Do you feel like your feet are stuck in mud? You know, that feeling when you try to pull your boots out of the mud and a suction is formed? It is either the mud or your boots. What will it be?
Right now I feel very much like my boots are stuck in mud. The mud won’t let me go. And let’s face it. Even when the mud subsides, my boots will never be the same again. Actually, maybe I will never be the same again.
“Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”
Just how much mud will it take to grow a flower?
I admit I hadn’t stopped to consider that a beautiful flower might be formed in the process. I just haven’t been able to see that far.
A while back I bought
I grew up in an environment where you were hastily reminded that other people had suffering worse than yours. I’m sure it was, and is, true but it did nothing to help me get through my suffering. My suffering was apparently hardly what you would even call suffering. I wasn’t stuck in the mud while hoping for lotus flowers to bloom. My suffering was simply wiped. Well, that’s how it felt. No one gave a damn.
I promise that I’m not about to tell you all the ways in which I think I am suffering right now, suffice to say that there are a number of suffering-type things going on. My feet are firmly in the mud, mostly that which I never asked for and perhaps, even in my opinion, didn’t deserve. That said, I know that some dodgy decision-making on my part hasn’t helped. I can admit that but I hope you will understand that I’m not quite up to telling you about the dodgy decision-making. That’s just way too hard right now.
For now, let me tell you about Hobbes, and the suffering that he and I are experiencing right now. Hobbes is my gorgeous, three-and-a-half-year-old black cat. We both have a great deal of affection for each other. He needs me and I need him. Sadly, that’s not the end of the story.
I have had to make the extremely hard decision to place Hobbes up for re-homing because I simply can’t afford to care for him anymore. Actually, I haven’t been able to afford his care for a while now but I have been blindly hoping that he didn’t need to go to the vet. Recently Hobbes did get sick and needed a trip to the vet. This threw me into a wild panic, and while in the end, I could pay, and even better, Hobbes got well very quickly, I ‘knew’ our time was up. This ‘blind hoping’ wasn’t going to work anymore.
And so, yesterday Hobbes and I made one last trip together. This time to the local Cats Protection League, who has kindly taken on the task of finding a new home for Hobbes and in the meantime, pouring as much love and attention as they can on him.
My heart is broken. In the past couple of weeks, when I knew this was happening, all I wanted to spend every minute of the day with Hobbes, just to make the most of the time we have. Over the last few days I dreaded that Hobbes might choose to spend all his time outside, but somehow he knew as much as I did. In the end, I got just 24 hours notice that it was time to give up Hobbes. Perhaps he picked up on my stress, or perhaps he really did know somehow, but he chose to spend that time with me, mostly on my knee.
Hobbes used to sleep
near on my feet but in the last week, he chose to sleep as close as possible to my head. We have found a compromise on that one, thankfully. I was still ‘allowed’ to breathe but he was very clear in wanting a space on my pillow. The ‘rule’ used to be that he couldn’t ever be on the pillows. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn’t. But rules pretty much went out the window as we treasured our last days together.
I have always said, to anyone who would listen, that people shouldn’t have pets unless they can afford to care properly for them. When I adopted Hobbes and promised him a home for his lifetime, I believed I would be able to do just that. Perhaps I was a little short-sighted. Perhaps I have just made some really dumb financial decisions since. What I do know is that I have broken my promise to him of a life-long home. Hobbes has already once gone through being given up for re-homing. That time was because his first family were moving away and for some reason, couldn’t take him. I hate that I am putting him through that process again. This time pulled away from his second home.
To those who say, “he’s only a cat!” I have heard that argument for a lifetime, but don’t accept it. I will never accept it. Hobbes is NOT only a cat. He was part of my family. Animals are such an important part of family life, and for me, that has been cats.
Not only do they form part of the family, but for me, I know just how much animals contribute to my mental health. Actually, one of my biggest concerns for my own wellbeing now that I have lost Hobbes, is what this loss might do to my mental health. It feels like it is on a landslide right now. It feels like my world has broken. Actually a little like I remember the aftermath of major earthquakes. The world has shifted and it will never be the same again.
I know that Hobbes will be okay eventually. I know that his needs (and more) will be met. I know that he will have a home with Cats Protection League for however long it takes them to find a new permanent home for him. While I hate to be breaking my promises to him, I know that eventually, he will be okay.
But do I know that for myself? Will I be okay? I don’t know. What I do know is that there are people worse off than me. Cats worse off than Hobbes. But right now, we are both anything but okay.
But we are both suffering right now. I hate what I have had to choose for Hobbes (and myself). I hate that we are apart. It’s weird. It’s not like it was when my last cat, Penny died. Hobbes is not dead, but we can’t be together. I hoped for a miracle, but my miracle didn’t happen.
Our feet firmly stuck on mud, wondering when there will ever be a sign of lotus flowers.
Thanks for reading
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