Saturday, December 7, 2019

Resilience (losing callie)

Trigger warning: if you've lost a pet, you may want to skip this post.

I lost an anchor this week. I've always known that my pets are why I don't go off on long adventures lasting several months. It's hard sometimes to go places and find people to take care of them. But it is also impossible to imagine life without them.

Callie was the world's biggest scaredy cat. For years, everything frightened her; loud noises, dogs, the outdoors, people. She was a tiny shelter kitten who endured several moves, including a three day trip on the Alaska Marine Ferry, which is not fun for pets. In the final move, she decided she preferred staying upstairs and so she did, sometimes looking over the railings as if she wanted to come down. For special people, she would timidly venture downstairs.



In the last year of her life, Callie found bravery. She marched downstairs, hung out with the dogs, and even went outside to the garden. Sometimes I was annoyed, because treating her hyperthyroidism took expensive medicine that had to be administered twice a day, hampering my adventures. The vet couldn't figure out why she threw up so much, and of course she always chose the one rug in the house. But even though something was obviously wrong, she rallied several times.

Until she couldn't. Her last night she came and laid on me like she used to do, and I think she was asking for help. I won't write much about her passing because it's too painful, but it took a long time for her heart to stop. "She's a fighter,* the vet said, which made me sad but it was true, she always was. Finally she let out a sigh like she knew she could go.

Despite the challenges she endured, dogs, a pushy young cat, being poked and prodded with medicine and fluids and pills, she was resilient. She taught me a lot. And one thing was true to the end: she had a strong and brave heart. I'll miss her.

The view from Callie's grave, where she is close to her buddy Smoke.


26 comments:

  1. It's so hard to say goodbye to a beloved pet. My condolences.

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    1. Thank you, makes me wonder why we adopt them sometimes, but they bring us so much love too.

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  2. Aw, so sad to hear about your kitty. I grew up with a dog named Callie, the sweetest cocker spaniel ever. I'm sorry for your loss.

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    1. Callie the calico was not the most original name ever, but it suited her. She was a sweet thing.

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  3. So sorry Marre. Our hearts hurt for you.
    We'll miss you too Callie girl. 😥

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  4. So many hugs. Pets fit that saying it's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. They teach us about unconditional love, well mostly although sometimes on their terms (especially our feline lovers). It's one of the things I miss about traveling. I loved my fur buddies.

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    1. Pets are so good at unconditional love. So much better than people.

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  5. Big hugs Mary,
    our furry friends really burrow into our hearts and their passing is always hard. But they bring such joy...

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    1. They do, I have been remembering the good times with her. It is still hard, but I'm giving the other cat as much attention as he will allow (pet, bite, run away)

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  6. Replies
    1. I know. I wouldn't want to read this if I were anyone else, but I wanted to write it for myself.

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  7. Of course you should write of your love for Callie and you have done so beautifully. I'm sorry that she is no longer physically in your life.

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    1. I keep thinking I see her...I wish there was a way to see her and pet her one last time.

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  8. We've experienced that too. Thinking you see her, in this case Bandit- our beloved Siamese-Snowshoe-cross cat.
    It lessens over time, but there are still instances when I think I catch sight of her out of the corner of my eye

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    1. It's so strange, I will look up and expect to see her thumping down the stairs. It makes me feel better to think she's still hanging around.

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    2. Life..and death are mysterious, but I do believe she is still hanging around you and the place where she spent so many happy years.

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  9. If only Love could save our 4-legged family members, they would still be here with us. I know only too well about the pain their leaving feels like.

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    1. Yes, you do. And it allows us to rescue other sweet animals if we can.

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  10. Oh gosh, I'm so sorry. It's so hard to lose our 4-legged family members. You're in my thoughts. -Alane

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    1. Thank you, that is very sweet. I'm paying lots of attention to the other pets. They're probably getting annoyed.

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  11. Aw! I'm so sorry for your loss!😢

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