Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Goodbye Sweet Anna

Oh that face!
Two days ago, we said goodbye to our precious fur baby, Anna. She has been a part of our lives for almost exactly 16 years.

She had such a spunky personality. The vet always knew she was really sick if she didn't fight them. Ha! That's my girl! She absolutely hated when I sang. She would often mew this really weird sound, and literally attack me if I didn't stop. But she had no problem when Jim played electric guitar. Guess that doesn't say much for my singing.

She could also be a little cuddle bug. If you stayed really still, she would sleep on you for hours. Jim moves around too much, so I was usually the lap of choice. Oh and did she purr! She was a purr machine. Jim and I always joked that she was like a living, breathing, teddy bear. Her fur was as soft as silk. It felt just like rabbit fur and smelled so sweet. She was especially beautiful and I can't tell you how many advertisements we saw through the years with pictures of cats that looked exactly like our girl. Many a burly workman would step in to our house and simply melt at the sight of her. It was quite comical at times.

We had to get a king sized bed
because she was such a bed hog!
Now she's gone, and we are so incredibly sad. The house feels really empty without her. We built this house 16 years ago, and she joined our family two months after we moved in. So this is her house. It's always been her house. I keep thinking I hear her, or feel her jumping onto the bed. Her food bowls are gone and the spot where she used to sit on her little, fluffy, white mat in the dining room is empty. Honestly, my heart is broken. It feels a little over dramatic to be this upset about a pet, but there you have it.

Pain stinks. Plain and simple. Those of us with OCD and anxiety disorders tend to specialize in running away from pain. All my compulsions and avoidance were just attempts to escape pain. I don't think you can escape pain, though. I think you can maybe delay it, but eventually it catches up to you. You can even try and cut yourself off from feeling, in order to avoid pain, but then you can't feel joy either.

It is incredibly tempting to shut down emotionally, and make the decision to not get another pet. A friend (who also lost a fur baby not so long ago) recently joked, "they don't tell you that it never ends well." It made me laugh, but it made me think too. My friend was right. Odds are, I will outlive any next pet that I get. And I will be here in this sadness all over again. But then, I would miss out on a decade or more of unconditional furry love and licks. I would miss out on the opportunity to care for one of God's creatures, and even the opportunity to fight contamination OCD, as pets certainly bring all kinds of dirt/germ challenges with them. Essentially, I would miss an opportunity to feel some happiness and more fullness to my life.

You know that Tennyson quote, "'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?" I think there is a lot of truth to it. In the long run, the pain is worth it.

Goodnight my precious girl. It's been 16 years of joy.


  1. Oh, Sunny, I am so, so sorry. Please know that I know how it feels to lose a beloved pet. It hurts like heck. I still mourn my babies. Anna was a beautiful girl, and how lucky to have you and Jim to take care of her! God bless you. I know He is blessing Anna, too.

  2. Monique, my heart goes out to you. Having lost a few cats in my life I know your pain. I had a beautiful black cat with copper eyes named Evelyn for fourteen years and it broke my heart when she got sick near the end. Although time does heal, you won't forget your precious cat, this I can assure you. Might I suggest you head to an animal shelter with an open mind and heart...to just look? If you get another cat this will not replace Anna, but it will save a life and the cat will return so much love, this I know, as this is what I did. Sending you a warm hug and much love.

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved Anna. Those of us with pets know they are a huge part of our lives and families, so I don't think it's over dramatic to say you are heartbroken. You have lost a family member, a loved one. I'm so sorry for your loss, and hope all your wonderful memories of Anna will being you some comfort.

  4. Oh Monique. I'm so sorry about little Anna. I remember seeing you holding her in one of the videos you posted months ago--I think she got camera shy. :( Losing a pet is emotionally devastating...there's no shame in that. I hope you can think about Anna watching over you now.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how painful it is to lose a pet, who are like family members. I agree that pets too can bring challenges with contamination, but they love us through it, no matter what. Grief is a different process for everyone. There will be many tears for awhile...then eventually smiles as you remember all the joy she brought to your life. What a beautiful girl!

  6. Thank you so much everyone for you really kind comments. It's been a pretty rough week, but I am starting to feel a bit better. It helps to know that Anna is not suffering now. She was quite old and enjoyed what I think was a good life, so there is a lot of comfort in that. And yes, Linda, there are already plans to expand our family once again! ; )

  7. Sunny, I am so, so sorry. Pets are family members, no other way around it - I still miss my cats and dog so much that it aches sometimes. She was a beautiful cat, and you are so right - "the pain is worth it." Grieving with you.

  8. Oh, Sunny, I'm grieving with you. She was beautiful, and pets are precious family members.

  9. I'm so sorry to read about your loss. But glad you had 16 wonderful years.

  10. Thanks Anna and Ann. Yes, they sure are family members. But we were indeed blessed to have so long with her.