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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Missing Gypsy - Three Months Later

It has been three months since I said goodbye to my sweet orange boy. Where am I?
Sometimes I don't know. I never knew I could feel such despair for the loss of an animal. I wonder if I was happier in the rest of my world if I would feel quite so desolate. I guess that's a moot point.
Gypsy always reminds me of himself in the oddest ways. Sometimes it's via the small knitted mouse I carry with me everywhere I go or the fleecy blanket that I wrapped around him as we said goodbye. I keep it close where I can reach it at night when it's so dark and my head flies in too many different directions. Just as I used to pet him, it settles me. 
He comes into my head as I toss clothes -- especially black clothes -- on the bed and don't have to worry about them looking hairy. (Wrinkled, maybe. Hairy, no.)
I go to the garage to bring in groceries and can leave the door to both the house and outside open, not worrying that he would slip outside when I didn't see. And I don't have to worry about him slipping out the cottage door when we're at the lake.
It's easier to travel to the lake on the weekend, not worrying about leaving him in the car on a hot day or having to take him inside a restaurant.
Or worrying about him hurling in the car. 
I don't clean litter boxes or wash cat food dishes.
I don't have to measure pee or poop or monitor how much water he drank. 
I don't spend a chunk of time every day giving him fluids.
But I also don't have the pleasure of watching him chase treats or try to break into the treat box.
I don't get to hear his purr or feel him snug in so I can rub his soft little tummy or gently grab his tail as he walked by and feel the soft fur go through my finger. 
I'm not awakened by his gentle pestering and followed patiently around the house till he's fed. He was always a chatty little boy.
 
I miss my office assistant. Kitty on the keyboard.
 
I miss rubbing his sweet little paws.
 
I miss looking into his eyes -- those pools of green and brown flecks. And his spotty little nose.
And I miss having him sit up for each dinner!
Or treat.
I miss his skill at catching mice at the cottage. 
 
About the only thing I don't miss is his bringing me his catch when I'm in bed. 
 
I know Rick misses him, too, which helps. He always treated Gypsy like a dog and Gypsy loved it.
They were play pals and that always made me smile!
During his last months, he got "table" privileges. (He may have thought he had them before but was smart enough not to do it when I was around.) My caretaker Jan took this picture of him as he helped her make beaded jewelry. It was his last photo.
I've had signs that Gypsy has given me permission to get a new cat. One the day of Greg's art gig in Detroit, as I was sharing with my friend Kate the note Dr. Anne had written me and the donation she had given in Gypsy's name, a mom-cat and three kittens walked across Rick's front porch. It was a sign.
I've been so enchanted by the Seven Kittens videos that I keep thinking maybe it's time for one. This blog post by new blogger Susan Hoyle Bailey is the best summary I've seen and if you love cats and kittens (Sorry, Arti!) don't miss this link!
And I've even "auditioned" some kittens and their mom-cat found by a colleague. I'll check them out again and see if we bond. And maybe one day, we'll bond as well as Gyp and I did.
But still, even with those signs, I cry every day. I know it gets better. But I sure wish I knew when I'll smile again. I mean, really, truly smile and keep it there and mean it.

26 comments:

Joanne Huffman said...

Gypsy's immortality is the way he will always be in your heart - and Rick's. You will know whet the time is right and when the kitten or cat is right to enter your heart.

Becca said...

They do leave an indelible impression on your heart. thinking of you...

Retired English Teacher said...

I have some tears reading this. Gypsy was so special and really beautiful. You really had me when you showed the photo of the paws, and then there was the one with her beautiful eyes.

You will know when the time is right. You won't be getting another Gypsy, but you will get a cat with a new personality that I suspect you will begin to adore. That is how we have been with Boston. He is no Buster, and at first we wondered if we would survive him. Thankfully, we hung in there with him and love how different he is from Buster. He is his own person (dog). That has made him carve a new place in our hearts.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, Jeanie! In a way, losing Gypsy -- such a special and beautiful cat -- will always be a heartbreak. You never stop missing a wonderful cat like this -- and no cat ever replaces another. But, with time, the pain will be less urgent and your heart will open for another very special, but different kitty who will bring joy to your life as only sweet animals do.

