The Fragility of Life

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August 5, 2013 by Dropped Ink


My kitty recently died and by far my feelings of sadness were heightened to a new level.  I always vowed that  when I got my own place I would get a cat. I moved to Philly to live with my best friend and we ended up getting two cats. She determined that my need for a cat prompted the acquiring of two cats. She said I needed my own to love “Elmyra” style. Needless to say both cats were loved with equal joy. I think perhaps my kitty’s passing was so hard because it was unexpected and she was so sweet. For such a fate to befall an animal that ask for nothing more than a head rub and exuded love and companionship everyday seemed like cruelty and the slap of unfairness from life. We wept a lot. I chose to have quiet moments of remembrance and deep sadness that I held on the inside rather than exercising it openly. I simply didn’t feel like people would understand that level of sadness over my beloved pet. Our decision was to have her cremated and her ashes held securely in a lovely cherry wood box. As sadness clouded us we were introduced to a kitten who needed a home and who would after about a week find herself into our home.

It is weird because the day we went to get the new kitten my deceased cats ashes also arrived at the vets office. Literally in one had I held life and the other I held death. There are quiet moments where I am simply not satisfied with life and wonder what exactly it is really about. The uneven nature of it seems natural yet unnatural. I had the pleasure of sharing a life that was so different than the one I understood: different because this animal couldn’t offer me conversation. At least not in  a way that could be understood by an outsider. She didn’t have a job to talk about or friends to go off and visit. She simply had me and relied on me to offer her the one thing she could understand and reciprocate, love.

Life is a fragile thing and often in simple acts and moments so much about the intricacies of it can be learned. All things must begin and all things must end. That is understood long before we have the ability to comprehend when exactly we learned it. What we don’t know is the journey that we will take and the time we have to make that journey. I am sure some of you are reading this and wondering why it took my cat dying for me to understand this. Actually I always knew it, what was offered to me was a situation with such a visual impact that it will be forever hard to forget and always something I will marvel at.  As I held the ashes of my departed kitty and the my new kitten sat before me looking wide eyed and fearful I wondered what journey she would present to me and for how long each of us would be on it.

Life offers us nothing yet provides us with everything to make something of our time spent here. Memories are the gifts it gives to us for those moments when it is most unkind. The delicate nature of what we possess is far greater than I think we can truly appreciate and understand. I think that is why when people have near death experiences or lose someone close they vow to embrace life with active engagement. I think sometimes I spend to much of my time being an observer. I think I think to much.  I am always most impressed by people who are able to seize every opportunity, even the ones that seem to bear no fruit and make a marvelous moment from it.  So what did I learn for my sweet kitty companion:

Be forgiving.

Be loving.

Be sweet.

Expect nothing.

Some people will get this and some will not.

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