Moving Forward and Being Thankful

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Greetings, my friends.  You may or may not have noticed that we’ve been MIA last week again.  No Internet down here this time – how I wish that was the case.  I’m sad to say that we lost one of our beloved kitties last Sunday.  When we first came to our hobby farm, we were asked to take a kitten in, and happily agreed, as we needed a barn cat and consider this place a bit of a safe haven for animals people can no longer care for.  Well, that young kitten got “knocked up” sooner than we’d expected, and we joyfully welcomed six kittens into our family.  Being huge animal lovers, there was no way, after 8 weeks, that we could give away these sweet little things (three boys and three girls), so we decided to keep them all, and have been happily nurturing and loving them ever since their birth on May 25th.  They are possibly the sweetest, most gentle kittens you’ll ever want to meet – cuddly and kind, and awesome mousers who’ve been keeping the farm mouse free very well.  They are more like dogs than cats, joining us when we walk in the woods, and spending the day with us when we work to clear out the brush by the lake shack.  They truly are wonderful kitties, and we love them so very much.

So last Sunday, when our neighbors pulled up into the drive, we happily bounced out to meet them, glad to have the company.  But they didn’t come for fun.  One of our babes, little Jeff (Maddie had named him after racing star Jeff Gordon) was hit by a truck.  Yep, he was gone in an instant.

Basically, we’ve been in survival mode for the last eight days, trying to console four kids (and ourselves) who just want our little kitty home, alive and well again.  We are huge animal lovers, and mushy as all get-out on top of it, so the slightest of human or animal pain, whether ours or someone else’s, always grieves our hearts.  This is the first time the kids remember losing a pet (we had two old dogs put down when Maddie was 3), so it’s been doubly hard on everyone, and we’re not making too quick of progress in the recovery area, but we are trying.

That being said, losing our beloved Jeffy has also given us a bit of a wake-up call.  After having a hard month emotionally of dealing with our debt, we realize how very low on the totem pole our debt, and getting out of it, really is.  Don’t get me wrong: we’re not quitting, by any stretch of the imagination.  But we are by and large done stressing out about it, because really, who gives a crap?  Aren’t our relationships with the people (and pets) around us so much more important?  Isn’t making sure they know they are loved king over stressing about meeting this month’s budget?

I realize that so many people out there, including blogging friends we know and love, have lost much more important things in their lives than kitties, and so I feel a bit wimpy for being such a basket case over a dead cat, but it is what it is, I guess.

Thus, our goal now is to work on keeping our perspective about what’s truly important in life, and to spend this Thanksgiving being very, very thankful for our loved ones, and letting all the other stuff fall, where it belongs, to the bottom of the list.

 

80 comments

  1. So sorry to hear this Laurie. You don’t have to apologize for emotions over a lost pet, especially when kids are involved Our pets are a part of our lives and we become quite attached to them. The day we put our dog down because she was deathly sick was a tough day on our family. Hang in there friend.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks so much, Brian – I really appreciate that. Yes, it does make it ten times harder when there are children to console. The little sweeties are SO sad about this. 🙁

  2. E.M. says:

    Many hugs to you and your family, Laurie. I had to put one of my cats to sleep last year and it was beyond heartbreaking, there’s really no words. I still tear up about it from time to time. Pets can hold such a special place in our hearts, and they’ll never be forgotten.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, so much, E.M., for your thoughtful words. So very sorry that you had to experience the same type of loss last year. I think that unconditional love that pets hold for people really does leave a mark on our hearts, doesn’t it.

  3. So sorry Laurie. Don’t feel the need to apologize either, losing a pet – especially one you love so much, is very hard to go through. Add kids dealing with it and it makes it even harder. That said, I LOVE your perspective – it’s not always the easiest but it’s a good one to have. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, John. Know that our prayers and thoughts are with you guys too, big time, this time of year. In spite of all of the tough stuff, both of our families still do have lots to be thankful for, don’t we.

