It’s All About Timing

bedroom dresser

Charlie and I have had our morning patio stroll.

I may have to move the plants out of the center of the patio because the purple sweet potato vine seems to be getting really stressed in the afternoon.

If I do that I’ll probably have to come up with a different place to put the green padded chairs that are at the end of the patio. That is the only other space that gets some shade due to the tree branches spilling over into my patio space.

I will be watching the sun as it shifts locations today to make my decision. Some are heavy pots, but I could drag them.

my patio garden

The pineapple sage in the above photo gets stressed also. But I don’t know where I’d put it.

I’ll have to ponder it a bit.

I have to go out and spray a bit of water on the tomatoes and cucumbers three or four times a day because they use up water so fast.

They are like sponges, but they need the sun.

red flowers

I wanted to tell you about the rest of my day yesterday. After I wrote my post.

Since some of us are grieving, and some of us have, and some of us will, I think sharing is beneficial.

I will admit that the one month anniversary of losing Abi was difficult. By afternoon I had fallen into a slump that kind of scared me because it was so reminiscent of the depression I was in years ago.

I just laid on the couch with Charlie and watched reruns of Law & Order.

With lifelong depression, regardless of the meds, you live life on a slippy slope. Same way with most mental illnesses.

I take medication, but sometimes it just isn’t enough to get you through.

green sweet potato vine

I was sinking yesterday and I knew it, but I had no idea how to stop it. I admit I was getting depressed before Abi died, due to months of physical pain. I’m still having quite a bit of pain.

How do you go through your day without using your hands?

I so want to do crafts and DIYs and create, but I need my hands. So that’s a downer.

The acupuncture has helped my neck, but not the nerve pain in my hands up to my right shoulder much. Because darn it I have to use my hands.

Then by yesterday evening something had changed. A slight shifting. I thought of Abi and I didn’t cry. Then, just to check myself, I visualized her pulling her funny and endearing antics.

And I didn’t cry. In fact at one point I think I may have smiled a little.

This morning the sadness is still there, but lessened. Maybe that one month anniversary was the guide post I needed. Like a period at the end of a sentence.

I’m not foolish enough to think I’m done grieving, because I know I’m not. But now I’m beginning to think I can handle it. That my hands may have found the gear shift that is sorrow.

black petunias

I think rescuing a kitty might help me, give me another focus and distract me. But I don’t think Charlie would welcome that right now.

And perhaps that would be cheating. And I know you can’t cheat grief with distraction.

I go online to the animal shelter site because I can’t seem to stop myself. I gaze at all those kitties that, for whatever reason, are homeless. And I so want to save one. Because I have a lot of love to give a pet.

But life is often all about timing. And I don’t think the timing is right, much as I’d like it to be. Part of me thinks Charlie would like a playmate. After all he lived his first five years with cats.

But another part of me says no.

patio plants

We went to breeders to get Abi and Charlie. My ex said he didn’t want strays because he dealt with that kind of people all day at the mental hospital.

I know. An awful way to look at patients. I think the empathy just gets pounded out of some medical professionals. Either that or they didn’t possess much to start with.

But for me rescuing unwanted animals is the way to go.

Barking dogs can get you in trouble if you live in an apartment. I always go out with Charlie and if he utters half of a bark, I’m on him to come in because I know the guy living behind me will complain.

Cats would be much easier living here.

But now is Charlie’s time.

It seems just about all he does is sleep. I keep wondering if a younger cat might get him to play and get more exercise.

So hopefully as time goes on, the answer will come to me. It hasn’t yet.

No matter how much I want to rescue an animal, it just isn’t the time for us right now.

But how will I know when? Or if?

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55 Comments

  1. You’ve had a lot of good insights to share in your posts recently. A big change in life, such as the loss of a beloved pet, can cause us to go through a period of introspection and it can bring up a lot of wisdom. It seems like every person, every pet, every situation is different when it comes to getting a new pet. Before I met him, my husband went for 10 years without having pets because he didn’t think he could handle the pain of having another pet die. But more recently, we waited just three months to get another cat after our beloved big orange male cat died in November at age 15. I thought my husband would want to wait longer, but for some reason, he just was ready to get another cat a whole lot sooner this time around. Personally, I think it’s because our orange cat was so much more friendly than any other cat my husband had ever had, and he just missed the interaction. We spent a lot of time looking at photos of cats at the regional shelters, and had found a couple of big gray male tabbies we liked, but we ended up getting a small adult male tuxedo cat, totally different than what we had in mind. He was such a clown that we couldn’t resist him. He’s been a good fit for us, and I hope that someday, you’ll find the right match too.

