One year ago today, I lost Zeroichi. It’s strange that it just feels like yesterday but at the same time forever. Every cat I meet or see online reminds me of him, his warmth, his sweetness, his uniqueness. Holidays such as Halloween and Christmas were especially difficult for me since it was our annual tradition to take holiday photos. I take waaay less photos now.
The house still feels empty without Zeroichi. You would think I would be used to it by now, but I’m not. I finally put his shrine away the other day, and was in tears, but I did feel some warmth reading sweet messages from friends and family who knew about the special bond we had. I was also reminded of how lucky I was to get Dr. Boltz for his final hours since her straight forward but caring demeanor helped me make decisions throughout the ordeal. She was not Zeroichi’s primary physician, in fact that was the first and last time we met, but she still made a monetary donation to the UC Davis Veterinary research center in his name which helped me heal in the aftermath.
2015 was an incredibly difficult year for me. Starting with the loss of Zeroichi on April 12, the bf and I hit a relationship hurdle/drama crazy enough to be scripted into a horror movie in July (which unbeknownst to me started right before Zero's death), followed by the sudden death of my spunky family dog Hidaka the weekend after on July 12. My parents and I rushed him to the emergency clinic in the middle of the night, but he was gone by the time we got there. He had gotten a clean bill of health from his vet just a couple weeks prior to his death when we went in for his annual checkup, vaccinations and to ask about his occasional vomiting when he eats. In October our HOA sent out a $13,000 invoice to each homeowner for much needed renovations to be paid by December. And finally a few health scares in my family including myself. Things have been calm for the most part for 2016. But this past week has been difficult for me since it's been shrouded by death. Not only is today the anniversary of Zeroichi’s death, but I also attended a funeral on Saturday for my great aunt whom I last saw at her 100th birthday party in July who was well and very alert. Last week my friend of 35 years’ father passed away and I’ll be attending his funeral tomorrow. Yesterday a brother of a friend of a friend found 2 day old kittens in their backyard after their dog killed their mother. Only one kitten survived since its siblings bodies kept it warm.Thankfully its vitals were good, and was just very hungry. And just right now I found out that my friend's dog suddenly became paralyzed on one side, and they're trying to figure out what's causing it. It’s been very difficult to stay positive, when it feels like the world wants me to be sad.
That said, there were some good in the past year as well in addition to the miracles that happened in the month after his death. Most of which are related to animals of course since that is my place of happiness. Here are the highlights:
July – After the sudden death of Hidaka, my mom finally agreed to visit a doctor since her symptoms were similar to his (yes our dog) and my friend’s dad who just died from cancer last week. After multiple tests the results came back that she has some problems but nothing life threatening. Whew!
August - My friend found more kittens, who ended up finding a permanent home with her sister. Meet Peet and Philz:
October - As I mentioned before, my friends and I go on an annual haunted road trip in October. Our last one was in New Orleans. Although it wasn’t as haunted as we had hoped, the food was amazing. But there was one moment that stood out to me during our graveyard tour. The tour guide told us to walk around and stop in front of a tombstone that calls out to us. I found myself in front of a small lot that didn’t have a tombstone, and looked up since I heard a dog barking. There was a kitty (that looked nothing like Zero) across the street staring right at me. Upon eye contact he ran across the street, through the cemetery gates, and rubbed up against me. It felt like Zero’s spirit was trying to tell me he was okay. I forgot to take pictures of him since I was so busy crying and petting him.
December/January - The University I work for shuts down for 2 weeks over the winter break. Without Zeroichi, I knew I would be lonely in the house while the boyfriend and Raiden were at work. Yes! Raiden gets to go to work with his Dad. It’s awesome. Anyways, during that time, we decided to foster some dogs through Coppers Dream, an amazing dog rescue program we fostered and adopted Raiden from a couple winters ago. We were able to help three dogs find their forever homes!
Griffin was by far our favorite of the group. By the time we realized that we wanted to adopt him, there were already a line of homes expressing interest in him so we didn't have a chance. He was only with us for about a week, but he changed so much in our care. But from day one, it was clear that he was the most loving, trusting dog ever and immediately bonded with me. As a stray, everything was new to him. Eating out of a food bowl, stairs, pottying outside, walking on a leash. The later almost gave me a heart attack when he wiggled out of his harness on our first walk and refused to let me put it back on him. Afraid he would run into the street I ran back into the house, and he thankfully ran/bounced back in after me.
|He was so skinny. :(|
January – My doctor was concerned that I might have cancer due to my chronic IBS, and so I had to get a colonoscopy. My dad got one too a week later. We were both fine. The prep for it was awful tho!
As you can see this past year has been a crazy roller coaster ride for me. Do I feel sorry for myself? yes. But I know it could have been a lot worse and I’m very thankful for that. (knock on wood)