Hi.

Remember me? It’s been a while.

Why? Sick cat/depression/the rest of life.

Tag passed away on June 9th. Living for any length of time with a terminally ill animal is exhausting and tore me down emotionally. The weekend before he passed was spent mostly in bed. I almost called to schedule his euthanasia at that point because I wasn’t sure if I could keep going like that. It’s like living in the same building with a ticking bomb but you can’t see the countdown clock and it’s the last steadfast thing in your life that’s about to blow.

Thankfully, my vets are amazing and I was able to email one of them about my headspace and how he had been doing, so I agreed to hold off on planning anything until I took him in to see them. Granted, he had gone downhill some, so I knew there was a 50% chance I wouldn’t be going home with him. And that’s exactly what happened.

That morning, I woke up to an accident on the rug. It’s the cat’s way of letting you know they don’t feel good. The day before, he didn’t greet me when I came home. Another sign. So I spent a numb day with him, cuddling the shit out of him before we went. The vet agreed with all of the signs, and told me that the tumor had grown and spread and he had lost weight. It was time. And that’s all I can say right now. I think the process was made so much harder because of the length of his illness, and also him being my “last” buddy. With Java, I knew I’d still have Tag there. With Tag, it was the frightening prospect of having an empty home for the first time in nearly a decade.

But, fate intervened.

The night Tag passed, a friend of a friend found an abandoned kitten under her porch. At first I was like NO–I just lost my best bud and I don’t know about baby kittens at all. But she is a tortie and looks like a goddamn splice of my boys, so I went for it.

She’s home now, and crazy and stupid and TINY. I’ve named her Ripley, after my favorite ass-kicking, female sci-fi hero. I love her and am glad she ended up being mine, but I noticed something during the process.

First, she can never replace the boys and I’m still mourning them.

Second, while the preparation and process of getting her was a great distraction, on Sunday I found myself still dealing with a depressed mood. Nothing outside of myself is a cure. Meds help, kittens help, but shit lingers. And that’s okay. I’m still processing grief, and I’m ALWAYS working on myself. I had a terrible surge of super-low self esteem yesterday. Like, AWFUL. I still have it right now. It got to the point where I thought to myself, “you’re incapable of being a good kitten mom because you’re being a sad sack on the couch instead of playing with her.” Luckily I have great friends who pointed out how this was false to me. I mean, I was depressed as hell but still set up her new insurance policy, and today scheduled her vet visit and ordered cookies for the phenomenal veterinary staff.

TL;DR: Outside forces won’t fix you, only you can fix you. And kittens, while great medicine, only treat the symptoms.

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