Still in the kitchen

Thank you all so much for all the kind words about our little Millie. It took me forever to read all the comments*, because I could only get through so many before dissolving again, and I’m trying to move past this phase where I weep desperately about a cat 43 times a day. The world is full of big and important things, and here I sit, completely trashed over a tiny mammal. Her food and water bowls are still in the kitchen, neither of us seem to be able to get rid of them, and we haven’t had a conversation about her box, or her scratching post. These little artifacts – her brush, her comb, the jar of catnip… we’ll have to do something about them I suppose, but for now, we avoid looking at all of it, and don’t talk about it.  Even knitting has been a bit hard, since she always sat right beside me while I did it, and her absence triggers the aforementioned weeping. I’m not really a weepy person – so I don’t know how to knit and weep at the same time, and it turns out that just holding your knitting doesn’t get much done.

edgingnotdone 2017-06-29

**

I’m trying to change that today though, because Robyn is still pregnant, and although she has plenty of sympathy for the loss of a pet, I can’t imagine she’ll have patience for it much longer, and despite a baby or two having broken my streak, the suspicion lingers that babies don’t come until their blanket is done. I don’t want her thinking that her continued condition is my fault.  I’ve not been carrying it with me because charts and huge blankets aren’t good around-the-town knitting, but today I’m packing it along. It’s starting to feel impossible to finish the thing, and that means I need a big chunk of knitting time to get ahead of its inertia. I swear I’ve poured an entire other ball of yarn into it and you can’t really tell.  This may mean that I’ve done that thing where the blanket is bigger than I thought again, but no way to know until it’s not so scrunched up on the needles. We’re going to war, this blanket and I. It ends here. It ends now.***

 

*Thanks too for the Rally donations in Millie’s memory. They are very touching, and make me laugh, which is a lovely antidote to all that weeping. That cat didn’t even know what a bike was.

**It is raining again, so that picture looks like I took it at night. I swear I don’t know how many more rain days I can take.

***Ok not now-  there’s a lot of the edging to go, but it was a satisfyingly dramatic thing to type.

 

120 thoughts on “Still in the kitchen

  1. Hey, we’re all just tiny mammals in the end.

    And I bet if she’d ever become aware of a bike, she’d have tried to run one down and go all WWE on it. She sounds so adorably bloodthirsty. 🙂

  2. Love and companionship are also pretty big important things in the world. Weeping for the loss of those is a sign of a life well lived, I think. Weep as long as you need.

  3. There’s no reason not to weep for the loss of a dear little heartbeat that loved being close to yours. Don’t be surprised if you see her a time or two in the next few days, either. Saying goodbye is wicked hard.

  4. My cat Kelly used to greet me every morning as I left my bedroom and would lay on the back of the couch while I knit with her paw on my shoulder. Just realizing now that I haven’t knit sitting in that place on the couch much in the years she has been gone. Hugs

  5. Grieving about the loss of a beloved pet who has been a part of your family for many years takes time and your sadness shows just how much you loved your lilttle Millie!

  6. You have my deepest sympathies and compassion on Millie’s passing. It’s never easy when our four-footed fur-people have to leave us. 🙁

    As for her things? You’ll be ready to deal with those when you’re ready. That or have someone disconnected from the kitty remove them when you’re not paying attention. It might be a bit of a shock, or if enough time has passed, you might not notice.

    Or, get another fur-person. Don’t do what I did. Don’t wait 5 years (mine was of the canine variety)… that’s 5 years that you don’t have the love and the honor of caring for a beautiful creature.

    • Sadly, I too have lost some very nice fur family, both cats and dogs. The SPCA or Canadian equivalent will gladly take many of her things. It’s comforting to think another family will be using them, at least to me.

  7. Weeping is totally okay. My Scouty has been gone for 11 months, and I still cry sometimes when I think about her. I wept pretty much non-stop for two days straight after she passed away.

    • Oh, I love this thought! And so handy when you run into “those” people — you know the ones — who say “it was just an animal, why are you so upset?” A pox on those people, and may you not encounter any, Miz Steph.

