I know that many of you here have pets that are very important to you, and I know some of you have also lost important pet friends in recent years. I am grieving the loss of my cat Casha, who I had put to sleep two days ago. He was the most important everything in my life for the twelve years we had each other. He chose me at the adoption center when he was 6 weeks old. We have been nearly inseparable ever since. Even now, I think, in some way, we are not entirely apart. Part of me died when he died, and part of him lives on in me. But this hurts like hell. I miss him so terribly, and even though I know factually, scientifically that he is not coming back, I just cannot grasp that I won't see his little big eyes looking up at me in the morning, I won't ever hear his sweet little voice again, I won't ever be able to touch him again. Living in a world without Casha is unimaginable to me, even though I am picking through just that now since two days. He had become very very sick, and he actually way outlived anyone's predictions. At the beginning of this past week he had moved into a cabinet, and didn't want to come out after a day--despite having a healthy appetite. He ate, he slept. In the cabinet. On the day he didn't want to come out of the cabinet I knew he was ready to be at peace. It was hard, but at the same time not hard--my best friend was suffering, he wanted to be asleep, and suddenly it was not hard to make that call, and take him to his vet. I was there when he died. He died with me right by his side, just like I promised him when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I have wept more and harder in the last few days than I have in my entire life. But I feel no bitterness, no regret, no anger, no guilt. I know this is best for him, and he had been quite sick for a lot of his life, so this was not sudden. I wish I still had him with me, but at the same time I know if he were still here he would be suffering unimaginable pain, and I would not ever want that. So I am happy that he is free of the pain now.
But good god I miss him.
I can't bring myself to mess with the cabinet. I can't face parts of the kitchen. I can't stand silence. I go back and forth between waves of intense grief, and waves of complete numbness. Since the day he died I can't face eating, and I can't sleep in my bed. (I realize I will come round to food again, but I am not ready yet; I just can't do it) The past two nights I have had to put on a DVD and let it run continuously through the night and I try to sleep on the sofa.
Fortunately Casha and I have Tony, also a siamese cat who came to live with us three years ago (an adult cat someone had abandoned, who wanted a new family) and also a little stray cat I call Rolf who adopted us in January of this year. Tony and I became much closer watching over Casha in the last month of his life, and now we help each other through the grief. Rolf comes to see us every day, and he plays with Tony and me, and together we take care of each other. I know they miss Casha too. I am glad we have each other.
It is helping me to work through this to write about it, and especially talk to people I know have been through the same thing. It has only been two days and I know it is going to take a very long time. Casha was with me from 6 weeks old, he and I were together through graduate school, early jobs, good and painful relationships, a huge move. He was my whole life.
He liked to sit outside with me in the snow. He loved to watch birds. He loved children, he loved parties, he loved people being together. He was the most good-natured cat I've ever known.
I miss him terribly.
I know I will move past the grief, over time. But I also know I will never entirely get over this loss.
I think there is a picture of Casha in my photos here. If there is not, I will put one up today.