Life After Loss: Adopting Cats Helped Me Fight Grief (& Saved My Life) by Rebecca Daniels

5 years ago

Life After Loss: Adopting Cats Helped Me Fight Grief (& Saved My Life)

After Skip’s death, I couldn’t stand to be alone in the house, so I got a cat at the local shelter and named him Webster (Skip’s middle name). He was older, calm and friendly, offered lots of cuddles and comfort but not a lot of laughs, though he was just what I needed at the time. He used to sit on my chest in bed until my sobs subsided and breathing normalized, then he went to the foot of the bed to watch over me all night.

We got Katniss a year later from a neighbor who found her hiding in a woodpile. She was within hours of dying of starvation, but she had a strong will to live. Early deprivations may have affected her mental and muscular development but never her determination. She would often go thundering across the room to jump for the kitty condo, miss the ledge, hitting her belly instead of landing gracefully on her feet, and go sliding down the structure, a bit like a slapstick comedy routine. Those moves gave me my first genuine belly laughs since Skip’s death.

I’ve learned to live with the reality of being widowed, and my cats continue to give me lots of humorous entertainment as they play together all over the house. An empty cardboard box provides them with endless entertainment and lots of laughs for me as they jump in and out, and together they make some of the silliest noises I’ve ever heard. And there’s nothing funnier than watching a cat do a quick double take at some noise she doesn’t understand. I often say it’s a bit like living in the cartoons...

Cartoons that saved my life.

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Elisa Schmitz
How wonderful, Rebecca Daniels ! This is so heart warming. I'm glad you found these furry friends to be your companions. Pets are amazing in how they can transform our lives.
Melinda Sharp
I, too, found that adopting my dog after my divorce (obviously not the same kind of loss, but a loss still the same) helped tremendously. I had no intention of getting a dog until one day when I walked past my beloved Viann sitting in a cage in front of Pet Smart. Our eyes locked and I was drawn so intensely to her that I adopted her without even a care in the world.
Rebecca Daniels
Thanks, Elisa and Melinda. I will always need/want furry friends in my life, not just when I'm grieving.

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