Over the past four years I have written blogs about Benson and my other cats. Two of which just passed within the recent three months. Then early Monday morning at close to 1 am, 12.53 to be exact, Benson joined them in his travel across the rainbow bridge, as some say, when a pet passes. Cardinals had surrounded the house all day so I knew the end was near.
Even though he had been ill and begin to really digress over the past week and I knew the end was ultimately near, it still has been a difficult loss. It may have been even more upsetting if I was not still numb from loosing two of my other older and long time cats.
Benson stood apart from all the others. He came to me as I have written as a battered cat from the alley in the small town where I live. Cats are not regarded in the highest manner here nor I guess are they really anywhere. His ears were frayed from having to fight probably for food and to protect himself. But those ears were endearing. They touched my heart because I understood his past even though I did not totally know the details. I could sense the wiseness in his soul. The tough edge he had gained from the street smarts he was forced to know.
When we loose a pet or someone close, we go through the motions of the day. We eat breakfast because we have to. We make the bed because we must. We find ourselves doing the little things to keep us in motion. Busy work so our mind does not melt into a soaked mess. We review our time with the one who has passed. We try to focus on only the good yet there were times when anger or upset occurred and in our sadness we regret those times. Wishing we could somehow take those back.
Benson came to me when I was already a bit overwhelmed with five other cats and soon after loosing a special cat much like Benson just a previous month or so. He was a challenge and feisty. We had many moments of spats, bites and scratching. I did not back down in trying to gain his trust or to let him know all would be ok. Fortunately I had a very large space, the master suite of my house which I do not use which I gave him as his living space always hoping to bring him out to the house with the others. That never happen although he did have time each morning and late afternoon to come roam the rest of the house. We established a routine, as life goes. We all have our routines. The other cats began to know about what time was Benson time and they would wonder off to a bedroom to be closed away while Benson was out. He was aggressive with the other cats and two, the ones who passed recently prior to Benson were older and really not up to standing their ground with him.
So we settled into our routine which grew to everyday for the past four and a half years. The timing of giving them all breakfast and dinner was the same. The time I ventured into Benson’s space in the afternoon to spend time with him watching travel or cooking shows…he probably knew quite well how to bake a cake, or make a delicious lasagna. We sat close together watching these. Sometimes a nap was in order after yard work or what ever. Sometimes just because it was a rainy day and warranted the nap. He would cozy close, sometimes deciding to just curl up on top of me. A heavy weight because he was a large cat. It was endearing to have him seek the closeness. The love. We were very bonded in so many ways. Alike in so many ways.
To walk into the room today even though I removed his bowls and place mat yesterday thinking it would help with the loss, there is a huge void. My heart is heavy from the loss of him. I think about how I use to look at the back of his little head and those battered ears realizing just how far we had come. The reward of it all. I wondered what he thought sometimes, as we always do with our pets. He loved me dearly I do believe, as I did him. Oh yes he took some big chunks out of me when he wasn’t happy with me and at times I yelled at him because he did so. Yet we had that bond that one doesn’t always have. That bond that creates a huge void when it is gone.
One has to move on with life as he would have had to do if I had gone away. There are things I wish could have happen for us. Like the sale of the house and a move to a smaller one with a screen porch where we could have all been together rather then the separation as it existed. I always felt if that could happen then everyone in a new place would get along. There would be no territories or threat. Just common ground and happiness. It wasn’t meant to be and now I have the void of Benson on top of the loss of the others.
Those voids take a little of us away. We grieve yet we still feel the loss, the void that is left. We continue on with life although somewhat different. We are grateful we had the time with them. That they came into our life and that we had the routine even if at times it limited doing other things. A look back though says it was all good and made us a bit richer through the experience.
The five cats that remain are all ones of privilege by that I mean, they were young, kittens mostly. They did not have the tough life of the others so they do not have the character traits as those who have had the hardships. They act like some children of wealth as if they are entitled to all they have. Not willing to accept others less fortunate. I will go through life with them for as long as either of us live yet there will always be the void made by the ones I so loved with the tough lives. I related to them. I have walked their path which I suppose that is why they came to me knowing I would understand their past and do what I could to make life better. I only hope I did.
So the void will live on and as time goes, I suppose it will get a little smaller, a little softer yet when I remember them, see the back of Benson’s little head, the battered ears, I will always feel the loss of the pure love. That is the void….the loss of the pure love.