Well, it's safe to say that since my last blog, I've been challenged to put my money where my mouth is.
Just eight days after my last post, our beautiful ginger cat, Mishka, died suddenly and unexpectedly. She was just a few days away from her seventh birthday.
Now, what was it I was saying about “no matter how sad, upsetting or 'bad' things are, there is always a reason” and to always “trust in the process, even in the darkest of days...”? Well, you know what, boys and girls? It turns out this is absolutely true!
These have definitely been dark days; nobody could have loved a cat more than I loved Mishka, and I was completely distraught and devastated...as I still am. But through all the tears and the trauma, I really have been keeping the faith...or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the universe has kept giving me little nudges and reminders that there were still blessings abounding. We'd been given the gift of Bez, our little kitten, just ten days before Mishka died and with a kitten in the house, it's virtually impossible to be sad all the time...he is a true spirit-raiser and the way that our other cat, Bethany, is slowly getting used to him and starting to play with him, has also been a joyful distraction.
I have suspected this for some time, but now am in absolutely no doubt that gratitude is the key to everything. I mean, come on, I'd had the blessing of living with Mishka for nearly seven years, of living with Tez for sixteen years (not to mention the other lovely cats we've loved and lost), and I've still got two gorgeous kitties to share my life with now...that's not all that shabby, is it?
Coincidentally, just a few days before Mishka died, we were watching the late George Carlin do a stand-up show and in it, he talks about the pets that he had lived with over the years. He points out that it's heartbreaking when you lose them, but you've got to expect this when you get a pet. He calls it a mini-tragedy...unless you are an eighty-year old buying a tortoise, the chances are you will outlive your pet.
It's funnier on stage, trust me!! But it's true, it is a mini-tragedy, with the emphasis on mini. I'm still very tearful and upset about Mishka, but when I think of the years of unconditional love, trust and happiness we shared, then I know it was worth it. The fact is, when we love somebody so much, then we make ourselves vulnerable to loss and grief, but remember...there is absolutely no pain that is not balanced by the greater joy of that love.
So, thank you, Mishka – thank you for sharing your life with me, and thank you for all these lessons. Love you always, ginger girl.