Friday, August 14, 2009


Wednesday night, in an event completely unrelated to how we lost Bokeh, but just as random, we lost our other little cat, Boots, too. This time, our kids were there for his sudden, unexpected departure. And they sat together, taking turns holding him, loving him, and telling him what they loved most about him, as he took his last breaths. And then they had a small funeral, and told their second little baby goodbye.

In light of losing our other cat just last week, this was an especially hard blow. And he really was a spectacular cat.

I know if you're not particularly drawn to animals, you might not understand why these losses are a big deal. But they are a big deal. Not like the weight of losing a person, at all, but it's a sharp cut to deal with the death of anything that you really care about. And we all process it in different ways.

It's been a hard year for us. Good, and good and hard. And the complexities of life for us were really building last week. Life is at once very, very good, and also just very difficult right now. And to be honest, I really would have rather not had to see my children lose both their little "babies" in the same week.

And I'm just done talking about it.

I'm the type of person who just has to see what good God gives in any situation. I have to see it. He doesn't disappoint, and always shows me.

One of the reasons we loved taking on the project of rescuing those tiny babies was to help our girls get hands on with caring for animals, having responsibilities, taking ownership of the care of another creature, and all the wonder, work and joy that goes into raising up a growing example of God's good creation. And they did get to do that. And when you open your heart up to anything you love, it has to be open to loss as well. And they've experienced both. It's painful, but it's very much a part of life. Our girls, especially Grace and Patience, who are older, have taken the loss with a lot of heart and grace. I'm proud of them.

In losing their cats, none of our children had even a thought or question of, "Where does Boots go when he dies?" They just know. Animals are here to be a bright, varied display of God's creativity and design, but they don't have souls. It's just a fact. Our kids know exactly what happens to an animal when it dies. It dies. Grace and Patience were even bringing that up on their own- that Boots is really just dead now, but when people die, we go on forever. I'm incredibly thankful that in a real life situation like this, their little hearts and minds naturally make that distinction. I know that they know that most important thing to know. So thank you, Lord, for that.

We do, by the way, still have our two most excellent dogs, who are fantastic in a hundred ways, still faithfully lovin' us and following us around, being great little guys. They're snoring in unison right now.

Animals make life better. Really.


Kimberly said...

I'm so sorry. Our year has been the hardest we've had since marriage. But also one of the best. I totally relate to where you sit right now.

I hope your girls hearts heal quickly.

Debbie said...

I am so sorry you all have had another loss. That is so tough. But you are right, animals are very good for us.

Eva said...

that's really sad about your cats. even i would have a hard time w/that. what happened to the second kitty?