    1. Brenda, you have a good heart and you will know when the time is right.
      An option available is to be a foster parent. That way Charlie and the
      “new kid on the block” can have a trial period of adjustment before you commit.
      My rescue animals have been some of the smartest, most loving and loyal companions.
      Hug Charlie for me.

  2. Oh Brenda, I think you’ll know if and when you are ready for another pet. For your beautiful patio garden, wouldn’t it be nice if you get one of those “offset” free-standing umbrellas that you could open and swing over your plants when the afternoon Sun gets to be too much? You can get one for under $100 but you’d also need to buy a heavy enough base to hold it and that can cost as much as the umbrella itself, and you probably wouldn’t be able to lift it let alone move it. If this might be an option for you, you can often get good deals at the end of the season and even now, I just saw some 9 foot umbrellas advertised on sale for just under $40 at Walmart and Hayneedle – but it’s not an offset umbrella. Don’t know if there would be a way to rig such an umbrella to stand by itself, though. The ad at Walmart shows one standing independently in what appears to be a skimpy metal base but I think the slightest breeze would knock it right over without more support. Or, here’s a totally off the wall idea – what if you created your own sort of sail shade using a sheet, cup hooks and metal screw in eyes (to provide strength – they would be stitched to the sheet corners)? You could hook it up when needed and unhook it and tuck it away when not needed. If there is a way for a large sheet to be stretched from the hooks screwed into your wood patio fence and possibly one of those tree branches, the “eyes” stitched onto the sheet to attach the sheet to provide filtered light? If you needed more reach you could stitch cording to the sheet and stitch eyes to the ends of the cording to attach to the hooks in the fence and/or tree branch? Lots of ideas at Pinterest under DIY Canopies and Sunshades for Your Backyard.

  3. When I was finally able to remember my Abby without crying was the first indication that I would be ok. This is a positive Brenda. As for getting a cat, well I think you are correct in waiting awhile. I can see having a cat would be easier living in an apartment. Where I live so many apartment buildings will allow cats, but not dogs.
    Your garden looks fabulous! I can see this would be a soothing place for you. Oh and I agree with you on always wanting to have a pet in your home.
    Have a good day

    1. Charlie is clearly enjoying having me all to himself. And I agree, when you can think of your beloved pet without tears, I think your heart is on the mend.

  4. Although I haven’t commented much lately you and Charlie are in my thoughts every day. My thoughts on getting a cat, personally I wouldn’t because I think Charlie deserves to have you all to himself. I don’t think he would welcome another animal that is going to command your attention.
    About your aches and pains, just a thought. My husband recently was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. He had bad pains in his hands, wrists, arms and feet. Even thought he was taken a drug he still had pain. Then he discovered The Pattison Program and has since cut out all dairy products and what a difference, he is almost pain free. He is doing things around the house that he couldn’t do before. This may work for anyone if pain is due to inflammation.
    If you google The Pattison Progam you can read more about it. Hope this helps.

  5. Whenever I “sleep wrong”, I will wake up with a crick in my neck. For several days, nerve pain in my neck and shoulder keep me from turning my head. Occasionally my back goes out, which makes my legs feel weak. Doctors prescribe anti-inflammatories and powerful pain killers, which knock me out. I find chiropractors to be of no help. One day HSN had the Teeter-Hangup as the Today’s Special. The concept of an inversion table to decompress the spine made perfect sense to me. The Teeter worked better than I had hoped. I can actually hear my spine popping into alignment. Whatever you’re spending on doctors and drugs might pay for a Teeter?

  6. Brenda, I have been reading your blog off and on for awhile but never had anything substantial to contribute in terms of a comment. I never heard or read the phrase “you can’t cheat grief with distraction” until today – something for me to think about.

    1. It just popped into my head, because we all sometimes do things to distract ourselves at times. But I don’t think you can cheat something as powerful as grief.

  7. Good evening Brenda,

    I am so happy to hear that you are feeling a little better. Abbie is always with you and of course you will not get over her loss in one day, things will ebb and flow just like life.