  8. When my beloved Sydney died, I could not face coming home to an empty apartment. I slept at a friend’s for a week before I could face going home again. Still, when I pushed open the front door, I paused, waiting for her to come bounding out at me like she used to.

    It has been 11 years and I still miss her. I now have children and a dog and a cat and plenty more to occupy my heart. Yet, there is still a place occupied by her.

    Last winter, I reached deep into the closet and pulled out a wool coat I hadn’t worn in years. It was covered in Sydney hair! I cried. I laughed. I wore it and got Sydney hair in the car that she had never ridden in, in the house she had never walked through. It made me smile that she was still with me after so many years and so many life changes.

    • I was overjoyed to find 4 of Ellie’s whiskers after she passed. I’ve kept them.
      I also have a small jar that I have collected stray kitty hairs in. (I won’t admit how much time I have spent collecting them . . .) It might sound weird, but it is comforting to know I still have a part of her with me. It sits beside a picture of her.

    • A famous haiku by Richard Wright:

      On my trouser leg
      Are still a few strands of fur
      From my long dead cat.

      Keep Millie’s things; someday you’ll need them. For various reasons, I don’t have a cat right now, but I’ve been keeping Squeaky’s things for 11 years.

  9. I still have two cat toys that live on my bed from one of our past boys. My current fuzzy bed partner sleeps there, but doesn’t play with them. They’re just there. It’s been 8 years, they’re small. It’s ok to leave the other stuff. But who am I to give advice, we always have another cat around the house.

  10. I think people often downplay the loss of a pet as if it isn’t a big deal and we should get over it more quickly than losing a human. I think that’s total crap. Pets are just as much a part of our families as humans, and it’s ok to be in bits when you lose one. Be kind to yourself, Steph. <3

    And I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed seeing Millie on the blog, especially last year when she was trying to get onto Meg's wedding shawl; that cracked me up for a good week or so.

    • Our furry companions have such a wonderful place in our life and hold a huge portion of our heart. When one leaves us, there is a bug chunk of our life and heart missing. Grieve as much as you need, for as long as you need. My dear husband and I have had so many canine companions leave us, and we can still tear up after many years.

      I read somewhere (if anyone knows the original author, please add the name) that we love them enough to trade their pain for our own. But it still hurts.

  11. I know you’re tired of crying, but I simply have to share this. I lost my cat Jezebel last year, after 17 lovely years together. She would absolutely yowl at me for no reason from the kitchen floor, and I would yowl back. Oh, the conversations we had. She always waited until I was out of the shower, and then she would sit behind the outer shower curtain, with just her tail sticking out, swirled around in a curly-q on the bathmat behind her. I don’t know what she contemplated behind the shower curtain, but she did it for 17 years.
    Anyhow, last year, when she got so sick, I had a mobile vet come to the house because she was too ill to travel and I didn’t want to stress her. After I said goodbye, with one last kiss on her tortoiseshell head, she passed away in my arms. I received a card the next day from the mobile vet, and on the front of the card was an image that looked just like my Jezzy. But what was printed inside the card absolutely made me come undone, and I’ve kept it in my purse, and it still makes me come undone. But in the good way. Not sure how that works.

    “… Grieve not,
    nor speak of me with tears,
    but laugh and talk of me
    as if I were beside you…
    I loved you so –
    ’twas Heaven here with you.”

    – Isla Paschal Richardson

    And now I’ve had to shut my office door for a little weep. Tears just don’t get you very far in Corporate America.

    Be gentle with yourself, and let that grief animal come and go as it pleases. It will anyways – just like a cat.

    • What a gentle story, and the note from the Vet brought tears to my eyes.

      And what a perfect description of grief.

    • How perfectly lovely (and sorely needed today). The pain doesn’t leave; it dulls to a bearable ache drowned out by memories of all of the good days and years. Thank you for sharing.

