Strange bequest

It’s just as well Mr. Katz has given up writing about dogs, because I have had to give up reading about animals and I couldn’t not read another by Jon Katz!

It’s hard, having a large number of animals, because you need to be always half prepared for one of them to pass on. One year, not so long ago, we lost 6 pets within a span of two months.

I am aware of everything psychologists say about grieving for animals. I know how totally inappropriate my grief always is. I accept what is said and I agree, but it doesn’t help me one bit.

Searching today for inspiration , I walked my fingers over to see what was new on Facebook. Yes, I know, it’s pretty bad when you have to go looking there for inspiration. But sometimes a post I see leads me elsewhere.

What I found, sadly, was that another of my “book” animals passed yesterday, namely Bob, the Street Cat who was credited with saving the life of a recovering addict, James Bowen.

Over the years, I have read so many animal stories, I couldn’t count them. “Black Beauty” was probably my first, may even have been the first book I read, so it’s been some 67 years and that’s a lot of animals.

In one case, the story was about a dog that lived and died before I even arrived on the planet. The dog had a long and good life with people that loved her. What could make a happier story? I cried buckets over that book. Obviously it triggered a some sort of sad memory , though I’ve no idea what.

Moving coast to coast, two years ago, I was obliged to abandon many things, including many sacks full of books, but the “animal books” have always travelled with me.

It’s as if leaving behind one of those books would be abandoning the animal/s in the story.

I’ve just said that I plan to no longer read animal books , so what would be the purpose of lugging so many all the way across the continent?

Absolutely daft.

To whom shall I leave this collection?

It makes a rather dubious inheritance!

But then I am the crazy cat-lady “spinster aunt”.

What can anyone expect?

God Speed, Bob the Street Cat.

I liked your story very much.

5 thoughts on “Strange bequest

  1. Thank you so much for your lovely posts – from one crazy cat lady to another… I have just read your post today after hearing the very very sad news about Bob – my goodness how I feel for James Bowen… I am intrigued by your comment – “everything that psychologists say about grieving for animals”… what do they say? I am sooo sorry – I began reading your columns after Jon Katz mentioned you but I do not remember your name. I completely understand your huge love for the cats and am so sorry to hear you lost so many in such a short space of time. Do take care Sarah

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Yes, after I read the book about Bob and saw they had made a movie…I worried for James because I knew one day how shattered he would be. I have always taken losing pets really hard. My grief has always been what they call “out of proportion” but where people have always hurt me me one way or another, my pets never have. Animals were always special to me. The year we lost 6 was awful, yes! So nice to hear from you, Sarah. I am Carolyn Smith, Yeti was my Himalayan, very special, hence Yetismith.

  2. Like you Carolyn, I don’t know any other way to grieve my pets’ losses except “out of proportion”. It’s just the way I am and what’s even worse than the actual loss, is the period leading up to the inevitability of a loved pet’s death. The last cat that I lost to kidney disease involved over one whole year of knowing that I would lose him eventually. Together, he and I managed for him to have a good life for that last year and I am ever so thankful that I have those memories. But, three years later, I can still cry over losing him.
    I have been through it many times before and it seems that each time it gets harder.

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