You’re an orphan when your parents die.
You’re a widow or widower when your spouse dies.
What are you when your pet dies?
Because whatever that is, that's what I became this past week.
I had to put my my beautiful Roxanne down last Tuesday, as age and illness finally took their toll on her. She and I had been Mama and Kitty for 19 years; I rescued her from underneath some bushes outside a friend’s house one Friday night after happy hour -- she couldn’t have been more than six weeks old at the time. We were together ever since, right up until 9:45 am, September 25, 2007.
Roxanne was named after the iconic Police song --and while she wasn’t a hooer (hee!) like her namesake, she was a diva princess. Happily. Don’t know where she got that from. For many, many years, it was just me and her. She knew all my secrets -- and 19 years can hold a lot of them. I’m privately glad she couldn’t talk. She was my one and true companion. Giving me guidance and clarity with just her very being. Comforting me with nothing but tears would come. Unconditionally loving me.
My eyes are filling with tears as I write this -- I think the grieving process is going to take me a while to complete. It’s taken me several days to even try to put any of this down on paper. Initially, I was overwhelmed with the thought of losing her, my companion, my confidant. Yes, it’s part of the circle of life -- but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. But I was struck recently with a thought that I’m clinging to -- it’s not so much a matter of me living without Roxanne, but a matter of me being strong enough to hang on my own. That might sound weird, but it somehow makes a crazy bit of sense to me.
We’re going to try to live without a pet for a while, per the mister. Which is fine -- I can never replace Roxanne, but I think I need some distance between her and another kitty coming into my life.
Farewell, my darling, beloved fuzzy wuzzy friend. I shall miss you.
Roxanne and Mama, circa 1988