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On Losing Ziggy–One Year Later

December 17, 2017 was one of the worst days of my life. That day, the decision that had to be made, that was made, it rocked my world completely. It still hurts and haunts me. (35 words and I’m already in tears while I write!)

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That afternoon, shortly after 4pm, I had to say my final goodbye to this incredibly special, precious kitty.

I shared about his "secret origins" within my life last year.

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Ziggy and Chloe started out with a confrontational relationship. She would hiss fiercely at him any time she saw him…to the point that I would see him peeking around corners cautiously, and once chuckled as it occurred to me that he must be thinking "Where is she? She’s not with you? I’m so freaking tired of being HISSED at when I walk into a room!"

Eventually–across the half a decade or so they were together–they got to where they would eat out of the same bowl simultaneously…and there was no fighting, hissing, etc. Put the food down and both faces went in, chowing down!

And the way they’d PLAY…

Several times, I noticed Ziggy walk calmly past Chloe (who’d be laying somewhere minding her own business) and stop…then slowly step backwards over/onto her, and then meow pitifully as if she’d grabbed HIM on his way by!

And there’d be the jingle of Chloe’s collar/bell, and I’d look over, and they’d be wrestling silently–neither growling or hissing or such, just wrestling as cats do (both were "fixed" before ever coming into my life).

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I kept an extra water bowl in the basement for Ziggy..he always loved spending time down there, and often got treats from me. Plus, for much of his final 16 months, I slept down there, and though he wasn’t much for snuggling, I’d often find him on the bed or next to it (in a nest of blankets).

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And along with Chloe (and now Sarah), he was always curious about my comics and such when I’d lay them out to get photos for my Weekly Haul posts.

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Or whatever was handy.

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Many, many times, I’ve found myself considering my grief. What I’ve felt, the way I’ve felt it, the loss I’ve experienced, the ongoing hurt, the "need" to post photos on my Facebook every week (far too many of which are photos that never got posted before losing him).

And I’ve come across several articles in the past year that tackle this very topic–why do we grieve so hard for our pets? Why is it sometimes HARDER than losing friends, family–loved ones?

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I’ve a lotta thoughts, and as I try to type, realize they’re not gonna make it into this post. I’m already all over the place and outta focus.

Maybe it’s where I’m at, me, myself, in life. What my life is, who I am; the way my life in certain things is far different from virtually everyone else around me.

Maybe it’s that at least with parents, family, friends, we can talk and understand each other by our words, by abstracts and ideas.

Maybe it’s that Ziggy was SUCH a huge part of my life, that I so often looked forward to seeing. Parents, I could talk to on the phone. Though he was supposed to be Dad’s cat, he was "my" cat, and from September 7, 2010 until mid-July 2016, I "only" got to be around him weekends that I’d be in visiting.

And then, July 2016 until December 7, 2017…excepting less than half a dozen Saturdays when I was "out of town" for weekends with friends, Ziggy was a DAILY part of my life.

Chloe, too, and I’m more thankful than I can say, that I still have her…though I’ve become more fiercely protective of and anxious over her since losing Ziggy.

And even with Sarah coming into my life–waaayyy too early for ME to have been "ready," after losing Zig…but I could at least give her a home. The heartache and loss I feel over Ziggy in no way means I’m ungrateful for Chloe and Sarah…but while I pray I have numerous YEARS (plural!!!) with both of them…the fact is, the shock and heartbreak of actually losing Ziggy has been with me every day since.

Even WHILE I treasure and cherish every moment I get with Chloe and Sarah.

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I can look at photos of Ziggy without breaking down. I can’t dwell on having lost him, though, or I do still break down. I can and do remember him with all the memories across 7 years I had the privilege of knowing him.

I can usually talk about him, remember him, mention him, without breaking down.

But there’s been a part of me that is just missing since losing him…somehow perhaps the shock, and the relatively short time I got to spend with him. Over 18 years with Kayla; 13 1/2 with Christy. "Only" 7 with Ziggy.

And as I completely lose my focus and repetition abounds…my mind grasps onto language from a favorite poem…one which has stuck with me quite often in the last year.

Of trying to explain a loss to someone: "Though I told him about / Stars and twilight, and how autumn leaves must fall, / I could not make myself understand." And of recognizing what one HAS even as they remember the loss. "For though / My life moves on . . . / my thoughts still find you, old friend. / And though you would scowl to hear me tell of it, / And stomp and scoff, I cannot hide this plain truth: / I still need you . . ."

So much more.

It’s been a year.

One Year Later, and I may have been forced to live this year in a world without Ziggy; been forced to adjust to and accept the fact OF his absence. But it still hurts. I still miss him.

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Remembering Kayla on the 28th Anniversary of Her Birth

28 years ago–October 4, 1990–Miss Kayla Crystal came into this world. At least, that’s what information my family was given when we responded to a classified ad for this 15-month-old female sealpoint Himalayan in early January 1992.

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Kayla was part of my life from an evening in January 1992 until the morning of May 9th, 2010. Just over 18 years.

As we knew her exact birthdate, I’ve always observed it.

And though she’s been gone over 8 years now, she’s not forgotten, even as I’ve continued to grieve as I have over Ziggy these past 10 months, who I had a scant 7 years with where I expected at least as many more. (and it feels odd in a way to mention them together, as they never met, and my time with each of them is separated by months).

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Happy birthday, Kayla.

Night Kitten, Pretty Kitty. Babycat. Kayla-kitty. I miss you. Perhaps you and Christy have met Ziggy at the rainbow bridge, and I’ll see you all waiting happily together when my time, too, comes…

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