RIP Gretchen


Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

Richard Bach

One of the bad things about having animals in your life is that eventually they pass away. Although I don’t practice the organized religion called Buddhism anymore, I try to keep the mindset and some of the key thinkings in my life. Like mindfulness, like trying to remove one’s ego. Death always gave me a problem, though. I just could never come to fully accept re-incarnation and the cycles of death. Without going too deeply, without this belief, a lot of the other parts fall away as meaningless.

At any point, I just thought I would update the followers of this blog with the news that Gretchen, fierce, feral feline warrior has passed away from congestive heart failure. The symptoms (although not the disease) came on quite rapidly. We spent an obscene amount of money on various medicines, that for a short while we would force her to take several times a day. We would hunt her down, wrap her in a towel and force a syringe in her mouth, to the point where she would run when she saw either of us.

Next we tried flavored medicine, in her discomfort she still maintained her independent spirit and wouldn’t eat any of the many we tried. In the end, we decided that she should be allowed to retain her dignity and not be scared of us subjecting her to something we, not she, wanted. She passed away under the very porch where she hid away for half a year before we convinced her that our house was a safe and loving environment where she would still have her freedom to come and go.

I would really like to believe in rebirth where I would meet Gretchen again in new form. Or believe in a heaven where Gretchen could spend long hours grooming my Dad’s beard while he slept. But, I can’t.


Published: 06.21.2016

In: Critters

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