pet does not compare to that of a person. I don't know if I will be able to write about the loss of a person because, well, it's tough for me. 

This week I had to deal with the loss of my 16.5 year old cat. Remember, I am not comparing the loss of a human to the loss of a pet. We are able to talk with our friends/family when a loved one dies, but when we lose  a pet it is something we really tackle on our own because no one had a relationship with that animal like we did. Not only do I now have a void since Oliver is gone, but it makes me analyze my life. It makes me question my mortality. I think of all of the milestones he was present for, our wedding, first house, chiropractic school, having kids. When Crew was born he stood at the bathroom door and growled when he heard him cry, which made Ryan and I laugh. He was a fixture. He was a part of my life for 16.5 years. We got him when he was quite young and there was a time he was constipated and I remember holding him while Ryan tried to get him to poop (obviously on the list of things Ryan never thought he would do, and never likely do again). I remember the moment he decided that I would be his person. He was shy at first and then one night I woke up, and this little fur ball, the size of a coke can, was sitting on my chest, looking down at me purring like crazy. Just staring at me and I think he was saying "You're my person, I'm your cat." I think of all the moments it was just him and I. When we lived in Karlsruhe, a very small town, where I would sleep with a knife under the pillow just in case someone broke in, and we would call Oliver the guard cat because he would lift his head if he heard a that was going to wake me up (that's why I had the knife....). I think of the times I didn't do well on a test or had a horrible day. I would come home to the cat. He would purr and look at me as if he was saying "But you are beautiful! Look at you, you amazing human!"  I used to take him EVERYWHERE. Like crazy cat lady everywhere. I had a portable litter box so he could ride with me to Minot. Yikes. He slept with my every night. Would sit on the bed until I climbed in and then snuggle me while purring the whole time. Every time he saw me he purred, which I always thought was him just telling me how much he loved me.

Then I think about how he knew my dad and my grandma. Both have now passed away. Seems like another chapter is ending, and I think about the loss of dad and grandma and end up at the cemetery talking to them and crying. That cycle of grief is never ending. 

If you know me, you know I still have pets. So, I am not at home without a four legged creature. I won't say "I won't get another pet because I can't go through that again." But whenever one passes away I will not say that. Yes, it is difficult to lose him, but I wouldn't trade all of the amazing moments I had so I didn't have to deal with this grief. If I were to get another cat, I would be into my 50's by the time that one would pass away. I would likely never get another cat after that.  So here I sit, over analyzing my life with the loss of my cat. 


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