Chai Kitty

Talien

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I really hope that, with time to heal (and when I have the opportunity), I will be able to foster or adopt another semi-feral cat and work with socializing it again. Socializing Chai was something that I just loved so much, something that suited me and my personality perfectly, and certainly the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced. My parents always tell the story of when I was 4-5 years old and we'd just moved into a new house with a feral cat community next door... apparently I'd spend hours and hours outside, super-focused and sitting patiently in the grass, and taming the feral kittens with treats. I did this every day and the kittens slowly started to trust me, and the day I finally got to pet "Little Grey" was the best day of my toddler life! ;)

Last night I was still really sad, but I was just thinking about how incredibly relieved I am that Chai did come out of her shell before she passed. I still would've loved her just as much and it still would've been painful, had she passed away still hiding in that box without ever trusting humans (or god forbid passed away at the shelter)... but thank god that wasn't true! Being able to cuddle her and hold her like a baby and kiss her on the face as she passed away comfortably in my arms is something that, while heartbreaking, was unforgettably special to me. The transformation she underwent was so beautiful and amazing, and I have to remember that she DID get a chance to live a wonderful life, albeit a short one, before she left. That day that she first let me pet her (and rubbed back on my hand) brings me to happy tears every time I think about it. I don't think I'd ever felt more pure joy than in that moment. Even the tiniest moments of progress, like the first time she slow blinked at me, still fill me with so much love when I think about them. Those few months with Chai before she got sick feel like an amazing, perfect dream that I unfortunately had to wake up from.

I want to do it again, and help another shy kitty get the life they deserve... but I just wonder if I could ever pour the same love and passion into a new cat, or if I would be constantly haunted by what happened last time and miss Chai too much.
You can because that is what you love doing. You won't forget Chai or what happened to her, but I would say fostering other "unadoptable" animals would help you heal rather than being something that's dependent on it. As you've discovered there is no such thing as unadoptable animals, only those that need a bit of help to realize it themselves.
 
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rosegold

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You can because that is what you love doing. You won't forget Chai or what happened to her, but I would say fostering other "unadoptable" animals would help you heal rather than being something that's dependent on it. As you've discovered there is no such thing as unadoptable animals, only those that need a bit of help to realize it themselves.
Thank you for the encouragement. I hope so! I also think that if it if I do more than once it would start to have less of a “sacred” quality, if that makes sense. More of a way of life, filled with many different experiences of varying emotional degrees - rather than the entire concept of helping cats centering around one extremely emotional memory.

There’s a precious little cat being fostered and socialized on one of my facebook groups, and every time I see an update my heart just melts, and I’m like... I want to do that again! Or sometimes one of the local shelters posts a cat with a similar story to Chai, and part of me wants to foster and help it find a home. But at the same time I’m very hesitant. I generally feel like I’m bursting with emotional resources when it comes to nurturing, teaching, helping (I am a teacher after all) but at the same time I worry that I’ll run out of those resources. But maybe I’m overthinking everything... lol.
 

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Thank you for the encouragement. I hope so! I also think that if it if I do more than once it would start to have less of a “sacred” quality, if that makes sense. More of a way of life, filled with many different experiences of varying emotional degrees - rather than the entire concept of helping cats centering around one extremely emotional memory.

There’s a precious little cat being fostered and socialized on one of my facebook groups, and every time I see an update my heart just melts, and I’m like... I want to do that again! Or sometimes one of the local shelters posts a cat with a similar story to Chai, and part of me wants to foster and help it find a home. But at the same time I’m very hesitant. I generally feel like I’m bursting with emotional resources when it comes to nurturing, teaching, helping (I am a teacher after all) but at the same time I worry that I’ll run out of those resources. But maybe I’m overthinking everything... lol.
:hearthrob::grouphug2: :grouphug: :hugs: :redheartpump::purr::catrub::lovecat:
 

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I really hope that, with time to heal (and when I have the opportunity), I will be able to foster or adopt another semi-feral cat and work with socializing it again. Socializing Chai was something that I just loved so much, something that suited me and my personality perfectly, and certainly the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced. My parents always tell the story of when I was 4-5 years old and we'd just moved into a new house with a feral cat community next door... apparently I'd spend hours and hours outside, super-focused and sitting patiently in the grass, and taming the feral kittens with treats. I did this every day and the kittens slowly started to trust me, and the day I finally got to pet "Little Grey" was the best day of my toddler life! ;)

Last night I was still really sad, but I was just thinking about how incredibly relieved I am that Chai did come out of her shell before she passed. I still would've loved her just as much and it still would've been painful, had she passed away still hiding in that box without ever trusting humans (or god forbid passed away at the shelter)... but thank god that wasn't true! Being able to cuddle her and hold her like a baby and kiss her on the face as she passed away comfortably in my arms is something that, while heartbreaking, was unforgettably special to me. The transformation she underwent was so beautiful and amazing, and I have to remember that she DID get a chance to live a wonderful life, albeit a short one, before she left. That day that she first let me pet her (and rubbed back on my hand) brings me to happy tears every time I think about it. I don't think I'd ever felt more pure joy than in that moment. Even the tiniest moments of progress, like the first time she slow blinked at me, still fill me with so much love when I think about them. Those few months with Chai before she got sick feel like an amazing, perfect dream that I unfortunately had to wake up from.

