letting go

Shelby cat on the doona having stripped the bedToday is day 3 of 365 less things. But it is not so much about decluttering as letting go.

On Monday 24 June 2013 we euthanased Shelby, our tabby cat of nearly 19 years.

We took Shelby cat to the vet on the previous Saturday, who said we would need a miracle. I don’t believe in miracles, but the fact was we were not ready to say goodbye. The vet had a very busy surgery, and I wasn’t prepared to let him give Shelby the green dream and for us to say goodbye within several minutes. So we took her home, and nursed her over the weekend. I have had her ‘ashes’ on my desk since then, albeit packaged in a nice velvet bag, together with a certificate authenticating they were her ashes only, nice poem or reflection, candle, all enclosed in a brown paper bag covered in black paw prints – until today.

Today we scattered Shelby’s ashes under the Olive McKenzie rose. I watered them in because there was a bit of a breeze blowing.

So it’s done. And the candle has gone with the other candles because you can never have too many candles, paperwork where I put paper until it is ‘sorted’, and the rest to recycling.

Now we are cat less. But it is agreed that this is the status quo – the first time in my life so far.

Although we haven’t had a walking meowing cat since June 2013, I recognise that I had modified my behaviour to accommodate our feline pets. For example, we use one room in the house as a store room and when I go in there I close the door behind me in case ‘one of the cat gets in’. I no longer need to do this, as there are no cats to get in, but it does feel very strange leaving doors open. But I remember when we had any one of our three cats, that because they weren’t allowed in the green room (because the walls are painted green), the cats used to shoot in the room and go under furniture or at the back of book shelves. They would not come out when we called them, and had to literally pull them out from behind the books in the book shelves, or from under furniture.

Anyway, Shelby is no longer on my desk, but scattered under the Olive McKenzie as the roses remind me of her tabby fur.


2 thoughts on “letting go

  1. We lost our 19 year old tabby in August (like Shelby she was often wrapped in her old age in a caring blanket [but no-one lives forever and 19 is a grand age for a cat to achieve or that’s what I keep telling myself]); I really sympathise with your struggle to let go. We have one cat left, she is 15 1/2 and we also plan to go catless when she is gone. Will the freedom to travel be worth the lack of furry four-legged bringers of love and comfort? I guess we’ll find out.

  2. Thank you for stopping by to comment. I must admit, I didn’t realise at what time and how much time it took to look after Shelby these last few years. Feeding times, tablet times, and clearing up times, all amongst those playful and shared curiosity moments. I would like to travel, but at the moment, it’s a feeling of uxury to be able to sleep in, and not get a disdainful look for being a naughty stop-out when we are out late.

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