Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Do not mourn the day of death; celebrate the days they lived

Seldom far apart
Felix in front, Buster up high
My boy, Felix cat, was hit by a car. He did not survive. They drive pretty fast on the roads. Monday, a holiday, the traffic was fast and furious, with people passing constantly and dangerously. The sound of unmuffled motorcycles was awful, as well as racing youngsters and wannabe youngsters.

Felix was not yet a year and a half. His twin brother, Buster, is ever so mushy. 
The late Oliver was killed in the same spot.

 I phoned the local Lanark Animal Welfare Society (LAWS). Yes, they'd had a log-haired black cat brought in. A couple had picked up this poor cat, struck by a car and left to die on the side of the road. It was taken to Merrickville, to the veterinarian who was on call, where the vet put him down, as he was beyond help.

I asked if we could view his body, to determine if this was our Felix. Yes, it was.
I'm so sad.

This is what I have learned.

Many of us look at where we failed, not where we succeeded. As a cat parent, I did the best I could at the time. I look at my cat who insisted on crossing the road, despite us going over, bringing him back, and putting him in a time out room.We put collars on them. Still, it did not work.
Felix, his first month with us last year.

I just didn't want to treat them like dogs. I gave up. They would drop, stop, but not roll, when on leash.

I thought Felix was staying on our side of the highway. My mistake. I laud the days he lived, and do not mourn the day on which he died. I refuse to put a memorial by the side of the road. I have to say that I am against roadside memorials. I am. I believe that a memorial where a person died focuses too much on the death, and not on the living. You give power to the place of death. It isn't fair, either, for neighbours to drive past it every day.

We gave a donation to LAWS for taking him in and getting him to the vet. The vet will send us the bill for euthanasia and cremation, adding to the irony.

The Ten Best Things About Felix
1. He was the most purry cat I've ever had. You just looked at him, talked to him, and he would begin to purr.
2. He loved 'walkies', walked and ran for miles in the forest with me. Meowing for me when I went too fast and he would lose me.
3. He groomed his brother with great attention to detail. They loved each other, getting those hard-to-reach spots.
4. He happily took all the treats our granddaughters wanted to give him.
5. He was happy for me to brush him, purring madly.
6. He loved playing 'snake.'
7. He respected his big sister, Sadie, unlike Buster who provokes her!
8. I loved how he always got burrs, and brought the forest home with him.
9. He was very affectionate with us, always snuggling in the night, often on my feet.
10. He loved exploring the wetland as much as I.
He'd launch himself up the tree

Always helped me when I worked clearing paths.

Followed me all over the wetland

He loved walkies!


Olga said...

Out pets add so much to our lives. I am sorry that you lost Felix, but I am glad that you can find so much to celebrate about his short life. My condolences to Buster.

Anonymous said...

This is very tenderly written , yet you can feel the great love between you all.

Red said...

I'm sorry that you lost a very well loved friend. The right thing to do is celebrate the life but it is difficult just the same. All the best to you .

TexWisGirl said...

i am sorry, jenn. the loss of a pet is never easy but especially hard when they are young. they have a mind of their own, though.

DeniseinVA said...

I am so very sorry for your loss Jenn. We had a much beloved dog who was hit by a car. He was a strong dog and saw something on the other side of the road, pulled so quickly that my Dad lost the leash and that was that, a dark day for us all. Losing a beloved pet breaks the heart and I am sending you a big hug because these things happen, no rhyme nor reason and we can do little to prevent them.

Anonymous said...

A beautifully written post Jenn and I am so sorry for your is never easy.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss! I struggle too with the decision to let my cats wander outdoors - they love the freedom but too often it comes with a high price. We have lost one cat to traffic and 2 to predators and it never gets any easier.

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, Jenn, how terrible for your family and for Buster (who is, of course, family, but Felix was his twin).
I know Felix always insisted on crossing the highway. I remember the first time he did it, and how you hoped to cure him of the habit.
You're right to celebrate his life. It was a very special life, with much love from the family and a whole lot of fun with his brother.
Luv, K

Linda said...

I commend you on celebrating his life - it was a good one while it lasted.

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm so sorry for you loss, Jenn. I love your list of the 10 best things about Felix. I know you will always remember him fondly.