Archive for cat saga

I thought this would be another story of grace in my ongoing cat saga. Perhaps it is. Just not in the way I expected.

If you followed my cat stories, several months ago we lost Joey, our beloved black cat (the best cat ever), and also became petless for the first time in decades.

After months of not having a cat, and a couple of negative attempts to bring another pet into our lives, a few weeks ago I was really, really missing having a cat. Yet, I didn’t know if I was ready for a full commitment to a pet at this time (vet bills, food bills, and dealing with possible destruction of furniture as we had with the last brief cat visitation). I just entrusted the longing to God.

Not two hours later, I was checking my Nextdoor chat group, and someone posted that they needed someone to take care of her 14-year-old cat for 6 weeks. The cat loved to sit on a lap (and wasn’t picky about whose), she was front declawed, and used her litter box religiously. Bingo!

I private messaged the owner, Zadie, and told her how we’d lost our last cat, who was an older lap cat, I wasn’t ready for a full commitment to a pet yet, we did not have any pets and would love to take care of her cat.

I didn’t hear back from her right away, and let it go, figuring that she chose one of the other volunteers. But I was wrong. Zadie had actually called right away and left a voice message (I often don’t get my vms right away), and said, “You sound just like someone sent from heaven for me and my cat. Please give me a call. I can’t tell you how perfect you are….”

It did seem perfect. Zadie provided all the food and litter. We just needed to provide the love and care. I looked forward to having a lap cat again (who wouldn’t wreck our furniture).

So in came Kaya, a gray Manx cat whose lack of a tail weirded us all out at first. But she was sweet and friendly. All went well—for a couple of weeks.

Soon, however, I began to get concerned. Kaya wasn’t eating much. When she stopped drinking and eating, scorning even her special daily treat of shrimp (I spoiled her as Zadie did), I began to worry.

When Kaya threw up, I contacted the owner. It took Zadie a day to get back to me. She was very thankful that I had contacted her about the problem, and I’m sure, very worried about her beloved cat.

Zadie had her daughter come and take Kaya to the vet. After a couple of days at the animal hospital, during which time I did Healing Codes for Kaya, I got the report that Kaya was eating and doing better and could go home.

This time “home” was not my house. Zadie was sensitive enough to pick up that I wasn’t crazy about taking care of someone else’s sick cat, and had her daughter-in-law take the cat.

What happened, in fact, was that I was triggered into grief about Joey. I remembered that in the last couple of weeks of Joey’s life, the same things happened: he didn’t eat, drink, and he messed outside his litter box (which he never did, and neither had Kaya previously). I could not deal with another sick or dying cat.

I realized I’m still not over grief concerning Joey. I’ve had a lot of grief in the past year or so: Joey, my mother, an ongoing private grief, and other past unhealed losses I didn’t realize I need to work on. They are all melting into each other it seems, and I need to create space to heal it.

With every loss, there is a subtle diminishment of identity. I am no longer a pet owner. I am no longer anyone’s daughter.

Recovering from grief is a journey, and healing grief is more complicated than I thought. Though I’ve been working on it for a while now, I find you can’t rush it.

The outcome of taking in this cat was not what I expected. Instead of the comfort of having a cat purring on my lap (which happened exactly once with Kaya, before she started acting sick), unhealed grief was stirred up.

At this point, it’s like, “three strikes you’re out” concerning cats. Kaya was my third strike. At least for now, I’m not interested in any pets. I need space to heal more of this grief and deal with the recent new challenges that crop up unbidden. I’m in a mode of subtraction, not addition.

When I saw on Nextdoor that another cat “desperately needed a forever home,” I wasn’t even tempted.

This may or may not be the last chapter of my cat saga. If it is, I’m OK with it. There is a time and season for everything. This is a season of letting go. There can still be peace in that.

If you need help in healing grief or any other heart issue, check out my coaching at HealingCodesCoaching.com.

