The grief is softening.  It’s no longer dropping me in my tracks, ripping me to shreds.  It is as I had so hoped, even in the worst of it – by breathing, opening my attention, moving very very slowly, dropping down into exhaustion whenever I needed to – that this day would eventually come.

As I was doing my meditations this morning, I remembered Fangie.  I was feeling so happy to call up the look on his face, the slap-happy blast and verve of his personality – and I realized I was no longer guarding myself against the memory.  And also, literally, not guarding.  Because, being Fang, he loved to launch off me on his way from here to there and back again.  That would tend to hurt.  All his weight, plus claws, pile-driving down into and over various vulnerable places, at full-tilt balls-out boogie.

And Bugs was learning this ploy from Fangie, and joining in the fun from time to time.  Now no longer.  He’s back to his gentle and concerned soft little gray self.

This makes me smile as I write.

And all of you, still dropping by from time to time.  How can I tell you what I have learned from you, about lending presence with grief that brings comfort and succor?  About how much it’s meant to me to hear that you loved Fangie too?  I needed so much to hear that – that he left behind a mark, not just on me, that I was not so devastatingly alone in this pain.

Here is a tribute I got from Lahgitana at Rockin’ The Purple!, to show you what I mean.

“Fangie was an amazing being.  He so wanted to live.  You showed us how he lived with you with such abandon, with love, with fun, curiosity, need, and humor.   Which, of course, led so many of us to love him and then grieve his untimely death.   I’m relieved to hear the awfulness is softening.  Those last memories are difficult to expunge I know (from experience), but ever so much nicer to think of that boy bouncing off the walls or hanging from the screen door.  Oh yes – the grief is hidden in mousies, in dust bunnies, in the screen door, and even in Bugsy, so it’s close by.  I for one believe grief doesn’t ever disappear; I believe its presence becomes gentler, but being such a complicated thing, this grief, how could it just go poof?!”

So.  How wise.  Not “poof,” but emergent, in a gentler presence.  I am so thankful.

And then there’s this next thing, something that’s quite inexplicable to me.  Even in the worst of anguish, I kept having the strongest desire to find another feline friend.  I kept saying to myself, aren’t you being a little disloyal maybe?  Or, might you not just be on the rebound?  Don’t you know you can never find another Fangie?  Or, can you say dis-trac-tion?

But this feeling persisted.  As the days went by, it got stronger still.

So I just decided to go with it.  Once shiva was over, I found a foster mom and Teresa and I paid a visit.  I went back and back and back by myself; I think I logged about six hours hanging out with foster mom and her swarm.

Here is where, I felt, the search ended.  Meet Barney.

He is a huge boy.  He’s chronologically young – about 1.5 years old – but his vibe seems old and wise.  He is a gentle giant.  Mom thinks he might have some Maine Coon in him.  He’s got those snow-shoe paws.

I just love his peaceful mien.  And how sweet he is – with mom, with me, with the other cats.  Plus, I had the chance to watch him figure out spatial dilemmas, going up into the roost and coming down from it.  Negotiating around and through other cats and obstacles.  I found him agile, thoughtful, and aware of self and others.

I got the strongest impression that he could help Bugs and me to settle down.  Come more into ourselves.  Be more at peace.

Let us see whether this will come to pass.  This is the last full day Bugsy and I will be alone.  Mr. Barney comes tomorrow.

Paws crossed.

And – the saga continues with Fangie.  Brace yourself.

This is Chance, also part of foster-mom’s clowder.

Chance was hit by a car.  It took seven surgeries to get him back up on his way – and he lost a leg in the process.  You can see the wound on his side.  His other back leg is pretty messed up too.  So I suspect he’s not going to get adopted anytime soon.

Even so, he has a lot of Fangie frenzy still left in him.  It’s just downright uncanny.

So I get to go back and back and back to foster mom’s and visit Fangie.  I mean, Chance.

Chance indeed.  I think perhaps there is no coincidence here.

About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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27 Responses to Moving

  1. minlit says:

    Not chance. Serendipity.

    Welcome Barney – I am so looking forward to getting to know you. 🙂

  2. FeyGirl says:

    How wonderful for you… And for these little ones in need of a loving home!! ♥

  3. Bonnie says:

    When Chance has healed, take him too! I adopted a 3 legged cat and she has no limitations whatsoever!!

  4. Certainly not coincidence!
    So glad you are moving, gently, and following your heart. You have so much love to share! We look forward to watching the ever-evolving family unit and growing circle of love.
    Big hugs to all!

  5. Oh, wow, wow, wow!!! This is such an awesome post! I’m so proud of your courage. I’m pretty sure it was no coincidence. So seeing you following your intuition inspires and moves me. Can’t wait to hear of new adventures at Anita’s house! 🙂

  6. Wow, this is exciting. Fostering is the ideal way to go after recent loss and grieving. As a mom of two failed fosters 😉 I can only hope Barney is as lucky. He’s magnificent!

