coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Friday, July 1, 2016

Buddy the Cat

My shingles are almost gone.  However, when it rains it pours.

Buddy, our cat, died the other day. Although he had been really, really ill for a few days and was staying at the vet’s to be rehydrated and treated, it was still unexpected. Death always is for me. It catches me off guard every damn time and never fails to piss me off.

He was his sweet old self one night, begging for treats, waiting for us to get in bed, hissing and growling if T dared to put his arm outside the covers, etc. The next morning he was seriously ill, lying under our bed with the look of death about him. Even with our vet’s best efforts, he never rebounded. Based on his symptoms, it could have been any number of causes.

The night after he died I had a dream about change. First I dreamed I saw his dead body. Then suddenly Buddy the Cat was alive again and with my Mom, his original owner. We took him in 2008 when she went into assisted living where they did not allow pets. I remember we had to pull him out from under her bed and he clawed T’s arm open. Buddy was always a bit anxious and neurotic, as I am. We shared the same mother.

Then, in my dream of change, I was suddenly in my old workplace. There was no one there I knew. All had changed. All was different. I was alone and it was disconcerting. And like dreams always are, I remembered that dreams are about the dreamer. This was a message to me from my self. I had to think about it hard.

Change has always been a trigger for me. Even if I try to ignore my fear of change, my discomfort with loss, they are always there. They do not go away from refusing to feel. I know, I've tried.

Unresolved emotional themes have a life of their own. They come back to haunt us, to try and get our attention in the form of nameless anxiety, depression, and also in archetypal dream figures.


It is
odd, this particular fear, since change is the stuff of life. Do we all ultimately fight the same fight? Is it the nature of being human to fear change?  Do I have to become a "*&!@#" zen master to achieve some peace of mind? 'Cause I don't think I have the stamina for it and I certainly do not have the attention span. 

Our lost boy, Buddy the Cat, on our deck in NYS overlooking one of our equally lost perennial beds


20 comments:

  1. Always takes us by surprise. Always.

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  2. He was a beautiful cat.

    I'm not good with change either. Even though I know it's a part of life and a necessary part of life, I still like the same old same old. It's safe, predictable. Maybe that's what I like. Predictable. I guess I'm not alone in that though.

    I had shingles on my forehead last November and it healed up nicely with the antiviral drug but I notice now that my forehead is often itchy and irritated. Bah!

    As for old unresolved fears and issues, I'm so tired of mine. Wanna trade? :)

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    1. Ha! I'm comfortable with my fears. Like you say, they are predictable. If only I was brave enough to set these aside and take on a new set.

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  3. It seems that we are the same all over the world. Smae fears here.It is so sad about Buddy the cat.

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    1. Thanks Yael. He was a good old cat.

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  4. Love never changes in my opinion. And Death catches up with us all. I have no words of wisdom but I have endless hugs for you.

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  5. He was beautiful. I always feel that the death of an animal is a bit different than that of a human. We're not innocent (well, except for children..and then of course there are no words) But animals are so innocent and and that leaves a very different hole, at least that's how I feel.
    Fears! My new mantra in the morning is "relax and let go". Sometimes it even works!

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    1. I'm gonna try that mantra. Sometimes is better than never.

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  6. It's over 18 months since the last (to date) or our cats died of old age (pretty harrowing, really, deaf and blind etc.) and still, I see her coming up the from the garden or hear her messing about the laundry. I think cats stay on somehow/somewhere.

    Glad the shingles are on their way out.

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  7. I used to embrace change when I was young, now it comes quicker and confronts me wth fear. I try to ignore it, but it is always there, lurking around in the shadows ready to pounce and cause anxiety. Thankfully, there is wine.

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    1. Yes, there is always wine. I just wish there was a less fattening and cheaper way to self-medicate. Why-oh-why don't herbal remedies actually work?

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  8. I'm sorry about Buddy. He was quite a beauty. The one constant is change, as has been mentioned. Yet, many of us resist and / or agonize. It's odd, we survive by making ourselves comfortable with whatever the "normal" is and then the "normal" changes and we must work to make to new normal work for us. Constant adjustments. Unsettling.

    Yay for shingle recovery.

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    1. Unsettling is a good word to describe it. I wish it was easier to roll with the punches.

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  9. So sorry to hear about the loss of darling Buddy (what a wonderful photo of him!). Yesterday I had the insight that my life is an investigation into change.. what I can change (and how) and what I must love into change. I decided "love into change" was more accurate than "accept" (as in the serenity prayer model) because in truth... everything is always changing. acceptance is a momentary act and must constantly be done again - and again - and again - because in fact, change is always afoot. not resisting things... not being angry about things... not judging things as "less than" or "lacking" etc... but instead just "loving" them (agape/acceptance)... has a mysterious but very real lubricating effect on things. I notice. can't say I can always do it! but... when I can... I notice that first off, it helps me... and often, it has some subtle effect on "not me," as well... meaning others, what's going on around me, etc. But of course... not easy to do! Regarding change... fearing it... yeah... for those of us who have known painful changes of course that is our first defense, yes? The hunching, the preparation, the raising of the fists. What's coming?! Will it be as bad as last time?! This can happen on so many levels, including epigenetically. Yes, sometimes changes are nice, fun, lovely, etc. but in our human world, very often the changes are harsh and painful. That's just the way of it. I have strong feelings about folks who are mean about that. Many people have scars of all kinds, both visible and hidden. Of course they have strong feelings of concern, fear, trepidation, anxiety, etc. in the face of change. They would be crazy if they didn't! And yes, of course, it's good and helpful to be "aware, ready, and neutral" in the face of change. That's the zenmaster position. But again, hard to do! Being mean about anyone not able to do that tells me... the judge is themselves, struggling. I hope you can settle into the lap of kindness while you grieve Buddy as you would let him settle into yours. Namaste.

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  10. I'm so sorry that Buddy will not be curling up with you and Tom tonight. He was a fine looking fellow. I hate it when pets die. It makes me so mad that I cry. Our Bisou died on June 29. She had been sick a long time. Her death has sent us into a major decline. I know you must feel like you've suffered a big hurt too. You have my deepest sympathy.

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    1. Thanks. SO sorry to hear about Bisou. She was so young.

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