When you’ve lost a dear and beloved pet, there will be a number of mornings when you wake up and the event will hit you in the face all over again.
It’s as though sleep keeps the grief and shock at bay, and then a new day arrives and the loss hits you all over again.
Seeking A Way To Accept What’s Happened:
It takes a while to accept and realize that your sweet kittie is no longer there. That she never will be again. And it’s a hard transition.
I am calmer today. Though I cried much of yesterday.
We all know that life is a myriad of love and loss. And I’ve had two pet losses in less than a year. I lost Charlie Ross last June.
I let Kendra know early in the day that she did not need to check up on me. She’s very busy trying to get unpacked. And she and I are alike in how we grieve. We prefer to grieve alone.
For me it is a way to ensure acceptance. To not try to distract myself constantly but just allow myself to feel the pain. Let the sadness and grief wash over me.
Steve from next door called yesterday afternoon to see how I was and we talked about this and that for a bit.
Ivy’ Is Acting Different:
Ivy is acting different. She typically sleeps in the living room. Last night she spent laying on one of her three cat towers in the bedroom. For most of the night anyway.
I would wake up during the night and see her shadow on the tallest cat tree. I’d decided a few days ago that the cats would probably enjoy their cat trees more if they were all lined up in front of the bedroom window.
This morning Ivy was more playful than I’d seen her be in some time.
Yesterday she spent the bulk of her time in the chair with me. I brushed her fur and talked softly to her. Told her how beautiful she is and how much I love her.
Could Gracie Have Been Sick All Along?
I’ve come to think that many of you were right. That Ivy knew something was wrong.
Maybe Gracie had a heart problem or something from the get-go. Ivy never stopped hissing and pawing at her if she came near her.
It would always upset me, because Gracie was half Ivy’s weight and I didn’t understand this aggression that I’d see in Ivy.
When Charlie died, I think Ivy grieved. She was different for awhile.
I don’t see her grieving now. She seems maybe a bit relieved.
And I don’t look at that as a bad thing. I think Ivy knew something was wrong and it was disturbing to her.
Ivy stopped eating canned cat food weeks ago. Even tuna. It worried me.
But she still ate her dry food. If she started changing other habits, I’d decided I would call the vet.
This morning I began to look into the idea you put in my head about cats sensing illness in another cat. Here is some of what I learned.
Can Cats Sense Another Cat’s Illness?
Like dogs, cats also have an uncanny ability to detect ailments and diseases as well.
Cats also have an acute sense of smell and have the ability to sniff out a chemical change in the body caused by a disease.
A cat’s reactions to death or sickness can vary quite a bit. Cat owners may report a cat being unusually affectionate with a cat who is sick.
Or on the other hand, they may ignore or even become hostile to a cat who is sick.
I miss my sweet little Gracie. The way she’d lay her head in the palm of my hand and then turn her head over affectionately, as though giving me a hug.
I miss her being in my bed for much of the night and the way she’d curl up next to me. She’d sometimes wake me up to play with her. And I didn’t mind that at all.
The image of her that most come to mind is when she’d open her mouth to yawn. It was just so cute. I smiled every time I saw it.
I miss her sweet little face, so young and full of curiosity. She was a special kitty and I loved her completely. And I believe she knew that and trusted me to take care of her.
Changes In Ivy:
I’m going to try not to spend the day crying, as I know it upsets Ivy. And Ivy is kind of changing right in front of my eyes.
For one thing, Ivy seems calmer.
Last night when I went to the bedroom, she did not sit in the living room in the dark with the red and white curtain tie in her mouth. She’d been doing that for a month or so, and she would cry plaintively for some time.
I would try to get Ivy to come to the bedroom, but she wouldn’t. So I would come in here and check on her, but otherwise left her alone. Ivy does not like to be picked up, and neither did Gracie. Gracie was always skittish like that.
Ivy didn’t do that last night. And that was odd. I heard her cry one time when I went to the bedroom around 9 p.m. But then she came in there with me and I never heard that sound again last night.
Ivy spending at least most of the night in the bedroom surprised me. It was new behavior. I think maybe she is relieved at what she perceived as a threat of some kind, and now this is her way of comforting me.
Cherishing My Time With Gracie:
I have no way of knowing what Ivy knew, if she felt threatened because she was jealous of another cat. Or if she knew Gracie was sick.
I cherish the months I had with Gracie Mae. It seems almost impossible that I won’t see her jump on the bed and snuggle up to me again. She was so loving and affectionate.
I thought she would be with me for many years down the road. But her presence was cut short at a very young age.
I very much hope that she was not afraid at the end. The thought of that just breaks my heart.
My babies, Charlie Ross and Gracie Mae were such bright lights. They brought me such joy.
I like to think that their stars are still shining somewhere in the universe. And that they’re together.
“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”
– Vicki Harrison