    As for your garden, have you thought of those planter things on wheels? I think they have them at the $tree. You could put a few of the stressed plants on wheels and move them when they are in to much sun and then as the sun moves over the next few weeks move them back where you like.

    May I send you something? If so please email me your address.

    Have a great night with sweet Charlie.

    1. I’ll check into those. I have one for my tree Jade. But it was like $25, too much for various plants. I didn’t know they had them at Dollar Tree. Thanks for telling me. I’ll email you.

  8. Well, you know I am a strong advocate for adopting. So many animals in need out there, and they bring so much joy to a household, too. I think adopting a kitty will be a wonderful thing for you – and I don’t believe you are cheating yourself or Abi out of the grieving process by adopting another pet at any time. You’re not trying to replace her. As others have said, you’ll know when you’ve met “the one”. I suggest, when you feel you want to, go down to the shelter just to sit with those available for a while. If the first time you visit, you don’t feel a connection, well, you spent some quality time loving on some homeless cats/kittens. Not wasted time. Visit again down the road. When you’ve met the right cat/kitten… You’ll know… you’ll just know.

    1. You are so wise, my blogging friend Karen! I’m proud to call you friend because you are so selfless in helping and rescuing animals.

  9. You will know when the time is right for a new addition; or a new pet may “find” you. That’s the way our 14-year old cocker came to us. He had been abandoned when his family moved away, and my son-in-law found him hiding in the tall grass of their house. He was very tiny, covered in fleas. My daughter had him checked out by the vet and he was healthy except for being extremely malnourished. We weren’t even thinking of getting a dog when he came into our lives. He has been a terrific companion for all these years and loves and gets along with everyone.

    1. Like your wonderful dog, I know the feeling of being left behind. Many of us do, in one way or another. What great people you are to save him and give him a loving and stable home. What kind of people do that to a helpless creature, the people who moved away???

  10. Dear Brenda, I have enjoyed your blog for years and always find something that helps me or just simply entertains me. Thank you. Today I find myself commenting even though I do not do a lot of comments. It’s a time thing. Grieving certainly has a mind of its own and it is so different for each and everyone of us. I would like to share this little saying that helped me on occasion. “Grief never ends…but it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith – – – – – – it is the price of LOVE. Author Unknown.

    Interesting, I recently adopted a Rescue Cat. Can’t begin to tell you how many websites I visited dreaming about another wonderful heartbeat (dog or cat) to share my home. I had no idea how or when my search would evolve. I am delighted to say that I am now the mama to a beautiful deaf Siamese cat who is 6 1/2 years old. I drove two hours to pick her up on March 11. I hope you take a look at my blog http://www.mylastact.blogspot.com to see a picture of my lovely Ivy. I am enjoying her so much.

    My life, as yours, has been filled with challenges, some similar to some of your discussed mountains you have climbed. Yes, we fall down but eventually pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get going again. As of recently, I am feeling very happy, relaxed and healthy even though the medical records would paint a different picture. It has been quite a journey. And, it’s not over yet. My to do list is long. God bless you and know you are loved by many and you have helped many!

    1. I will definitely give your blog a visit! What beautiful words…It is a passage, not a place to stay. I’m so glad you have your Ivy. What a wonderful person you are to choose the pet that others likely would not. You sound like a very strong and optimistic woman. A “glass half full” kind of woman. My favorite kind.

  11. I agree with the others who said you will instinctively know when the time is right to adopt a kitty.

    I wish I could send you some of the cool, rainy weather we’re having here in IL. It feels more like October!

  12. I keep a pilllow on my couch that reads “ my shelter dog rescued me”. I had fallen into a deep state of sadness that would start each day after losing my Westie of 17 years and couldn’t shake my grief. I felt for the first time in my life I needed grief counseling but one day 6 mos later, my terrific lady boss told me to check a local rescue website and that afternoon I left work and found a dog that needed a home. It gave me back a purpose. I was working per diem and later just quit completely as I enjoyed my time reassuring this dog no one would ever hurt her again. But the neat part was this shelter had a resident cat who roamed the place and I also had a 5 yr old cat at home so I asked if this dog was good with cats and they said “ we will show you”. Sure enough as we were on the floor petting our newly adopted dog, the cat came in and sat on our laps to be petted too and the dog never flinched. Everyone gets along in my house so well. We have since rescued a small dog which was the best thing we did for our first one to keep her active and she loves this little guy like it’s her baby. My heart had healed enough to give an animal a good life but I do miss my westie every day and accept it’s just how I am with my pets.

