Missing Goldie

It’s been a month since we lost my cat Goldie. Although she wasn’t one for demanding a lot of attention, I still miss the little things she did, like moving the water bowl and pointing at you with her paw when she wanted to be petted.  She was also a self-brushing cat, which was pretty fun to watch.  She would take the brush right out of your hands then rub her cheeks on it.  She didn’t meow, she would meowf.  When she jumped down, there was always an “oof” involved.  The house is definitely a lot quieter now.

As for the other cats, I think they miss her too.  Our tuxedo cat, Tux, tried to go out of the house a few times; presumably to look for her.  The only time he ever tries to leave the house is when we have a missing cat.  After it was apparent that she wasn’t returning, he started spraying the couch.  He only sprays when he is nervous.  We had to wash everything a couple of times.  Boy was that one stinky week!  Since then, he must have accepted her loss because he has stopped all that.  Sometimes he sleeps on the same blanket/footstool that she would sleep on.  We didn’t get rid of everything.  Didn’t have the heart too.  But the house will gradually have less orange fur in it as time goes by.

Missing Goldie?

One place that definitely still carries her scent is the scratching pad.  I’ve noticed Sax lying on the scratching pad lately.  He doesn’t scratch it, he just lies there looking forlorn.  (He probably doesn’t look as forlorn in this photo as usual due to the flash.)  We don’t put catnip on the scratchers, so it’s not that.  It was her scratcher and everyone knew it.

Maybe I am reading too much into the cat’s behavior.  Perhaps they don’t miss her at all.  But I have read articles where cats go through a mourning phase when they lose a housemate.  Perhaps my fur children are mourning the loss of a sibling in their own way.

I found an old picture of Goldie when she had climbed in the laundry basket to take a nap, so I thought I would share it with you.  She had so much personality it’s difficult to summarize her life in any amount of words.  She was sweet, she was grumpy, and she was loving.  Despite all the troubles our family has been through over the years, I think she was happy.  What more could a cat-mom ask for?

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Life, Death and Love

I was originally planning to write another post about my slide back into depression, but then I watched last week’s Desperate Housewives episode. I find the show to be absurd yet entertaining most of the time, but occasionally there is an episode that touches you.  This was one such episode.

In case you don’t watch the series, here is the basic idea: four housewives who are best friends and neighbors share every triviality and tribulation of their lives.  The husbands are key secondary characters, and one of them is shot and killed in the previous episode. The episode I watched was the one that involves his funeral and how each housewife has dealt with the men in their life.  But what struck me about it is the impact that death has on our life.

As you may know, I lost my fur-child Goldie a week ago.  The pain of loss was refreshed today as I read the well-meaning condolence cards from our vet and the emergency animal clinic we took her to.  I remember as she lay there on her side panting, all I wanted to do was pet her and tell her how much I loved her.  I knew she wouldn’t make it to the vet in time but DH wanted to try.  It made him feel better to try.  I just wanted her to know how much I loved her because I wasn’t sure it was always clear.  So many times she got pushed aside because she wasn’t as demanding as the other cats.  She was quiet and kept to herself unless she wanted something.  How many times did I kick her off the desk, the chair, or the bed because I was doing something else instead of taking five minutes to pet her?

I lost my mother two years ago.  I didn’t say anything at the funeral.  I didn’t have anything to say.  I had been mourning her loss for years (she had Alzheimer’s) so I felt pretty numb about it by that time.  My mother and I still have many unresolved issues, issues that can’t be fixed now, issues that couldn’t even have been fixed before she became ill.  I did promise her at the funeral that I would forgive her someday.  The only thing that I hope she knew before she forgot me altogether was that I loved her.  Despite everything she put me through, she was still my mother, and I loved her.

My dad turns 83 this week.  There is a difficult past between us, but most of it has been worked through during the years.  I know now that he is proud of me, and he only pressured me to do well in school because he thought it was how he could make sure I succeeded.  He couldn’t have known that it would backfire.  That I would internalize every criticism and generate a sense of inadequacy.   He doesn’t know that I’m bipolar or that those genes most likely come from his side of the family.  They didn’t know those things back then.  My dad was an accountant and a steel worker, not a scientist, and “the web” as we know it didn’t exist back then.  He did what he thought was best.

Dad knows I love him.  Sometimes we don’t talk for weeks, and then I start to worry about him, but he swore to me that if he were ever to be in trouble, he would call me.  He sends me the most lovely cards, but gets upset if I do things for him. I know that someday I’ll have to go on without him too, although I hope that day is a long time away.

