Thursday, May 7, 2009

Saying Goodbye To A Friend

This has hit me harder than I thought it would. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I've had a tougher time than I expected. But I'll be fine. So I'm going to need some time to talk about him. It may get strange and maybe a little goofy, and I may ramble some, so just bare with me.

I had a cat for over 12 years. I loved that cat. And when he died a few years ago it was hard, but not like this. That first night, Monday, was pretty bad. Having to go around and gather some of his things up. Some I couldn't. His collar and leash for example. They've hung by the front door for years. When I walk in it's always been the first thing I saw. I've never thought about it being there. But I think if I were to walk in the door now and not see it hanging there I wouldn't know what to do. So they're going to hang there a little while longer. His toys are another thing I can't get rid of just yet. Especially his favorite one. A little red and white football I got him for Christmas last year. He had a soccer ball that he loved to play with, until he got that football. Then the soccer ball was forgotten. I tried to get him back to playing with the real sports ball, but he didn't want it. So that's not going anywhere. I can't throw it out. His brush is another thing that I'm finding hard to throw out because it still has some of his fur in it. And that's the final physical thing of him I have. You know, I get rid of that brush with his fur on it and then he's finally gone for good. I probably will get rid of it before long, but I just can't do it yet. I've also noticed it's the little things about him I miss. Walking into the living room and expecting to see him laying there on the floor next to the couch or in the hallway by the front door. Or going back into my computer room or the bathroom and looking for him to come in there and lay on the floor. His food and water dishes not there anymore. Or his bed. Here's where it may get too gross for some, so bare with me. One of his favorite things to do was lick feet. Not sure why, but for some reason some Shih Tsu's like to do it. No one else could stand it, but it didn't bother me. I actually like it. I really missed that the first night. Then Tuesday I was vacuuming the living room and I had some music playing. I wasn't really paying attention to what was playing. When I got done I went to empty the canister and it had his fur all in it that was picked up. Then it struck me what song was playing. Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and I had to hesitate a few seconds before I could empty the canister. That really hit me hard, that particular song playing and doing what I was about to do when I can't do the same thing with his brush. The weather sure isn't helping my mood either. For almost 3 weeks straight it's been gloomy and gray with rain just about every day. When it's like that it's hard to get out of the funk you're in.

It's now Wednesday. The stuff above I wrote last night. And since putting all that down and letting it out I feel better today. I had to go to the store to pick some stuff up and when I came back it was strange him not greeting me at the door with that football in his mouth waiting for me to come it. That's another thing I'm going to miss. This is the first time I'll be without a pet since I was 12. So, almost half my life. It's an odd feeling. I always thought about getting a Beagle after Dee-Jay passed, but I just can't see myself doing that. At least not in the near future. It's painful, but I think about the 11 great years he had, because the last one wasn't so good so I don't count it, and I'm OK. I remember him as a puppy hiding behind the couch the day I got him because he was scared being around new people. I remember taking him to PETSMART the first time and him having diarrhea as he was walking in the store. Yes, all over the floor. Him playing with my cat, before he passed away. Running, barking at him and then when the cat would playfully swat at him and he'd run and bark some more. I wish I could say playing fetch, but he never would bring the ball back. That wasn't his style. I'm going to really miss him. Tears trying to start up again, so I think I need to wrap it up before I loose it. In a week or two I get his ashes back. Not sure how that's going to feel. I've been listening to Russell Watson's "Going Where My Heart Will Take Me". It's a song about not letting things stop you. About persevering through hardship and coming out on the other side stronger. Not letting things get you down. And it's really helped me get through this.

I've known a wind so cold and seen the darkest days
But now the winds I feel are only winds of change
I've been through the fire and I've been through the rain
But I'll be fine



M*A said...

Hang in there Chris. I don't really think time heals all wounds...not completely...but it does make them easier to bear. Hoping you can lose yourself in ST for a couple of hours tomorrow.

Christopher Lee said...

I don't go to theaters. What, do you think I'm rich or something? :p But thanks.

BetteJo said...

Y'know who says you hafta get rid of his stuff right away? Because he's a dog? Believe me, leaving the leash, the toys and brush right where they are won't hurt a thing. As a matter of fact at some point instead of bringing that lump to your throat, they will bring a smile to your face. You don't forget, but the pain lessons. Give yourself all the time and leeway you need.

M*A said...

Bette Jo's right...there's a cat collar hanging on a hook in my kitchen right now. Eventually you'll be able to focus on happy memories.

And one more thing...matinee...that's the only way I can afford movies!

MadamRude said...

Chris, I had to stop reading a couple of times, this blog is so sad. Wish You Were Here..... damn.. tearing up again. I feel for you.
"Dreaming" by Blondie popped into my head - only because the last two nights he slept with opened eyes, but his little legs would move like he was running in his dreams. I sang it to him, especially -

I sit by and watch the river flow
I sit by and watch the traffic go
Imagine something of your very own
Something you can have and hold

I'd build a road in gold
just to have some dreaming
Dreaming is free

I think he was the only living creature that liked my singing. =)

For my dog's sake (Ska), we removed all Putch's things - litter box, scratching posts, even flea powder - all, except his little, crystal food bowl. Food was his favorite thing in the whole world, well, besides catching birds and plopping them at my feet back in his heyday. I put his bowl next to his ashes in my curio.
Chris, when I woke up this morning, I realized my Putchickens wasn't here anymore. It hit so hard I shook - but as the day progressed, I knew it was getting a little bit easier. Even Ska doesn't search for his buddy, as much, anymore.

Chris, thank you so much for sharing what you've been going thru, it's been - you've been - so helpful.

Christopher Lee said...

Thank you for the kind words. Madam, his football I talked's going by his ashes when I get them back. I got up yesterday, did my usual morning routine and realized that I hadn't thought about Dee-Jay until 10am when I put on a song and realized it was the song I was listening to when I gave him his last bath. But no tears, so it's getting better.