I have lost so many furbabies all throughout my years as I have been keeping pets ever since I was a child. We used to have dogs when we were living in the kampung. There was one favourite mutt named Bob who would follow my grandma and I each time we go to the paddy field or to the river. His brown coat shines under the sun and his eyes alert. We lost him to a careless driver who plough through a few electric poles and him who happened to be standing by the road side while negotiating a bend near our kampung home.
There was my civet cat named Mr Mus. A majestic looking creature who decided to eat my grandparents’ chickens after he got hungry one day. A few years down the road, I had another civet cat by the name of Mushy. Such an adorable thing and loves nothing but eating satay with my dad. On weekends, you can see both of them, dad and Mushy sitting by the side door to the kitchen. Both enjoying chicken satay and looking so happy.
Then, there was the endless fish, more dogs and cats, chicken, goats, rabbits, hamsters – one after another of whom I will name it Bruce.
Each and everyone of this furbaby is like a family member. Each are unique and possesses personality that differs them from one to another.
Each time they are gone, it feels as if a part of me is gone with them too. My heart breaks a thousand pieces and I will grieve for them for a long time. No words could describe the feeling of loss I experience. The pain is so deep in my heart that sometimes makes me unable to sleep.
As the years go by, the pain doesnt get any lesser, or better. It just feels the same – deep pain and a sense of loss. But life has to move on as there are other furbabies that need my attention. However, I think with all the years too I have managed to identify the grieving process.
Sometimes it is not easy to accept that a pet that you have grown to love and attach is no longer with you. They might just be gone one day or got sick and dies. I used to have a cat, Tiger. This long orange colour haired bundle of furball was the sweetest thing, ever. He would sleep next to me each night and fall asleep like a baby with his head on the pillow..every day I would comb his beautiful fur and talk to him. I lost him when the neighbour accidently ran over him.
I felt that part of my heart was ripped away and I was dying too.
I grieved, cried for many weeks. I still do when I think of him. He was my friend after all and when I am sad, he would look at me with his soft, brown eyes and as if saying, “It is okay, mommy, I am with you…”.
Along the years, there were the many who had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. And those who were special too. They were special because of the condition when I first found them. Be it in the drain, from the nigh market, by the road side, or when the mommy cat came to the house with a big belly, looking for a place to give birth.
I grieved when my Dexter (the first Dexter) dies. I grieved when Socks, Killer, Snowy, Belle, Julius, PJ, Dexy and so many other dies.
In my grieving moments, I always thought that I would never ever adopt a cat again so that the pain will lessen. Besides, I still have a few more at home. But, hey. What do you know? They have ways to come into your life and make you love them.
Each time I washed the floors at home, automatically I would look for Dexy (our deformed cat) to move her well away from the wet floor as she didnt like to get wet. But she is no longer around. I used to wash the floors while having tears in my eyes.
Coping with the pain
Each one of us grieve differently for the loss of a cat. When Dexy dies, the first reaction I had was to look out for a deformed cat to adopt. I had this urge to care and love for a helpless kitty and at the same time blamed myself for her death. I thought I should have done more. I should have taken her earlier to the vet. I should have, would have, whatever.
But she dies anyway despite receiving the best care. She let me loved her for 2 and a half years. And shes gone. I sit by her grave everyday and still “see” her perching over her favourite spot on the sofa.
Right after Dexy was gone, we adopted Blackie and the latest addition, Jane to accompany Whistle and the others. We are back on number 27 as of today. The kids are an amazing lot. They are such a lovely and loving animals who love you back unconditionally. It doesnt matter what you look like in the morning, or how your ass looks while in that jeans. They just love you and you love them back.
And that’s, what matters.
(This is Uncle Kucing’s paw paw)