I want to apologize for falling off the face of the world – well, the online world, anyway. I’m glad to say I haven’t fallen off of the offline world. With coffee in one hand and a chocolate doughnut in the other, I’m still here.
Like all humans, however, life sometimes gives me more than my little brain can handle and I lay low until I feel like myself again. With enough chocolate therapy, I always pull through.
The recent smack my life took on the backside registered high marks on my radar. Depending upon your own love of animals and/or your pets, you’ll either understand where I’m coming from or think, “Whatever, animal obsessed blogger, whatever.”
At the start of the year, I had 4 much, much, much beloved cats – two girls and two boys. In an arrangement determined by their temperaments, birth order, and hormones, the girls were inside cats and the boys were outside cats. We lost one of the girls, Prissy, toward the first of the year. Can you say major loss – we’d had that little beauty for over 20 years.
Now, mere months later, we’ve lost both of our boy cats. Like I said, if you have pets or love animals madly, you know the sense of loss and sadness that comes with this sickening territory. I’d go on and on about how fantastically sweet and funny these two cats were, but I’d cry my face off and there isn’t enough chocolate in the house for that.
Suffice to say, Bo (pictured above, playing in bales of hay) and Svenn (picutred to the right, singing – he was a nut job) were HUGE momma’s boys and and two of the sweetest animals I’ve ever had the pleasure of loving. There will never be cats like these two. I counted up, last night, the number of cats I’ve had in my life. My first one was a cross-eyed male Siamese named Solo. I’ve also had a girl cat named Garfield, a gay cat named Lanie (he was so gorgeous you wouldn’t believe it – and, yeah, he liked guys), a white hunter named Whiskers and her hundreds of babies, two more Siamese cats, Miss Prissy, Conan (named after a barbarian, yet as gentle as a rabbit), a gray cat named Fluffy who clicked after each meow, a black beauty named Renee Elise who loved to hug, a she devil named Carly who I loved with all my heart, and on and on. Partly because of Whiskers and the fact that we’ve almost always lived in the country, the number is close to 50, and I can say – without a doubt – that Bo and Svenn were two of the biggest characters of all.
The yard just isn’t the same without them and I’m not sure what to do with the lap Bo always found or the feet Svenn always laid on. He didn’t care for laps, but give him a warm pair of houseshoes, and he’d purr himself to sleep.
I’ve always had an inner Mary Poppins. In fact, she’s easily the largest and most powerful of my inner beings. She did take a few weeks off, however. She didn’t even call in sick – she was a no call/no show. She finally came dragging back in yesterday. I was on a trip to Kentucky Lake with my husband and I found myself laughing out loud at something he’d said to a woman driving another car.
I’ve laughed at things that come out of that boy’s mouth for over half of my life, so it’s only reasonable that this particular character (and is he ever a character) would be the one to remind me of the sweetness of laughter. If you are currently facing a situation that has stolen your smile and your laughter, my heart goes out to you.
I’ve learned (through the school of life) that there are a few things to keep in mind during trying and unhappy times:
- It doesn’t always help to look for answers. One of my first thoughts was, “Why would I lose 3 of my beautiful cats within a period of 5 months?” Then the question became, “How in the world is this even remotely fair?” Finally, I realized there are no answers. Even if there WERE answers, they wouldn’t change anything!
- There isn’t always and Up Side. I guess it’s human nature to look for things that make pain more bearable. If you can find one, cling to it! But don’t be surprised if there isn’t one, sometimes things are just as rotten as they can possibly be and our only course is to put our head down and charge through the storm.
- Life. Isn’t. Fair. You know it, I know it, all reasonable people know it – yet, when the uglies show up on our doorstep, we still try to shoo them off with, “I don’t deserve this! Not fair!” Needless to say, our theatrics don’t do a bit of good. It’s like the baseball manager who argues with the home plate umpire. He kicks dirt, gets in the umpire’s face, gestures wildly with his hands and… and… and… And the call remains. The umpire doesn’t change his call and the uglies don’t change their mind. I guess we’d all be better off if we saved our energy.
- Better days and laughter are ahead. Even when we feel so low that we don’t even WANT to laugh, even if we remembered HOW – we can rest assured of one thing, we will feel better and we will be happy again. It won’t happen overnight, and even after that first laugh, there will be tears before the next one – but life will be beautiful again one day. We’ll get to the point where we’ll get out of bed each morning because we want to rather than just because we have to. We’ll want to talk to our loved ones and look them in the eye, rather than wishing they’d just talk amongst themselves and leave us to our heartache.
Tears are as much a part of life as laughter, and losses are a cruel fact of life. Fortunately, I’ve noticed something remarkable about life. Many times, in an area where we’ve cried, something new begins to grow.
A new tiny female cat has found her way into our yard and into our life. She has never had any human contact, apparently, so she’s very timid. I’ve named her Ming Li and she’s apparently a new mother. If life runs a fair tears to growth ratio, this little mommy must have quite a few babies.
Looks like our yard will be filled with smiles again.
And live goes on, as it always does. I’m working on several articles that I’ll post over the next few days and we have quite a bit gearing up for this month. I guess that means I’d better get busy, right? Now where’s that chocolate bar?