  7. Wazeau says:

    Looking forward to getting to know Barnie! That little black chin, the long white whiskers, they make him look like he is smiling but there is a certain cattitude there too. I’m very happy you are bringing him home – I am a firm advocate of the minimum dual cat household 🙂

  8. Herman says:

    Beautiful boy that Barney. Can’t wait hearing more of him…

  9. Oh, what wonderful news. You are in no way disloyal – your heart told you what you needed. And even better; you knew what another lovely kitty needed, too. Hello, Barney, glad to meet you!

  10. Christine C says:

    I agree with heretherebespiders, you are not being disloyal. What better way to honor Fangie then to adopt another in need of a forever home, just as Fangie began?

  11. I’m glad you can remember the good fun stuff about Fangie now, that the pain is loosening it’s grip a little.
    Disloyal? No, not at all. Honoring Fang by loving how it felt to have two kitties and opening yourself to love again, that’s just wonderful.
    Chance is adorable. What a fighter!

  12. Barney is beautiful.
    Fangie would probably appreciate that you would give love to Barney, like you gave to him.
    Purrs and hugs

  13. Oldcat says:

    There’s nothing wrong with letting yourself give another cat a great life, once you are ready.

    Looks like you have got yourself your own Gus, too.

  14. CATachresis says:

    This is just purrfect! I’m looking forward so much to getting to know Barney! Fangi has left a rich legacy! 🙂

  15. Marcy Benham says:

    Barney! What a handsome boy! And I can see the “old soul” in his eyes. My guess is he’s just the thing you and Bugs need because the heart never lies. Go for it! Can’t wait to read how it goes and what Bugs thinks about his new brother!

  16. I’m glad to hear that the hurt is softening. And thrilled to hear that you’ve opened your heart (and home)to another deserving cat! He looks wonderful.

    I agree that he may have some Maine Coon blood in there, some of the features look like it.

    Welcome, handsome guy!

  17. Fangie opened your heart to let Barney inside.

  18. Anne D says:

    Barney (Mr. Tuxedo) is gorgeous. I believe that Fangie’s spirit is part of your home (part of its very soul-to paraphrase Cocteau) and I think he will welcome Barney.

  19. looloo says:

    I am convinced the best way to get over the loss of a pet is to take another one, which is also a way of honouring the one you lost. But I think it must come from you. I am so happy to see that tough your sadness, you are open to take another risk: to love Barney. I loved Fangie, he was so special, but in fact, aren’t they all special? I am in love with every tuxedo cat I meet, and I fell in love with Barney the moment I saw his picture, I hope he will help you to soften the pain of loosing Fangie. And really, it is the nicest tribute you could pay to our little loved Fangie.

  20. starlight says:

    nice post … oh barney, i love your black nose!

  21. MTVA says:

    Barney will be a comfort to you and ease the ache in your heart. We suffer with those feelings of disloyalty, but once the new member of the family is welcomed in, you realize that the love for the new boy will never lessen the love for the dear one who came before.

    I love Fangie and hope you will continue to talk about him. As long as it doesn’t hurt you too much to do so. I think it comforts all of us who miss him.

    Happy Barney Day! Warmest wishes for a peaceful homecoming for Barney, and an easy adjustment to a lovely new situation for you and Bugsy.

  22. Do you think you’ll adopt Chance too? I don’t know how you could resist! He does have a Fangie aura, methinks!

    Rumblemum says she knows how hard it is. When we lost Inigo her heart was so broken. It still is. But she knew the best thing for me was to get a new brother – I was so lonely and sad. Hammy was never a replacement for Inigo – he has his own place in our family (as I suspect Barney and maybe Chance will in yours.)

  23. lahgitana says:

    Chance with a Serendipity chaser! Speaking of 3-legged cats, do you know the story of Sprocket’s difficult beginnings and now lovely life?!

    I hope it’s not too much to think of looking at cat sites…. If it is, the short story is similar to Chance’s and Sprocket bounds around on 3 legs chasing and climbing and wrestling with the other several cats. Very happy (rescued) guy!

  24. This is such a hard time and we all understand the grief. I am glad you are slowly getting to a point where you can remember with a smile on your face. It takes years though and you will always miss Fangie. Getting Barney is certainly not being disloyal. He looks fantastic – love the black marking on his nose. He needs a home and you need him, non of that takes away from Fangie. I wish you all the success with Barney and my thoughts remain with you.

  25. littlemiao says:

    Wow. Who could look at Barney without falling in love? Even from the photo you can sense a gentle, grounding presence. Chance makes me smile. They both do. And I think there is no disloyalty in bringing other kitties into your life, because love is infinite.

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