How on Earth has it been a decade since I held my Rags.
On March 27 (three days ago), I came home from a 2-week trip around the UK and Ireland, and hadn't held a cat for 15 days. Rough.
The cat in the photo above was my Rags, and he's the reason this site is here - why you are reading this blog post and why I crave to hold a cat.
Rags is the reason behind Floppycats and 10 years ago today, I said my final goodbyes to him.
Don’t feel bad or sorry for me – This yearly post is about sharing feelings, emotions and reasons behind Floppycats and also the impact these small, beautiful creatures have on our lives.
The heart of the little girl in that photo above promised Rags I would share his legacy and help cats live more harmonious lives with their owners. He was my best friend, my biggest secret keeper and one of my greatest teachers.
You can read more about his life here: Rags’ THE REASON for Floppycats
When he passed, Rags was 19.5 years old. In 1989, Rags was a gift to me and my siblings when I was 10 years old.
So I was nearly 30 years old when I said my goodbyes. In other words, he had a strong impact on my life, especially during those troubling teenage years.
I was fortunate with Rags – I had a lot of time to say goodbye. He died, March 30, 2009, but was diagnosed with severe kidney failure in December of 2008 and they had given him 2 weeks to live in December. He, of course, lived another 3 months. As we all know (and experienced with loved ones) with end-of-life situations, the soul decides when it is leaving, not the medical diagnosis – I believe that’s why Rags lived the additional 2.5 months.
It was a long journey – one I wouldn’t have changed for the world. I was able to be home with him every day and talk to him about all my worries and fears – talk to him about how much I loved him and every purr he had given me. Tell him how much I would miss face-planting in him and smelling his smell, or hearing his purr. I knew his little body was failing, so I would pick up his paw and study every angle, every hair not wanting to forget it. I would study every ounce of him, laying next to him for hours.
I've been told kidney failure is not painful - you're just really weak. And that's what I experienced with Rags - I shared the physical details of the end of his life in this post - Celebrating my Rags.
I have received many emails from readers who have either just recently experienced the passing of their pet or know it’s coming. It’s not a fun process, certainly. But it can be beautiful – beautiful because the reason it hurts so damn much is because you love and have loved them with your whole heart and to me, that’s the beauty.
Since Rags is the reason for this site - I always honor him today and also on August 8 - his birthday (and the reason that every post is published at 8:08am on the site - you'll notice the "8" trend a lot).
When I die, I want to be cremated and have my ashes mixed with my cats' ashes - so until that happens, I needed a place to "store" Rags' ashes. I was taking silversmithing classes after Rags passed and decided to make an "urn" for his ashes. It has his paw print on the top of it and his ashes inside. I love it, and it sits on my mantel under his photo, of course.
Sometimes the loss of a pet can be an overwhelming loss because a pet is part of your everyday life, living with you, etc. Making that box certainly helped me.
Cheers to my Freegie - I'd kill for a chance to live with you again.
How have you coped with the loss of a beloved pet? What were some of the things you did to mourn their loss? Did you do anything special with their ashes?