This is our cat, OJ.
He has been missing since Monday and I am basically losing my mind.
Why? I mean, he’s just a cat, right? Well, yes, he is just a cat, but he’s also so much more than that. He’s a member of our pack. He’s our resident mouser, our greeter of strangers and, of course, a warm bundle to snuggle up with at night. He’s the dog’s best friend. He’s our other cat’s companion. He’s a sweet-natured, totally laid back bundle of furry fun. I am a ridiculous lover of animals and I have, literally, been crying about every hour since I woke up on Tuesday morning and realized that OJ wasn’t sleeping on the end of our bed. In the last two days, I’ve distributed over 400 flyers throughout the neighbourhood (in mailboxes and on poles) and I’ve knocked on about 150 doors and given people flyers and asked them to keep their eyes peeled for him. I’ve called the shelters, the impound and the vet clinics around here. I’ve sent his info into the papers, called the radio and plastered his picture all over Facebook. Still no luck.
Yesterday, after I’d returned from putting up flyers and knocking on doors for eight straight hours, I sat on the couch and had a complete mental breakdown for a good 20 minutes. When I’d sobbed out all of my fear and frustration and anxiety over not knowing where my furry son is, I fell asleep – utterly exhausted and emotionally spent – only to wake up feeling even more tired than I had felt before my nap. I felt, in short, as though I were grieving and I realized it was the same feeling that I get when I think too hard about Cora and all that we lost when she died. More importantly, I realized how powerfully potent a feeling of helplessness is and how much it can impact the psyche. Even after that revelation, I continued to cry as Greg and I donned head lamps and took the dog out for another hour-long search through the hood.
I came back feeling spent and defeated and more than a little depressed.
As I lay in bed last night, my mind went to a very dark place. I thought of the loss of my son, 15 years ago and the death of my first husband (even though we weren’t together anymore). This led me to the loss of my mom and then the discovery of my brain tumour and all the health problems I’ve had in the past ten years or so. I thought about the death of our old man dog three months before the death of our daughter and then the disappearance of our last cat, Sky, two days after our daughter died. And then I thought about OJ and it just seemed too much for me to take in and process. I sunk into myself and spent close to an hour just staring at the ceiling, wallowing in self-pity and letting all the sadness and loss overwhelm me and drag me down. Just before sleep took me, I sent a text to Greg (who was downstairs in his man cave). It was brutal and not at all like me, but it was exactly how I was feeling at that moment.
I think my life is perhaps destined to be one heartache after another. I don’t know why I chose to be born into a life full of heartache, but I think I need to somehow stop caring about anything anymore, so I will never hurt ever again. I’m so sick of this kind of shit. I feel like it’s not even worth trying to be happy anymore. Complete waste of time.
I immediately fell asleep and didn’t wake up the entire night, which is definitely not like me.
When I woke up in the morning and turned on my phone, this is the message I had waiting for me from my hubs:
I have thought the same before too, but we need to focus on the good stuff. 2 years ago, I thought sleeping in with the dog was a waste of a morning. Now, I realize he won’t be around forever and that the time probably couldn’t be spent any better. You never know what tomorrow brings. Life sucks sometimes, but we need to make the best of it. I love you.
And, just like that, he brought back my positive perspective and I jumped out of bed and spent another day searching for our cat. Only this time, there was no crying, no feeling sorry for myself and no boo-hooing. I kept reminding myself, all day long, that regardless of what happens to us in life, we are the only ones who decide how we react to it. So, I’m going to keep looking for OJ, keep my thoughts positive and hopeful, and make the best of it. I have to. There is no other option but to keep moving forward.
I value my husband’s wisdom, especially when it comes at such unexpected times.
Goodnight, my friends. I wish you all enough…