  4. I’m so sorry Laurie. I don’t think we can compare our losses against someone else’s. A loss is a loss. My cat is getting older and I dread the day I lose him. I’m so sorry about losing your kitty. 🙁

    • Laurie says:

      Thank you so much, Tonya. Yes, our beloved pets sure are wonderful, aren’t they?? We have a semi-older cat too, and she was looking sick the other day, and I was like “Oh crap, not now.”. Luckily, she seems to be fine now.

  5. Sorry to hear about the loss Laurie. I would be sad if one of my dogs passed. You have to understand your priorities and it seems that you have it down. There are more important things than worrying about money.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, so much, Grayson. Yes, we got a huge wake-up call, that’s for sure, as to how little we really should be worrying about our debt, at least in the grand scheme of things. Funny thing is, I bet it will go away a lot faster now.

  6. Mackenzie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Laurie. My previous kitty passed away a few years ago and it was traumatizing. I understand how it is. Blessings to you and your family.

  7. Sorry to hear about the loss of your pet, Laurie – some would say they are just animals, but they have personality and really become a huge part of our lives.

    While I certainly agree that debt is lower on the totem pole than the relationships you have with loved ones, I don’t think you should discount how important it really is. Dealing with your debt, and continuing to work to eliminate it from your lives will make all of those things easier and more enjoyable. It’s not that being out of debt (or money for that fact) will make you happier, but you’ll no longer have to expend the energy it takes to work on getting out of debt, which leaves more energy to apply to the fun things in life. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, Travis. We are by no means disregarding it, but we surely won’t stress out about it anymore – it’s just not worth it, as long as we’re still serious about our commitment to get rid of it, anyway.

  8. Sorry to hear about your kitty. I still get a little sad about all the dogs we’ve lost, especially Ralph from last May. They really do take up a space in your heart that can be shared with new pets, but not replaced.

  9. R.I.P precious Jeffy. Big hugs to you and your family Laurie. J and I had to put our lil Timmy down this summer after a 4 month battle with liver disease. I still cry sometimes because I miss him so much. 🙁

    • Laurie says:

      I remember when you lost your dear Timmy, GMD. It’s SO not fun – they bring so much joy to our lives, don’t they? Thanks much, GMD – I appreciate the hugs.

  10. Big virtual hug, my friend. Losing a fur baby is never easy, especially since this is the first time the kids have dealt with something like this. It’s good that you’re giving yourself the time and space to grieve. In my thoughts ….

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks so much, Shannon. Yes, we are definitely on hiatus from regular life, in order to give everyone time to grieve and heal. Thanks so much for the hug and kind words, we appreciate it.

  11. Sorry for your loss 🙁 I’m dreading the day our cat Lena passes (she’s 22!) and I definitely can understand your attachment and pain felt from the loss of your cat. I agree that things like this can be a wake-up call and make you realize how unimportant debt paydown, finances, etc. really are in the grand scheme of things.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, DC. Yes, as much as we are committed to paying off our debt, we realize now that it doesn’t deserve nearly as much time and energy as we give it.

  12. Pauline says:

    Sorry to hear about little Jeff. We are looking to get a cat, I thought at first just to prevent the mice from getting in but I get really attached, even to the turkey, there is no way we are eating it for Christmas!

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, yes, turkeys can be so sweet, can’t they? We talk about getting chickens here, but they would definitely be egg-only chickens, as I know we could never handle butchering them. You should get a cat, Pauline, they really are wonderful for the mousing aspect, and so sweet as well.

  13. Michelle says:

    I’m so sorry 🙁 One of our dogs passed away a few years ago and we only had her for one month. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if one of our dogs that we’ve had for years passed away.

    • Laurie says:

      Oh, yes, that’s so difficult, Michelle. We’ve lost dogs, and it’s definitely no fun at all. Thanks for the comment – I appreciate it.

