Goodbye, My Girl

Z17

It was the sight of the closed cupboard door that buckled my knees and sent me thudding to the ground.  I had thought it would be a glimpse of her empty bed, her untouched food dish, her abandoned catnip mouse, Miguel.  But it was that door.  Hours earlier I would have doubted its ability to even close in the first place – as the door to the little cupboard where we stored her litter box, it was always open at least the width of a paw-pull.  But no cat was ever going to crouch down and hook that door open again, and as that horrid realization sunk in, everything suddenly came over fuzzy and grey, and I swooned to the floor in an indelicate heap.  Lucky I didn’t break something.  Other than my heart, which feels like it has been damaged beyond all repair.

Our beloved kitty, Weegie, passed away Monday morning.  She was an old girl, very nearly 18, and after a terrible weekend in which we watched her formerly aging, but still sassy and spritely, condition inexplicably deteriorate by the hour, we took her to the vet, who confirmed our very worst fears – our sweet little girl had run out of steam, and we wouldn’t be bringing her home.  And we didn’t.

Now we are two heartbroken people aimlessly drifting through lives that, through great determination on Weegie’s part and a lot of indulgent acquiescence on ours, were all about her.  Think we’re coddling morons all you wish, she was the sweet, fuzzy, constantly meowing sun around which our planets orbited, and we didn’t want it any other way.

Z23

Now it feels like the lights have gone out and everything has come over very, very cold.  Mostly it seems like some sort of switch has been flipped inside me, and absent the frequent sobbing fits, triggered by something as innocuous as the sight of one of her striped furs clinging to the edge of a blanket, I feel nothing.  This is probably my mind’s way of course correcting after a weekend spent in frantic, fretful, watchful mode, but it’s worrisome all the same.  Mr. Finger Candy is not faring much better.  We’re just…broken.  And incredibly lonely, even together in our grief.

Z34

I want to talk about her.  I want to tell you the story of how we came to be her people (it involves a day playing hooky and $6 coffees.)  I want to share the photos I took of her strapped into 14 years’ worth of Halloween costumes (mylar shark for the win.)  And I want you to think me a coddling moron when I tell you we had a tumbler of ice cold water permanently stationed on our coffee table because she preferred to drink from human receptacles in the most inconvenient spots possible (“Oh man, I’ve eaten off that coffee table!” you might be thinking to yourself.  Yup, you sure did.  But I swear I Windex’d first.)

I want to honour her, but to do that, I need to start feeling anything other than cold, empty and alone.  Because all I’m feeling right now is the raw, immediate hurt, and even the sweet memories of her are too painful to bear.  But hopefully soon.  Miss you, little Weege.

Z9

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16 thoughts on “Goodbye, My Girl

  1. I just stumbled across your site. Obviously we don’t know one another but I’ve been through this with one of my cats before. It’s one of the worst, hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with; I feel your grief. So sorry for your loss, and I wish you a speedy recovery (if that’s an appropriate word?).

    • Thank you so much, that’s really unbelievably kind of you to say. Gosh, I know we’ve all been there, and the hurt of losing a pet, it’s just so universal. I wish it wasn’t. Doesn’t seem like it’s easy on anyone. Thank you for the kind wishes (and yes, recovery is a very good word – all week long I’ve felt half-drugged out of my mind. Recovering from that will be a relief.) Thanks, friend.

  2. I read something once which said that a beloved pet is a joy mixed with a upcoming heartbreak. It seems unfair that someone so full of personality who you love so much has such a short lifespan when all you want is for them to be happy and healthy for years more.

    I am sorry for your loss, if you believe in an afterlife your girl is surely waiting for you across the rainbow bridge. Happy mousing on the other side, Weegie.

    • Oh, thank you, stranger-friend, that is so kind of you to say. Death is just completely nonsensical, but losing a pet feels utterly surreal, like somehow if you could communicate with your beloved animal somehow, you could control the outcome? Like we can do that any better with humans. Like I said, it makes no sense. I just know I hurt, but beautiful words like yours help so much. Thank you.

  3. Oh no! I’m so sorry for the loss of your furbaby and family member. It’s hard letting go when its so sudden. ( I don’t like making tea at my mum’s. My black lab used to push his nose into my free hand all the time) take the time to grieve for her and remember all those loving memories of her. Xx

    • Aw, thank you, I really appreciate it. Ugh, it’s been a week now and things are no better, I feel so lost. The kitchen is the hardest place to be, because like you, there was a routine there for me (keep my eyes down so I don’t step on the cat!) – it hurts every time I just blithely step back without first checking five times to make sure I’m not going to run her over. I’m trying to focus on the good, because she was such a good girl. Thank you for sharing *your* memories.

      • Your welcome. It will take time like all losses. Been a few years and I still expect him in my mums kitchen on his rug. Ive got loads of fond memories of him and they have defo helped. Xx

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful girl. It is so hard losing your “soulmate kitty”. I lost mine around this time in 2015 to old age as well and I cried more over him than humans I had lost. I didn’t clean his litter box for a month or move the water glass on the nightstand he loved to drink from the day we came home with an empty cat carrier. Talk about Weegie as often as you want, share photos of her and laugh about the funny things she used to do. 18 years is a long time to have ANYONE in your adult life and even three years later, I still categorize my life as before Yoshi and after. Though I have two new furbabies in my life, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, and sharing your memories of Yoshi. It’s been an awful adjustment, and part of the awfulness has been realizing that every day, she’s a little less a part of this house. And then that just makes me feel wretched all over again! But I’m at the part now where I feel sad, every stupid day, but it’s not the never-ending gut punch it was for those first few days.

      I, too, sometimes question the huge reaction I’ve had to my pets dying as opposed to human beings I’ve known and loved, but I think it’s because we just have different relationships with our pets than we do with other people – we don’t put up the walls with our pets the way we do with everybody else. No wonder it hurts so bad, losing that one honest relationship in our lives (it’s so quiet without her stomping about and I hate it!)

  5. Pingback: Well, That Was a Year | Finger Candy

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