It’s been a rough few weeks.  Last Wednesday night, we had to say goodbye to Haggis, our darling eight-month old kitten.   He let us know he was ready to go…and we had our vet come to the house.  He had 24/7 of attention and love from Dave and me from the moment we found out he had FIP; I took him to work with me a couple of days.  He faded out slowly, but even at the end he still purred when he woke up and saw the two of us with him.

I have cried more in the last couple of weeks than should be allowed.   Taz and her little brother, Haggis

His sister, Taz, curled up with him every hour or so.   If she wasn’t grooming him, she was coiled around him in a protective semi-circle.  I spent a lot of time holding the two of them.
We got Haggis’s ashes back from the vet’s this morning.   They came in a little polished pine box, complete with a lock and two little keys.  We put the box in a vampire kitty container from one of Cost Plus’s Halloween collections, courtesy of my brother and sister-in-law.  It was one of my favorite Christmas presents this year and perfect as a resting place for Haggis, who had overlong canines.  I need to take a picture of the vampire kitty and post it.  Just not yet

Grieving is a long process. You can’t rush it.  I’m okay with that.  I’m not okay with people telling me ‘get over it; it’s only a cat, fer crissake.’   Tell that to Taz, who periodically wanders around the house looking for her brother and meowing.   If someone doesn’t relate to those of us who consider our animal companions (that’s the PC term for ‘pets’, in case you were wondering) part of our families, the best thing they can do (both for the sake of the bereaved and their own health) is keep their opinion to themselves.  Seriously.

I hope this is the last post I’ll write for quite a while about grief and loss.  I attended Left Coast Crime in Denver last weekend, am gearing up at a leisurely pace for a book signing tour in May with my new pal and fellow writer Jess Lourey, and have a lot of positive things happening in my life.

But damn, I miss that cat.

6 thoughts on “Haggis

  1. Your post makes my heart hurt, Dana. I’m sorry about little Haggis. At LCC, did I tell you about the pet psychic (I know) from Minnesota? The local newspaper did a big article on her, and how all these vets were using her because she was so good at diagnosing physical ailments (a piece of carpet stuck in the intestinal track of a cat that didn’t show up on an x-ray, for example) that their equipment didn’t pick up. Anyhow, she said that she communicates with animals, and that they see life and death as doors rather than as beginnings or ends. It’s not much, but it’s a little consolation.

  2. I had a dream about one of my departed kitties last night; not sure if this post was what inspired it.

    That is a lovely photo of the three of you. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

  3. I’ve dreamed about my other departed kitties over the years…hopefully haggis will visit in the near future.

    That picture is a hard one for me to look at…the two kittens are so adorable, but it’s easy to see I’m not doing so well. It was after we found out it was FIP. Sigh..

  4. Thank you, Jess. You didn’t mention the pet psychic at LCC, but I’m glad you mentioned it now. I’ll take my consolation in whatever sized pieces it’s offered, y’know? 🙂

  5. I totally shouldn’t have read that. Now I’m all weepy at work. I’m so sorry about Haggis. I don’t know if it helps it should be a relief that he’s in no pain anymore.

    Though it was short, he had a good life. Every time I saw him he was always a happy little cat whether he was pouncing on one of his siblings or curled up on your neck purring or climbing up my pant leg or dangling from Dave’s arm by one strategically sunk-in claw.

    You will always have fond memories of Haggis, that sweet little beast. When the pain subsides a bit I hope they’ll make you happy. And if you ever need a remembrance of him, apart from his ashes housed in vampire kitty, I’m sure Dave has a few scars.

  6. Sorry to make you tear up at work, Jen. I should have warnings on these things, like ‘spew alert’ or ‘weep-fest alert.

    I’m so looking forward to the time when the memories make me happier than sad. He really did have a great life, albeit a short one….

    ANyway, thank you for your thoughtful comments!

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