Anonymous said...

you will never replace gypsy but you can still share love with another furbaby. :-) i adore my two "children" and they certainly have helped get through some dark times.
Gina

ds said...

Oh, Gypsy was adorable! No kitty will ever truly take his place (or should), but another one--or two--will adopt you, I have no doubt. Our current pair arrived near the end of our first cat's life, and we are convinced that they helped to prolong it (she died in my arms at the vet's at the grand age of 23). I still miss her terribly, but I cannot imagine life without my Mr. and Miss; they are as much members of the family as she was.

Tracy said...

Ah, Gypsy... we miss you too! Such a wonderful parade of images featuring your marmalade-boy. Love the office assistant pose... And the breaking into the treat--too cute! *sigh*... Our pets are like children, they are family. It is only right we mourn their loss, but also celebrate their life too. I love that you kept his blanket and keep it close by you. And it's so lovely that Gypsy's let you know it's OK to think about having another cat. Very generous and loving of Gypsy. Sending a smile your way to cheer you :o) ((LOVE & HUGS))

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a touching, beautiful post. I hate that you are hurting, but know there isn't much that can take that hurt away besides time, I suppose. I can totally understand why you are so forlorn over the loss of sweet Gypsy. He really was a beautiful cat. I am glad you are seeing signs that it is time for a new kitty in your house, though. I hope you find one that you bond with soon!

Deb said...

There will always be only one Gypsy but there will be another cat come into your life, that's for sure. When you love cats as you do, there is nothing that will fill the void than the presence and love of a cat. What would be the most precious thing for you to do in Gypsy's memory but to give another homeless cat a chance at the life he had with you and Rick. I have lost cats years and years ago and I still think of them and remember. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes but I thank God that I was privileged to share my life with them and love them. I miss Gypsy too. There is someone, though right around the corner waiting for you. I send you the biggest hug, Deb

shoreacres said...

Your Gypsy was such a marvelous cat, and so different from my crotchety, difficult, stand-offish Dixie. Still, every time I read your words about Gyp or see the photos, I tear up, not only feeling your grief but anticipating the day when my crotchety old cat won't be with me any longer.

What to do? Exactly what you did. Enjoy them every day. Tend to their needs. Love them. Pretty good guidelines for dealing with people, too. Not such bad guidelines for dealing with ourselves, when you get right down to it!

Jeanie said...

I think that one of these days you will meet a kitten and he will tell you that Gypsy sent him to you.

Susan Bailey said...

What a loving tribute! Gypsy was beautiful, very elegant looking. I've had several cats, I've nursed most through one condition or another (two with diabetes, one with the urine crystals, now one with asthma) and boy, you especially bond with the ones you treat through sickness. My latest loss was Bacci, a longhaired white and black cat that I adopted from the nursing my mom had been in. His passing was particularly difficult and I worked through it by writing a short story about it.

My kids are grown and so Jenny and Rameses get my hugs and kisses now (mainly because they want them!). I am blessed with two of the best cats ever.

I think one day a cat is going to come along and choose you! And he/she will be the lucky one. :-) Just wait and see.

Thanks for the link to my blog post about sevenkittens. Check the Ustream page today - Loki now has a Facebook page along with Cosmo!

joyce said...

I've always had a cat, always loved cats, but only one, my first one, grabbed onto my heart like Gyp did yours. The ache will fade but the love won't, and when you feel the time is right for another cat, you may have a wonderful relationship with it as well, but it won't be the same relationship...that will forever be reserved for you and the Gyp.

Peter Olson said...

I so well understand your pain, but have no advice to give. Maybe one question: Was Gypsy your first and only cat?

Anyhow, I don't think you can replace someone lost, you can just try make place for some other one!

Mary Rose's said...

It gets better - it truly does. The love lasts forever, but eventually the grievous pain subsides.

I agree with the other Jeanie (from Blogger, above) that the Gypsy boy will send you the next Croope-Oberle cat when you're ready. You may not even know when you're ready, but you'll know it's Gypsy-intended.

