Monday, October 2, 2017

Learning acceptance

by Kathleen Scott
Last January we lost our Alexa, the sassiest cutest little house cat, also known to everyone who met her as the bearer of Claws of Death. She was taken by FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis).

I haven't been able to think about her without tears since, in spite of doing everything I know to grow out of the grief--we made adonation to research for a cure for FIP, put up a shelf in the house for the urn with her ashes and placed a guard-cat statuette to watch over the bird feeders in the garden now that she isn't supervising from the window.
I've been practicing remembering the good times and reminding myself how lucky we were to find her as a tiny kitten in our wild country neighborhood. It all helped and I still hurt.
In the core of my being I knew that she was unfairly taken, that she was too young, that it was existentially wrong. She was only three, we should have had another decade at least with her.
Then last weekend, a conversation with a friend caused a shift.
In reality, none of the things I knew were true. Life isn't fair, it's an often-random progression. She wasn't singled out. I didn't lose her too young, I lost her when I lost her.
The shift was akin to an "Aha" I had during cancer treatment. Every day I went to the hospital and laid on a steel table while a beam burned my breast from the inside out. Later came months of chemo. And through it all I was afraid of dying.
Fear paralyzed hope. Until about six months into treatment when I realized that we're all dying, every living one of us, just some of us faster than others and some of us know it. Every day we live, we're dying.
The weight rolled off, because I was simply human. I had today, just as everyone has today. No one is guaranteed tomorrow.
Understanding brought acceptance, acceptance brought peace.
And Alexa was simply a cat, with a good life every day she was alive, even the days she was sick. It wasn't more or less than promised because there are no promises. Her life was just the way it was. And that was enough.

Feel free to giggle at her wiggling, think about rubbing that luxuriant belly and note the warning of her waving paws.

Copyright 2009-2017 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. I love lifes aha!moments. I've had a few serious eye opening moments like this that have changed my perspective on things. You grow as a person. Sometimes its the right person sent your way, the right thing or circumstance sometimes not. We move forward. Life continues with or without our loved ones and although this is true, I found it hard to swallow when it was told to me when my father passed at 43 years old in 2000 when I was 19. That was one of those moments. It didn't matter what advice was given or lack thereof. Nothing was changing the numbness I felt until that aha moment happened. Best wishes for you in the future and continue to flourish and prosper!

    1. Michele, I'm sorry about your father. What a hard loss at a young age.

      And thank you for your comments. Sharing our lives helps us all.


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