    • My cat Roger was put down at home by a Vet here in Boise whose business this is. A candle is lit, goodbyes are said, and he passed in my arms. I received a similar card and keep it, his collar and a tuft of fur in a box next to his picture. They are truly family. Weep as long as you need to.

    • When my treasured furry friends have died, the vet sends the rainbow bridge story. While I think it is a nice piece of writing, and it brings on a tear, it does not have the depth of feeling that the little bit of poetry you shared has. Thank you for sharing.

  12. I’m so sorry about Millie! Even when you know it’s the right thing to do, it’s so hard. And mourning is important – Millie was a member of your family.

  13. Steph,
    This family is on cat(s) 3 times now. Mrs. Jones, the boys grew up with. Hops and Barley (both girls) we had to give back to the shelter because we were renting a new place and, well you know how that goes.
    We now have Pierre and Marie. They are brother and sister. Rescue cats. Time to knit and find a new cat. That is why the items are still in the house. Do another kitten. There is a little kitten who really needs a knitter in its life.

  14. Don’t judge yourself for crying. Love is love, no matter what unexpected nook of your heart it has colonized. I lost the cat of my heart nearly three years ago, and I found myself crying about it out of nowhere just yesterday.

    Tears in the yarn will wash out.

  15. Remember that love is love, whether for another person or for a pet, and when death separates us from someone whom we love then it necessarily hurts. As others have said here, let yourself grieve. It takes time.

  16. Leave the kitty things where they are until it feels write to move them. You will know when it is time. Moving them too soon may feel like you are trying to erase her memory (been there, done that).

    As to getting a new one, you will know if and when the time is right for that, too. Listen to your heart. It knows.

  17. You hereby have my permission to weep all you want. Our pets are an important part of our lives, and it’s only right to grieve when they are no longer in them. Heck, it took me several months of therapy to get over losing my childhood dog! It will get easier, but if you need to weep, do it.

  18. I don’t know why – but the pix gives the blanket a bulky big feeling, it seems to have crossed the line. Scrumptious.

    Every time I have lost a pet, I’ll see my purse or dropped sweater, or a pillow out of the corner of my eye, and my heart will say ‘there she is…’ and then comes the tears. I’m glad Millie was such a good knitting partner.

    xo

  19. Give yourself time to grieve. Millie was with you for many years, purring her way into your hearts — when she wasn’t driving you crazy!

    But, as for that blanket … knit faster! It may already be large enough to cover the baby when he/she is 6 feet tall, but that kid isn’t going to wait on it!

  20. Those tiny mammals take up huge spaces in our lives and hearts! When our dog passed recently, my parents couldn’t stand to be in the empty house. But they also couldn’t stand to leave because when inevitable they had to come home, there was no longer a welcoming committee. That loss disrupts what seems the simplest of things. But time, as we know, does ease the hurt. keep holding that knitting until it starts moving again. 🙂

  21. I’m so very sorry to hear about your kitty. Not too long ago, I had to do the same for my Pepe, during a month of complete hell (my Mom fell down stairs & was in the hospital for weeks with a TBI; my basement flooded; had to quit my job to take care of Mom, and my beloved managed to get his car stuck in the gully between our house & the neighbor’s. Yup, month of hell.) Given everything else going on, having to deal with Pepe’s passing was just about the last thing I could handle, but eventually, things got better. And they will for you, too.

  22. I didn’t leave a condolence note at the last post because I was too weepy for all the cats (and dogs as well) I’ve loved and lost too. In our family we call them “Saint (insert pet name here)” because after a pet passes we forget all the things that annoyed us about them and they become more perfect. I will also make a donation in St. Millie’s name. oxoxoxoxox

  23. I am so sorry. Condolences to you and your family–losing a furry family member is hard.

    We lost our cat a year ago and a part of me is still grieving. When he passed I could not knit for weeks because I associated it with him so I embroidered flowers onto wool blankets for all of my friends. It was a comfort just to hold the yarn and wool even if I couldn’t bring myself to pick up my knitting needles.

