Within the past few days I have heard of 2 friends losing their beloved animal companions. Then I had a heartfelt conversation with OM about cats and blogging. While this topic is somewhat off theme, it seems fitting to prepare a simple post about my beloved Dexter.
I adopted Dexter back in 2008, a few months after I lost my first cat Jasmine. I renamed him Dexter after careful thought and consideration. It was not because he reminds me of a serial killer. It just suited him better than his original name Sylvester did.
After 16 years ( she was about 8 weeks when I brought her home) , Jasmine succumbed to kidney disease. Watching her decline and deciding when to let her go was among the most agonizingly painful, gut- wrenching times in my entire life. The sadness and pain were almost too much to bear. Jazz died in April 2008, so the anniversary of her passing is quite fresh. Raising this sweet cat from infancy was the closest I have come to motherhood and as we know, children are supposed to outlive their parents. But this is not always the case.
I was heartbroken for so long after I lost Jazz. This grief was deadening and isolating. I was practicing outpatient therapy full-time and so many of my clients spoke about their pets. Several had cats and these daily sessions were grueling. Eventually I found them healing in a cathartic manner. We do attract what we need, generally speaking. When I felt ready, I began to visit shelters to seek a new cat, not as a replacement, but as an extension of love. Dexter was much older than the kitten I initially desired, and he had been sent to the shelter more than once. It remains a mystery why this adorable soul was rejected not once, but twice! I would like to believe that it was so I would eventually find him. Within a few short weeks, he settled in and showed me his true nature. I am amazed by his capacity for affection, verbal activity ( he talks more than I do!) and openness. Dex’s personality is the opposite of reserved Diva Jasmine who was more like Greta Garbo. Dex craves attention and human touch and is so delighted to meet * everyone who crosses his path (* squirrels and birds need not apply!)
What this boisterous ball of joy has taught me about the healing effects of love is boundless. There are no words that can accurately describe his ability to soothe my spirit with his perpetual demonstration of unconditional love.
I love you Dex.
cool Dexter facts ~
he is left-pawed, just like me 🙂
he enjoys crossing his paws ( dainty indeed)
rolling over and inviting you to rub his belly IS his default position ( boy does he love belly rubs, don’t believe that old wive’s tale to never rub a cat’s belly!)
if you love all things warm and fuzzy ( including Sindy’s non- mammalian fish), you gotta visit this page: odyssians