Dear Einstein, A Letter to a Beloved Lost Pet

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Dear Einstein,

I’ve been dreading this for years. I knew when I chose to have so many cats that I would someday likely have to make a decision about whether to artificially extend one of your lives or try to save you from enduring unnecessary pain. Even so, when the decision had to be made, it was no easier, even though I had said for years that I would rather have to put one of you down than to see you suffer needlessly. This is the first time I have had such power over the life or death of a loved one and I hope it will be the last, although I know it probably won’t.

To be honest, you have been kind of a pain in the butt for most of your life. As a kitten you were a holy terror who had amazing powers of destruction. As an adult, you were a grumpy, angry cat who would often give a warning bite when petted the wrong way (pretty much anywhere but around the head). You were fun to tease because your reaction would be over the top within seconds. All I had to do was walk within a couple feet of you and you would start growling in annoyance. You were definitely the alpha male in this house and constantly reminded us of that fact. You reminded everyone of a regal lion, both in dignity and in your attitude of entitlement.

As we sat in the veterinary emergency room, making a decision about your fate, one of the vet techs came in and told us what a sweetheart you were. We laughed and said “she really doesn’t know you well, does she?” The fact that anyone would think that, told us how very sick you were. To be seen as cooperative and mellow just wasn’t in your nature. As I looked into your sad, blank face with tears running down my own cheeks, I knew I had to let you go. If we fought to keep you alive, you would have been miserable. I know you would have hated the long hospitalization, frequent medical procedures and forced medication.

Even had we went ahead with the treatment, the vet was blunt about the fact that you had six months at most to live and even that was highly unlikely. He told us the cost of treatment in dollars and that was certainly something that would have been a struggle for us, but the true cost to us was the misery we knew we would have to put you through just to keep you with us a bit longer. In good conscience, I couldn’t do that to you, because regardless of how mean and grumpy you could be, I love you with all my heart.

I admire your straightforward, take-no-crap attitude and the fact that you were never afraid to be yourself and stare any enemy down. I admire your intelligence…Einstein was definitely a fitting name for you. I loved the precious moments when you would be uncharacteristically loving and sweet (mostly when you were sucking up or asking for something). I think of you every time I open the door and you aren’t there trying to sneak out. It is these things, these precious memories that I will carry with me now that you are gone. I love you and miss you. Goodbye, my sweet Steiner.

Happy Memorial Day! Some sad remembrances and happy memories in the making

First of all, I want to take a moment to thank all of those brave souls who gave their lives so that the rest of us could live freely.  I think too many Americans are really unappreciative of the sacrifices those who went before us made.  I would also like to send my love to my Grandmother, father and all of my friends who have passed away and gone on to the next world.  I love you all and miss you very much.

Days like this are bittersweet.  Especially since I am in the process of getting my first picture book published.  Yesterday I worked on the manuscript, making the first round of editorial changes.  Today as I think about those who have passed away, it makes me sad to think that my dad and grandma will never get to hold my first book and beam with pride, as I know they would have.  I hope wherever they are that they can see and are still proud of me.  In some ways it saddens me that my loved ones will miss this milestone in my life more than it did that they missed my wedding.  Maybe because it takes a lot more work to get a book published than it does to get married.

I have heard authors talk before about how writing and publishing a book is like giving birth, but I think I’m just now starting to understand the feeling.  It’s a lot of work, pain, sweat and tears that go into a good book, plus you struggle with feelings of inferiority.  The whole process can be rather overwhelming, even though it is a happy time as well.  I’ve had ebooks published, but it’s different.  Throwing out a few twitter messages or advertising on Facebook is far different from the face to face experience of trying to sell a traditional book at a book signing or reading.  Especially if you are shy around strangers like I am.

I guess that is enough rambling for today.  I hope you can make some sort of coherent speech out of my tangled up emotions today 🙂