16 June 2009

Thoughts on a Bloomsday


Today is Bloomsday, which is a day we always mark in some way or another in our house. As you may remember, the first cat that The Tim and I had after we were married was named Molly Bloom, as we had determined that her actual birthday was close to, or actually on, June 16. She was truly a cat among cats, and at a minimum, every year on this day we drink a toast to her memory.

An hour or so ago, I received an e-mail from my sister Nancy, who lives in California, to let me know that this morning, she had to have her cat, Skitzy, put to sleep. I never got to meet Skitzy, but in pictures she was a very pretty Maine Coon, and stories about her made her sound like she had quite a personality. The Tim got to meet her once, and said she was quite sweet and affectionate. Anyway, Nancy mentioned in her e-mail that she knew that Skitzy was failing, but it was still a hard day. Which is completely understandable to me.

And it got me to thinking about pets, people, and loss. For The Tim and I, Molly Bloom was our first cat together, and his first cat ever. She moved around with us, traveled with us, played with us, attacked us, and was always available to comfort us. We still miss her, even though now it's been about 10 years since she died. Because she was part of our family, as all of our pets have been, and as any pets I had growing up were. Nancy and her family have also had other cats, but that doesn't mean that Skitzy's death is any less sad for them.

I know, for instance, that Skitzy kept Nancy company when her husband was working late, or out of town, especially now that her kids are grown and live elsewhere. We are enough alike that I know that she probably spent a lot of her time at home talking to Skitzy, about anything and everything.

Like people, pets are each one unique. Often times they are luckier than people in death, as I believe Skitzy was. Doesn't each of us wish that in our last conscious moments, we could have the ones who mean the most to us right there with us? To be surrounded by the ones who you love, and who love you and have given you the best life they could? As far as I'm concerned, this must be the meaning of the term I have heard, a "happy death." We should all be so lucky when our turn comes around.

And so I ask you to raise a glass today on Bloomsday, in honor and memory of not only Skitzy, but all of the sweethearts in our lives that have made them funnier, sweeter, more worth living, and always more interesting.

15 comments:

Lisa said...

A toast to them all.

Jenn said...

Very well said. Pets have always been a part of our family, it just seemed the right thing to do, no matter how small they are. Here's to Skitzy and all our animal family members!

Chris said...

*sniff*

Carrie K said...

A farewell toast to Skitzy and a hug for your sister.

Carol said...

Well said. I raise my glass (of seltzer) to Skitzy, Molly Bloom and my own dear departed Beulah (also a Maine Coon) and thank them for all that they teach us, and all that they add to our lives.

Alison Boon said...

Such a profound post for me right now. Pets are indeed part of our lives.

Lorraine said...

Bridget- Maybe a champagne flute of milk? Would that be okay?

I almost started blubbering, snot bubbles and everything, and I can't bear thinking about losing a beloved friend.

Brigitte said...

*sniff*

OK, I'm a day late, but I'm raising my Timmie's to Skitzy and Molly, and all the wonderful kitties and animal friends in our lives.

Marie said...

That was a wonderful post, Bridget. I will now go think about all the cats and dogs I've loved and lost. Thank you.

Channon said...

Misty-eyed here, but we'll definitely toast Bloomsday!

joan said...

Was just thinking a few minutes ago about a dear-departed Abyssinian who was our boat cat, leash trained and very bold who played soccer (alum foil ball) with me in the mornings as I was dressing for work. An individual personality for sure, who slept under the covers with me every night. He's been gone almost 10 years and I still miss him although we now have two sweet and dear housemates.

mary said...

So sorry I missed Bloomsday! What a lovely cat she was. And a toast to Skitzy also.

Now I must go and hug my own cat Percy.

joanchicago said...

Here's another misty-eyed reader, chiming in late. Thanks for a great post! I did think of you guys and your Bloomsday rituals, which I remember as including Gorgonzola cheese. But I didn't raise a glass to the feline Molly. I'll go do that right now (not to worry, glass filled with tangerine iced tea)--and I'll give Jasmine an extra hug.

knitseashore said...

I'm late to your post, but I think that is such a wonderful idea. I'm sorry for your sister's loss -- it's losing a family member, and takes just as long to adjust to.

Kathleen said...

Chin-chin to the dear animals that become members of our families. Sorry to have missed your post until now - stupid bloglines. I hope your sister is coping as best she can.