I want to do it again, and help another shy kitty get the life they deserve... but I just wonder if I could ever pour the same love and passion into a new cat, or if I would be constantly haunted by what happened last time and miss Chai too much.
It won't be "the same" love and passion but it will be a continuation of the love and devotion you felt for/shared with Chai, because love doesn't stop when someone ascends this earth to wait for us in the place we cannot even imagine! It just goes on and on, and if we are able to keep sharing it, we not only bring the ones we share it with great comfort and joy, we also find more of those things in our sharing, and build up blessings! If it were not so, would there be so many sweet, loving, loyal, wonderful cats hoping/waiting for it, needing it, and desperate to share it? I'm always reminded of that story where someone asks sorrowfully why nothing is being done to help a sad being/situation and the answer they are given is that THEY are the answer. We are all here to serve others, and to do what we can to share with, help, and care for them. When we do that, it makes US feel so much better, as you did when you bonded with Chai. That was a beautiful part of your dream. There are more.
 

Talien

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Thank you for the encouragement. I hope so! I also think that if it if I do more than once it would start to have less of a “sacred” quality, if that makes sense. More of a way of life, filled with many different experiences of varying emotional degrees - rather than the entire concept of helping cats centering around one extremely emotional memory.

There’s a precious little cat being fostered and socialized on one of my facebook groups, and every time I see an update my heart just melts, and I’m like... I want to do that again! Or sometimes one of the local shelters posts a cat with a similar story to Chai, and part of me wants to foster and help it find a home. But at the same time I’m very hesitant. I generally feel like I’m bursting with emotional resources when it comes to nurturing, teaching, helping (I am a teacher after all) but at the same time I worry that I’ll run out of those resources. But maybe I’m overthinking everything... lol.
It's true that if you do something often enough it can start to lose that sense of wonder that it originally had, but I've found it's not the case for this. Each Cat is different, even if they seem like another at first there will be differences that you discover along the way as you get to know them.

I get the feeling that letting them go when it's time to return them to the shelter would be the hardest part for you, but getting updates from people who adopt one of your fosters makes it all worthwhile.
 

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I was the same way for so long. For way too long. It took me literally years to find my way back to truly living, not just existing. You will always feel a pang in your heart when you think of them, you are NOT alone. I am with you in spirit, I truly understand your disinterest in life, in not wanting to go through the hurt again. You have to consciously let your heart open again. To find things that you find enjoyment in. Too bad we can't put as much energy and emotion into the joys of life, instead of wasting our time on the loss. Literally. Failure and loss should be a lesson, a way to learn to live more fully. Not THE way to spend our time here on earth. You will find the greatest joy when you have experienced the greatest hurt......and it takes one foot in front of the other, one day at a time.....
 
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It’s been a hard few days leading up to this Sunday, which would have been the 1 year gotcha day for Chai. Somehow this anniversary feels even more painful than the day she died. There are going to be a lot of Chai memories coming up, from now until Christmas or even January. Even just feeling the weather get colder is triggering painful emotions and bittersweet memories.

I’m not sure what to do with myself on Sunday... I’ve already been up till 3 or 4am every night this week, crying and missing her, feeling so much grief and dread. Do I feed the grief and purposely look at old pictures and videos to cry it all out? Do I shove it down and distract myself? Do I spend the day alone, or with people who probably won’t understand? Do I stay at home where I will see my other kitties and aching reminders of Chai in every corner, or do I go somewhere unfamiliar for the day?

It’s so painful to remember how excited and naive I was a year ago, knowing I was going to pick up my baby. That day was so happy and wonderful, full of so many dreams and hopes for the future... it’s really hurting me to think about. :(
 

Tobermory

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This is just me, but...

After I lost Max two years ago, I spent a lot of time looking at pictures of him. But I slowly came to realize that it was making me even more sad and holding me back. I’ve had—and lost—many cats over the years, but Max was the first cat in the cellphone age where I had the ability to easily snap and see photos. It was too much. So I don’t spend time looking at them anymore. I don’t avoid them; I just don’t seek them out. It has helped ease my sense of loss.

On special dates, like his gotcha date and the anniversary of his death, I go out by myself to the woods or one of the less popular local parks...somewhere I can be alone outdoors in a quiet beautiful setting. And I just sit. And breathe. I focus on my breathing and I listen to the sounds of nature. It quiets my mind and brings me peace.

