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« Libel-Shybel, Guilt-Shilt (narayan) | Main | Just a Little Lovin' (narayan) »

January 18, 2011


RIP, Ali.

Ruchira, I'm so sorry for your loss.

It'll be difficult, so difficult for the vacuum to be filled up. Be strong and yes, think of the good times you had with Ali. Thank God, he passed away without pain and after saying good bye peacefully.

My condolences, Ruchira. I too miss the little buggers, and some not so little ones, who have passed through my life, all adoptees of friends and neighbors. Bess and Bishop were more loyal to me during their dog life-spans than my friends' children have been, going beserk with recognition in appreciation of my occasional visits. Sam-I-am, my neighbors' tiger, had a spot under my bed that he preferred to his own posh home. I let him into my life, despite an acute allergy, because I was captivated by the frankly human look in his eyes when he showed up at my door. Years after his death he still shows up randomly, as a screen saver on my Mac. His is the only framed portrait in my home.

"I don't know how one takes an honest measure of one's life...".


Someone told me, once, that the mark of a good person is being held in high esteem by little children and small animals. They are our de facto character references. No doubt, Ali would have confirmed how highly you were regarded. Peace!

I read this yesterday, and it's been on my mind ever since. So sorry, Ruchira, to read the sad news. But this is a lovely tribute.

Sad news. The shorter life spans of cats and dogs presents a repeated source of grief. My son, Sam, six months old, is absolutely smitten by our cat, Monty, who is almost nine years old. Monty-- a fierce stray I adopted in law school, loving, but independent and not afraid to use her claws on most adults-- is uncharacteristically gentle with the baby, purring and butting him gently with her head, or flicking her tail across his cheek, much to his delight. I am delighted by their interactions, but have found myself entertaining the dark thought that their attachment means that at some point in his childhood, Sam will learn what it's like to lose a beloved animal companion. I remember from my own childhood how painful that is. Still, the pleasure outweighs the pain, of course, and Ali's life was both longer than most, and his passing more gentle. As Sujatha said, rest in peace.

Thanks everyone, for understanding.

I am much more composed now although little things are tripping me up still. On entering the home, I automatically look at the kitchen chair where Ali usually used to sit most of the time. When I pass all the other spots in the house where Ali liked to hang around, I still expect to see him and am jarred back to reality when I don't see him. The empty places where his food and water bowls were and that he doesn't clamber up on my back when I sleep, are things that I am having a hard time getting used to. But as I know from prior experience, this too shall pass. The painful thoughts will be replaced by happy memories of his good looks, quirky personality and friendly spirit.

Anna makes the point about cost - benefit ratio of the pleasures of living with a pet and the painful actuarial probability of losing them. As I have indicated, I have gone through this cycle several times. I wrote this unusually personal post partly to share my experience with like minded readers and partly to mark the end of a chapter in my life. I don't think Sudhir and I will adopt another animal at this stage of our lives. We would have considered it if we had close family members living in town. But with advancing age, we realize that caring for a cat or a dog will require the kind of energy that is on the wane for both of us. As Ali grew older, I found that leaving him in the care of a pet sitter (she cared for both my cats for years and is extremely kind and dependable) and my neighbors to look in on him when we went on trips, was becoming an unacceptable option. He did not take well to prolonged solitude, not so much for his physical needs but emotional security. In fact, I was very uncomfortable when Sudhir and I were in Hawaii last summer for eight days even though Ali was in rather good shape at the time. I called my neighbor every day. Since that time, we have not taken a trip together, convinced that at least one of us needed to be with him at home.

So sorry for your loss Ruchira. Your comments struck home with force because my bitch, cuddly has been with me for 14 years and she is blind and old and emotionally very insecure. i tell myself every single day that i should be prepared for her passing away but the day she does not eat or if she has slept a long time without snoring, i am scared to touch her in case she has stopped breathing. I have been advised by many to keep another pet before something happens to her but i aways say--cuddly and i are running a race and both are near the finishing line--neither can afford to leave the other alone. Her son, scotty, who was closest to me having a child of my own died suddenly and i can still not talk about him without tears. Yes, the pain will pass the ache will remain.
usha nagpal

I am really sorry for your loss Ruchira..I know it gives a lot of pain when we miss someone who is very close to us..And i would like to suggest you to get a new one in order to keep yourself happier..

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