Friday, December 19, 2014

Rest in Peace, Little Buddy

Losing a beloved pet is likely most difficult when you have to face it alone.  I lost my dear old Isaac (see posts from summer/fall of 2011) at a time when I lived alone and kept to myself for the most part.
     The sadness I struggled with then was overwhelming.  Though losing Orbit was no less painful it has helped tremendously to have someone to share that grief with.  
     Enter "mom".  Call it selfish, but sharing the sadness of this past week has made the burden slightly easier to bear.  When we first brought Orbit into our home after not having him living with me for a short time I was concerned he and my wife wouldn't take to each other.
     I was wrong in my thinking, and at times I think she's taken his passing harder than I.  Sure, I've known him three times longer than she has, but they hit it off pretty well from the get-go, and the two of them have been together every single day since we moved south about four years ago.

     My wife and I also find comfort in knowing that Orbit was in the best hands he could've ever been in when he needed medical care.  Since moving to Wilmington we'd been taking him to Atlantic Animal Hospital, and we can't thank them enough for their excellent care and compassion they've shown, especially during this past week.
     The day after Orbit passed away they sent us this beautiful arrangement.
     And then just the other day we received this very thoughtful sympathy card from them, signed by the hospital staff.

     We wanted a private cremation for Orbit, and we picked up his ashes this past Saturday.  They gave him a beautiful polished urn for his final resting place, along with his paw print in clay and a sprig of rosemary, the herb of remembrance. 
     My co-workers also gave us a colorful arrangement, hand-delivered by my supervisor.  Together they make a beautiful, thoughtful tribute to Orbit.

     Though I'd previously taken it down since he was no longer able to manage the steps, we've since re-attached Orbit's perch, and we've placed this sweet memento on the upper step and top platform in his memory.
     The urn, which is in my lap as I write (where Orbit spent nearly every morning in life) came with a brass plate, which we'll have engraved.

     Although we've begun the process of dealing with all things Orbit, which has been a difficult task for my wife, especially, we've set aside some of his things.  We're not in any rush to get rid of everything, we're just not ready to part with it.  This past weekend my wife washed out his litter box, and rolled up the extra piece of carpet we kept under it.  
     She'd already washed out his dishes and put them away, and in time we'll decide what to do with the rest.  There's no rush.

     My wife and I are deeply moved by the outpouring of sympathy, kindness and understanding everyone here has shown during this very difficult time, and I wish I had the time to thank each and every one of you individually.



Marilia Bavaresco said...

Receive my sincere condolences!

Punapippuri said...

Thank you for writing this. I have been thinking of you, and Orbit's 'mom' too. Reading this is actually very helpful and cathartic for me - I do not know why. There is life after a loved pet passes and you writing this makes me reassured that when it happens to me, i will cope.
I thank you for this blog, and for bringing the joy of all things Orbit into my life.

Georgia and Julie said...

A year has passed since our Tillie passed away and we still miss her.
The healing process takes a while so be sure to be kind to yourselves.
Orbit was a big part of your lives so his loss will be profound.
Sending comforting purrs and hugs.
Purrs Georgia and Julie,
Treasure and JJ
and the mom


Today is Day 494 of all of my days without my beloved heart cat Abby. I only say this to tell you it's a Journey, one that will remain with you the rest of your days. I can say that time does chafe away at the pain and it leaves behind smaller and smaller amounts of it and I hope one day I can say to you that the pain will be nearly erased and replaced by all the love and joy I felt while Abby was living. I wish the same for you and your feelings for Orbit. Thank you for writing and I do hope you will continue to do so with his Blog. Take your time and just do what feels right for you and your wife and for Orbit.

Random Felines said...

we love when vet staffand friends let you know how much they care. there is no timetable on grief....

Marg said...

The after activities are almost harder than the actual leaving. It is so hard to deal with the empty nest of Orbit being gone. It is good for you to write about it. Those flowers are just lovely. Sending gigantic hugs.

Brian said...

We sure having been thinking of you and we know how tough it is to deal with thte empliness. All our love and hugs.

Brian said...