So what might quiet your mind on Sunday?
 

Talien

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Would you be able to meet up with any of the people who were involved in Chai's rescue and treatment? You're right that most people won't understand but those who were directly involved with her might, and it could help to be able to talk about things and share memories with someone else who cared about her.
 

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I'm so sorry.....I too have to purposely change my direction of thinking to something else. It changes nothing to dwell on the sadness that will always be there. Just hold on to the fact she gave you so very much, along with her love, and that is so special. Don't let your sadness take that away. To be remembered after one's death is the greatest honor you can bestow on anyone, let those memories be of what she brought to your life, the good, not the bad......
 
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rosegold

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So what might quiet your mind on Sunday?
I like that idea. I was thinking about going to the aquarium... still animal-related, but peaceful and just distracting enough to keep me from ruminating.

Would you be able to meet up with any of the people who were involved in Chai's rescue and treatment?
Unfortunately no... I don’t really know any of them personally, and some of them live far away.

I had another difficult experience today-- I am feeling really isolated in grief lately, so I messaged the admin of a local grief support group and asked if they would accept someone grieving over a pet loss. But she very kindly said sorry, they only cater to those grieving a human loss. I understand that but at the same time it didn’t make me feel less alone, or less like I “should be over it.”
 

Tobermory

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I like that idea. I was thinking about going to the aquarium... still animal-related, but peaceful and just distracting enough to keep me from ruminating.
Yes! I love aquariums! Watching the fish swim so gracefully, listening to the bubbling sounds of the water...it’s very soothing. Great idea.
 

tarasgirl06

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I like that idea. I was thinking about going to the aquarium... still animal-related, but peaceful and just distracting enough to keep me from ruminating.



Unfortunately no... I don’t really know any of them personally, and some of them live far away.

I had another difficult experience today-- I am feeling really isolated in grief lately, so I messaged the admin of a local grief support group and asked if they would accept someone grieving over a pet loss. But she very kindly said sorry, they only cater to those grieving a human loss. I understand that but at the same time it didn’t make me feel less alone, or less like I “should be over it.”
I am sorry you had that experience! There are "pet" loss support groups. My friend does one but she is in DE. If you google the subject you might be able to find one near you.
I don't join these groups, as my grief and my feelings regarding my loved ones, feline, human and other, are personal and I don't feel like airing them.
You should go with what you know and what feels best to you. No one else should tell you how, where, why, how much or how little to express your feelings. That's one important thing I learned from people in my Faith -- feel your feelings! and don't be ashamed of them or suppressing them.
There isn't one day I feel these things, because I have experienced so many, many losses, so it is every day for me -- but because of my personal beliefs, so is the gratitude for them being in my life, as well as the joy that they have been, are, and will be in my life always. When I feel the urge to look at my photo albums, I do. When I want to listen to special songs I associate with them, I do. When I feel uplifted by being in nature, even though it's only my urban yard, I do that. My beloved ones are always with me. So are yours.
 

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Ever so slowly, years, the depression and sadness you feel will begin to turn to gratitude and thankfullness for having that sweet girl in your life. Time has a way of softening the edges of our hurt, of helping us to lose the ability to feel the sharp edges of grief by desensitizing our souls through the repitition of hurt. We will never, ever forget what happened, how much it hurt, but through reliving those moments over and over again, it will lose it's sting through repetition. Over time, a lot of time.....
Once in a while it will come back to rip your heart out again, with a clarity that will take your breathe away, but over the years those times will become fewer and fewer. It is because our very being is 'programmed' to overcome and learn from our grief. Our whole life is meant to seek happiness and simple joy in being alive, in life itself. All life is. In taking the love we received so gratefully and to encourage it to live on through us, through sharing that powerful love with another and allowing it to perpetuate itself. By knowing our little ones are always with us because they are a part of us, and always will be. That although we have lost so very much, we have gained so very much more.......
 

tarasgirl06

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Ever so slowly, years, the depression and sadness you feel will begin to turn to gratitude and thankfullness for having that sweet girl in your life. Time has a way of softening the edges of our hurt, of helping us to lose the ability to feel the sharp edges of grief by desensitizing our souls through the repitition of hurt. We will never, ever forget what happened, how much it hurt, but through reliving those moments over and over again, it will lose it's sting through repetition. Over time, a lot of time.....
Once in a while it will come back to rip your heart out again, with a clarity that will take your breathe away, but over the years those times will become fewer and fewer. It is because our very being is 'programmed' to overcome and learn from our grief. Our whole life is meant to seek happiness and simple joy in being alive, in life itself. All life is. In taking the love we received so gratefully and to encourage it to live on through us, through sharing that powerful love with another and allowing it to perpetuate itself. By knowing our little ones are always with us because they are a part of us, and always will be. That although we have lost so very much, we have gained so very much more.......
*So eloquently put, di and bob di and bob .*
 
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