I didn’t know I was gonna start this day with a grave digging. And as I drove the shovel into the ground till the hole was deep enough, I thought to myself “And this was the last day Lizzie ever had a pet…”
The pain of losing someone or something you care about deeply does not diminish one minute of the time spent together. It doesn’t diminish all the staircase conversations that Rihanna and I shared. Or the fact that every time I went to do a task in the apartment she had to get right up in my business because she wanted to be a part of my day. Or the fact that I would often step on her when I’d cook at night because she liked to stand right behind my feet and was so stealthy about it, I’d forget to look for her.
I took her companionship these last few months for granted. I didn’t actually go looking to have a pet in the first place. Rihanna had been my cat back in high school (so that tells you about how old she was) and when I went away to college and to New York, she stayed behind. My fabulous city life had no room for a cat. I didn’t think my fairly mundane Florida life had any room for one either.
But one night a Tom cat that lives in the neighborhood was terrorizing her (what a troll) and she was caught up on my stoop, so I opened the door and let her into my apartment and back into my heart. And she just decided that I was gonna be her home for a while.
Today I’m sadder about her death than I really thought I would be. Finding her body lying peacefully on the driveway this morning, almost like she wanted to make it easy for us to find her, was hard. It sucked actually. Wrapping her up and carrying her to her final resting place was even harder.
My Aunt Becky is the exact person you want to have around when there is a pet funeral going on. She knows exactly what to say. She is a feeler and she puts such beautiful words to emotions that sometimes feel hard to explain. With her you don’t need to explain. She gets it. So she picked some flowers, said a few words and thanked God for giving us animals, like Rihanna, to be our faithful companions.
Someone once told me that God is the kind of God that knows exactly what you need and when you need it! And that if you need to have a pet in Heaven, you will. I sort of love that idea. That picture of God providing something so small and delightful for the people He loves. Knowing that He gave me Rihanna right when I needed her and provided my open door to Rihanna makes me know that He is taking care of her still. He cares about all His creatures.
I don’t know how to end a post like this. She was very old. It’s ok that she died. I’m sad that she did. I guess I want to say, love your pet and the time you have with them.
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