Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Cat Is Still Dead, and I Am Still Sad

I think that pretty much sums it up.

Oh, and there's this:

The vet who came to the house to, um, do the deed handed me a booklet on his way out about grieving the loss of your pet. I of course promptly threw it in the trash.

Two nights later after I'd put the kids to bed and found myself sobbing uncontrollably, I dug it out of the garbage can and read the whole thing, minus the first-person accounts of pet loss—which I know from occasional forays into the Self-Help section make my skin crawl with their made-up-sounding-ness and italicized lettering.

In any case, it helped. A lot.

I guess I'm not the only person who cried harder when her cat died than when her grandfather did.

Don't get me wrong—I cried when Grandpa died—just not quite as hard as I did this weekend for Turtle. That's just how it is. If you have issue, find your local mobile pet euthanizer (try googling "peaceful parting" or "how to euthanize your cat without having to stick her in a carrier and drag her to the vet in her final moments") and ask him or her for a booklet on pet grief, and you'll see that I'm not psycho.

At least not about this.

Friday, May 03, 2013

I Totally Get Why Other People Believe in Heaven

This will not be news to any readers out there over the age of four or five, but losing your pet really, really sucks. And by "losing" I mean "having them die." And by "having them die" I mean "putting them to sleep." And by "putting them to sleep" I mean "euthanizing them." And by "euthanizing them" I mean... Well, you know.

It sucks.

Suckity suck sucks.

I promise this won't become a Dead Cat Blog (I'm sure that's some trope out there, how could it not be?) but for now, for today, I wallow. How exactly does one grieve one's pet of 16 years without becoming one of those people posting pictures of their now-dead cat all over Facebook and creating a creepy shrine where the cat food used to be and/or writing an entire book about the experience? (I actually liked that book—like any good memoir, it was mostly about the author, not her cats.)

Why don't atheist WASPs (WASAs?) have more rituals and rites, dammit? Why must I always make them up or uneasily appropriate them from others? I mean, that's fine for, say, saying grace ("Cheers!" we say, and clink our forks together), but when it comes to dead cats? No idea.

Suggestions?

p.s. I didn't keep the body, didn't pay extra to have the ashes returned to me, declined to have a clay print made from her paw... I would have said sure to the paw print if the vet had done it before euthanizing her—if nothing else the three-year-old would have found a use for it. But he offered to make the print after she was, eh, gone. Dead cat paw print? No thanks.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

An Atheist Trying to Explain Death to a Three-Year-Old

Me to the three-year-old: We're going to have to say goodbye to the cat today, honey.

The three-year-old: Yes, I think so, too.

Yeah. [Sniff.]

Is she going to the happy store?

The happy store?

Daddy said some people believe—

Oh, you mean a happy place?

Yes.

Some people believe that but, well, her body is almost all done working and when she dies it will be totally all done, but her spirit will go to—well, I mean, her spirit will live on in our hearts and that's a happy place, so she's going to a happy place in that sense. But not her body. Just, like, her spirit. We'll remember her in a happy way.

I think she's going back to the happy store where she came from.

Yeah, honey. Something just like that.