Thursday, February 28, 2013

Exactly 1 Year Ago Today

This is one of those reflective posts. You see, exactly one year ago today (or tomorrow, I'm not sure how you figure that. It happened on a leap-day), my beloved cat Pepper passed away. Pets are companions and family members.  They also represent chapters of our lives. Dr. Pepper and Coca Cola came to me at a terrible time in my life and saw me through the transition from complete, deep darkness to where you see me today. And yes, Coke is still here.  I have a feeling he'll be one of those "extended chapter" pets.  He's always been healthy as an ox and now he's more active than ever. But I digress.  The point is that Pepper's passing was significant, even though he was "just" a cat. We'd lost a companion and a family member.  He was the first pet any of my children had to say goodbye to. Perhaps the most significant thing about his passing though was that it symbolized a closing chapter - a new part of our family's life.  Suddenly, our family was shaped differently.

A new chapter has opened since then. It opened at around 3 pm on December 30th when we brought home this little goofball:
 I like to call him "Boneless Wonder," or "Mr. Underfoot," and sometimes, "Getoutoftherecyclingbagyouidioticcat," Although generally he just goes by Clark.

Clark has been here about 2 months now and he is solidly part of the family.  You see, family looks past quirks like deafness and low IQ and inability to jump like other cats and loves each other for their cuddliness, sunny disposition, patience and playful demeanor. This family takes it seriously when we go to the shelter and give an animal a "forever home." Forever in our home physically and forever in our hearts.

If I were to be graded for this post,  it would be a low grade.  I really have no point other than the muse about how a year ago, we were holding Dr. Pepper in our arms as he died and today, we are trying to save our socked toes from this nutty kitten as he chases our feet through the house.

In closing, here is the memorial post from one year ago.

Nine years ago, a kitten tugged at my jacket strings and within moments he'd won himself and his brother a permanent place in my heart, my home and my family. God knew what he was doing when he connected us. 

I am simply heartbroken today.  I'm going to miss him deeply.  Those of you who have pets know what I'm feeling right now.  Those of you who don't are missing out on something so special I can't even begin to describe it. There is a richness to my life that wouldn't be there without these wonderful, furry little companions. 

I count myself blessed that I had this many good years with Pepper and that this happened while I was on break from school.  He was able to pass peacefully here at home in my arms while Tim and I pet him and reminded him how much he was loved.  I'm able to be home with the other animals for another week and a half to help them through it.  The dog is moping.  The brother is clingy and a little disoriented (that said, Coca Cola is always a little disoriented.) The kids were inconsolable this morning when we told them to say goodbye before school.  But he led a good life. Every family must mourn sometime.  I'm thankful that my kids know how to do it so well. I just really hope that they don't have to do any more of it for a while. 

Rest In Peace
Dr. Pepper (Clark) Howe
September 12, 2002-February 29, 2012
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