The one where we say goodbye to Rofl

This week’s blog is a day late. I meant to write it yesterday, but we had a bit of an adventure. We went to Lowe’s and got stuff for the chicken coop, and then we picked up some free glass from someone off Craigslist. He was going to use it for a lizard cage but got rid of the lizard. We’re going to use it for a green house. When we were leaving with the glass, which was free, he said “have a good night. Craigslist works!” It was kind of an odd moment because it’s true, Craigslist does work, but it kinda felt like some sort of secret password that I didn’t know about. Anyways, we then went down and picked up more free glass at the Carlos’s brother’s house and that took forever trying to pack it in the truck so it would break and when we got home, I went to sleep. I barely made it to bed first. Now we have lots of free glass to make a greenhouse. Yay.
The real meat of today’s blog is not how Craigslist works and how great greenhouses are (although both of those things are true.) Today I want to talk about Rofl again. If you haven’t heard, Lord Roflmao III passed away Tuesday night. He took a drastic turn and was not doing well and we decided to have him put down. I was with him and the vet and staff were so wonderful. They were kind and understanding and kept going on and on about how great we were for taking him and giving him happiness and how there need to be more people like us. They even gave me a discount on the whole thing to show their appreciation. It was about as pleasant an experience as can be expected considering the circumstances.
Today I want to discuss some of what the experience with Rofl has meant to me. He wasn’t here with us for very long, but there have been some interesting feelings that have come out of the whole thing.
It turns out Rofl was declawed in the front. I never noticed while he was with us because he didn’t really seem to like me messing with his feet. Maybe that’s why. The fact that he had been declawed implies that he once had a family. He once had people who cared about him, at least to some extent. I am personally very against declawing cats and so it calls into question how much they cared about him in the first place. I’m sure people believe that it’s the only way or…. I’m not even capable today of trying to see the other side. In Rofl’s case, it appears that early, someone cared more about their furniture, and in the end they didn’t want to be there for him when things got hard. That’s not a kind way to feel, but from where I stand, that’s how it feels. It also makes a comment on the way we treat our old in this culture. When times get tough, we ship Grandma off to a home where others can take of her, we stop going to visit Grandpa because it’s unpleasant, and we dump our cat when his kidneys start to fail and we don’t look back. Carlos points out that this situation calls into question how we’re living our lives in general. If we don’t have time to care for those that need it, if we’re so busy chasing the dollar, are we really living at all? Very disconcerting, very unpleasant, not comfortable at all. Makes you think though.
On a slightly more pleasant note, at least on some level, is how this Rofl situation made me feel about myself. Back in the day when I was showing dogs in 4H, Foster came along. He was a great dog in virtually very way. He was eager to please, easy to train, and loved by all. Some of our success was my hard work and drive to do well, but mostly it was Foster. One of my dog trainers gave me one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received. She said she believed that we get the dog we deserve. It he was such a great dog, and he was, I was proud and humble that I had done something right to deserve such a gift. I had worked hard for several years training and showing dogs to limited success and now I had this dog who loved it and we kicked butt. It was awesome. Fast forward a dozen years or more, and here we are. I am an over-stressed, over-worked person. I am short-tempered and easily angered. I don’t develop great relationships with animals, or anyone for that matter, at least not at first. It takes me a while to get attached, and until I am, I get snappy and not very loving. I did it especially with Koga when he was with us, I got carried away with how irritating he was and how I didn’t know how to deal with him. He went back down to the other house for now since we don’t have a fence, and I never really did get over my irritation with him. I was getting better, but I never really got to the point where he was a good dog to have around in my opinion, and I was pretty quick to anger with him. Since I have such a tendency to over-think things so much, I began to wonder whether it was Koga or just dogs in general. Or even animals in general. Kougle fits in perfectly and has been here a long time, and the chickens are cool but also can be irritating, and are more easily ignored. I never did spend as much time socializing them as I had meant to. Maybe I just don’t like animals as much as I used to. Or maybe I don’t like them as much right now, and maybe it’ll come back when I’m not overtired and stressed. Or when I have my own house. Am I putting off my happiness for later and not appreciating what I have? What’s going on, and what does it mean? I really questioned my own feeling about animals in general.
And then Rofl came along. Without a second thought, we brought him into our home and our hearts. As soon as he asked, there was no way I could ever abandon him. And it all happened without a consideration at all. And that makes me feel like maybe I’m not as far gone as I thought. If my gut reaction is still to take in as opposed to ignore, if I can’t imagine abandoning an old, thin, ill cat that I’ve never met, and I can feel so much for the little guy, maybe my attitude at its core isn’t so bad. I still love animals and I still want to help them and I will.
The final point I make when talking to people about the Rofl experience is this. I believe Rofl came to us for a reason. I think he came so that he could experience some warms and some comfort at his last stop on his way out of town. He came to us so that we could provide that for him and for ourselves. After Tuesday, I am more positive than ever that he came specifically to me because I am strong enough to make the choice and help him when his time comes, and I can stay with him in his time. It’s kinda my job, the one who does the final visit. It’s not a pleasant job, and I don’t enjoy it, but not everyone can do it and I can. I am thankful that I can do that and that I could do it for Rofl-rhymes-with-waffle.
We miss him a lot but it’s been a blessing having him here with us, and it’s a blessing to be in a position to let him go when his time came.

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