Sunday, May 8, 2016

Life Lessons from My Cat

The void you feel after losing a pet is something only other pet owners get. And I use the term "pet owners" loosely. I am not exactly sure who's the boss in this house, most days it is not the humans. 

We lost one of our cats this week. Chester was our first baby and I think I had convinced myself he would live forever. I certainly did not expect to lose him before he ever reached a decade on this planet. I want to say he was one of my favorite people, and yes, I understand he wasn't a person, but you see, he was so much more than just a cat. 

He was my buddy. The little spoon to my big spoon. He shared my pillow, my cereal bowl and straight up stole my heart.

He could make you smile when you didn't want to. And he could make you like a cat even if you thought you weren't a "cat person" (just ask some of my friends).

I don't think he actually knew he was a cat. He waited for us at the door, yelled at us when he was unhappy, and followed us around the house. He was part puppy, part toddler and part grumpy old man.

When he started acting sick I thought he would get through it. When we took him to the Vet, I held onto hope that he'd perk up and live a few more years. When that only lasted two weeks and we had to put him down—my heart broke.

Most days I am fairly certain I will never feel whole again. That my house will never seem as happy, and my life will never seem as full.

In his nine years, Chester shared a lot with us, and he taught us things.

1. All you need to be happy in life is food, water, and someone to snuggle with. (Also, a moderately clean litter box, but that's neither here nor there.)

2. No matter how much you annoy the people you live with, you can probably get back into their good graces by rubbing up against them. Or in people terms, just admit you were a jerk and move on with life.

3. If the sun is streaming through the window, take the time to warm your belly. Everything else can wait.

4. When nothing's going right, find a blanket to sleep in and things will look better after a nap. 

5. Love with your whole heart.

My husband said, no matter how much this hurts and how much I am destroyed by his passing, I wouldn't trade a second of our time together. I'm reflecting on the good times.

I'm trying not to cry every single day and I'm snuggling my other two cats a little closer.

Sometimes I feel a little silly that I am this broken up about a cat. But to me he wasn't just a cat, he was a member of my family and a part of my life that I will never forget.

I'm actually sad for anyone who never got to meet him. 

For now, I'm waiting for life to get back to normal. For my heart to stop aching. It seems like it never will.


  1. Cats bring a whole different perspective on life. For a long time after I lost mine - she was 17 - everytime a shadow moved, I thought it was her. It is a void and memories will fill it in time. hugs

  2. So sorry for your lose. My cat is my baby as I don't have any 2 legged ones. I have had 2 babies that lived too short a time and still miss them after many years. My new girl is 6 and the best thing in my life. Take care

  3. Pets are family. I'm so sorry Chester had to leave you. Putting down an animal is never easy, but it is the most humane option we have. When I had to put down my sixteen-year-old puppy, I cried for weeks. I even devoted a page on pet loss to her on my web site with links to the Rainbow Bridge. We've recently adopted a stray cat and she's become a member of our family. My heart goes out to you. Hugs.

  4. Aw Casey I am so sorry for your loss. I am a cat person too. Our last one lived to 21 and when he died we were so sad. He was as human as us! Big hugs,
    love Jan, xx

  5. I'm so sorry. Huggs. Pets love us unconditionally, become best friends and confidants...while I wouldn't trade the time Ive had with any of mine, there is no way around the difficulty of saying goodbye.