Dealing with death

It’s not been a good fortnight. Within the space of 14 days, both of our beautiful cats were hit by cars. Jessie, first to go, was the more adventurous of the two and was killed instantly. Woody, a huge gentle boy that would let Little bury her face in his fur and pull his tail, looked like he might survive. Lovely Husband and I were on our third night away in five years. We were having a lovely time and had been looking forward to it for months, until a call from a vet half an hour away from our home called to say a lady had found our big boy in distress and taken him in.

She thought he’d been hit by a car and maybe damaged his pelvis, but he was stable. She planned to x-ray in the morning. He never made it to the morning. His lungs were punctured and filled with blood. I am forever thankful to the lady that took him to the vets. At least he wasn’t in pain or alone.

It’s a minuscule comfort though. I am an animal person. Horses, cats, dogs, goats, chickens – I love them all. And I really, really love(d) those cats. Not least because they were so incredible with the children. Big would wander around with Woody slung over her arm and Medium would sit pulling Jessie’s ears – something Jessie loved. She’d seek Medium out and reverberate her loud purr as she pulled away at her ears. Jessie was affectionately known as Nurse Jess. Whenever one of the smalls was poorly, she’d come crashing in, find them, frantically wash and then settle alongside them until they felt better. I don’t know how she knew.¬†Woody, a huge hairy boy, just loved everyone. When most cats would hide from noise and excitable children, he’d be there in the thick of it. They really were the most perfect cats.

Our biggest challenge has been helping the smalls to understand that their beloved pets are not coming back. I was careful to use the word ‘died’ and not to say they’d gone to sleep and won’t wake up. We’ve had¬†enough sleep issues without adding in a fear of falling asleep! Big, on the whole, gets it. She knows the cats aren’t coming back, but she keeps repeating that the cats are dead which of course sends me into floods of tears! Medium just found their burials novel and quite exciting, but then looks confused if I look sad. Little hasn’t got a clue. Death is such a huge concept. Far too big for smalls to really grasp. In a way, I envy them that. Life just goes on. In the meantime, I wait for the sadness to pass.

RIP Boods and Jess. You were loved.



Dealing with death