  24. My mother in law was a funeral home director in a small town. They used the “parlor” for large family gatherings. The first time I visited with my husband to be, I read a brochure that was on the table. It was about the loss of a pet. Part of what it said was that sometimes the death of a pet can be worse than the death of a family member or close friend who does not live with is. They are so intertwined with Avery aspect of our lives, we never get a respite from the loss and grieving, as our home, our sanctuary is full of memories and reminders.

    Sending love and wishes for some good blanket knitting time!

  25. So sorry for the loss of your cat.

    When we had to put down my cat, 5 years ago, I was able to donate his stuff to a shelter, which made it a little easier to go through the process of letting go of it all. Knowing it was going to be put to use by other kitties in need.

  26. You wouldn’t expect to finish grieving for a dear family member in a day or two, so don’t ask it of yourself now. My experience is that it actually takes longer for our beloved animals because we were responsible for their well-being – more like a child – and because we touch them more on a day-to-day basis. We miss their warmth cuddled against us, their weight across our feet – think weeks and months rather than days. So put her things in a box and keep them all. Some day another little creature will come into your life and you can decide which of her things to pass on, which to keep and which, if any, to discard. And then go find a baby to hug – luckily, you just happen to know a really, really good one.

  27. Life continues on whether we are ready for it or not. Give yourself some time to weep as needed, even when you have many things on your plate.

    As for the cat things around the house, when our last cat had to be euthanized, it took me a long time to put them away, including the litter box. It sat in the guest bathroom, clean, until one day I noticed a wet spot in the litter. As we had not gotten another cat yet, it was easy to conclude that my youngest son, then about 4, had, um, “tried it out.” He did confess, but pointed out that “at least I only peed in it!”

  28. I do not think there is too much crying for any size of mammal. But then, I am the human of a 15 year old dog. But take your time. Grief is absolutely appropriate. She was family.

  29. it is perfectly ok to weep 44 times a day over a cat, or any other small mammal. I promise you that it will get better. Keep knitting – that looks like one heck of a lovely blanket.

  30. In the last year we have lost our beloved 13 year old dog and our 15 year old cat, both of whom hung out with me as I knit. I still cry on occasion. They were part of the fabric of our family. Their passing, I realized also marked the passage of time. They were part of my children’s childhood and it seemed as if it was passing along with them. So when I cry, I cry because I miss them and because I grieve also for the time when loud small voices echoed in my house.

  31. As I catch up on reading, with my Lizzie over my shoulder, there’s a catch in my throat over the loss of your Millie. Losing a beloved pet is difficult, especially with the love she showed you! The picture of Millie with her tail in your bath brings a smile each time I think of it.

    So we throw ourselves into other duties and dreams…

  32. I’m sorry for your loss. Millie must have been a real old lady, be proud that you gave her a wonderful happy life.

  33. Thank you, Blog, for giving all whp grieve or have grieved encouragement. I cried over all the posts. Again, sorry for your loss. I sent two emails, one said I helped and the other I donated. Hopefully the computer can ignore one. Sorry for that too.

  34. The best advice I’ve come across on grieving (ironically enough, from a TV show) was this: it’s okay to be happy when you’re happy, and it’s okay to be sad when you’re sad. Your feelings are not going to respond to “should” so why lay that extra burden on yourself?

  35. So sorry about Millie. Our fur babies are a part of the family. My grandkitty stays with me when her daddies go on vacation and I’ve become so attached to her that a piece of me goes with her when she has to return home. Funny thing is, just like human grandchildren, she doesn’t want to go home with Daddy when he comes to pick her up. I guess I spoil her “a bit”! Sending prayers to you and yours that the memories of Millie help soften your grief.

  36. She was family and not just a cat so no wonder you’re weepy. I avoided giving away my 21 year old cats toys by adopting a 10 year old tom from our shelter. Weep until you feel better and then the joy will return.

  37. Stephanie,
    Millie was an awesome cat. I saw a pix of her you put on the blog awhile back, & it was a great shot.
    Maybe a Millie photo album is what you need.
    As for knitting now, you probably would have more
    luck knitting when you’re out & about so there won’t be a constant reminder. I enjoy your Millie stories, they’re awesome!