And I tell DH every day how much I love him.  I can’t imagine my life without him.  I don’t want to imagine my life without him.  My husband is the kindest person you will ever meet.  He takes care of me, even when I don’t or can’t reciprocate.  He takes care of the animals even though most of them think they belong to me.  I can’t think of enough wonderful things to say about him, even if he does irritate me sometimes – there’s still no one else I would rather be with.  Without him, my life would be empty, lonely, and pointless. So I worry on nights like this when he has to work late then commute 50 miles home.  I love him more than words can say.  He is my soulmate.

I’m not really sure where this post was going other than a simple TV show prompted me to think about the loved ones in my life.  The ones I love and the ones I have loved.  Always make sure the ones you love know that they are loved, be they human or not.  You never know what the future will bring and you’ll want them to know how much they are loved before you can’t tell them anymore.

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Goldie

We lost one of our fur children last night.  It was about 8:30pm and I was sitting at the computer, when I heard a noise and looked over to see her lying on her side panting.  Cats don’t pant.  We called the after hours number but the nearest emergency clinic that was open was an hour away.  We quickly put on our shoes, put her in the carrier (which she still had the strength to resist) and started driving.

I could just barely hear her panting.  I kept talking to her.  Then we heard an angry meow and rattle of the cage.  I knew.  I just knew.  I still kept talking to her, praying she would be OK, but a part of me already knew she was gone.  We got to the clinic and went inside.  They took her back and examined her but we were right, she was gone.

We took her to our vet today.  He said that she probably had a heart attack.  Nothing we could have done to help her.  We said our goodbyes and left her with them.  They will cremate her and scatter her ashes at the Pet Cemetery where Luna is.  Maybe they can play together in the afterlife.

Now that I have told you about her death, let me tell you about her life.  Goldie was a fighter, a scrapper, and she didn’t give up easily.  She wasn’t demanding very often, but when she wanted to be petted, she wasn’t leaving until you petted her.  Tenacious to the the core.

We walked into a PetSmart one day and there was a lady standing near the door with a shopping cart full of kittens she was trying to give away.  She had found them in a plastic bag in a dumpster, taken them to a vet to get patched up, de-wormed, de-fleaed, etc.  She asked if we wanted a kitten and I said no.  But this little orange tabby had jumped out of the cart and run towards me.  She sat at my feet and meowed.  I told DH to pick her up and give her back.  I didn’t have time for a kitten in my life right now; I was working on my thesis.  But a little while later, the lady found us in the store and she was holding Goldie.  I always wanted a cat I could hold.  And so I held her – I was so done for.  The little brat knew that was how to get me too because I could never pick her up again.

We brought her home to meet Princess, DH’s cat.  They sniffed each other, Princess hissed then Goldie hissed back.  She could hold her own.  It would be OK.  They didn’t interact much together but they didn’t fight either.

Goldie would sleep on my lap while I was typing my thesis.  One time, she slipped off and used her claws to try to break her fall.  I was wearing shorts at the time. Ouch.

We also had hamsters.  One day, we went to clean out the hamster cage (a fish tank) and we turned around to find Goldie sitting in the fish tank looking for all the world like she was pretending to be a hamster.  Meanwhile, Sunshine the hamster was desperately trying to climb out of the tank, to escape ‘the thing that will eat me.’  But Goldie had no desire to touch the hamster.  She never attacked them when they got loose, she never hurt them, but she did like the fish tank: See! I’m a hamster too!

Goldie was also very territorial too, once we had her spayed.  Any cat that came near the sliding glass door was in for it.  She would growl and hiss and attack the door to try to shoo them off.  After we bought our first house, we thought briefly of letting her be an indoor/outdoor cat, but then we decided against it.  We weren’t afraid for her so much as we were afraid for the rest of the neighborhood.  Good thing too, because she would fly into these beserker rages when other cats came around.  If her attention was suddenly drawn into the the house, she would attack anything on sight – typically Princess.  One night, a neighbor cat (who liked to torment her by sitting outside the back door) had her so riled up that she turned on me.  She shredded a pair of jeans and my leg before I could get her shut into a room by herself.  Within a few minutes, she had calmed down and started meowing to be let out.  She stayed in there for a few hours.  I was pretty upset.

