There’s something to be said for keeping one’s mind off the thing that’s being a bother when all you’re doing is repeating the same information on a loop. It’s alluring to keep going over it in your head, again and again. But I’ve found that distracting myself can be just as healing. Instead of running repeat laps on the same mental track, when I come back to the issue or the thing, it’s like driving a car with a fresh set of tires.
Between Rock the Park, book promotion, a steady stream of voice-work and – oh yeah – the radio show, I’ve had plenty to occupy me between bouts of deep sadness over the loss of our Head of Security, Spice. He was so intricately woven into the fabric of our everyday life, we miss him no matter what we are doing. Even getting out of the shower is a trigger for emotion. The sound of running water would draw him to the bathroom door. Once the shower was over, he’d confidently walk past his human and pad around the wet shower floor in what we called his “foot bath”. Spice was on top of everything that happened in this house and even greeted us like a dog when we arrived home. Now we just come in and quietly get on with our day.
Miss Sugar is understandably confused and lonely. They had their little tiffs but we often saw them napping together or grooming each other. She doesn’t understand why her food is being put down where his used to be. For the first couple of days, she burrowed into the guest bedroom covers and stayed there. And this is new: Sugar sitting in the hallway, howling a mournful cry in full voice. We bring her into bed with us – a place where Spice felt at home. He used to stare her down until she moved to the edge of the bed or down to the floor. None of it makes sense to her now.
Social media responses of sympathy to Spice’s death really did help. People get it. It’s deeply painful to lose a critter that you love. Spice’s health was in decline for some time. He was a big-framed cat but only seven pounds at the end. We had done everything we could to save him but at age eighteen, his health wouldn’t turn around. It’s the damn circle of life and it’s left me, at least for now, always looking for the next distraction.