    • My sister gave us a photo book she created of our dog after he died suddenly. It helped a lot and I have always been grateful for this gift from a person who does not like dogs herself.

  38. We have had our share of furkid losses in this family. The last was the Saturday night before Easter Sunday, when our beloved shihtzu, Angus, had trouble breathing. We still have his plate and bowl, and his little bed still sits in our den where we watch tv. We have three other dogs, though, and that has helped us remember our little guy with smiles, sometimes tears. The very sweet vet who helped us at the emerg clinic that night sent a beautiful card, which we framed. It’s there in our kitchen where we eat, and we see it every day. Millie was an important part of your family, as Gus was in ours. It’s right and natural to miss her and mourn. Only people who truly love their pets and include them in their lives, and learn to understand their communication and behaviours, feel as you and I do about their loss. Hugs from me.

  39. My 18 year old cat just died, too. I know exactly how you feel. The house feels very different without her in it and I, too spontaneously weep throughout the day. Funnily, vacuuming the first time after she was gone was tough–knowing that would be it for her hair (which used to drive me crazy)!

  40. Keep Millie’s things for a while. At some point there will be another cat who needs a knitter who will find you. The universe has a way of sending what you need, when you need it.

  41. It is ok to be upset at the loss of Millie. I think because she was small and beloved (very much like a child! though certainly feline rather than human, I must add, lest I offend her noble cat sensibilities), because she was both wily and warm, and because she set significant expectations upon her people, the pain of her loss is an echo of the the love she embodied, a very loud echo that purposely fills up the small and vast spaces she has left empty, because emptiness would be so much worse than the hurt.

    When I said goodbye to each of my cats, one of 19 years, I was a wreck for several weeks. I even called in a day of sick leave from work when I was utterly useless. Take a mental health day. Go somewhere green and fragrant, or blue and wet, then walk and breathe. You deserve it, and Millie would be happy for you.

  42. We should never apologize for the grief we feel over the loss of a pet. I’ve lost 4 cats over the years, all due to age related illnesses. Looking back, I can see how their presence was so intricately and tightly entwined with the daily life and history of my family, just like how their cat hair got into everything. It’s no wonder that the heartache we feel when we lose them is so deep.

    My deepest condolences for your loss. Let your tears fall when and where and for however long they may. And if and when the time comes to accept a new companion into your life, think of it as a tribute to Millie.

  43. Pets are part of our family, they may be 4 legged or fined, etc.

    Modern society tends to put a limit on grief, and what we should grieve for. Remember we all grieve at our own pace.

    {{{{{{Hugs}}}}}

  44. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Millie. I know from experience that it’s like losing a family member, because our cats are part of our family. Feel free to grieve for as long as you need to. Maybe after a while you’ll be able to open your heart to another kitty. Take care of yourself.

  45. My heart is breaking for you. We are trying to decide when it will be time put down our Punkin. She is only 3 but is in end stage kidney failure. She lived on the streets of Ohio before being rescued by the Siamese Rescue Mission and brought to Iowa. She is a sassy Siamese and the love of my life.
    I will keep you in my prayers as I wouldn’t wish the loss of a pet on my worst enemy. Grieve as much as you need, don’t try to get over your loss quickly. We love and we live. Loss is part of that and it sucks. Hugs, sweetie

  46. As so many people have said in a variety of ways — love is love is love. Shedding tears for a loved one you miss is a form of love. We’re doing the same thing here for a beloved mammal no longer with us, and you just keep doing it until the day that smiling fondly is the easier, more natural response to missing them. Yes, hug that grandson. Keep going as best you can.

    You are, as perhaps you have noticed from the many comments, much loved by many who only know you through your words. You, and your family, and even your sweet kitty, have added to the love in the world. That’s a nice thing for a cat, and for you all.

