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Posts Tagged ‘letting go’

 

How does one let go of things one cannot control?  How can we (I) overcome the need for wanting life to turn out in a certain way?

Cats have this way of letting go and living in the moment.  I don’t think they anticipate much of the future except for when they want their needs met—in terms of food, shelter and affection.  And for the most part, I don’t think they hold grudges (ok, except for Chewie…more on him later in this blog) or recall “traumatizing” events from their past.  With one exception:  I absolutely do believe that they have this sense memory and once they see the cat carrier, they know.  They just know they will be shoved (probably not so gently because of the struggle!) into this confining plastic box, taken in this larger uncomfortably vibrating box to this terrible terrible place we know of as the vet’s office.  Oh my, oh my … ok, I am anticipating because this morning is Chewie’s turn, but I am planning a sneak “attack” and a quick shove into the carrier.  We’ll see how well this goes over…

And there are the outside kitties, the ferals.  How do we stop worrying over their safety and wellbeing? The remaining ferals—Sluggo, Orange Kitty and Sylvester—sometimes do not show up for mealtimes.  Sometimes they get hurt; right now Orange Kitty has this very bad gash over his right eye.  It’s taken a chunk of fur, and his whole eye area is swollen.  And there is nothing we can do for him or any of them other than to continue to feed them and to care.  Letting go.  So hard at times…

When I do live in the moment, rare as that might be, I hear the birds chirping, the motor of the aquarium whirring, the clock ticking and all the other ambient sounds of life—rather than just the incessant ramblings of my thoughts. A sense of calm and wellbeing in a world that is ever changing.

And then I hear the sounds of a cat fight and it zaps be back to all my present concerns.  All five of the indoor cats are male.  And although they are all neutered, it hasn’t stopped the need for dominance.  I was interrupted writing this post because I had to break up yet another fight between Junior and Tigger. Junior has this way of just looking at Tigger, psyching him out.  Then there is the chasing and the hissing.  More “bark” than anything else (lol).  But once the fight is done, it’s done.  I just checked, and both Tigger and Junior are chilling, just being cats. 

I wish I could chill like that.  Letting go of the things that are upsetting and not trying to anticipate the future. Living in the forever that is the now.  I guess this is a life lesson that continues to endure and to evolve.

POSTSCRIPT: Just came back from the vet visit.  How can one small, long-haired 10-pound hunk of grudge put up such a fight?!!  He struggled, managed to get out of a locked cage (door failure; shopping list: one new soft cat carrier!), struggled some more, peed, scratched and howled his way to the vet.  A load of laundry and an application of antiseptic later, I now getting on with the rest of my day.  Yes, he’s quite the healthy two year old.

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He left our lives in the same manner he joined: quietly, without fanfare.  Fuzzy was an elderly grey and white male kitty (never neutered!) with these Halloween orange eyes.  Initially, Roger and I saw him lingering around Sluggo—the now spayed feral female that allows us to provide for her; more on her story later in this blog—thinking he was just another feral male wanting to get lucky… Then one day, perhaps a year and a half ago, I attempted to pet him.  And to my surprise, he allowed it.

Not only did he allow us to pet him, he seemed to crave the affection.  Who knew?!  In his quiet, tentative ways he wanted us to pet him, stoke him, gingerly crawling onto our laps so that we could do more.  Which made us feel both very sad and very happy: here was this obviously gracious kitty who was once someone’s pet, perhaps, who had been living so long in the streets.  Abandoned, fending for himself.  And all he wanted was love and affection.

So, we gave him that love.  And it was last summer when we realized that he was ill—there were scabs all over his body and some open wounds.  Roger took him to several vets with a similar diagnosis: he was dying. Some feline disease, and since he was so old—we figured he was over 12 or 13 years—there was nothing much we could do for him.  One vet wanted to put him down last summer, but we said no; there was still a lot of life left in the old geezer kitty.  Fuzzy still walked and was curious; sniffing and investigating.  It was so funny to observe him walking about in his “old man” cat walk… He still ate, drank a lot, pooped.  Obviously craved the human touch.  We figured that when the time came that he could no longer do these things, we would do the right thing and be with him in the end. 

But we never had that chance. 

So, throughout last fall, winter, and this spring, we fed him, and Roger provided a warm, comfortable place in the garage for him to sleep and a litter box, too—so he wouldn’t have to go outside when it snowed.  I would check on Fuzzy several times a day to make sure he was ok. When it was sunny, I would find him catching a few rays in the backyard, just enjoying this life…  He seemed to enjoy the human-made comfort during the bad weather, but when the weather turned nice, he beckoned to the call of his animal instincts to roam and to investigate.  Fuzzy no longer stayed overnight in the garage, but did come in the evenings for us to feed him.  He still seemed fine, in good spirits. 

Friday, June 10, 2011, was the last time we saw Fuzzy. In the evening, he meandered back, as was his habit.  At different times throughout the evening, he would climb into our laps, and we petted and stroked the elderly kitty who allowed us to share our lives with him.  When we went to bed, here was still on the patio, just hanging about as he had done numerous times before.  The next morning he was gone, but that was not unusual for him; we figured he would return that evening.  But he did not return that night nor any night since. 

It’s been 20 days.  We did look for him in our neighbors’ yards and in the nooks and crannies around the house… For nearly two weeks, I kept checking the garage and the yard, hoping to see his somewhat sad, Halloween-like eyes looking up at me…Fuzzy is gone.  Maybe a fox got him; I remember seeing one in the neighborhood.  Maybe he knew his time was growing near and found a quiet and comfortable place to make his transition.  Maybe the evening of June 10 was his way of saying goodbye.  We don’t know.  We never will.

 I feel very fortunate to have known Fuzzy.  Yes, we regret not discovering his affection sooner… We regret not taking him to the vet sooner.  But we did what we could for him, once we figured out a little more who he was.  And we provided a warm place for his final year.  Warm not only in physical comfort, but also in love and affection.  We loved Fuzzy as we had any kitty that has shared our lives.

Perhaps the life lesson with Fuzzy is to appreciate more the moments in time, for they sure are fleeting and not guaranteed.  And to let go when it is time to do so.

Fuzzy, my friend.  Farewell. We miss you. May your eternity be filled with warmth and love.

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