A True Lesson in Love

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to my little companion of over 17 years, Tai Chi.

Tai Chi was a seal point Siamese cat who had a tough 8 months battling hyperthyroidism. We tried all kinds of treatments, hoping to have an opportunity to administer radioactive iodine to essentially kill off her thyroid, but her little heart finally started to give out.

I cannot say enough good things about 911 Vets! They came to our house 3-4 times to test and treat her, and they were here yesterday to help put her to sleep. Instead of dying in a noisy, scary veterinary clinic, or (gods forbid!) in the car on the way there….she died at the foot of our bed in my arms. I have no doubt at all it was time.  We had been preparing for this moment for a while.

The thing I was not prepared for…is the intense amount of loss I feel right now. I am flabbergasted. I saw many animals come and go when I was kid…growing up in semi-rural Indiana around cats, dogs, horses, ducks, etc. But I guess I was always on the go and eventually busy with my own life in college. I have a much different kind of attachment to Tai Chi. She was like real person to me, like a roommate, confidant and comfort. She fell in love with my husband along with me, and only a few days ago the three of us enjoyed a “three-way spoon” on the couch watching a movie.

Tai Chi saw me through almost all my 20s and 30s, living in different apartments, houses, cities. She was with me through different lovers, different jobs, my mom’s death. She hosted many a party with me and was very loving and social with countless friends and acquaintances.

It’s amazing that I could feel so attached to a little creature who doesn’t even speak English.    Two completely different species, yet what cannot be denied is the mutual love that was there.  I know I’m not alone in how I feel.  Many of you who have had a pet for a good number of years out there can relate to how I’m feeling.  I also hope that if you haven’t had the treasure of owning a pet (or is it them owning YOU?), this post won’t deter you from experiencing one of life’s great joys.  I suppose all you good souls out there who are parents might be rather amused at my posting… and yet my friends who are parents do say that there is a unique place reserved in the heart for an animal.

Sad as I am, I am reminded of how transcendent love is.  It transcends species, time, even life and death.  I am grateful to have had the privilege to care for someone else with no guarantee of “anything in return”.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
-Anatole France

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

Posted in Philosophy