Dealing with cancer without my feline companion/nursemaid has been more challenging than I expected. I had surgery on February 1st, which was supposed to be a full hysterectomy and the removal of a cancerous lymph node, all done robotically on an outpatient basis. My, how surgical procedures have progressed, except my surgery took an unexpected turn, and I ended up in the hospital. Some of the cancer inside my uterus decided to take an adventure outside landing on my colon, forming a tumor that had to be removed. Rather than getting home around 5:00 p.m. that day, I awoke to my surgeon telling me I was in the hospital, and would be there for about a week. Excuse me…WHAT?
The next day while lying in the hospital bed and staring at the ceiling, memories of Bobcat’s antics and his healing ways went running through my mind like a vivid slide show. Images of his frequent concerned stares at me in my exhausted state of being haunted me. I cried knowing I’d be going home to an empty cottage. But realized that if Bobcat were home, he would be all alone, wondering what happened to me, and in my post-surgery daze, I would’ve had to figure out who could take care of him. There’s no good time to say goodbye to a beloved, but maybe the timing of Bobcat’s passing was actually good. Or was it?
My initial recovery went much quicker than my doctor anticipated. I was released from the hospital after only two and a half days. The weeks following were filled with lots of reading and bird watching out the French windows while resting on the sofa. I also did some writing, binged-watched my current favorite TV shows, When Calls the Heart and Heartland, and started taking walks around the neighborhood. The pain was manageable with Tylenol, the fatigue with lots of rest, but the loneliness was incurable. I wasn’t sleeping well at night and waking up at 2:00 a.m. without Bobcat to talk to and snuggle created an immense emptiness for which there was no remedy.
I’ve taken to spending probably too much time on Instagram watching cute cat videos, but it’s helping me get my feline fix; a little anyway. I started following the “cutest goat”, which, well, who can’t be uplifted by a spirited baby goat leaping, jumping and head butting with his pals? A friend and fellow Blue Bell Foundation volunteer gave me a kitty stuffed animal. I named him Bobcat and he hangs out with me on the sofa, but sometimes prefers the vintage chair. I’ve learned that one is never to old to snuggle with a stuffed animal. It’s been very comforting—thank you, Lynette!
Today marks the two-month anniversary of Bobcat’s passing. I miss him every day and every night, but I’m not quite so sad. Some loneliness still lingers, and I suppose it will probably hang around as long as I am a cat lady with no cats, but I don’t think I can go too much longer without hearing the pitter-patter of paws on the hardwood floor.
Who knows what spring will bring…