Today is National Pet Memorial Day, a day designated by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries in recognition of the importance of remembering our beloved lost pets. The day is always commemorated on the second Sunday in September.
I will remember my lost cats today, and I hope you will do the same. I may shed a few tears, but mostly, for me, this is a day to spend some time in quiet reflection, remembering the joy and love our lost loved ones brought into our lives.
I’ll be remembering Feebee, my first cat, who passed away in April of 2000. He literally saved my life during a very dark period in my life: four months after my former husband left, my mother passed away. Just getting through each day seemed impossible at times. But Feebee was by my side for all of it, and somehow, I managed. He let my tears soak his soft grey fur. His quiet, loving presence eased my sadness. He was a great listener, and his rumbling purr provided comfort. Despite his loving presence, the pain and sadness sometimes became unbearable, and there were times when I considered just ending it all. But whenever these dark thoughts entered my mind, I would also think of Feebee. Knowing that someone still loved and needed me made it impossible to give up on life. Who would take care of him if I wasn’t around? And each and every time, love pulled me back from the edge – this special love between a cat and his person. Feebee gave me many gifts throughout the almost sixteen years he spent with me, but none greater than the gift of life.
I’ll be remembering Buckley, who changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. She opened my heart, taught me about love and joy, and how to follow my bliss. I still marvel at how this one small cat with a gimpy leg enriched my life. She passed away in November of 2008. I feel her loving presence very strongly each day. Every time I do something that expands my life, whether it’s helping another cat parent, winning an award, or writing a blog post like this one, I can feel her cheering me on.
And I’ll be remembering Amber, my heart cat. She was a wise old soul in a feline body. She was a teacher to the core of her being, and I was blessed with her gentle and loving presence for almost ten years until she passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last May. We never “get over” a loss, the best we can hope for is that we find peace. Of all my lost cats, losing her has been the most difficult experience for me, and more than a year later, I still haven’t quite come to terms with her loss. I will always miss my beautiful girl.
Who will you be remembering today? Please share your stories in a comment.
All photos ©Ingrid King.