Much love in the meantime.
Maryanne

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Oh Jeanie darling I just wish I could take away your pain...
Grieving for Gypsy, sadly is part of the journey and in time he will become a memory of a wonderful friend.
...but I know that's not what you want to hear now and no amount of words can change that.

I still miss my beautiful Ziggy, she was a stray with the sweetest heart and will always remain a very loved part of our family.

Thinking of you Jeanie, sending big warm hugs from one who knows how sad you feel....

xox
Shane

Marilyn said...

You brought tears to my eyes. I know what it is like to lose a dear friend like Gypsy, but I wish I didn't have to go through it again as I know I will. I do the same thing with the tail when Joey passes by. He doesn't sit up like Gypsy, but when I am getting ready to feed him he love to put his paws on the edge of the kitchen counter and watch whats happening. This morning I walked into the dining room and he had his paws on the window ledge watching a hummingbird just on the other side of the window. Oh how I wish I could have captured that moment. Gypsy was a special little guy and I know the time will come, but he will always be in your heart as my Daphne is.

Vagabonde said...

Your little Gypsy was such a lovely cat. I can understand the hole it made in your life with his departure. He looked so much like my cat Cody and so many of what you say about Gypsy I could say about Cody. But as you know we had two cats, one of them, my little Mitsou, is gone. As I was looking at some photos I saw some of hers – I just could not look, not yet. It is unbelievable how such little cats can take hold of one’s life and feelings. I am with you, grieving for your lovely sweet cat.

Leann said...

Wonderful memories but your heart is still breaking I know. I cried reading this as our Alley is really starting to show signs of slowing down.

Gentle Hugs sweet Friend!

Leann

Beth said...

Oh,,,I know you still miss him so much, Jeanie. He was your baby boy!!! And he brought you so much Joy and Love. And if you get another Kitty,,you will never replace the Gyp,,just the emptiness left in your heart. I say I won't get any more after my Furbabys depart from my life. But I am sure that I will change my mind.
So Sorry I don't keep in touch more often. My Grandbaby and Bow Business are keeping me so busy. But I always think of you and try to keep up with you on FB.
Big Hugs, my Friend!
XOXO

Paula S. said...

lovely tribute, Jeanie. I don,t know how you brought yourself to write and edit all the photos u must have. Thanks for sharing so much with us through your blog.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Jeanie,
What a beautiful tribute to your dear Gypsy.. There will come a day when you can look at a photo and smile.. I know it does not seem possible right now, but the sweet memories will always be there.
I am so sorry your heart is hurting.

Thank you so much for coming over and visiting and leaving such kind words about my kitchen AND my needle felting... Yes, I will be back to it, now that I am pretty much finished with the kitchen.
Blessings,
Penny

anno said...

oh, Jeanie, it is lovely to see all these pictures of the Gypsy and reconnect with all these treasured memories. You two shared a very special relationship, and I can only imagine that it will take time to heal your heart. Thinking of you... xoxo

Kelly said...

*hugs* My beloved dog and best friend in the whole world died 3 months ago as well, so I know what you're going through. I'm constantly thinking of her. I'm most worried about forgetting all the sweet little things she did, or hearing her pitterpatter on the floor.
We got a new dog a month ago and I wasn't too happy at first because I wanted more time to greive for Mocha, but 2 nights ago I dreamed that Mocha was playing with our new puppy, and I woke up feeling that she was happy we'd found a new dog and that I could start to move on. I know you'll eventually get that feeling too <3

OldLady Of The Hills said...

This brought tears, my dear....I know the pain---I truly do. In a few days it will be 8 months that me dear dear "Sweetie" is gone---And I am, in a way, inconsolable. Everything you said is right on the mark---Just today, I thought once again, about no cat food and 5 dishes sitting on the floor for my dear beautiful special boy...(Everyone new to me and my house always said, "How many cats do you have?"..."ONE!"....

It's not as painful all the time, but...but....there is this hole in my heart and in my life---So, I really do know of what you speak, my dear. Sending you Healing Hugs, my dear. (((((((HUGS))))))).

Bella Rum said...

Jeanie,
Gypsy was such a beautiful cat and I know he brought much light into your days. It's so sad to lose a pet. How lucky the two of you were to find each other.

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