Comments (2)

The Cat Saga Continues . . .

Posted by: | Comments (0)
God seems to be using pets to teach me lessons these days. Specifically, cats.
 
I wrote in this blog post about what happened when we had to put our wonderful big black cat, Joey, down after 16 years of joy.
 
Then we did get Buddy. But things didn’t work out as we’d hoped.
 
Now there’s a new chapter in the cat saga.
 
In that last blog post, I talked about how I had surrendered the whole matter to God. I even wrote, “I am quite sure that when I’m ready for another cat, one will somehow come into my life.”
 
Well, literally no sooner had I hit the “publish” button than I got a notification from our Nextdoor neighborhood chat group that someone had a cat that had hung around their house all day, and now that it was night she was concerned about it being outside.
 
I saw the neighbor lived in my town, so I asked where. She lives two blocks away! I said I’d take the cat, at least overnight.
 
And that’s how Cleo has come into our lives. (I’m not sure what her name was, but that’s the name that comes to my heart.)
 
Cleo is not the cuddly cat I would have chosen. Frankly, I’m not sure she has “chosen” us yet. But she is the cat that has come to us, seconds after I had surrendered and wrote that at the right time, the right cat would come to us. I think she had been abandoned, but that at one time she did have a good home. She does not have a chip or collar.
 
I am giving Cleo time to adjust, just as I’m giving myself time to grieve over Joey. Perhaps Cleo too is grieving. Miraculously, she gets along fine with my son’s dog Chester, who is often with us. My vet says she seems well cared for. So maybe someone out there is grieving the loss of Cleo. I’m doing Healing Codes for her and me, for grief. (Yes, The Healing Codes work well for pets, too. I just did one for Chester, who was acting fearful because of the thunderstorm. Right after I released the Code to him, he stops trembling, jumped down from the chair, and seems fine.)
 
Cleo’s lessons are about surrendering: giving up my ideas about what I think I want, to receive whatever good is waiting for me.
Perhaps the owner will come forth, and I will have to give her up, and I’ll be petless again.
 
(I think it’s amusing that God seems to think I’m not meant to be petless for long. Since Joey left this life, we were petless for only 9 days!)
 
Whatever happens, I’m ready to receive it, because I know it will be God’s best, tailored to me, packaged with the lessons I need to learn now.
 

Update, August 28: Cleo continues to slowly warm up to us. She’s not unfriendly; she even comes when called. She just isn’t a lap cat, and may never be.

I’ve had to learn a few new things–like, how to keep her from destroying our furniture. She seems to love her scratching pad–to lie on! However, she has begun to scratch it, too.

I found a recipe for a cat deterrent spray made up of rosemary essential oil, water, and a bit of soap. It does seem to help some. We’re also trying to show her “no, not the couch” but “yes, here’s your scratch pad.”

Of course, she shows no interest in the fancy scratching post we got her, even though I scattered catnip around the base. (Joey went wild over catnip. Cleo likes it, but is not crazy about it.)

So the lessons in patience, in finding new ways to do things, in enjoying what is rather than what I wish it would be, continue. We like watching her. She will probably warm up to us more in time. At least she’s not a hider….

Update, September 6: Cleo has not warmed up to us.

This morning I realized: I don’t really like this cat. I don’t want this cat.

It was hard to admit. I have met very few cats I didn’t like, if any. But the truth was I didn’t want this cat. Perhaps I still wasn’t really “over” losing Joey. Perhaps it wasn’t the right time for another cat; my life had gotten very complicated.

What to do? I didn’t want to have to put her in a shelter. I didn’t want the hassle of trying to find another home for her.

I didn’t even have to pray about it. By the afternoon, my husband told me, “I saw Cleo running down the driveway.”

And we haven’t seen her since. Problem solved.

Grace. . . .

Read More→

Comments (0)

Privacy Policy

View Privacy Policy. Your use of this site implies you agree with this policy.