It’s been two months. Two months since my wild and crazy Caster curmudgeon left this world. I can’t believe it’s been that long, yet sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. The first month or so was especially hard. While I managed to remain a functioning member of society, I always felt that at any moment it would all come crumbling down. Sometimes it did. Little things, sometimes out of nowhere, would send me into a puddle of tears. I struggled a lot with the Catch 22 of trying not to think about Caster because it hurt too badly but also only wanting to think about him because I missed him and wanted him back home.
A week or so after his death, a friend of Bobby’s posted on Facebook about a little kitten that followed his wife home that day. The picture he shared looked almost just like a little baby Caster. Bobby and I couldn’t resist. We had to go meet him. We got to his friend’s house, and while the kitten was extremely adorable and sweet, I immediately knew it was a mistake. Though the kitten resembled Caster, he wasn’t him. All I could think was how I didn’t want THIS kitten… I wanted CASTER! He would make a very awesome cat for someone, but not us. I just wasn’t ready. I’m still not and probably won’t be for a long time.
I haven’t been the only one struggling. Raddy took Caster’s loss particularly hard. They were best buds, almost always together. Raddy is a very shy and reserved cat, and since Caster’s illness last November, he had also become a bit more unsure of himself and reserved. I think it was because of his impaired vision. Anyway, the two of them became shy, hideout buddies, often hanging out back in our master bedroom together. After Caster died, Raddy kept searching for him. For the first week or two, we would find Raddy back in our bedroom crying out in distress, frantically searching around for Caster. It was absolutely heartbreaking.
Now, two months later, I think we’ve all adjusted to our new normal. I no longer automatically look for Caster at meal time. I can look at a picture of Caster without dissolving into a puddle. I’ve gotten used to the daily head counts only coming up at 6, rather than 7. In fact, I can now tell people that we have 6 cats (for the first few weeks, I would still say that we had 7 – I couldn’t bring myself to say 6). Raddy has settled down too, and I am finding that my bad days/moments are fewer and further between. Which brings all new emotional problems…
For me, moving forward and moving on has come with a sense of guilt and fear. Guilt for feeling like I’m letting go, and fear of letting go and forgetting. Just last week I realized that it had been about a week since I’d had a Caster-related emotional upset. Which then sent me into a Caster-related emotional upset. Through my tears, I managed to tell Bobby that I was afraid I was forgetting Caster because it had been so long since I had been upset over his loss. I was heartbroken because I wasn’t consistently feeling heartbroken anymore. I know… ridiculous and crazy.
Obviously I don’t want to live in a constant state of heartache. I know that moving on from the grief is necessary, and it seems to be happening naturally, which is a good thing. I just haven’t found that comfortable balance of letting go of the heartbreak while not feeling like I’m letting go of Caster. It will come, I’m sure. It’s just going to take some more time.
For my birthday last week, I celebrated by getting something special for myself.
It’s a tattoo of Caster’s paw print. Now he will always be with me.
I promise (I think) that this will be the last emotionally dramatic post about Caster. I usually try to keep our blog light-hearted and happy, but it has been nice to have an outlet to get all my feelings out. So thanks for reading 🙂
Going forward, you can expect more posts about our fun fall adventures. Plus, we’ll be having a pretty big Sleepypod giveaway soon… 🙂 Happy things, I promise!