Bearnaise Sauce Dogs, Cats, Grief

Time to Grieve

Cats 001 A friend shared this quote from Alban's magazine, Congregations:

"We must support those who are grieving and give them sufficient time to grieve. To shortchange grief is to rush people to a false sense of acceptance which diminishes their ability to accept the reality and finality of the loss and blocks their capacity to attach anew."

We have two cats, Puss Puss and Baby, both 15 years old, just like LP. (Yes, I am living with three 15-year-old girls now.)
Baby, once a mighty mouse huntress, is The Cat Who Lives Upstairs, and who resents anyone else's demands on my time and space. She had a lot to put up with when Sam started sleeping with us, even though I have a ridiculously large bed for one person. Sam took up as much space as he could, and I did not mind a bit. Every night I would lie there with my hand placed gently on the closest part of him, aware of his breathing and his restlessness and for some time each night, his peaceful rest. Baby would circle my head, warily, eventually finding a place to land, away from Sam. But on the last few nights of his life, she got as close to him as she could. Now she is downstairs far more than she has been in years, and I'm not sure she's pleased about it.

Cats 003 Puss Puss is our Cat Who Patrols the Neighborhood. She also has exhibited grief for other pets in our family who died. I remember after Pepper, the best big kitten ever, was hit by a car in 1998, Puss Puss went into a decline. When Molly left us, Puss Puss seemed to be physically sick, but the vet could find nothing wrong. And this week she is grieving again, seems depressed, and shows little interest in going outside. She's spending the day curled up in a corner of the couch, though this evening she's made a move to use my Kindle as a pillow.

We're all like this: unsettled, unhappy, uncertain. I turn down the street and sigh for Sam. At 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. I want to fix his dinner. Even in my office, new though it is, I'm wistful thinking of the days he was lying on the floor next to me. 

I'm taking my time with it.

16 thoughts on “Time to Grieve”

  1. I too have observed animals exhibiting grief for the loss of another animal, even when they didn’t seem to get along. Here’s hoping all of you have the time you need to grieve for that great dog.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I haven’t kept up as well as I would’ve liked to and didn’t realize you’d lost Sam. May the Lord hold you especially close. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. Yes, they PINE, they really do. And so do we. I am imagining you stepping around and over the space-where-Sam-was…

  4. This post and the comments make me teary. Hugs all around, even to the kitties who would make me sneeze.

  5. I can sense your heart’s song behind your words and they brought tears to my eyes. They are tears of gratefulness that you had those two wonderful companions to bless your life. I wish you peace.

  6. Please be kind to yourself… this is such a time for you. My heart is with you. (o)

  7. I found it bizarrely comforting that Libby clearly missed (and misses) both Mufti and Teddy as much as I do…it somehow validates my own feelings. And she is definitely taking her time.
    Love you xxx

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