  47. Our beloved dog passed away a year ago in April. I can’t bear to go outside to her pen to collect her waterbowl, or chew toys so I know exactly how you feel. Sending virtual hugs your way…

  48. Love is love, and our grief at the passing of those we love is beyond measure. Millie knew love, and you gave her the greatest last gift by not allowing her to suffer. For such little animals, the hole they leave in our lives and our hearts is huge.

  49. When I found one of my pet snakes had died earlier on this year, I cried. When DH got home from work that morning, I bawled as I told him. We love our pets and mourn when they go. So, it’s perfectly ok to cry 47 times a day. Hugs from The Crazy Snake Lady.

  50. My last two cats passed away about 8 and 7 years ago respectively. There are no plans for more cats, as I am busy dealing with children instead, but I still can’t part with those cat food bowls with the little paw prints.

    And there is still a bowl of catnip mousies in the corner of one of the rooms as a memorial of sorts. My human babies keep me busy (they are 9 and almost 4), but I do still miss my fur babies.

  51. I lost my Wryly ( so named because that’s how he looked at me the first time I saw him) nearly 30 years ago. I have had other cats but he was my special one. My father dug a little grave for him and we had a service. I was 32. When I walk past that spot today at 63 I feel a little tug at my heart. As many others have said love is love and grief takes its own sweet time. ( it’s also a sneaky son of a bitch). Grant yourself whatever time it takes. Only you can decide that.

  52. I always feel I’m somehow imparting some of my self into what I’m knitting. The new baby may get your love of four legged friends through your tears. Hope so <3

  53. Eliott Tupper has come into the family. _____ Millie will also salve wounds, without ever diminishing love for the original. The only thing to do about those bowls is to add one, whether now or one day. Cats do wonderfully well in pairs, especially coming up from kittens together. So many little souls sleeping in adoption cages tonight — so sayeth Jo, who came along just that way during the raw early days of mourning another great cat (we just went to “look” of course). Jo herself is 13 now, and my heart’s companion (not to mention net alter ego!). I still remember the joy of life they brought into that terrible stillness that is the absence of a beloved feline friend.

  54. We cried for three whole months when our beloved cat died, nearly 12 years ago. And then had her immortalised in a leadlight cupboard door for a kitchen cupboard. The door has made three moves since then, and I have never regretted it’s price.
    However, that was our Last Cat. Couldn’t go through it again.

  55. I had to let my beloved Border Collie go 10 years ago and I still puddle up when I think of him. I know have four fur “boys” two tabby brothers one black and one ginger,and two Maine Coons one ginger and white tuxedo and one black and white tuxedo also brothers. They mean the world to us,as your Millie meant to you.

  56. Today I euthanized my second patient in a week (I am a vet). I cried as much for him as I did for my very first one years ago. It never gets easier, they stay on your heart forever. Remember her with love and let yourself grieve.

  57. Millie was a big and important thing. Loss of a pet is a hard thing, they are so mich more than just a pet. They hold pieces of our hearts.

  58. It’s 5:30 in the morning, and I’m weeping (again) with you. The worst part are the meltdowns in public. At least my friends understand. As far as knitting goes, I also had her by my side; it’s been a month, and I’m getting no where. Knitting = thinking = weeping. I’m making bereavement blankets for The Preemie Project, and just that in itself causes guilt/suffering. I know I have to move forward, as you say, but easier said than done.

    • Oh, my goodness, yes — the public meltdowns are the worst.

      Mine was in the middle of a fitting for my wedding gown…the seamstress said gently, “You know, honey, you don’t *have* to get married if you don’t want to…”

        • I lived far away and so had scheduled the fitting in the afternoon…and the hero vet came to our house early that morning because our 17yo dog was so scared of the office…more than 25 years later, I remember almost every moment of that day.

