Goodbye Sweet Kitty

Josie this past Christmas.

Josie this past Christmas.

This little girl came to live with me 18 years ago. She and her brother were just 12 weeks old. I was a grad student and they quickly became the loves of my life. They've always been my first babies. Today I said goodbye to Josie. And my heart is broken.

So often when someone loses a pet, it's not looked upon as a big deal. It was just a cat or a dog, not a person. But these fur babies are our family. We love them with our whole hearts. We deal with all the annoying things that go along with pet ownership because they are worth it. They give us unconditional love no matter what.

We don't always feel it's okay to grieve for their loss like we do for a human family member. In fact some people who haven't experienced this kind of loss even make light of it. But today, it feels no different to me. I held her as she took her last breath and could not bear to leave her even though she was gone. It's a surreal experience, seeing their body but knowing their soul is gone. It's agonizing. I thought I'd feel some relief. She's been ill for a while. But it was just pain and sadness. 

I am home now and need to be here for my grieving children as well and for Jojo's brother Louis who clearly knows something is up. I hope he doesn't get depressed or sick himself!

My oldest son and I are both feeling that sense of restlessness. He wants some kind of a distraction but I'm afraid to distract myself because once the distraction is over I have to face the fact she's gone anew. 

When I look over at her bed I am consumed by sadness all over again but I can't face putting it away yet. 

Tomorrow morning when it's time to feed the cats and only Louis comes down it's going to ache all over again. I don't even want to go to sleep because that means this day will end and as sad as it's been, at least I still feel her with me. 

These are all the same emotions I've had when I've lost a human family member. It's no different. And so I'm going to let myself feel these things without shame. She was my baby girl and I loved her so.