I Will Not Say These Things

The grand villain of my family died a few months ago. And there was much rejoicing (seriously). I told the the non-family people around me that I didn’t need any soft, touchy-feely bullshit when it happened. But some people are fucking stupid, so I got far too much soft, touchy-feely bullshit. I should have told them I didn’t need money… or a green Lamborghini Veneno.

The second greatest cat to ever walk the planet died in the early morning hours of January 4th this year.

Meo Laundry

It was the hardest death I’ve ever been part of. I know that the vets, their assistants, and I all did everything we thought was right in the days and hours leading up to his death. We somehow still ended up in a situation where Meo was clearly suffering, the vet’s hand was spurting blood from a nasty bite, and I was begging them to kill someone I love.

I have some incredible people in my life. People who value their four-legged family members the same way I do; and people who don’t have that kind of animal bond, but who understand and respect that I do.

I also know some people who are just fucking stupid. The same ones who thought I should be wailing over the death of a human villain figured I shouldn’t care about the loss of a loving and lovable part of my family because he was “just” a cat.

I will not say these things to you if your child, or anyone else you love, dies:

Don’t you have another one?

Yes, I do. And since they’re clones of one another, it shouldn’t matter that one of them just died. Actually, I have some pictures, so I may as well just kill this one too. It will save space if I get some frames from the dollar store and put my boys up on the wall. And why stop there? I have pictures of my niece too…

You can’t take a day off work just to bury him.

I dare anyone to say this to someone who’s just lost their kid. I’m not an emergency room doctor or a head of state. Nobody loses limbs if I don’t go to work. People may well have lost limbs, or at least an eye, if I had gone to work the day after Meo died.

You have to get over this.

True. Can you give me a calendar so I know exactly when I’m not supposed to care anymore? Is there a “get over this” pill that you could recommend? My multi-vitamin doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe you can run me through the stages of grief on my coffee break so I can stop crying at night when Meo doesn’t come to annoy me in bed.

I can’t believe you spent so much money on him.

Me neither. If something like this happens again, I’ll absolutely consider my bank account first, like any other normal person. Say, for example, your mother had cancer. You’d just crush the morphine, mash it in her potatoes, and be done with it, right? Of course you would. There’s no good reason to spend your hard-earned cash on a medical bed or a private nurse. Maybe your brother has a brain injury. Why not tip the wheelchair into the lake instead of just sitting there watching birds and wiping his drool?


I will not say these things to you if your child, or anyone else you love, dies. But I will say them to every soulless fuck who said them to me in the days after I had to ask someone to kill Meo while I buried my face in his fur and listened to him gasp his last painful breaths.

~ Reanna

Ongoing soundtrack to my life the past couple months:


I Will Not Say These Things — 10 Comments

  1. I hear you. My favorite is, “Just go get another one”. Guh.

    Still, I know people are trying to help (mostly, the not-taking-off-a-day-of-work thing is straight from the mouth of an asshole). Death sometimes short-circuit’s people’s brains and makes them say/do stupid things.

    Sorry for your loss.
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    • Thanks, Greg.

      Yeah, the “get another one” comment came up a lot, like Meo was a purse or favourite flavour of lip balm. I did talk with people about bringing a new brother home for a very lonely Dervish, but that was a whole ‘nother thing.

  2. I know people get flustered around things they don’t understand (or want to understand), like grief and loss, but the two times I have lost a pet, the human cost has been a pretty extreme ‘friend’-purge.

    Not to sound like a dick but, if I have hold someone’s hand through a bad hair day and in return all they can muster up when my best-and-furriest-friend dies is “You have another one, right?” I’m not going to lose a minute of sleep when that person has been added to my rejected phone call list.

    I hope you guys are taking care of yourselves. Farnsworth became a different cat when Stella died. It took us all many months to begin figuring out our new dynamic.

    Also, what a beautiful picture! He looks like the King of Warm Laundry!

    • Thanks, Doc.

      The circumstances around Meo’s death led to the end of a very established friendship, and I don’t regret my decision to walk away. I held hands, as you say, through bad hair days and a lot more for 15 years. I needed someone to hold my hand while I tried to save my boy, and again when I had to kill him. I got judgment instead of a hand, and that is unforgivable.

      Dervish and I are still adjusting, but doing well. When I get past being sad, it’s actually fascinating to watch how we’re both changing our behaviours and patterns to compensate for the empty place Meo left. Derv’s never been an only cat, and it’s been a long time since I was a single cat mom. We’re still a bit awkward.

      I wonder what Farnsworth and Dervish would be like together. :)

      I love and hate that picture. I took it the day before Meo died. He seemed fine; two vets at two different clinics told me he was going to be fine. And then he was dead. But I love the pic because our last day together was cuddly awesomeness where he got to be the King of Warm Laundry.

  3. Fuck!

    I’m so sorry, really. This post is just pure raw emotion. I’ve been there many times (with both pets and people). It’s never easy.

    I only just read this. I feel ashamed, somehow.

    Hope Meo’s having a kick ass time chasing butterflies in heaven or shooting mice targets in an awesome Kitty parallel-universe laser dome. Yeah, that second one!
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    • Great image of kitty heaven, dude. Thanks for your kind words.

      Don’t feel bad for missing this. I was pretty MIA for awhile after losing Meo. Just coming back to the world now.

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