Overcoming Grief

It is almost five months since I lost my cousin, friend and house mate to cancer. In some ways it seems much longer and in other ways it still feels like just yesterday that she was here. The first weeks were a blur, and I did what needed to be done being numb and trying not to think too much about the future. Now, these few months out, I am trying to take stock of when this has meant to me.

It is strange how people reacted over her death. It is almost like she never lived here at all. She is rarely mentioned, except by close family.  I get the feeling that for many people, I should not still be grieving my loss. After all, she was not an intimate partner nor a parent or a child. Why would I still grieve now?

I knew she had cancer and that it was getting worse. I knew that she would almost certainly die. What I did not expect was that she would die from something else and go very suddenly. One minute sitting and joking with me and the next she was gone. I was not at all prepared for that and it was very hard to deal with. It is like having a double death to work through.

I found a grief group and that was a true life saver for me. It is good to know that I am not alone in waking at 3:00am with nightmares that I cannot really identify. Sleep then becomes impossible so the next day I am fatigued and cranky.

I now have a series of decisions to make. What do I do with the rest of my life, now that it has suddenly changed. Do I move or stay here in my home, which is really too large for me. How to I fill my time now I am no longer a caregiver. What should I give my attention to and how. The coming winter fills me with dread. Long dark days and evenings with no one around.  Caring for all the rescued cats alone is a real challenge too. She was so good with the furkids.  I am happy though that almost all of the cats that I mentioned in an earlier Blog have been adopted. Now, I need to focus on getting homes for a few more.

I know I will make it. I am a survivor and I have survived other tough things in my life. I want to move on and feel joy again. I think it is going to take a while though.


It seems strange to me that after all the years that I have spent helping other, always for free, and all the time and money I have invested in the cats in this area, that I am finding it near impossible t get any help with anything. I have save thousands of cats from being born, unwanted, and dying in pain and misery. I know I am not the only person who does this and I also know that others in this area have done more. But still I have made a contribution. Now, when I am desperate for help in finding safe places for some of these cats, there is NOWHERE. I am heartsick. I am tired of picking up the crap that others leave behind, mainly because people are too lazy or ignorant to get even ONE cat spayed or neutered. Then they stand at Walmart with a bunch of pathetic kittens and expect someone to take them on, or they move away and leave their animals behind for someone else to deal with. Yes, I have a lot of those too. I end up footing huge vet bills to try and take care of these furkids. They don’t expect much; just a safe place and a bed and some food. I still have a total of 36 cats here. Yes, it is a big drop from the 62 I did have at one time, but still more that I can deal with. Financially it is killing me and physically it is killing me.

Learning that my house mate has cancer was a dreadful stunning shock. Without divulging her personal stuff, let me just say that an operation or chemo is out of the question. She has done so much to help with the cats both in terms of physical help and financial help. Now she cannot do either one.
I don’t know where this will end but right now I am desperate.

In need of help for these cats.

It is terrible how your life can change so quickly. My cousin and I were so happy caring for our rescued cats and two disabled dogs. Had dealt with Troopers diabetes and he was doing well. Then Bo got the dreadful news. Cancer.

Stunned disbelief. Pain – hurt – tears – falling apart. Life has changed and will never be the same again. Now I have to chose between helping her and caring for my cats. Right now, as she cannot even manage the stairs, I am doing it all. Feeding, meds, litter boxes….the list is endless and I am exhausted. I MUST find homes for some of these babies. They deserve better that what I am able to give them right now.

sammy1smallThis is Sammy. Age unknown. Neutered male and a poly. Very friendly guy and goes out into the fenced yard but never away. OK with other cats and dogs. He was rescued from drug house. He was totally bald from shoulders down due to fleas. Urgently needs a loving home.

mandii1smallThis pretty girl is Mandi. She was dropped off at SpayInc right before they closed. (Non profit ran out of funds). I took her in as she has some issues. Enlarged nose and sore on her paw which I am treating. Looks like she could have been caught in a trap. If I cannot find someone to take her, the only choice is PTS. I have no money to get her the help she needs. She seems quite young and VERY friendly. No idea if she is spayed. She needs a chance.

Alice1smallThis pretty Siamese Snowshoe is about 18mos we think. Named Alice. She is very shy and does better when with her Mommabetty3smallBetty.

Betty is super friendly and loves a lap. Both girls are spayed.alice and bettysmallMomma and daughter stay together most of the time.

UPDATE on the girls above. They will be heading to their new home this week. My daughter’s parents-in-law have offered a home to both these girls. Thank you Donna and Bob.

kiki4small This is Kiki. Himalayan and a beautiful girl. Spayed. age unknown but think 6 – 8. Has flea allergy and/or nervous licking. Very friendly and good with other cats and dogs.

marmedukesmallMarmeduke arrive to eat here after his family moved and left him. He appears to be partly deaf. Also has knots on his back which need care to remove. VERY friendly and neutered. Age unknown.

If you can help with any of these cats I would be more grateful than you can know. They deserve good care and I cannot give them any but the most basic right now.