    • I thought I was doing petty well for 4 weeks. Then, this afternoon, I was out putting water and food out for the birds. A bobcat walked past me and stopped at the bedroom French door. She looked left and right. She then proceeded to the other side of the house and looked in that French door. Scarlett’s bed used to be there.
      It’s amazing to me just how far these little critters’ presence reach out. 🙁

  59. I was so sorry to read about Millie. She was a lovely part of your family. I remember when the great racehorse, Barbaro, was put down in 2007, the owner said, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” But to not have had that love is too awful to contemplate. My husband and I have had six dogs cross the “Rainbow Bridge” over the years, two quite unexpectedly within 11 days of each other. We were emotional train wrecks for ages after that, but the heartache did diminish over time. So do allow yourself to grieve. It’s healing in its own way. Millie will always hold a special place in your memories and will be there for you.

  60. I’ve lost several cats over the years, including the late lamented Missy who was run over on Christmas Day. (Typical drama queen Missy….) I remember each and every one with love. The day always comes though when I realise there’s a cat shaped hole in the house and literally thousands upon thousands of beautiful cats and kittens in the cat rescues, desperate for a loving home. So I always get another cat…we have three atm, actually.

  61. My love died 16 months ago and her food, medicine, food bowls, thunder shirt, and the sweater I knit for her are still in the “dog cabinet”. We don’t open that cabinet very often and neither one of us have cleaned it out. I’ve thought about it a few times but still haven’t done it.

  62. I’m sorry for your sorrow. You loved well, now you are mourning well. You will love again.

    As for not knowing what a bike is – are you sure she didn’t know or merely disdained to acknowledge such a contraption? *s*

  63. Happy Canada Day in advance. Sorry the First Nations
    didn’t feel they could celebrate with you. Never-the-less, still think your nation is a pretty special one. Long may Canada be!
    Grief is not a linear process. Any being who is/was loved deserved to be remembered and mourned. Archie, my wonder Westie and I ache for you. May Millie have an
    auspicious rebirth. Blessed be.

  64. Millie’s size was not what made her great in your heart. Your grief is no less real because it is about an animal. Give yourself the space you need for it. Progress will return when you’re ready.

  65. Millie has contributed one of the many qualities I associate with the ideal cat: the dipping of the tail into a warm tub. So dainty and elegant. I was so delighted when she did that and I think of that picture all the time.

  66. Unfortunately this is the fate of all the beings we share our lives with. Sometimes they’re there for a short time & sometimes a long time. Sometimes they’re only there when you need them or when they need you. They’re all worthy of laughter & tears. Chin up ducks, you have lots of memories to fill all the spaces in you & new memories coming up to add to them – even tiny ones with fur in them.

  67. Millie may have been small in stature, but she obviously had a huge personality and presence in your life. How much you hurt now is a measure of how much you are capable of love, which is obviously huge. Even her faults endeared her to you and your family; that is as much real love as putting up with toilet seat being up all the time. Love, in whatever form, is a holy thing.

  68. Don’t throw out that scratching post. It’s too soon now, but by fall you will start thinking about a trip to the shelter and a new kitty. She won’t replace Millie, but her antics will distract you. Knitting households need a cat to “help” untangle yarn. They are also good at sitting close by when that sleeve just won’t go right and lending mojo. And they supervise the drinking of coffee very well. Cocktails, too. I’ve never seen one other than Millie who needed to supervise the bath. That amazes me. I once had a pretty white Turkish van who liked to swim. But I never saw the tail dipping action before. Millie was some cat. She’ll chase squirrels on the rainbow bridge for a while and wait for you.
    Julie

  69. I’m so sorry to hear about your cat. It took us a while to clean the black spot on the wall going down the basement stairs after our previous dog died. It gave me comfort for a while. Our current dog is 14 now, so every day is a gift. I can’t believe we’ve gotten here again so fast.

  70. “The world is full of big and important things, and here I sit, completely trashed over a tiny mammal.”

    Sometimes we don’t realize what is big and important, because it appears to be small and furry. Your heart knows the difference though and I’m sure you know how to listen to your heart.

    I’m sorry to hear about Millie, I have been in that neighbourhood a number of times over the years. You will find your way out of the sadness, it just takes time.