  14. I’m so sorry to read about Jeff, Laurie. I did notice you were MIA last week and was hoping you were all ok. Losing a pet is just awful, any animal lover will understand that they are part of the family. A very real part of the family. I am a cat and dog lover, I lost my beautiful boys last year (two wonderful ginger cats with huge personalities) due to a hereditary condition and I thought my heart would just break. Even now I am welling up thinking about it. Sending hugs and my thoughts to you and your family. xo

    • Laurie says:

      Hayley, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. So sorry to hear about you losing your cats last year – we put two dogs down at once, they were old and had been together always, and it was just awful too. I very much appreciate your support, thanks many times over.

  15. lyle @ The Joy of Simple says:

    Our pets are like our children and when one leaves us it hurts just as much. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss Laurie.

    When I lost my smokie – a cat as well – six years ago, I swore I would never have another pet. I was devastated for months and to this day his memory brings me close to tears. However, a couple of years after Smokie’s passing, a new kitten entered my life, one who was going to be put down due to nothing more than her previous owners not wanting her around anymore. When I saw her for the first time, I knew I couldn’t say no! The rest is herstory 🙂

    I know time heals all wounds but it still hurts no matter what! All you can do is like you mentioned, just try and keep moving forward…with each passing day, the pain will lessen.

    Take care and my best to all.

    Lyle

    • Laurie says:

      Thank you so much, Lyle. Yes, I made myself the same promise as you did after we put down our two elderly dogs nearly 11 years ago, but how can you say “no” when they need you? Glad you got yourself a new kitty – that pet’s unconditional love really is awesome.

  16. Dianne says:

    Laurie, as the others day, I am so sorry. I’ve lost pets in my lifetime, some from old age, and some from accidents. But, my last kitty was 20 years old, and she was really special because her momma went into labor on my lap in the middle of the night, and I woke up and delivered 7 kitties. “Bear” was the least pretty one, so I kept her. She almost died during birth, and I gave here mouth to mouth and a bond was created right there.

    We had a wonderful 20 years together, and I still feel her loss, 5 years later. My two dogs now are my family, as I live alone, and I’d go hungry before I let them go hungry.

    I also agree with you. I’ve been so wrapped up with trying to get out of debt that I was forgetting to live. So, I’ve eased up a bit, and feel much more relaxed.

    I look forward to your blogs. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Laurie says:

      Wow, what a wonderful story, Dianne! I’ll bet you do miss her – what an incredible bond you must have shared. Glad to hear you’ve eased up a bit too – it definitely is the right thing to do, for us. Have a wonderful evening, friend.

  17. Laurie,

    I’m so sorry your family lost a pet. I know that is a tough thing to go through, but I am glad that it’s at least given you guys the gift of a better perspective. I often get my priorities out of whack, and, it never fails, it’s something bad that puts my mind right.

    Hang in there.

    • Laurie says:

      DB40, thank you so much. Hope you are having tons of fun in Peru with your honey, and so very happy for both of you that you are getting to be together for Thanksgiving – very cool.

  18. Oh, Laurie. I am so, so, so sorry!! I’m still mourning the loss of my beloved Emeril and it’s been more than a year. Our kitties are more than just animals to us; they are treasured family members. I’m sure plenty of tears have been shed and will continue to flow. Big hug to you and your family and now I need to go hug my Max. Rest in peace, Jeff. May you be chasing birdies at the Rainbow Bridge and watching over your family.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks so much, my friend. Yes, lots of tears here, that’s for sure. It really does help to imagine him playing in the heavens with all of the other pets who went on before him. Good times, for sure.

  19. Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Laurie. You should not feel bad for being so emotional over your kitty – you have a huge, loving heart and an obvious respect for all creatures, and kids of the four legged variety are just as much a part of our families as the two legged ones. Don’t apologize for being sad. Sending positive thoughts and hugs your way for you and your family.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks so very much, Kali. I really appreciate it. Yes, we are hugely compassionate here, which is great on so many levels, but then when it comes time to stuff like this, it can be extra hard.

