I guess it's time to say Happy New Year.

My holiday season was horrible.  My 16 year-old cat, who was with me for 14 of those years, had significant health issues over the holidays and I made the decision that his ailments had finally progressed far enough that the less horrible choice was to put my little old man to sleep.  I knew Orko from when he was a kitten - a wee, scared little black kitten who my friend took in but eventually couldn't keep.  Did you know I never had a cat before Orko?  I was so lucky to have him for the 14 years I did.  And I feel grateful that I had the means to take care of him for so long, with medicine, time and a lot of heart.  He absolutely helped make me who I am  in several ways - my work with animals at work, my ability to be responsible for someone else, what ability I have to stay present in the moment and just being around him opened my heart up so much. 

My old man

Between struggling with losing Orko and traveling between NJ, PA and Massachusetts to visit relatives over the holidays (and now being in Dallas for work), I haven't had a heck of a lot of time for anything other than work and small pockets of being sad.  I usually post some kind of a New Year's Eve outfit but this year I was in pajamas on the couch watching Hellboy with my boyfriend and trying not to stare at Orko's empty cat bed too much.  (No pictures.)  Stupidly, I feel like life kind of cheated me out of a New Year's Eve on top of having to suffer a heart-wrenching loss.

In case you feel cheated, too, here are New Year's Eve outfits of years past:  

Links only because I don't have the heart to put an outfit picture next to a memorial cat picture, nor should I.

I know you're probably thinking, "Well, that's a shitty Happy New Year blog post."  It is and it isn't. For me, anyway. Accepting and making peace with the hard things are just part of life and if I have to experience (and in the future, remember) this during the holidays, then maybe that's not so much worse than experiencing it any other time. I think sometimes we forget that suffering, loss and grieving are all normal parts of life and we all go through them - and it's good not to run from those feelings, as much as you want to not feel them.  I forget that I can get through very sad times and not come out totally broken sometimes. 


  1. I'm sorry Jesse. That IS heartbreaking. For the last few years that I've been following your blog and flickr Orko has totally been a regular instalment, popping up here and there in your photos or blog tales; I'm sorry my dear. xo

  2. Sorry hon. I hope your new year gets better from here. Big hugs.

  3. He looks like such a wise old cat! If you don't have one already maybe get a photo printed of him and frame it so you can smile at him when you need it? Good point about not running from suffering/grieving either- one of my goals for this year is to let myself feel more feelings (oh, the feelings!), both bad and good. Pretty sure I too spent my NYE snuggled next to my dude. Seems as good a start as any...

    1. He was actually a neurotic 5 year-old mama's boy kid in a 16 year-old cat's body but he does look awfully wise here. I would like to have a nice photo printed of him. I will probably get a memorial tattoo for him, too, as I did with Emmy. (With 5 more cats at home, those tattoos are going to add up over the years though.)

      True, on the couch together was not a bad way to spend NYE!

  4. Ahh, it's so hard to let them go. He looks like he was a heartbreaker.


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