Surviving the worst days

I will inevitably bawl my eyes out as I type this post.  Yep, cue tears.  Have hardly even started writing, and there they go.

But I need to type this, because someday, don’t ask me how or when, because right now I can’t even imagine it, someday I’ll be glad I did.

I want to remember Elsie’s squeak. Myeh-eh? she says, every time she sees me.

I want to remember her shining green eyes.

I want to remember the way she feels when I’m laying alongside her, rubbing her belly, and she stretches out and her whole body shakes.

The way she paws at the shower curtain, trying to stick her head it but yet avoid getting wet.  Even the length of time it took for me to get a shower was too long, in her book, for her to be away from me.

The look on her face when my staff gave her scratches, and oh, how she loved it.

I want to remember the way she positively wedged herself into her basket-in-a-box-on-a-stack-of-drawers.  The way she cuddled with the stuffed kitty in there.

I want to remember her little white toes and how soft they were.

I want to remember the way she was so persistent in waking me up to eat in the middle of the night… bite, likc, paw, bite… until I got up and fed her.

I want to remember her boxes.  At last count, she had four.  And they must have tissue paper inside.

And her shiny balls that she chased around the house.  They’d collect under the couch, and if you threw six or seven at once, she’d go in all directions at the same time, and it was cute and hilarious.

I want to remember her spot on the back of the old couch, where she made a dent.

The way she sat like a gargoyle on the arm of the couch.  Cutest gargoyle ever.

Most of all, I want, no, I need to remember the way she made me feel.  She made me feel wanted, needed, loved in a way that no one and no thing ever had before.  No matter what I was going through, she was there.  If she was sick and I was having a meltdown in the shower, she’d climb right in the shower with me to help me.

I’m terrified to forget.  I’m terrified that she will become less real, just a memory.  I never want that to happen.  If that means missing her so bad it continues to hurt for the rest of my life, I’m okay with that. I think it will always hurt.  In a way, I hope it does, because that means she’s still real to me.

Elsie Penelope, I love you, baby tee.  No kitty will ever replace you, but you know me and you know that I need to have somebody here with me… she is not coming to replace you in any way, but to help me heal.  I’ll never stop longing for you.  Please don’t be scared, because Jesus is going to greet you with open arms.  He will take better care of you than I ever could.  I trust Him completely with you.  But hey, kitty girl?  Please don’t forget your mama.  I’ll see you someday soon.

Kisses forever,


23 thoughts on “Surviving the worst days

  1. What a wonderful eulogy for Elsie P. She will forever have a piece of your heart & you will see her again! She was such a good friend to you, but we all have our appointed times to go. This was her time. None of us like change. None of us like how God makes us stretch & grow, but that is how He completes His work in us. We don’t understand it now, but when we see His big picture, that will be an “a-ha” moment. Revel in your memories of Elsie P. — she was a huge part of your life. However, your heart has room for another, & as you said, not to replace her, but just to make new memories! Another friend! God bless you! I stopped, dropped & prayed for you!

  2. Lydia, I have a beloved boy kitty that also throws up a lot. In fact, he threw up this morning before I read your post so I wondered what I would find when I was able to come to the computer and check in with you. I hope when my boy goes home (He’s almost 14), that I am as brave as you to write about him, celebrate him, always carry him in my heart even when it hurts….. just keep on loving and ready to move on. Bless you, Lydia, and may this grief continue to soften your oh-so-soft heart.

  3. That is Beautiful. I know Elsie P is hearing this from wherever she is now and knows how much you love her. She sounds like she lived a wonderful life surrounded by wonderful humans, who love her very much, and there’s not much more a kitty can ask for. I know it’s hard, and I’m thinking of you and Elsie P.

  4. I’m so sad today, knowing how terribly sad and hurting you must be, Lydia. I hate that I’m not there with you to give you a hug. But I’m also encouraged, seeing what a tremendous support system you have on here. I hope your friends know how thankful I am for how much support and love they send your way (very, very thankful). Every time I read your blog, I also love reading the comments to see the positive things people are writing to you. They’re so kind, and I’m SO appreciative for that.

  5. I’m so sorry you lost your sweet Elsie P. My kitty just died a couple weeks ago and I’ve been away visiting my best friend so I didn’t get to be there to say goodbye. He got sick suddenly and died in just a few days. He didn’t suffer for long which I’m very thankful for. I miss him though it hasn’t hit me as much since I’m not home yet.

  6. Lydia,

    I have a feeling Elsie P.’s spirit will never be very far from you. She may be in different form, but she will stay close. You two are soul friends. I’m so sorry it hurts.



  7. Lydia, it breaks my heart to read about your sweet kitty. What you have written is beautiful and the bond you had will never be broken, as Love never dies. I am SURE as Michelle said, Elsie’s spirit will remain around you. What a beautiful soul she is! Sending you virtual hugs.

  8. Thre is nothing like the love of a dear animal friend. I still remember well and miss my dear Jack, who died 5 years ago. Don’t worry – you won’t forget her and you will find comfort in the love of another kitty, even though it will never replace your Elsie. Hugs to you.

  9. What a beautiful post…beautiful kitty…beautiful love! I’m sorry that it hurts so much and it is a testament to how much you love each other (notice I didn’t say “loved”). I wish you peace and comfort.

    (PS–I am here because Michelle sent me.)

  10. Lydia, Michelle sent me. I am so sorry for your pain. I know how much you love Elsie, and rest assured she absolutely knows how much you love her. Please don’t worry that you’ll forget her – you won’t. And she will always be with you in your heart. My animals are sending you love and light tonight.

  11. Dear Lydia,
    I came to your blog from Michelle’s. Your posting is a lovely tribute to Elsie P. who must have been a true soulmate to you. I live with three cats now: Ellie, Maggie, and Matthew. But back on July 6, 1989, Dulcy, the cat with whom I lived for seventeen and a half years died from kidney failure. The pain of that. The loss. The house without its soul. All of that I remember.

    My prayers and thoughts are with you. You are wise to know that you need to live with a cat. I do too. And that takes nothing away from Dulcy or from your Elsie. It simply says that they taught us so well and now we will use what we learned to welcome others kittens and cats who will benefit from the love of Dulcy and Elsie.

    Please be patient with yourself as you grieve.

  12. Lydia,
    Sorry I did not stop by sooner. I kind of vanished from commenting on anyone’s blogs for a while, but that is not an excuse. I know how much Elsie meant to you and I love the tribute you wrote for her. I’m sure she is keeping an eye on you from heaven and tell your knew little kitty to be kind to you.

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