To lose a cat

I got jazz kitty right after losing my daughter, called her my baby kitty. She didn’t exactly fill the hole, but she kept it from swallowing me whole. And in the long run, it wasn’t me who took care of the cat–it was the cat who took care of me.

I don’t know how to explain…’s not like I haven’t had many pets during my life. But Jazz was more than a pet, she was a person. And she didn’t just fill a hole, she taught me how to find answers where you least expect them. She taught me that you can be tolerant and look for change at the same time. She taught me that you don’t sweat the small stuff…..she showed me that trust was the highest form of love.

So I don’t miss having a cat, I miss having my Jazzers. Stubborn, crazy ornery….and for some reason she accepted me as her friend. and since she had her role to fill the hole of a lost child, filling the hole she left behind is not something I would place at any door, cat or human.

I have survived so many losses in life by refusing to mourn. And at this point it feels almost like betrayal to mourn the loss of a cat…..a pet. but I do. She kept me from going too far inside myself, and I taught her that not all humans are assholes. Got her from the humane society, she was hurt and abused–on the inside. So I brought her back into the world with understanding and kindness.

Some day I will get a cat again, but it won’t be to fill a hole. It won’t be to create that wall against loneliness. Maybe it will be to find a little responsibility and a retreat. It will be when I hear that call for what only I can do, to be a better human … find my better self.

But I miss Jazz kitty, and for now that’s all there is to it. She taught me so much, the least I can do is remember her awhile longer while learning my final lesson: no shame in letting go.
Sometimes you can’t fill a hole or find yourself in distraction. You know she hated my singing….everyone tells me what a good singer I am, but Jazz would slap at my face to get me to shut up. I respected her for that, and when she gave up and yowled along with me, all I could do was smile.



15 Replies to “To lose a cat”

  1. Jazz was a soul sister, and irreplaceable and I suppose it might feel like betrayal to just get another cat, but possibly there is another soul sister cat out there, on the prowl looking for you right now! Rose, my sister has 4 cats that all prowled around until they found her house. Every single one of them has a different character from introverted, shy to the one who fights the dog.

    1. so true that often they find you ….stray cats that need homes. we took in several when i was growing up, i think a kitty cat all-points bulletin goes out that “cat people” live in such and such house …….. 🙂 this came up because an online friend offered to pay the pet deposit for me to get a new kitty ……. i was so touched and at the same time realized that i probably need a cat and have to think about adopting a new critter.

  2. There’s so much wisdom in this post. And I can feel the pain, too, and I wish you didn’t have to go through that. Someone told me once, regarding pain, that “it only hurts as much as we love” – when we love a lot, it’s gonna hurt a lot. There is freedom in letting go…you’ll never forget, but it gets to a point where you can give a small smile at the memories and not cry every time you think about it. Know what you mean about a certain cat being more than just a pet – we love all the fur babies, but sometimes there are extra special ones…the “persons” in cat form – and it’s a lot harder when they go. You’ll know when you’re ready for another one…and who knows, maybe one will find YOU? 🙂

    1. that’s usually how it happens, isn’t it? they find you for some reason and somehow …. Jazzers was just one of those once in a lifetime things. couldn’t say it was personality as much as it was smarts — and then my fear that i could never again find a cat that was as smart as her. even as cute as the neighbor cats are, they seem kind of flat to me and less “there.” i guess part of it was Jazz wasn’t afraid of much anything … but it wasn’t the stupid kind of “not afraid to go anywhere” — more a self assurance, intense appraisal. guess would say she had street smarts….

      to be an outdoor/indoor cat that dies of old age ……. and i don’t know if could ever find her like again. though the key to that is to see things not as a comparison, but belonging to its own time. i guess that’s what i’m afraid of in getting a new kitty too soon — that i’d just be comparing them too much.

  3. I am very sorry to hear about your cat. I too have lost many times- the people I loved, I have a cat too, my daughter’s actually- There is nothing wrong in mourning for a pet! God bless you!

    1. awwww thanks, it’s just that i was brought up not only to not cry over lost pets, but to not cry for any reason about anything. so when find myself coming to tears, is an odd mix of sorrow and shame …..

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