    1. I’m thinking if I just wait a few months, I might try it. Or maybe then I’ll have decided not to. I’ve read you should give your remaining pet 3 months to grieve the loss of their first companion. But who knows? Tis a conundrum.

  13. Perhaps a patio umbrella and stand for the garden? Or even easier, a few beach umbrellas that come with the pointy end. Instead of putting in sand, you could put right in the buckets (of dirt). They are light and easy to move around. Open a s close as you need.

  14. If you adopt a homeless cat or dog from a shelter now, it will demand your attention and rightly so. The added expense and demands on your weary body might not be right for you now. A new younger, shelter animal may mean more vet visits and bills. You seem to be such a caring and kind person. Be kind to yourself and take care of Charlie for a little while longer. Keep up your acupuncture visits and don’t neglect your medical care. Once you are physically feeling better, then consider a new pet. May God bless you and I will keep you in my daily prayers.

    1. Money worries is right up there too. I still haven’t paid Abi’s bill off. Though a kind reader sent the vet $500 toward her bill. Wasn’t that incredible?

  15. I, too, want to replace my little Daisy, a gorgeous rescue cairn terrier who died two years ago. I hesitate for many of the same reasons that you are going through. My little Dixie, yorkie, 15 and blind, is receiving All my attention. She was second place when Daisy was around for two reasons; one, Daisy was so much more active and personality plus and two, and Dixie’s personality is so much more passive due to abuse and neglect in her former life. I look at cairn terriers and want one, but have decided that Dixie will be my only dog for the rest of her life. She needs to be number one. She deserves it. Then, I’ll rescue another senior cairn terrier.

    Whatever choice you make will, I’m sure, be fine for both of you.

    1. Charlie does deserve his time. I just wonder if at some point he’d like a companion. He’s never been an only child before.

  16. Brenda, I am a retired professional and school counselor. A year ago, I had to put my beloved rescue dog to sleep due to his cancer. He spent a lot of time with me and even went to school with me to help grieving children. I studied grieving, had a lot of friend, colleague, and family support. Even so, I cried daily. I felt such a deep loss that wasn’t helped or lessened in any way over time. Everything reminded me of my loss. Quite unexpectedly and way too soon, a new puppy became available. I’m so glad I jumped in way to early and brought that tiny, fluffy, puppy into our home. He was a joyous, amazing reminder of how much joy my other dog had provided to my family and children at my work! My sadness began to lift. You are talking a lot about a kitten. Follow our gut and rescue one soon. He/she will bring laughter and joy back to you and Charlie.

    1. It is so tempting when I see them at the shelter online. Then I look over at Charlie and think: Not yet. Give it some time.

  17. Brenda, I’m so glad you are having “happy” moments now when you think of Abi. The pain will continue to lessen; it just takes time. I agree with you, this is “Charlie’s time” with you and I think he is truly enjoying having you all to himself. Your patio is looking so lush and colorful.
    Have a wonderful afternoon!

    Carol and Molly

    1. I know he is. He’s getting quite spoiled in fact! You two have a wonderful afternoon, Carol and Molly.

  18. I too would wait awhile longer so that you and Charlies can totally bond. Once he feels YOU are his and he can totally trust you and be YOURS, then it may be OK to get a kitten. Our rescue kitten, that we got at about 5 weeks old, is very needy and jealous.. so be careful. The vet told us a kitten who has not been able to nurse with its mother for the first 2 months or so, will have personality problems, possessiveness, jealousy, etc. and she does, as she was so young, we had to bottle feed her for a few weeks. A little bit older one would maybe be better with Charlies than a very young one. Just a thought. He needs this time with you I’m sure, to know he isn’t going to have to compete with your affections. Do you ever take him out for little walks? That may be good for him (and you). Also, just a thought. Marilyn

    1. I just now carried him down to the corner trash can with me. He’s never worn a collar or had a leash. The vet’s office told me an older cat would be too entrenched in its personality. They thought a kitten would be better. I don’t know. Not doing it now anyway. I just like to think about it!

  19. You are doing very well handling your grief. You’ll know the right moment and as for an animal living in an apartment I must agree a cat would be the best choice. I wish you well~!