Oh yea, did you get the memorial graphic that Ann from Zoolatry did?

Eastside Cats said...

Sending hugs to Orbit's mom and dad over the ether!

da tabbies o trout towne said...

very very nice what the hospital staff and co workers did for orbit, and you both. this is not a journey that ends quickly, yet by the same token, the day you both remember orbit and laugh and smile, lets you know the grieving process is nearing its end. sadly, you have to go thru it, to get past it, and ultimately, orbit will be happy
knowing you both are...better. we all understand where you are, were, and will be, and no thanx are really necessary as we know where your hearts and minds are.
it does get better...promise. xxxxxx

Terri said...

Every time I lose a cat I swear I will never adopt another one. The heartbreak of their passing is just too much. I know a pet gives me a reason to get up and keep going.

My sympathy to you on the loss of Orbit.

Summer said...

Many purrs to you. It's very hard for humans to cope with kitty loss. I see it in my human every day. She says that losing a kitty family member is often harder than losing a human family member, at least for her.

Katnip Lounge said...

Gol dang it, now I'm crying at work! I also know how hard it is to have a pet die, and having Orbit's urn home should make it a bit easier. I have a shelf with our pet's ashes and photos, and it's the one thing I enjoy dusting--I can still care for them, so to speak.

The Island Cats said...

It's never easy to lose a furbaby. We send you purrs and hugs.

Fur Everywhere said...

Your flowers and card are very pretty. The vet who saw Jewel last also sent us a sweet card. It is the little things that make the biggest difference, isn't it?

You are right not to rush putting Orbit's things away. Take as much time as you need. I *still* haven't moved Jewel bags of sub-q fluids off their place in the kitchen, and it's been nearly 4 months now.

All of this to say...I can relate. Please e-mail me if you need anything at all. I miss Orbit, too. He was very lucky to have you two as his humans <3

William said...

It's heartening to see such kindness in the face of loss. My mom remembers a time when people just didn't understand what losing a small family member was like.


Quinn and Angel brandi said...

We are thinking soft purrs your way. We know what loss is, and it is heartening for others to understand our grief when we experience it. Flowers and cards really do mean a lot.
I miss every cat I have owned, Suki, Sasha and brandi. And it is totally okay to get teary-eyed even years later! Furry family IS family, and they count!
Quinn has adopted brandi's blankie as hers. I think it is sweet.
love and headbumpies from Quinn.

Anonymous said...

My Husband and I have lost 6 kitties and a dog in less than 5 years. I tell you so you will know that my heart feels what you are going through and I send you much love and compassion. They are with us such a short time and so loved. It would be very sad if we didn't hurt like this when they are gone.

I will continue to hold you both close in my thoughts.

With understanding,

The Indulged Furries said...

Losing a pet is a process, from them being ill, passing away, and then figuring out how you will adjust to life without them. I always felt a sense of completeness when my pets' remains were home again. It was the first step in figuring out the future. Purrs to you as you take this journey.

Jans Funny Farm said...

We bloggers all know the pain of losing a precious furry and can empathize with your loss. Purrs and tail wags of comfort.

Clooney said...

Losing our precious animal companions is one of the hardest things I find as they have loved us unconditionally and have provided a place for us to love unconditionally. We have been thinking of you, sending you gentle purrs and holding you in our hearts.

Be Well Sweet Orbit

Ann Staub said...

I came to visit and say thank you for your condolences on my blog a week ago... I am sorry to see that you too are experiencing the loss of a loved one and would like to extend my sympathy to you for your loss. I too agree that having someone there with you makes things so much easier. I don't know what I would do right now without my children or husband. Orbit sounds like a wonderful companion. Certainly someone who left pawprints in many people's hearts.

Ann Boyajian said...

It is so hard to deal with the aftermath and the emptiness. The is a big hole in your hearts and in the house. Also difficult is the tidying up and cleaning. This whole thing is a journey. You and your wife are lucky to have each other. I hope you continue to blog, I have been following you for the past couple of years. I know how sadness and loss can disrupt the blogging process, but writing can also be a way of coping and grieving.