A Christmas loss.

kittensI’ve always felt so sorry for people/families who have lost a loved one around the holidays.  I can’t even imagine the pain, it must be devastating.  If you are one of these people, I just want to let you know that my heart truly goes out to you.

I have a friend who lost her only child to an extremely painful form of cancer.  I’m not sure if it was around the holidays or not, but she was saying recently how hard it is to face the holidays without any children around.  She says she and her husband just try to stay busy to avoid feeling the pain.  I doubt that it really works.  My heart truly goes out to her.

My best friend, Paul, died the week before Thanksgiving.  I sort of rationalized that since it was actually before the holidays begin full swing that I wouldn’t be devastated about it every year.  I thought I was doing so well.  My heart goes out to his family.

Yesterday, just before Christmas dinner, I got a knock on the door.  We really don’t get many visitors, and my first thought was that it didn’t sound like Paul’s knock, and it couldn’t be, unfortunately.  It was one of my neighbors telling me the orange feral cat I ‘d been feeding, that I’d named Carrot, had been hit by a car.  I was devastated.  Lost my appetite for Christmas dinner that’s for sure.

The first time I saw this little guy was out my kitchen window walking on the five food hedge.  I’d put water and food out there for the birds and he was drinking from the water dish.  It struck me as funny that he was so light he could walk on the hedge, and that he was resourceful enough to find the water.

Later I saw his buddy, a tiny black and white one that I named Jersey.  My husband warned me that naming a feral cat was not a good idea since you would only grow that much more attached.  But since when did I ever take his advice (lol!) even when it’s good.

It took several weeks to get Carrot to come to me.  I kept telling him he’d love pettin’.  And when he finally let me pet him he did love it, especially around his whiskers.  And he purred, they really know how to melt your heart that way!  Jersey, on the other hand, was still very frightened of me and kept her distance.

Yesterday when I went out to feed them he wasn’t there.  He had been known to disappear once in awhile during the day but was always back for the evening meal.  But he wasn’t that afternoon.  And not that night.  And now I know, never again.  RIP my little Carrot.

This triggered the pain I still feel about Paul and brought it to the surface as well.  I’ve hardly stopped crying since.

Paul and I had four cats between us, we had three and he had one, Boo, who had been a feral cat.  Within the last two years we helped each other bury them all.  It’s one of the things that bonded us as friends.  But none of them had died suddenly like Carrot.

When I went out this morning to feed Jersey she wasn’t there. I put out the food anyway and eventually she showed up.  I doubt that she will ever be brave enough to let me pet her though.

So now I’m one of those people who will always remember the losses she experienced around the holiday season.  And my heart goes out to me.