Death is a Part of Life

We lost a cat today.  He was old and it was natural causes, but we’ve seen it coming for months.  He slowly started to lose weight, even though he was still eating, but his energy levels went down to the point that he could hardly move on his own.  My youngest daughter took on the job of feeding him three times a day and giving him his medicine and that alone probably extended his life for a couple weeks, but this afternoon, he finally succumbed to mortality and died.

Smokey was a cool cat, the only polydactyl we ever had, but he was never as social as all the other cats in the house.  For years, he wouldn’t come near anyone but my daughters, then he realized one day that affection was actually a pretty cool thing and he became a much more loving cat, seeking some loving at random, but never wanting to sit in your lap or sleep at your feet.  Still, he was a great cat, I’ll miss him.

Over on Atheist Camel, he had a post a couple of days ago about how atheists deal with death.  My answer then is the same as it is now.  It’s accepting reality as it is.  Death, whether you like it or not, is a natural and normal part of reality.  It’s coming no matter what you do.  Whining and crying and bitching and moaning about it won’t change a thing, so what’s the point of it?

Let’s be pragmatic about the whole thing, shall we?  Life is what life is.  Reality couldn’t care less what you think about it, it happens as it happens and there’s no point whatsoever about complaining about it.  Fearing death doesn’t stop death.  It just ruins your life and waste your time while you’re shivering in a corner.  Why not just accept that death is coming and enjoy the life you have to the best of your ability.  Death comes when it comes.  Life ends when death comes.  If you wait until death looms to enjoy life, you’ve wasted the majority of that precious resource.

So while I am absolutely going to miss my cat and he’s going to leave a hole in my heart for a while, he was fantastic while he was here and now, effective this Saturday, we can go to the shelter and adopt a new little ball of fluff and love it and care for it for another 14 years.

And the circle of life continues.

7 thoughts on “Death is a Part of Life”

  1. Sorry to hear about your cat. My wife and I have 4 of them. Three are very affectionate, and one seems to hate me–doesn't even like to be near me. Funny how they are. One thing is true, they (pets) do leave an impact on our life.

    I very much agree with your views on death…time to get on living!

    1. We're down to 4 cats now, at least for a couple of days. I've had tons, especially when I was doing rescue work years and years back. I think the most we ever had at one time was 29.

      Yes, that was crazy.

      At least we expected him to die, it sucks when there's no warning. I had one cat a long time ago who was perfectly fine, then one morning, was very lethargic. I called the vet, got an appointment for 2-3 hours later, but he was dead by then. He had catastrophic renal failure and died in my arms. Those are the really hard ones.

  2. I'm sorry to hear about Smokey. It's always sad to lose a beloved pet even when it's expected. We just lost one of our 3-year-old cats suddenly two weeks ago. He fell over while walking across the room. We rushed him to the emergency vet less than a mile away but he was gone, and likely had been before he hit the floor. Thankfully nobody was foolish enough to write him off with "he's in a better place" or some other such claptrap. It's a good reminder to love them while they're here because you never know how long you have with them.

    1. Thanks. Be looking for a post tomorrow on that situation. 🙂

      Sorry to hear about your cat. I guess that after you've had tons of animals and have dealt with the loss of them over the years, it gets easier to deal with. So long as they have happy, comfortable lives, absolute longevity doesn't necessarily matter. Certainly any of the animals I've had have had better lives than they would have where they came from. I like to think I've done all of them a favor by sharing my home and my heart with them.

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