When Your Assistant Moves on (AKA When Your Pet Dies)

It is with sadness in my heart that I tell you the The Assistant has moved on to a much greater assignment.

Betty Working 2Many of you got to know her as she randomly showed up on the blog or on facebook.

She was always ready to assist,Betty Sunning manning the phones, returning emails, or sometimes just taking in some sun while waiting for the next assignment.

Marilee lived in the house I moved into, and I was thrilled to be around kitty energy again.  My friend Deb adopted her after losing her 22 year old cat, but this time instead of adopting a healthy kitten, Deb decided to take in two feline leukemia cats, after visiting the shelter and finding that these folks had to be sequestered away from the other cats, living in one small room.

Cats with feline leukemia normally don’t live past five years old.  Deb’s other cat, Sox, passed away a year after he came home.  Then we adopted Daschel to keep Marilee company (turns out she didn’t care much for new company) and he only made it six months or so.


Since Marilee didn’t dig having to share the house with anyone but Sox, we did not adopt another and let her rule theBetty Day Off roost—and man could she rule!  She made us laugh every day; adorable and loving, with a great sense of mischief.

Just shy of having her three years, she didn’t seem right one day, and after a visit to the hospital we were told she had developed lymphoma—we lost her several days after that.


Is it worth it—putting your heart on the line with a good chance that it will be squashed again, likely sooner rather than later?

YES for two reasons.

1) The kitties get a hugely loving home that they can bomb around in for as long as they are meant to be on this earth. (Marilee was prone to bombing, earning her the nickname Betty the Bomber.)

And 2) We get to experience the extreme joy of having them every day, until the day that we don’t anymore.

Everything here on planet earth is impermanent.

You could adopt a cat who is billed as healthy and he could die the next day.  You could have a friend or a spouse who you planned on growing old with, and their time here may end way before you planned.  But if you knew that beforehand, would you forgo the time you spent together to avoid the hurt that was to come?

I’m pretty sure no one answered yes to that question.  Why?  Because experiencing love is what we are here to do, no matter if it lasts a day or a lifetime.

So, about a week after she left us, with the ache still prominent in our hearts, we both said, “There’s room at the inn.”New KidsNew Kids 2

Now two new beautiful babies are bombing around this house, and appear to be having the time of their lives.  We are giving them tons of love, and they are giving it right back—it is wonderful.

And every time I look at one of them and get that little twinge of worry that they won’t be with us long enough, I remember that I don’t want to waste the time I have with them thinking about how sad it will be when they are gone.

So with everything you love, whether it is a person, pet, plant, or hell, even your favorite car, relish the time you have together by being present, and know that the love in your heart in that moment is worth it.

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2 Responses to When Your Assistant Moves on (AKA When Your Pet Dies)

  1. Billy June 21, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

    Gwen, amazing words.

    • Gwen
      Gwen June 22, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

      Thanks so much Billy.

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