  20. Funny you should mention timing. Last yr my 17 yo cat died. She was a beauty named Baby as she was always tiny. A long haired tortoise. I so longed for a kitty then. It was all I could do to not get one. So daughter and I agreed no more cats. We still have Joey who is a three-legged tuxedo. About a mths go my friends 94 yo dad has a stroke and he’s taken in a kitten. He said it was two mths but we knew it wasn’t. We volunteered to foster her til a home could be found. Well, you guessed it. She won our hearts over in no time. We named her Norah. And she is one sassy little girl. We also have three dogs and now at seven weeks she’s attacking them. She has the run of the house now and just scampers everywhere. Funny thing was the day before We took her I saw a feather at my gate. It was striped and Norah is striped with beautiful markings. I feel as though my husband sent it to us telling us it was OK to take her. He would always say: Do what you want. You’re going to do it anyways!! So time will tell but for now just enjoy sweet little Charlie.

  21. You will know when the time is right. I adopted my Bella kitty about a month after I lost my 14 year old dog last year. I was thrown into a massive tailspin when she died, I don’t think I have ever felt that lonely. My dog was my only pet. I was on my lunch break at work about a month later and saw Bella on the county’s animal shelter website and I KNEW she was meant to be my kitty. I actually begged my boss to let me leave a couple of hours early so I could get her before anyone else did and we haven’t looked back. You will know.

    1. If I didn’t have Charlie I would probably already have done the same thing. To me a house is not a home without a pet in it.

  22. Brenda, when the time is right, you will know, deep inside, and, having made the decision, you will have peace in it. Perhaps it is too soon as yet. And grief…….. the only way to process it once and for all is to accept that you have to get down and grapple with it!

    My garden has similar problems to your garden, though it is nothing like so beautiful. I bought cheap and cheerful stripey parasols and bases, so that I can move them around in the garden as necessary. They are easy to move. Perhaps something similar might help. Kind regards.

  23. I think that you will just instinctively “know” the “when and if” about rescuing a kitty at the right time. You will be there when the right one comes along at the right time. I agree that this is Charlie’s time.
    I have two cats as well as my two Pomeranians. Certainly cats are quieter, and especially if you live in an apartment that is a consideration. I am just finding that with my COPD. it is getting harder to deal with lugging cat litter around the store, getting it into my car and then house, and cleaning the boxes. I wonder if that would be a consideration with your pain issues. Just a thought.

    I so relate to the slips when it comes to chronic depression. It can be scary. I just have to convince myself sometimes that it will eventually pass. Some days just taking care of my pets is all I can manage. I hope you feel a lot better soon.

    1. I wouldn’t be lugging cat litter or even dog food around. I order everything from Chewy.com and it comes right to my front door. Maybe you should look into that. I always had litter boxes up about waist high for easier cleaning, on a table or something.

      1. There is also extremely light litter…I used OKO cat litter…purchased at the grocery store…Chewy may carry it… I believe it is bamboo, so great for the cats and the environment. Right now I am staying with my daughter and we are using the 44lb bags from Costco…and I am so tired of lugging those bags around! Back to OKO as soon as I get settled in my new home.

  24. IT IS GOOD TO HEAR YOUR LATEST REFLECTIONS, SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE COPING A BIT BETTER.
    I THINK YOU ARE WISE TO HOLD OFF ON BRINGING ANY NEW ANIMAL INTO THE MIX, ESPECIALLY A CAT. REMEMBER WITH IT COMES NEW ISSUES, MAINLY THE LITTER BOX, AND A DIFFERENT KIND OF FOOD. MY DOGS WERE ALWAYS INTERESTED IN BOTH.
    YOU ARE CHARLIE ARE BONDING ON A NEW LEVEL, AND I WOULD NOT WANT TO SEE A REGRESSION , BECAUSE OF THAT HUGE CHANGE FOR BOTH OF YOU.
    DON’T GET ME WRONG, I LOVE CATS, BUT I REMEMBER THE ADEED HEADACHES OF HAVE CATS AND DOGS IN MY HOME AT THE SAME TIME.
    ENJOY YOUR PATIO AND SHIFTING OF THE PLANTS, MOST OF ALL JUST ENJOY THE NEW FOUND CLOSENESS WITH CHARLIE.

    1. I’ve had cats and dogs living together quite happily. But you’re right. I don’t want a regression. I’m just mulling my thoughts here. Since we already had cats when we got Abi and Charlie, I had figured out ways to feed the cats where the dogs couldn’t get to the food. Same with the litter box.