This Week

Thank you so much for all your kind words about my baby Winnie. I want to respond to them all but when I try I feel my vision start to blur. But I cherished each one, and I read them all to Evan and we both feel so happy that Winnie has touched so many people. She was really the best.

I did not understand the pain of losing a pet until it happened to me. When Winnie’s brother Tigger went missing about 10 years ago, it did not hurt like this. I loved Tigger, but Winnie was mine. It was like she was made for just me. We had a special bond that I have never had with another animal.

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When my friend Cely lost her sweet Bardot a few weeks ago I felt sad for her, but I did not yet have the capacity to fully understand the pain she was feeling. I didn’t understand that it felt like someone ripped your heart out of your chest, threw it on the ground and stomped all over it. Now I know, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Why do we do this to ourselves?! Because I guess in the long run the time we had with our amazing pets and the wonderful lives we can give them makes up for the pain when they’re gone. Hold your pets close!!!

The worst is the phantom cat. Thinking Winnie is still here and then realizing she isn’t. My friend Dawn sent me flowers on Monday (seriously bless her heart) and I went to put them up high because previously if we had any plants in the range of Winnie she would eat them and then throw up. And then I remembered there is no one to eat the flowers and I can put them wherever I want, and that made me sad.

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Cat grass is delicious, but Winnie preferred to eat flowers.

The other night I was sleeping and I half woke up and I could feel something pressed against my leg. Forgetting, I thought it was Winnie, and I reached down to pet her and realized it was just a pillow. And then I remembered why it couldn’t have been Winnie and that made me sad. And then yesterday I was in our room and I saw something sticking out of the blanket on our bed that Winnie used to bury herself under, and for a moment I thought it was her weird little half white paw.

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But it wasn’t, and that was sad.

The silence in our house is profound. I never before realized how much presence our small kitty had in the condo. She was always up to something, that cheeky minx. Butt dragging, trying to scam us into Fancy Feast, barfing up her Fancy Feast and then meowing for more, eating our plants, coming into our bedroom and meowing and then happily trotting to the ottoman for brushes when we followed her out, looking behind her to make sure we were coming (and if we didn’t follow her all the way to the ottoman she would come back and meow at us some more until we continued to follow her), yowling at the side of our bed at 6am for Fancy Feast until I picked her up and made her snuggle with me, destroying all our potato bags…

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or staging a boudoir shoot in Ian’s room…

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Ian is actually away in Florida this week so Evan emailed him to let him know what happened and he wrote me a really nice note saying that he was going to do a shot of tequila and then drag his butt around the floor in Winnie’s honour. I’m sure Winnie would appreciate that.

I always used to call “Be a good kitties!” to Winnie when I was leaving the condo in the morning for work, and the other day as I was leaving I forgot what I was doing and I called “Be a good……boyfriend…” and it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to move her litter box and things yet, but I guess it really isn’t a pressing issue. I’ll get to it. Evan and I washed her water fountain and her array of dry food and Fancy Feast bowls, but now they are sitting on the counter waiting for us to do something with them. Evan was saying that we should save Winnie’s things in case we get a new cat one day and I was all “okay but we should wait, Winnie was so special and I don’t want to feel like we’re replacing her” and in the middle of that sentence I became hysterical and I couldn’t control my super high-pitched sobbing voice. Even though I agree with him and I do want to have another cat. I can’t imagine a life without cat. I think being a crazy cat lady is probably my life’s purpose. But not yet. And what if we get a new cat and that cat is a dick and doesn’t want to snuggle? What if the cat hisses at people or tries to bite us or pees all over the place? I can’t deal with a jerky spaz cat after a kind soul like Winnie. I don’t even know what to do with a cat that doesn’t want to snuggle. What is the point of that even.

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Cats are made for snuggling.

Anyway. So this week’s been rough. Monday was the worst. I pretty much cried on and off at my desk all day, and I am the worst cryer. My eyes get extremely red and puffy, like instantly, so it’s impossible to hide. My coworkers are very supportive but I’m sure I looked like a weirdo to those who have not experienced the loss of a pet. So I mainly just hid in my cubicle of pain.

Tuesday was my birthday, and I was so sad that I forgot at first, but then I got so many wonderful messages from people that it genuinely really cheered me up. Facebook is really great for that. It’s hard to feel sad when your family and friends (and someone you met once at a party years ago) are sending you so much love. And the card my coworkers made me is amazing.

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One of my coworkers has a side business of making cakes so she brought in cupcakes!

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With buttercream icing! They were so delicious I had two. The grief has not affected my appetite.

Evan packed my lunch in the morning on my birthday and included the most thoughtful handwritten note and a giant Kinder surprise egg, and then he made me birthday dinner that evening. It was a good one.

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Quinoa and black bean stuffed peppers, sweet potato spears, and a cucumber salad with smashed ginger, sesame and garlic dressing. He even got cake.

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He really knows how to cheer me up. A couple weeks ago Paula posted about this cat jewelry and apparel site called Meowingtons and I showed it to Evan because I thought it was funny, and then as part of my present this showed up:

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Cat accessories! The scarf and the cat ear ring are my favourite. So now I have a bunch of crazy cat lady accessories but no cat. I still love them and I will wear them proudly (though maybe not all at once so as to not overwhelm people). That Evan is a precious gem, and I feel so lucky to have him.

It was a very good week to have my birthday, actually, because it pulled me out of my funk for a bit. I know that it will steadily get better, but I’m still sad and a little funky so please bear with me. For now I just wanted to have another post to remember my perfect little cat.

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And I so appreciate all of you loving Winnie along with me. Seriously thank you.

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14 responses to “This Week

  1. Once again I’m tearing up :(. I’m so so sorry. ITo been a month and a half since mine has gone and I still experience ‘phantom cat’. I keep thinking he’ll pop around the corner or hop into bed with me at night. Like you I just never thought it could hurt this much. I’m so glad your friends and family have been doing kind things to cheer you up. My thoughts are with you!

  2. If you had a cat that didn’t like to snuggle, then you would have Pants.

  3. It much hurt so much. This was sad again, but another nice tribute to Winnie. My thoughts are with you.

  4. LOVE U SPOON! Winnie be up in kitty heaven eating her god damn fancy feast, and jumping from ottoman to ottoman with Tigs.

  5. Sending you love from Chicago xoxo

  6. Serious hugs and kitty snuggles to you! I can’t imagine the hole … thinking healing thoughts for you.

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost our dog a year and a half ago, and I still get a twinge every single time I open the door and don’t have to block a giant head with my knee. I’m sending good thoughts to you and to Winnie. Rest now, sweet kitty.

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