Goldie was not happy when we brought two more cats into the house, but she got used to them and eventually became friends with Luna.  They would play “chase the red bug” together.  They would sit on opposite sides of the room and when the red bug (laser pointer) came towards one of them, say Goldie, she would chase it, but when the bug went to the other part of the room, she would stop and wait for her turn while Luna chased it.  Now they are both gone but their ashes will be scattered in the same pet cemetery.  Perhaps they can play together once more.

Goldie was 14 years old. She lived a good life for a cat.  She was finicky, particular, and utterly devoted to me.  Part Maine Coon, she chose me when she jumped out of that shopping cart and bonded to me quite quickly.  She was always a happy cat, trotting around the house with her tail up.  She would give you the cold shoulder when she was mad, but it wouldn’t last long.  She had a loud purr, loved the sunshine, and even chased a ball in her youth.  She was a great companion and I will miss her dearly.

She fought illness in life and even fought death.  Her last meow was one of anger, not of fear.  As DH said, “Her last meow was a brave angry cry at death, and a warning to the afterlife that a fighting cat was coming.”

Sleep well, my furry angel, and play in the sun to your heart’s content.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lost friends

I’m having a rough time of it lately.  (Okay, we’ve already established that with the last post, but life hasn’t gotten any better since then.)  I found out yesterday that a friend of mine from high school passed away.  Until I found him on facebook, we hadn’t seen each other in 20 years.  My husband and I saw him two years ago, just before he had gastric bypass.  The surgery went great, he lost a lot of weight and was doing well.  Yesterday, he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 41.

For some reason, I feel the need to eulogize him.  He and I weren’t really close – he didn’t know my deepest, darkest secrets – he didn’t even know that I am bipolar.  But he wouldn’t have cared.  Jeff had a way of making you feel comfortable no matter who you are.  Jeff was so proud to be gay.  Jeff even hit on my husband, whom he had never met until then, telling my husband that should he ever decide to switch sides, just let him know.  Jeff was always laughing; I think his favorite facebook comment was: ROFLMAO.  He had been through so much – lost his entire family over the past 20 years and still he was a happy person – he didn’t let life get him down.  If it ever did, he never let it show.

I have facebook to thank, once again, for being the bearer of sorrowful news.  First there was Tori, a sweet young lady of 26, who we hadn’t seen in six years.  My greatest regret is that I didn’t talk to her more since we reconnected.  I had no idea what was going on in her life.  I knew she had gotten married, but I didn’t know her husband or what she was doing these days, or anything.  At least a mutual friend of ours contacted us and asked us to call her quickly, I guess before we saw it on the facebook grapevine, so we were spared that.  Tori has been gone over a year now, but it still makes me sad.

Next, there was our friend Jason.  He passed away a few months ago.  Jason’s death struck me pretty hard as well.  He lived neared to us than either Tori or Jeff, and we saw him semi-regularly.  He wasn’t a really close friend, but a good buddy.  Jason was only 31.  I found out about his passing while I was chatting with a mutual friend on facebook when he said, “Did you hear about Jason?” No, I hadn’t heard about Jason.  I knew he had been quiet on facebook but I assumed he was on another trip.  Jason loved to travel.  He was always taking cruises – Italy, Greece, the Caribbean.

The odd thing about losing a friend that you interacted with on facebook is that it feels like a life on pause: full of half-finished conversations, one-sided games, missing pieces.  The last thing I heard from Jeff was a message: “Hay sweetie, I’m well and you?? Sorry I didn’t get back to ya before you signed off.”  Jeff was a vibrant person, who loved people, and they loved him.  He had hundreds of friends on facebook, I simply followed the trail of status updates to his facebook page filled with notes of remembrance and rest in peace.

Jason’s death was quieter.  Shortly before he died, he had decided to start using the facebook “poke” function.  I remember his status saying: Jason wonders if a FaceBook “poke” is the equivalent of a “quickie”. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has pondered this.  He started poking me daily (facebook style).  I took it as a compliment.  But I noticed his pokes stopped and his Bejeweled Blitz high scores kept coming up listed as zero.  And still, it didn’t occur to me to think oddly on it – he’s just traveling, I told myself.  Until I learned otherwise.

I confess, I have no conversations from Tori.  A couple of wall messages buried back in 2009.  I’m sorry, Tori.  I wish we had talked more.  Now we never will.  Or maybe I’ll see you on the flip side and we can catch up then.

I miss you: Tori, Jason & Jeff.  I haven’t forgotten you and I never will.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.