Missing My Muse

Thank you, everyone, for all the kind words and heartfelt sympathy on yesterday’s post. It helps a great deal to know so many of you out there care and share this particular kind of grief.

I took yesterday off to wallow and let myself just be sad. Today I’m trying to move onward.

And I really tried to write today’s post about something else, but clearly I’m not done thinking about Teddy and her enormous impact on our lives. This picture is the last we have of her – that David texted to me Thursday afternoon, so I could see she’d gotten out into the sun and was enjoying herself.

Naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about Teddy and all the times we’ve shared over the years. David and I have been trading memories. And it’s funny, because it occurred to me that we got kitten-Teddy right when I first “became” a writer. It was on my mind, too, because someone asked me this weekend, at the really wonderful Silken Sands Conference, about my writing history.

Astonishing that over 16 years have gone by.

I remember that time well. I cut bait on my PhD, took a Masters degree and ran. I’d decided not to do research, but to become a writer. I got a job that paid pretty decently and gave me the freedom to write. To celebrate that job and my new direction, I bought a Maine coon kitten. Teddy.

She sat on my lap while I wrote. One of my early essays was about her, published in a literary magazine dedicated to odes of all kinds.

One thing I wanted to tell you. Early Sunday morning, when David and I were talking about the bad night he’d spent with her, he suddenly said “whoa.” It was just after six his time, and a cat had just looked in the front door. “A bobcat?” I asked. No, a domestic cat, he though. Orange and striped.

Now this is odd, because we don’t really have domestic cats wandering our rural neighborhood. The houses are quite a distance apart and nobody lets their cats roam far, because the danger from bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions is very real. Especially when the light is dim. He’d never seen this cat before. It looked in and ran off. We haven’t seen it again.

I like to think it was Teddy’s spirit guide.

14 Replies to “Missing My Muse”

  1. *Hugs* I know that Teddy is off roaming with her spirit guide, now…off to have many more adventures. I have it on good authority that orange kittehs get up to the most fabulous adventures…

    It still doesn’t lessen the hurt. I know that you guys are going to feel the hole where she was for a long time.

  2. Deep hurts to the heart like this just take a while to heal over. You didn’t rush 16+ years of love and devotion. There’s no rushing grieving the loss of Teddy’s physical presence. As time goes by, though, you’ll find the love and devotion is still there.

  3. Jeffe, So sorry Teddy’s time was up. You started us, well, Sam, on our own Maine Coon adventure. Our animals give us so much. Our cat Phoebe sat on the hill outside, basking, right before she died, too. Isn’t it great that Teddy got to experience such a beautiful new environment in her lifetime?

    1. That’s a good memory, Karen. I’d forgotten the rash of Maine coon kitten acquisitions Teddy inspired. I love that Phoebe got to bask, too. We should all be so lucky, to bask in the sun and soak up life before we pass on. And yes – we were remembering how hard the Wyoming winters had gotten for Teddy. She really revived and flourished in the Santa Fe sunshine. These last few years were especially good.

  4. I’m so sorry. Losing a pet is a special kind of hurt. I know how much a pet means to us solitary writers. It’s as if they are part of us, an extension of ourselves we miss terribly when that presence is gone. Take care.

  5. I’m pretty sure that must have been Teddy, checking in to let you know she’s ok. Just goes to show how much love there was and is! HUGS again, you don’t get over such a loss in one day or even one week – be gentle with yourself, ok?

  6. Take whatever time you need to grieve. And if you want to write about Teddy every day until you get past this pain, do it.

    Maybe Teddy saw a lost orange kitty and led it to you. After all, she knows what good humans you are.

  7. A week before Ryan died, Zach visited me while I was sleeping. I asked him what he was doing here. He said he’d come for Ryan. When I woke up, I thought I’d misunderstood. Ryan was fine. It was Cassandra who’d been having seizures. Surely he was there for Cassandra. But a week later, Ryan died. Kidney failure. Cassandra lived another year. (These are all kitties I have loved and lost.) When Ryan and Cassandra died, it comforted me to know that Zach was waiting for them. I’m glad Teddy had someone waiting for him. I hope it comforts you and David.

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