Pet loss amidst…this

Pet memorial. All gone within  the last 2 years, after having managed to avoid a pet death for the prior 16.

I have planned every day for the past couple of weeks to take a few minutes to post a real blog update. It never happens. I’ll rattle off some reasons. Work remains intense. I’m not completely comfortable describing in any detail just how intense this work is. I don’t have much interest in blogging if I feel an impediment towards raw expression. I feel I’m not being authentic to write narrowly and ignore other, more significant topics.

It’s 1:11. I need to turn off the self-censor for a few minutes I need not to worry that what I write at 1:11AM will seem inappropriate at 1:11PM.

Blunt truths. I’m exhausted. I have been exhausted. When is the appropriate time to declare a time-out for self-care while you’re in the middle of a twelve-week, once-in-lifetime quest that will dramatically shape the remaining trajectory of your life? But if you don’t sleep, you…[this, that, and that]Your health comes first!…[What’s another one, Dave? C’mon ,you’ve heard it all from all parties concerned?]

It’s very difficult to explain to a non-coder. It’s very difficult to explain to a coder who hasn’t actually gone through this experience. It’s very difficult to explain to a coder who is going through this experience who is…not me…single, mid-career, hates the mere possibility of letting others down, cares as much about maintaining friendships as carving out a career and finds it acutely painful to have to de-prioritize the former…

It’s getting late…now 1:31…I’m over-thinking…what I wanted to get to was what you see in the photo. Pet loss. Pet loss amidst…and I spent five minutes trying to find the right word for the subject and decided I needed to move on. Pet loss amidst…this…

It’s been over two weeks since the longest domestic relationship of my adult life ended. That’s one way to put it, with “it” being my cat dying. I have not had a chance to let the death of my nearly 17-year-old cat Zellouisa sink it. What is going on here that I can’t even take time to mourn? The little box with her ashes sat at the vet’s office for eleven days. I didn’t have time to pick it up.

After I adopted Herman in 2006, I knew I had three aging pets that might very likely die within a short time of each other. Given where I was 4-5 years ago, I had a deep fear of how I would move forward if I were to lose them all, for the most part, at once. Because, in the darkest times, the pets have been all I’ve felt I’ve had. I’ve had a pet since the summer of 1996. That was not a fine summer, but having Aremid helped. Both the cats, Aremid and Zellouisa, were with me through lots of moves and job changes and life events and illnesses.

Me and Kitten Z (crop)

And now, for the first time in 18 years, I have no cat. All of my original pets are gone. Somehow, I managed to go 16 years without losing a pet. But Aremid died in June 2012. Then, the “new” cat Mr. Featherbottom died abruptly in May 2013. Then, I lost Herman in February. And, then, Zellouisa, five months later. Four pets in two years.

And I have no time to process it. No time to process a lot of things. Certainly no time to spend 37 minutes on writing blog posts.


Zellouisa 1997-2014

Zellouisa Mugshot (BW)

I brought home Zellouisa as an itty bitty kitty back on October 1, 1997, after a co-worker who lived in Eden asked if I wanted another cat. Today, for the first time in 18 years, I don’t have any kitties. I had to put Zellouisa to sleep today, after she apparently suffered a torn achilles tendon a few days ago, probably brought on by the general weakening that comes with being 17-year-old cat with various diagnosed and undiagnosed medical conditions. I’m afraid she was in quite a lot of pain these past couple of days. Sweety Z. Weezie Weeze. I know she really enjoyed being the only kitty over the past year. I thought she was doing ok. But things happen. This is tough. I’m sure I’ll have more to say soon enough, or, at the very least, I’ll probably start a post-a-thon of the Best of Z, in photos. Goodbye, sweet girl.