Thursday, July 17, 2014

On grief, loss, and missing Soda

Rainy Day Soda

Last week I broke the news that Soda, the cat of my heart, was gone. (Today I lost the best cat who ever lived.) Above is one of the last decent photos of her I took, or at least one of the last ones I really love, from late May. Here on this blog I usually posted photos of her on my writing desk or with stationery, but of course she was all over the place so I'm going to share a few of those views now.

Friends, I am grieving very, very hard. I knew I would be devastated when I lost Soda - I have loved all my cats, but she was just that extra-special one, the one who followed me around like a puppy and was my closest furry companion - and indeed I am a wreck. I keep thinking she should be there. Why is she gone? I keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye. I miss her terribly, achingly, constantly. In less conscious moments, I forget she is gone and then I remember. I expect her to be at the door to greet me when I come home. I expect to see her sleeping in her favorite spots.

Backtalk Soda

I expect to hear her meowing! She was an excessively vocal cat, and the apartment is so silent now without her (okay, occasionally very obnoxious) sounds.

One of the very hardest places for me is, in fact, my writing desk. Soda loved to be on my writing desk with me, sprawled out across whatever letter I was trying to read or write. As often as not, whenever I settled myself there, Soda would hop up and join me. I am so touched by the letters of condolence I have received from pen pals who didn't even know her, and I find tears running down my face as I read them at my writing desk and feel Soda's absence most poignantly.

Magic on her scratcher

Last week we had a very rough patch with our remaining beloved cat, Magic. Magic and Soda were not littermates, but I got them as kittens within weeks of one another. Magic came first, by just a couple of weeks. Other than those first weeks, Magic and Soda were together for their entire lives, 17 years. Although they didn't sleep together in their adult years, they would occasionally lick each others' heads; if not the best of buddies, at least the only other cat companions they had known (besides dear wonderful Memo, who was with them from 2001-2011). Who can say whether or not a cat grieves, but Magic did not show much interest in food, water, or the litterbox for a week or so, and was very mopey. She is coming back into herself and showing a bit more liveliness now, which cheers us greatly also.

Soda letter seal

I guess this post doesn't have much to do with letters or mail, and I hope you can forgive me that -- and bear with me as I am pretty low on the mail output (and pretty low in general). I do still have a lot of photo stickers, and a few photo stamps, with Soda's image, and I'm using them in her memory now. I miss my best Feline Postal Brigadier, and grief is a slow and heavy process. Thanks for bearing with me as I share that with you.

12 comments:

  1. My heart goes out to you. I know from personal experience what a terrible loss it is to lose a furry companion. I once heard someone say that pet owners have the biggest hearts because they take a creature into their life knowing they will almost always outlive him/her. My big heart is sending hugs to your big heart.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ana. So true about pet owners, and the heartbreak they know is to come!

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    2. What a wonderful tribute to Soda, to her place in your heart, and to the void she has left. I hope that writing about her keeps her with you for just a bit longer. Nothing can replace these lost loves. She was lucky to have you.

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    3. Thank you so much, Patricia. Writing about her is definitely a bittersweet balance between keeping alive her memory and reminding me of her absence.

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  2. I felt the same way when my dogs passed. I memoriolized them on petloss.com . Read poem "The Rainbow Bridge"...with kleenex handy

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  3. My heartfelt condolences. As a pet owner myself, I know there is absolutely nothing I can say to make you feel better, but know that my heart goes out to you during this difficult time.

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    1. Thanks so much, Joanna - I really appreciate it.

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  4. Im so sorry for the loss of your dear beloved family member . I hope that in time you can remember her with a few tears and lots of smiles and her lil paws all over you . May God bless you and comfort you in these hard times .

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    1. Thanks so much, phonelady. You've been reading my blog for all its years, and you know how big a part of my life Soda has been! I appreciate your kind words.

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  5. Oh -- I am so sorry for your loss!! Everything you've written here resonates with my experience (still) -- I had not known grief until I lost my beloved Jakob. It still sneaks up on me, some five weeks later, and I'm shocked at how much I ache and miss him. It is a tragedy to lose a family member and I am so sorry for you and your family. Sending love and condolences to you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Audra - we are sharing a very similar experience, and I'm so sorry for your loss of Jakob. Indeed, losing a longtime cat companion is losing a family member... thanks for your support, and thinking of you in your grief as well!

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