Coming to Grips

Anyone who has never allowed a pet to share their life or their world has no idea of the anguish of losing that little companion. Sammie isn’t the first cat I’ve lost, but she’s definitely the one who has had the biggest impact on my life, sharing everything from my office to my bed. The last few months, watching squamous cell carcinoma eat large raw ulcers on and under her tongue have been nothing short of torture. Deciding late last week to put an end to it was devastating.

Now I’m trying to come to grips with my decision and the quiet that has settled over my house like a thick fog. I wondered how long before I got back to a place where I could write. Especially when my current work in progress is about a vet who is owned by two cats, one of which is a composite of my late Fluffy and Sammie. The answer came Wednesday when I was trying to see through the tears to read email and instead, opened my novel’s file. The story sucked me in and I spent several hours escaping from my world into my character’s world. Writing as therapy.

Yesterday, I spent several hours at Starbucks where I had arranged to meet up with an old friend. Marianne and I were best friends in grade school and all through high school. We were bridesmaids in each others’ weddings. Then she went off to New York City to pursue her dreams and I stayed here. We exchanged Christmas cards, but I hadn’t seen or talked to her in close to twenty years. When she walked in, those twenty years melted away. We talked non-stop for almost four hours, catching up with each other’s lives. She wants to move back here at some point soon and now dreams of eventually opening a wellness center.

To give you an idea of what a good friend she is: Marianne remembers the titles of the novels I used to write in long-hand in spiral-bound notebooks back in school. I don’t remember the titles of those novels!

This morning I received another gift from my Sammie. Before she passed, I had written her story and submitted it to A Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers. That story has been selected as a finalist for the publication. I have the contract in my hand. It’s not an acceptance yet. But it’s a step forward. It would do my breaking heart good to have my little furbaby made immortal in print.

And to end this post on an upbeat note, the kittens Sophie and Chickie (now renamed Sophia and Chiquita to avoid confusion with other similarly named kitties in that foster home) are adjusting beautifully to their new life as inside cats in Maryland. They passed their vet’s exam with only fleas to be contended with. All the Maine Coon Rescue gals are personally determined to find a good adoptive family for these little kittens. I’m deeply thankful that this particular episode has gone well. It’s good to be able to sniff away the tears from losing my sweet Sammie and smile knowing that I’ve helped rescue two other lives who will bring joy and companionship to someone special out there.

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