This week I wanted to write about something near and dear to my heart…gratitude. So many times we find ourselves taking things for granted, and while I don’t believe it’s intentional, life always has a way to remind us to appreciate everything we have, and to never assume something you care about is trivial.
It’s sounds cliche, but as the saying goes, “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” Unfortunately, I experience a heart-breaking reminder of this just two days ago when I had to say good-bye to one of my furbabies, Obi.
I rescued Obi from a shelter in Chicago in 2015. It was immediately following my separation from my first husband, and after seeing Obi, I felt like the recent hole in my heart had a chance of being refilled.
I always said that Obi chose me that day, not the other way around. As I walked past the various cats (wanting to take them ALL home), Obi caught my attention because he was the only one with his little nose sticking out of the cage, and also the only one who welcomed me with a “meow” as I approached.
I stuck my finger in his cage and he immediately put his head down and butted the cage door as to say, “YOU human, I choose YOU.” It took 0.0003 seconds for me to fall completely in love with this little furball and although I already had my 15 lb. orange tabby, Lukas at home, I didn’t think twice to adopt him. Obi was going on 4 at the time, and I was blessed to have another 5 wonderful years with him.
A few months later I underwent surgery and that cat did not leave my side the entire two weeks of my recovery. He seemed to have a sense of when I was in pain and would always do his famous head-butt when he was attempting to not only get some pettings but also to let me know he could feel what I was feeling. And soon enough, that interchange of energy was mutual.
Later that same year, Lukas and Obi make the 2,000-plus miles trip from Chicago to Phoenix when I decided to relocate and get a fresh start. Immediately they loved their new environment as now they could lay outside in the warm sun any time of year. And that quickly became Obi all-time favorite spot.
In Jan of this year, my husband and I were blessed to discover that were are expecting. We couldn’t be more excited and since finding out I always made a point to talk to my cats and let them know there would soon be a new addition to our small family. Lukas didn’t seem to care much, but Obi would sit there and listen to me intently talk about my son’s anticipated arrival later this year in September.
Unfortunately in all the excitement and joy of planning for Aleric to join us in the world, Obi had somewhere along the way caught a pretty bad respiratory infection and while there were no immediate symptoms, he started to slowly lose weight and the luster in his normally shiny silver coat. He was still eating and drinking as well as snuggling like normal, but I could just feel something going on with him. A few weeks ago I noticed him sleep and taking really hard breaths. My vet said to keep an eye on him but as long as he’s eating and drinking that it should pass.
But it didn’t pass and on the 18th he began to hide in various areas of the house and was just not himself. I heard that cats will often do that when they know they’re going to pass over the rainbow bridge, so I called the vet immediately. We ended up taking him to an Emergency Vet and to our dismay and utter shock, they told us there was nothing they could do and that the humane thing would be to put him down.
The thought of my little friend struggling for breath broke my heart into a million piece and I knew it was the right thing to do…I had to let him go. As I write this with tears in my eyes and memories in my heart, I am still plagued with the regret I wish I could’ve done more, or seen how bad it was earlier on. Thinking that there must be something I could’ve done to save him.
The look in his gentle eyes as he passed on is something I will never forget. As I told my lil friend how much I loved him and thanked him for choosing me as his human, he looked at me in a way that has forever touched my soul and my heart. I could literally feel him saying thank you and that he loved me too.
I know it takes a certain audience to really understand the kind of effect losing a pet can have on a person, but especially since being pregnant, I realize that Obi WAS my kid. And the more I think about it, my pain is not only valid but reminds me of the fact that animals can often touch us in ways that not even another person can.
And as he left his physical body, Obi gave me a gift I will forever cherish, a sense of gratitude and a vital reminder that all we ever have is this moment and to never, ever waste even one on things that bring you down. His gentle soul will always be a part of me and I somehow even feel more confident as a soon-to-mother.
Obi was truly an angel in my life and I can only hope that everyone in the world gets to feel as loved as I did while being his human. The joy he brought to my heart is something that can never be replaced. So let this be a celebration of life when the rest of the world seems hellbent on destruction. I honor Obi for the teacher he was and for reminding me of the student I will always be – one who knows that there is never an end to our learning and growing.
To all of those out there who may be in mourning over a family member, friend, or in my case a beloved pet, I just want you to know to never stop loving as much as you can in this life…because all this ends. And there is nothing perhaps more painful than love unexpressed.
In remembrance of my dear friend, Obi: 8-28-11 to 6-18-20
Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com
Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.
This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.