    Happy Canada Day
    Chris S in Canada

  71. We knew we would not be getting another pet because our youngest son turned out to be very allergic. So when Jack the Dog died we buried his dish, blanket, and leash with him. Uncle Jeff said it was “very Egyptian” to do so. Since then I have always had a flock of chickens. The last rooster free ranged in the yard and would run to me every morning when I went out to feed the flock. He lived to be 8 years old and oh I cried when he was gone. We love our animals, as well we should, and of course we grieve when they go. It will get easier little by little. Take tot own time. Sending love.

  72. Hugs. I’m wondering: do you have any of Millie’s fur? From her brush, from anything? Because I once brushed my neighbor’s beautiful orange Persian, spun it up to about 18″ worth of yarn, knitted it into a tiny rectangle and used toothpicks with pearl beads at the end to move the stitches onto (having cast off first to be on the safe side.) I put a pin backing on it: voila! A knitting pin made from her cat. She showed me a year after he’d passed that she still had it on her fridge where she could see him every day.

  73. My heart breaks for you. We had to let our beloved 14 1/2 year old pup go two weeks ago. My daughter was summoned home and we were so fortunate to have the vet come to our house to allow for a peaceful end in our living room as our mantle clock steadily clicked along.

    From that point on my life was turned upside down. The familiar became the unfamiliar. Even my daughter leaving for college did not make me feel so much like an empty nester as I have felt in the past two weeks. It is starting to get a little more bearable each day but not without telling myself to be gentle with myself and others. We gradually removed the food and water bowls, treat jars and collection of toy hedgehogs day by day as we felt like it. Finally, the little dog bed at the foot of our bed was packed up.

    Thank you you for let me share, it helps. I am wishing you peace and comfort. Treasure the memories.

  74. I know those feelings. Earlier this year, I had to let go of my last furbaby. I’d had him for 16 years and I still get weepy when I think of him. It took a while for me remove his things from the house. The box went first and then few days later his food bowl. A while after that his bed and his water fountain.

    What took the longest was his very own water glass that sat on the edge of the my tub so that he didn’t have to go all the way downstairs at night to get a drink. It was a very day when I finally washed the cup and put it in the cupboard.

    He slept near my head almost every night of those 16 years and it still feels strange that he’s not there. It takes time for the things to resolve themselves and that’s okay. A little weep now and again is good for us.

  75. I know you’ve mentioned this before in past posts, but I can’t find it… What yarn do you use on your baby blankets?

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  77. They leave such a big hole when they go…… My beloved dog Boris died a year ago June 1st, and though I’m not the mess I was at first, for 14 years he was my constant companion. EVERYTHING reminds me of him. I’ve had other dogs and cats that I have loved but Boris was THE dog of my life. His sister, Natasha, has been ill with a parasite for years, yet she’s still here. I haven’t blogged or knit hardly at all since he went so fast…perhaps I need more time. Still, I mostly feel grateful to have known him ( you can read some about him here – https://helenkosings.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/what-a-summerwhat-a-bummer-and-whats-for-dinner-part-2-long/ -scroll down to “THE END:A Real Grievance”).

    Grief is indeed the price of love. My heart goes out to you.

  78. Awe… it is so hard to loose a trusted pet! Is the baby blanket that I have been drooling over pattern available somewhere?

  79. do you have published baby shawl patterns. Second grandbaby is just announced and I have a lovely silk/wool lace weight (findley – juniper moon) that I’d love to knit a lovely shawl the likes of your creations. Not sure I can come up with it on my own, even thought I did a passable wedding veil on my own for said baby momma (daughter-in-love) have been toying with an estonia lace pattern but it might be the death of me! and suggestions?

  80. No need to get rid of all the artifacts… there will be a little rescue cat desperately wishing they had someone who loved them enough to shed tears when the end comes… just sayin’… xx

  81. Millie’s spirit will always be with you. I really believe a God who created wonderful cats wouldn’t let a single one be lost. So keep her things as long as you need to, cry when you need to, and keep all your beautiful memories. Knit on and know she’s purring away watching you. Feel this with you.

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