  20. I’m so sorry about your loss! Our pets are a huge part of our family- in so many ways they are like people to us! We had to put our beloved Lhasa apso down a few years ago and it was so sad. I hope your kids are doing ok.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks so very much, Dee. So sorry to hear you had to go through the same thing too not too long ago. Thanks for the well wishes about the kids. They’ve had a tough go of it, but things seem to be starting to get better finally.

  21. Jim says:

    Laurie, I am sorry to hear about little Jeff, sorry to hear about the grieving your family and especially your children are experiencing. I know as a child it’s hard to get over, so I hope that thanksgiving brings you all some comfort!

    • Laurie says:

      Thank you so much, Jim. Yes, we are hoping that time with family and friends will cheer us all up a bit. Thanks so much for your kind words – they are much appreciated.

  22. Dear Debt says:

    I am sorry about your kitty 🙁 I want a cat so bad and I know how much it hurts to lose one. I often think who gives a crap about debt when there is so much else going on. But I can also use that thinking to give up, so for me it’s a balance. Take this time to heal and take care of your family. Sending good thoughts.

    • Laurie says:

      Agreed, totally. We too, are working extra hard at finding that balance too. Thanks so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it.

  23. Matt Becker says:

    I’m so sorry Laurie. I’ve been through the loss of a few pets now and it’s never easy. It sounds like you guys doing as well as you can, making sure you’re all taking the time to comfort and support each other. That’s what family is truly for.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks so much, Matt. Yes, we are definitely working hard to take care of each other and comfort each other. Mundane tasks are going by the wayside for now, and that’s okay.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks so much, Andrew. Yes, super tough on the kids, which is so hard to see, of course. You have a good Thanksgiving too, Andrew. We are looking forward to a nice day with our families.

  24. Sicorra says:

    Laurie, Very sorry to hear your news!! We love animals as much as you and your family do so I completely understand what you are going through.

    And you are right, these things are a much higher priority than our budget. Last week out of the blue one our cats felt not right. We rushed her in to the Vet and all the tests were $350. She has an infection so the prescription was $38, and then her follow-up tests next week will be another $100. Did it make things a bit tight this month? Yes. Do I care? Only about her. We can always make that money back.

    Take good care of each other!

    • Laurie says:

      Sicorra, thank you so much for your comforting words – I truly appreciate it. Love what you said about always being able to make that money back, that’s so true, isn’t it? I’m so very glad to hear your cat is okay too – wonderful news.

  25. In the grand scheme of things, some things matter most:- our relationship with God, relationships with family and friends (pets inclusive), health etc.
    Take heart Laurie. May you find strength as a family.
    Have a wonderful Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Laurie says:

      Simon, thank you so much for your kind words – they are a comfort. Yes, our strength is definitely in Him, and it is what helps us make it through, knowing that Jeff is wonderfully happy in the arms of our loving Jesus.

  26. anna says:

    Sorry to hear about your and the family’s loss, Laurie. I can only imagine how difficult it’s been especially if you’ve raised Jeff since birth. I hope you and your family are doing better. *hugs*

    • Laurie says:

      Thank you so much, Anna. Yeah, having been there when he was conceived, born, etc., definitely made it harder, but we are slowly healing. Hugs back to you, my friend.

  27. Cash Rebel says:

    Losing a pet is always harder than it should be. I cried for hours when my dog died. There’s no shame in mourning a member of the family.

  28. Isabella says:

    It’s so sad to lose our beloved pets, and I feel for you and your children. When our Westie died at age 14, we were so grieved. We stroked and petted her as she departed this life. Hubby and I cried ourselves to sleep the first night. After four years, we still miss that cheerful little dog.

    • Laurie says:

      Oh, Isabella, so sorry to hear that you too, have dealt with the grief of losing a beloved pet. Yes, we are working hard to move forward, but it’s not easy. 🙁

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