Saying Goodbye To Our Older Cat
JellyBean sleeps a lot. She eats sparingly and although she can use the bathroom, it’s with great effort. Her little legs are wobbly, like a new fawn’s, but JellyBean is eighteen, and she will not be with us much longer.
My husband and I make sure every day that she has adequate opportunity for food and water. We’ve set out special dishes in strategic places to both assist and entice her. We took an old LL Bean box and made a “handicapped stall” to enable her potty needs, while putting less stress on her weak legs.
On the couch, she head-butts my arm and stares up at me with cloudy eyes. She still wants to be the Queen of Attention. She still wants to be in charge.
When will it be the right time to adopt a pet again?
At one point we were thinking about adopting a new kitten. We agreed that another black cat was the way to go since so many black animals need good homes. We’ve loved our eighteen years with the once perky, but bossy, black JellyBean, and although we could never replace her, we’re thinking about life with pets in the future.
As I watch my beautiful, shiny girl fade away, I long for new life and energy to fill this house. It’s too quiet. I want scampering, climbing and playful mews in the night. I want sandpaper licks and wide, hopeful eyes.
Are we ready yet?
I am confident that a baby animal, (probably a kitten), is out there for us. I’m just not sure where or when he or she will cross our path. When they happen along, my family and I will be willing and quick to welcome the precious life into our circle of people and existing pets.
JellyBean has been more than an eighteen year commitment. She has been an eighteen year blessing, and in a perfect world we would never have to tell her goodbye; only open our hearts to another new love. But the Circle of Life will continue to remind us that as one pet door closes, another one will eventually open, and we will know…
We’ll just know.
Editor’s note: this blog post was penned in July of this year. Sadly, JellyBean has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. However in August, the author felt it was the right time to adopt a pet again–so please allow me to introduce you to…Apple!
Paige Adams Strickland, our Adoptions Editor, is the author of, Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity. She is a Spanish teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio and is married with two daughters and a son-in-law. She has owned both cats and dogs but currently has four cats. You can contact Paige at email@example.com. Her book blog is www.akintothetruth.squarespace.com, and she welcomes visits and comments there. Her book is available on iPad, Kindle and as a print version here.