Pets provide companionship and entertainment but also unconditional love. They sense when you need them to be close.
During those first months after losing Spence I chose to be alone while working through my pain. My cats, Tipper and Biscotti (aka “The Biscuit”) were a godsend. Already the most lovable cats, they snuggled with me for hours every day. They didn’t expect much beyond food, water and a clean litter box. Caring for them was self care and therapeutic for me; they too had lost Spence. Hospice had set up a bed for him in that last week and Tipper and Biscotti provided him comfort in those final days. Sensing the gravity and sadness, they calmly slept next to him for hours on end and were there when he drew his last breath.
Self care can take many forms; sharing our loss helped me to connect to the nurturing part of myself. It was small but it was a purpose.
Days and weeks went by when one day I caught myself singing and dancing to some song while making a snack. Food, music and dancing in my kitchen had been such a natural thing for me in the past. I don’t recall the song (but I remember the sun was shining brightly that day) and it struck me how long it had been yet how natural it felt. As time moved forward, those moments became more frequent and less noteworthy. The cats and I still had our snuggle time every day but they also returned to their cat tree, their “Cirque du Soleil” antics and play time.
It does get better….