It was a sad day for me when my cat Amara decided to jump ship. Had she needed to be put down because she was dying a slow painful death like Checkers or simply closed her eyes and stopped breathing like Einstein it would have been easier to accept. As it was, at 3:30 in the morning she was with us. By six she was gone. Haven’t seen her since.
The dichotomy between what I know and understand intellectually and feel emotionally is huge. I was ashamed I wanted to grieve for Checkers. Pissed I wanted to grieve for Einstein. With Amara, I’ve giving myself permission to feel my feelings.
The worst part is the not knowing. Not knowing why she chose to leave when she did. Not knowing if she’s okay. Yes, she’s “just a cat.” But we have a history. We shared many firsts:
*Welcoming the Love of My Life into our lives.
*Crossing the country.
*Living on a houseboat.
*Living on a sailboat.
*Cruising on a sailboat.
Amara was a great traveler. She seemed happy and content. She brought a lot of joy. And now she’s gone.
The Love of My Life shared gave me some helpful words of wisdom which have been of such great comfort, I’ve been sharing them liberally.
*Free will. If I want the right to make my own decisions and choices, I have to grant that to other beings — including Amara.
*Adventures. Just as the LoML and I went off on our adventure: cross-county, houseboat, sailboat, cruising, Amara has the right to her adventure … whether she’s totally informed on what she’s going to meet or its consequences.
*If you love someone, you let them go. We don’t own each other. Being together has to be by choice of all parties involved. Anything else is coercion or slavery.
The last one really resonated. Being in any relationship — be it work, intimate, political, religious, or other — has to be by choice. Yes it sucks when you want and the other doesn’t. Sucks whether you’re talking about a man, woman, cat, dog, or other. Still the fact is coercion and slavery aren’t the answer.
My hope is Amara will return of her own accord before the weather improves and we’re able to continue on our journey. If not, I hope I can graciously accept she chose to leave while reveling in the memories of the joy and delight she brought.
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