Tuesday, January 11, 2011


For those of you who don't know, this past weekend was a very traumatic one for me.  I had the whole thing all planned out in advance--going out for some fun with friends on Friday night, a trip into the city for the Annual Boat Show on Saturday, and then a relaxing Sunday with my guy.

When I stepped off the train on Thursday evening, excited to start my weekend (I work from home on Fridays) I was greeted with a very bad report concerning the health of a loved one. I spent a very restless night and most of the next day trying to process the discouraging news.  Combine that with the sudden and tragic death of my beloved cat, Sambo on Friday afternoon, and I was literally a mess of emotions.  My plans for the weekend came to a screeching halt and I spent the next several days crying and mourning the loss of my faithful little friend.

I am not usually one to fall apart so easily.  Don't misunderstand me. I loved my cat.  He was such a great companion.  He gave me friendship and unconditional love.  I have so many very happy and funny memories of him.  His crazy antics have been posted all over Facebook (complete with photos) and friends who never met Sambo were fond of him just because of the stories I shared.  Sambo gave me a reason to come home at night.  Before him, I never wanted to come home and would stay out until ridiculous hours of the night just to avoid an empty house.  I am single and my son is grown and no longer lives with me.  That was a tough adjustment for me so I simply chose to not go home. The silence and emptiness was too much to bear until Sambo came to live with me.  I was responsible for him.  I had to come home to feed him by a certain time each evening and he demanded my love and attention from the moment I walked in the door after work until I left again the next morning.

My little house is empty again.  I have to force myself to come home now because it is not good for me to stay out all night.  I need to come home, relax, cook a healthy dinner, and get a good night's rest.  These things are crucial for my health and well-being.  Having Sambo around contributed to my healing, and helped me find pleasure in the simple things like being home, relaxing, and getting into bed at a decent hour.  What most people do every night like second nature was completely foreign to me.  I was a 24/7 Party Girl before Sambo.  Perhaps now you can understand how much he meant to me. Sambo was not just a pet.  He was, in many ways, my salvation.

When we buried Sambo in his little grave beneath his favorite window in the backyard, my dad put his arm around me and whispered, " Darlin', this is life."  I stood there, sobbing uncontrollably and I knew he was right.  The reasons why I was crying so hard were not just about Sambo.  You see, it was my dad who had to pry Sambo's limp and lifeless body from my arms because I refused to let him go.  It was my dad who went outside to dig up the frozen ground for Sambo's final resting place.  It was my dad who gently laid my little buddy in his grave with his favorite toys.  I was completely useless. What was really going through my mind as I stood there was, "Oh My God. What am I going to do without my dad?"

Sambo's unexpected passing is my first real experience with death.   I sat beside him completely helpless- watching him die on my bathroom floor. It was sudden, it was shocking, and that feeling of helplessness is the most heartbreaking experience I have ever endured. Until Sambo's death, your sheltered host had never experienced the pain of great loss.  I lost a grandmother, aunts and uncles, a cousin.  I loved them, of course, but I was never extremely close with any of them and they were not involved in my daily life nor  was I in theirs. My brother and I had a dog when we were growing up.  She had been with us since we were infants.  When I was 17 years old, she just wandered off one day and we never saw her again.  We never watched her die or found her lifeless body.  In our hearts and minds, she is still alive and will live forever.

Some people are angry at me because I am so upset over a cat.  My own boyfriend yelled at me and told me to stop crying. "If you fall apart over a damn cat, what are you going to do when you lose someone you really love?" he said. Unfortunately, he just doesn't understand me at all.  I am turning 49 this year and Sambo's passing is just a shadow of things to come because everyone is getting older.  That is a sobering reality and the real reason why his death has hit me so hard.  

I hope you can understand my heart.  Some of you have lost parents, brothers, sisters, and even children and I never take that lightly. The only thing I have really lost, so far, is a cat. But I know my day is coming.  As my father said, "Darlin', this is life." Life is about loving and loving always ends in some kind of heartache.  There is no way to avoid that heartache unless we stop loving. As human beings, we always love.  It is how we were created.  Even the hardest, angriest, most miserable person has something or someone they love.

I am going to get another cat in a few weeks.  I just don't like an empty house. I could harden my heart and tell myself,  "No more pets because I don't want to love and lose again or feel that pain." I am smart enough to know that attitude will only hurt me in the long run.  So, I will take all the love I have for Sambo and shower it on another sweet little creature who needs a warm, happy home.  That will be my tribute to my to Sambo.  I really don't think he would mind. In fact, I believe that's exactly what he wants me to do. 

And this is my Daily Cyn..............

1 comment:

  1. Your grief is completely normal and understandable. Traumatic events such as you recently experienced disrupt our lives and put our emotions in hyper-drive. You always close your postings with "And this is my Daily Cyn" This is how you must proceed - one day after another until the wound begins to heal.