James the Cat passed away yesterday morning. He had a seizure while I cried uncontrollably and apologized for not taking him into the vet the day before to be put to sleep. I knew I should’ve taken him in on Friday but I kept holding out for a miracle.
The bright spot is he died at home instead of at the vet and I didn’t have to put him through the stress of that last car ride.
I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore yesterday then woke up crying this morning. I do okay then something sparks a reminder of the day before and I cry. Yesterday was surreal.
I took him to the vet around 8:30 then after I came home I began to clean…well, first I went to the craft store. It felt right for some reason, walking through the store like a zombie grabbing a $3 wreath and an assortment of glittery things to decorate it. I’m pretty sure I was in shock and my brain was looking for a distraction, a way to avoid going home.
Because once I got home I first grabbed my empty pet carrier from the car and cried; cried while I walked up the stairs with legs that felt like jello before collapsing into an apartment filled with reminders of the last few weeks.
Dishes of uneaten cat food.
Toys scattered everywhere.
Random treats and dry food.
Water dishes and cups everywhere.
I had to clean.
I emptied the dishes.
I put the toys in the basket.
I picked up the little piles of treats.
I dumped the water.
I sat down on the floor and cried.
As I walked out to the dumpster carrying the cardboard bed he’d loved so much, especially toward the end, I felt guilty.
I worried it was too soon. It’d only been hours and I was throwing away his things! I had to let my rational brain kick in to remind me that, yes, I was throwing away things, not memories. I’ll always have the memories and yes I did keep Mothra, the ratty butterfly toy I’d thought about throwing away for months but every time I did he would start playing with it..so Mothra stayed.
And Mothra will stay with me for a little bit longer, along with a few other things.
The problem today is I continue to feel guilty. I feel guilty for throwing things away. I started writing today because I felt guilty for planning to ask my landlord if I have to continue to pay pet rent….$40 a month adds up to a significant chunk of change until my lease expires. I feel guilty for sitting here looking at his cat tower and thinking about posting a pic on Facebook to see if anyone wants it. I feel guilty for realizing I don’t have to worry about boarding or arranging a cat sitter over Christmas.
I feel guilty but I need to keep moving forward. I know I’m going to continue to miss him and I’m not done crying but I am looking forward to getting back into a routine. For now, I think I’m going to work on my wreath a little bit. It’s coming together quite nicely and I’ve been calling it my grief wreath. I think I’m also going to put up some more Christmas decorations because life does go on.
Not sure how to end this so I’ll just say, Love you and miss you, Mr. James! ❤ 🐱