August 24, 2009

Love and Loss

I was there the moment he took his first breath 17 1/2 years ago, and I was there when he took his last breath just days ago. He was by my side through good times and bad, through love and loss, through thick and thin. He was my main man for so many years that I'm somewhat lost without him by my side. Loving someone, be it human or animal, comes with such a huge price to pay because we must one day let them go and endure the heartache that follows.

I will miss those soulful eyes, that exceptionally loud purr that soothed me to sleep at night, and yes, even those claws pawing at my face when he wanted more of me, more of my undivided attention. I catch myself still looking for him in his favorite spots, preparing to give him his daily medications, or a scoop of canned food. The house is eerily quiet now without his voice, without his gentle spirit. Today, I will pick up his cremains from the vet and we will prepare to spread his ashes this weekend at The Ranch - a place he will now only know from a different perspective.

My friend Judi, who has certainly had more than her share of animal losses, sent me an email upon hearing of Ziggy's death. Her response was so comforting that I wanted to share it here with you.

"You and I know he was a lucky baby, to have lived in a home with love and care for more than 17 years. We also know, it's never enough time, but it's not "the time", it's "the quality" of time, and sweet Ziggy certainly had the best of that. Sweetie pie, does it ever make you wonder HOW IN GOODNESS we'll ever deal with kissing those noses and scratching those tummies and just hugging alllllllllll the kids that await us at the Bridge? I know you're up for that particular challenge, and so am I. Bless you for all the love you've given from start to, sadly, finish. But know in your heart: it ain't over yet! We've bellies yet to rub!!!"

And so, I grieve the loss of my main man Ziggy, but I count my blessings and the fact that we spent so many wonderful years together. I cannot and should not linger in my grief for long because there are still others who depend on me now and no doubt others yet to come into my life. They too will need me and comfort me, just as all those who have passed before them. And yes, dear Judi, I am comforted in the fact that one day I will be greeted with sloppy kisses, waving paws and lots and lots of bellies to rub!

6 comments:

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. Our four legged babies are like children and its so hard to let go of them. Each is special in their own way and they live on in our memories. Ziggy will always be with you in spirit.

Lilla said...

Thank you, Sweet Virginia. It never gets easier letting them go, but how fortunate we are to share any amount of time with such amazing creatures!. And, I do believe their spirits watch over us and wait for the day we will meet again.

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

I just love the picture of Ziggy's eyes. What a beautiful kitty. My heart has been aching for you. I imagine it must be just a little comforting that Ziggy will be a part of your ranch - certainly in a different way than you had planned or hoped for, but still a part of it.

Ziggy was one lucky kitty to have such a wonderful mom.

(((hugs)))

Lilla said...

Penny, yes he was a beautiful cat. And those large, green eyes were so mesmerizing. Sometimes he would sit in my lap and just stare at me, as if trying to communicate with his eyes. And if I didn't acknowledge him quickly enough, he would reach out a paw and pat my face! He will be missed terribly. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts.

jasperlilith said...

i love the picture of your kitties eyes as well - mesmerizing...

i am so sorry that you have lost another one of your babies.

Robbyn said...

Oh, I'm so sorry Ziggy is gone. It is wonderful you can keep loving him while you open your arms to others needing a real home. ((((( hugs from our family to yours)))))))))

Robbyn/thebackforty