Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Loss of a Pet

If there's one thing I know for certain in this punching bag called life, it's that it can change in a heartbeat. Last Friday, one our of indoor-only cats escaped the house and hasn't returned. All weekend long, I received calls, emails, and texts from friends with the best of intentions..."Could someone have found her and brought her to a shelter?" "Maybe you should call the local vets' offices and find out if anyone brought her in." "Put signs up all over the neighborhood." "Tell your neighbors to check their sheds, garages, and basements." 

Everyone meant well, but sadly, they don't know my cat. Even though she lived indoors for the past four years, she was still very much what I consider feral. She was truly petrified of any human other than my mother or me. The minute she heard a vehicle pull into our driveway, she'd be in my room and under my bed's goose down comforter in a flash. Even the veterinarian's assistant couldn't handle her up when we took her in for her initial shots and to be spayed; she had to be picked up by the scruff of her neck, like mother cats do. 

Putting up signs wouldn't do any good; I've seen this cat in action when she's terrified. My guess is she panicked outside and ran and ran and ran. She could be towns away by now for all I know. We leave the porch door open for her every night and have placed her bed and blanket (which she so dearly loved) as well as a bowl of dried food out there for her.

I was heartbroken for the first 48 hours and then decided to approach this from a law of attraction standpoint...instead of worrying about the dozen or so ways she could die, I imagined how it would feel to have her back in the house. I pictured waking up and being greeted by her again outside my door, cuddling on the couch with her, and watching her romp around the living room and play. I felt the relief my mother and I would both feel having her safely back home. To me, worrying and crying over her was not going to help her or myself. The best thing I could do is let go and let God and have faith she'd be guided somehow to find her way back. 

But now she's been gone a whole week and I have to admit, I'm heartbroken all over again. "Doing 'The Secret'" in this case does not seem to be working. And frankly, deep down I believe she did not survive her first night outside. I had an eerie dream the first night of her disappearance where she came up on the bed with me and I suddenly woke up, in the same exact position in my bed as in the dream, but obviously with no cat. And then I heard a pack of coyotes howling in the golf course nearby. 

I take loss very hard. One minute, I had a guy emailing me saying that he'd never known anyone like me before...the next, he was telling me he could no longer have any contact with me. One minute, I had a full-time job after two years of unemployment. The next, I was being told it was being eliminated (although I did get over that loss fairly quickly.)

I don't get it. Right now I'm just threading water...focusing on what I do still have in my life...and feeling grateful. I guess it's just a given that certain people and things are not meant to be in your life long term. And they always says there's a lesson to be learned...well, I don't know what the lesson was in losing my cat Dolly. I was always grateful for her, cherished her, and loved her to pieces....and she surely didn't deserve this. I think of parents that have suddenly lost a child and can only imagine the pain they must go through. 

I guess the only thing to focus on right now is the fact that if something bad can happen instantly, then something good can happen that quickly, too. 

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