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02 October 2007 @ 11:36 am
Sad News  
(Gotta catch up; haven't read in a week or three.  Not now - right now is my only break in a 9am-10pm day.  But all things considered, keeping busy is a good thing).

Many of you may have known my cat Henri, who I adopted off the streets of Berkeley when he was a kitten about 15 years ago.  He'd been pretty sick for the past year or two, and I'd gotten in the habit of checking several times a day to see whether he was still breathing.  Some time this morning he finally made his trip to the Happy Hunting Ground (as my father would have explained it).  In the spring, I plan to plant catnip over his grave. 

Henri was a really wonderful, wonderful cat, and one of my best friends.  I will miss him horrendously.

Anyone know how to not go around all weepy and puffy-eyed in a situation like this?  I've got classes to teach and meetings to go to where I need to be A Professional.  The temptation to not tell anyone at all is high - that way they won't sympathize and I might manage not to get all weepy.  I did manage to be distracted in my two classes so far, for most of the time.  Perhaps this break between things is a bad idea.
Jakefallingsilver on October 2nd, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, Allison! I'm not trying to make you weepy, but I'm so sorry. He was such a wonderful cat.
Charcharlottezweb on October 2nd, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, sweetie, I'm so, so sorry. Henri was an absolutely wonderful cat. Having been through a similar situation with my beloved Annie a few years ago, I have no advice about the being not weepy. Hugs, though.
stevendj on October 2nd, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry too.
virgino_orsino: blue duckievirgino_orsino on October 2nd, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Henri was a lovely older guy. There's not much for keeping it together that I can advise you on. I don't think I could keep it together. I would likely have to take some time to myself to mourn. I wish you the luxury of such time soon.
velochicdunordvelochicdunord on October 2nd, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry, Alison. He had a good life with you. Lots of pats, scritches, mice, adventure, snuggles, companion animals both good and alarming, a walking parade of decent humans and the best catnip grower/purveyor ever(!)

I don't know how to avoid the side effects of grief. He'd been with you a long time.
prairierabbitprairierabbit on October 2nd, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. No advice on how to avoid the crying, but IME letting people know what is going on is usually best, so they don't misattribute my behavior. Grief is not "Not Professional"--to me, professional is doing what *must* be done despite grief, and deferring things that can wait while you take care of yourself. **hugs**
genomekelly on October 2nd, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)

Look at it this way: He went fishing and is having a grand time. [/insider reference]
dr_bratdr_brat on October 2nd, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oh hon, I'm so sorry. Henri was a great cat and he had a great life. I'm sorry he's gone and moved on and left you without him. It is indeed their one great failing, that they leave us far too soon.

Anyone know how to not go around all weepy and puffy-eyed in a situation like this?

I'm trying to remember how I dealt with putting Satin down and drawing a blank... I think if I can keep myself from getting started, I can make it through the day. If I let my guard down, though, then it's over and I can't stop the weepies. Seems to me that you teach in an informal enough environment that there shouldn't need to be a "professional" front. Just tell people you're having a rough day [week, month] and why, then move on so you don't get more weepies.
Elissa: Reginaelissaann on October 2nd, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss. Henri was a wonderful cat, and he will be missed by many.

Dark glasses for the puffy eyes? Your students will think that you were doing something interesting last night.
Jennkjerstie on October 2nd, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. He was one in a million.

No good advice on trying to press on with life except to encourage you to feel what you feel. Of course, one must go on with normal everyday life things, but whenever you *do* get the chance to cry, take it.
Cryscrystlyte on October 2nd, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear about Henri - I will very much miss his tux'd self. I still remember bringing Spenser as a young pup and Henri's curiousity, which then turned to mild distaste when he discovered the little thing was a dog!

I can't help a bit with the tears as I'm wiping away my own.

offcenter_wcoffcenter_wc on October 3rd, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
Oh, Allison. I am so sorry.

I always wished that I'd meet Henri one day. He has always sounded like one very excellent cat.

Hang in there.

Ellanaellana on October 3rd, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
I'm glad I got to see him again before he went. He reminded me a lot of my cat Wuz, who was this big fuzzy main coon my parents found in an alley. He died when I was really little, but there's never been another cat like him. I'll miss Henri and his jingly bell a lot. Hang in there.
Janet: kittensjanetmk on October 3rd, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
R.I.P Henri. You were a wonderful cat.


Biston Betularia: mothpepperedmoth on October 3rd, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
SO MANY long-distance hugs. I know just how awful it is to lose a cat. Julia told me what happened just this afternoon . . . I'm awfully sorry.

As far as not crying in front of people, you just said exactly what I'd do. If you don't mention it, they won't get all horribly sympathetic, and you won't be set off.

This works best if you can sob your eyes out beforehand with some good friends around. And maybe some Laphroig.

piranha @ dreamwidthpir_anha on October 3rd, 2007 08:53 am (UTC)
Re: Sad News
damn. i am sorry for your loss. :/

as to the weepiness -- i don't consider it at all unprofessional for people to show their grief, if it helps them to share it. but i don't want to do it myself because it doesn't help me, it makes it worse (and badly expressed sympathy, especially in christian terms, irks me). so i tend to not tell people, and just wipe away looks about my darker than usual mien with "i am not having the best of days; it's nothing personal".
lorreslorres on October 3rd, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
Anyone know how to not go around all weepy and puffy-eyed in a situation like this?

Nothing that's foolproof, so I just get through it by telling people it's not a good day, cough, blow my nose, dab my eyes and act like I have to sneeze or something. Getting up like I must go to the washroom works best if I really don't want people to see the weepy part.

Thanks for telling us, although it's terribly sad to know. I wish I could swoop in with a hug. Henri was one of my favoritest cats ever.
a wind-carried wing: rusty truckaenohe on October 3rd, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
While I'm sure that no amount of words will bring you true comfort, I will say that you picked a wonderful spot for him in the garden. I said a little silent prayer over him yesterday afternoon after putting the chickens in.
He was a wonderful cat and you are still a splendiferous cat mom. :)
flarenutflarenut on October 8th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
So sorry. Hope you figured out a reasonable way (and if there is, let me know. C still thinks we have two cats.