Monday, April 5, 2010

Damn Circle of Life

Okay, there's been something going on in my house that I haven't really wanted to talk about because I needed to kind of accept it myself. And to be honest, there were times when I felt like I had Swiss Cheese Heart because there were a bunch of holes in it. I know I told you all about our cat, Martha, leaving. What I didn't mention was, we've lost several cats since last summer -- five to be exact. It hasn't been unexpected, Roger and I took in a lot of strays when we lived in Georgia. My stepson Colin was working for a vet down there and since the local shelter was not exactly well funded -- or functional -- animal lovers who found strays would bring them to Dr Schwitalla -- Mike- who would do his best to patch them up and find homes for them . But inevitably the day would come when a cat or a dog had been in the back cages at his clinic for too long and Mike would tell Colin that the only humane thing to do was let him or her go, and Colin would put in a call to Roger who would race down to the clinic and we would have another pet. Fortunately for us, Colin only worked there for a little while, but it was long enough for us to acquire many dogs and many, many cats. All of whom hit old age at once. We've been losing them for a couple of years now, and from time to time I've written about it. But our present vet has been warning us that we would probably face a fall, and winter like the one we've just had where many of them would go at once. So, our last old timer died on Monday, his name was Albert and he was the big gorgeous long haired alpha of our crowd who used to cuddle up to the others when they were sick and loved all of his fellow felines -- dogs were okay too -- and managed to be incredibly fond of his humans. It happened really quickly for him and I think it was a deliberate choice on his part. I have a real problem with the whole circle of life concept -- basically, I hate it and I think someone should work out something else, damn it -- and he wasn't going to take any chances on me trying heroic measures on him. Like I said, Albert was an alpha.
Roger and I are okay with all of this -- well, sort of, I still want an explanation for the damn circle of life -- and we will always have pets. We've got two dogs right now who are a constant source of sunshine -- and the occasional perfect storm of disaster, but who's counting -- in the house. I've posted some pictures of them, and I'm hoping maybe if some of you out there have some pictures of your pets and a story or two that you'd like to share, maybe you'll post them. I just feel like celebrating these guys -- you know?


  1. Hello Louise

    I lost my best four-legged friend, Elvis, in the autumn of 2008. He was extraordinary. He was a tuxcedo cat that loved life and taking care of all the creatures that entered our yard. He made friends with everyone, but he was especially charming around ladies. Human ladies. He was a charmer. Cancer took him from me, after 11 1/2 years of being my little boy. He had so many adventures I wish I could tell you about, but there isn't enough space here to share all the details. We adopted two new kitties a short time after Elvis left us, and they are my boys now, but I think of my Elvis every single day, especially this month. His birthday is April 27th, and it still seems strange to not be planning a party. He loved them so. Damn Cancer. I don't understand the circle of life either, or have too much use for it, but I do know Elvis has gone onto a new life, where he is needed as much as he was here on earth. See, knowing him as I do, I know there was a soul there, and I believe his soul lives on. As much as he was a caretaker, I see him at the Rainbow bridge helping others cross over with a friendly greeting. I believe he is there now, helping your four legged friends in their new life. There are many photos of Elvis on my blog, plus some photos of my two new fellas, if you would like to see them just follow the link and then put either Elvis, Dylan or Hendrix (we love music) in the search box on the upper left hand bar of the blog.

    Sorry to leave such a long comment, but please know how sorry I am that you are having to lose some many amazing animals and indeed family members. I will keep good strong throughts of strength for you. (((Louise))) You are doing a wonderful thing by opening your heart to them. They didn't have to know what lonliness is because of your generosity and compassion. That is a life's best gift, and it makes the whole circle of things a lot nicer.

    All my best, Carly


  2. Oh Louise. :( I am so sorry for your loss. I think more of us are realizing that the loss of our pets feels pretty darn close to the loss of any friend, and I'm glad we can talk about them.
    I do want to back up and tell you that when I read that you had eight cats, my heart leapt a bit. We have eight (well, one is meant to live next-door but the girl cats there beat him up, his pride is hurt, and he comes over here to stare at my old-timers. So...we have eight :-)). We are also about to lose our oldest, and it is a hard time. He is not the first and of course won't be the last, but because he loves life more than any human or other animal I have ever known, and because he is such a part of my every day, it is going to be very hard, and I would love to talk about him. This wonderful being is Corin (from the C.S. Lewis book "A Horse and His Boy", which I was re-reading the summer Corin adopted me. It seemed so fitting since, as you know, we do not own our cats). He is a beautiful short-haired, black always - dirty coat and apple green eyes. Cori, as he's known around here usually, adopted me in 1994 when he was fully grown, so I do not know how old he is. I wish i did, i would love to know that he's twenty or twenty-five.

    I do not want to pre-grieve for him, but I think it probably is good to write about him now, before grief fuzzies my mind. I have been r

    (and then I lost the rest! I have a new laptop and must have hit a rogue key. I'll try to put it all back together later).

    I love what Carly wrote. There has to be a soul in a cat! How else could each one of them have such very different personalities? And they really do. Love to you both and may cats always bless our lives!

  3. Hi Louise! It's Valerie, (your favorite trainer) Just read about Albert, so sorry. You have been on my mind lately, as Mr. Big ( our big gray, was 21.7lbs),who is now down to 14. Anyways, looks like an infected tooth, (maybe) has compromised his kidney funtion. Good news he has gained 2oz! Tomorrow he is going to have the tooth removed to try and curtail any further damage to the organ. He is the cat that Sarah and Devin got from the shelter, he replaced the hole in our hearts left after we had to put Leroy down (17rs) in March 2006. Mr. Big was already around 5. So, we are doing the "special" diet that I remember you talking about with some of your felines. He is a special boy, loves to hug you and bring you his toys. We still have Miss Lucy (the ragdoll)she is 16lbs, and you better believe I will be getting her teeth checked and cleaned to prevent this from happening to her. No vet ever told me about teeth/organ connection that I remember! Well, sure do miss you and if you are ever in Greensboro, NC or surrounding area, be sure and give me a holler! I will check and see what your tour looks like, and I will come to you if you are nearby. Please hug all your critters, (and Roger) for me. hugs...Valerie

  4. oops, I stand corrected Louise, we have had Mr. Big since March 2004, Lucy was the 2006 cat, hard to keep track sometimes!