Good goodbyes

Good goodbyes

Beautiful Zelda, adopted from Tabby's Place in early 2009I love to post about adoptions. Except when I sort of don’t.

Let me explain.

We’re regularly up-close-and-personal with two kinds of goodbyes at Tabby’s Place. If I had my druthers, we’d never again have to witness the first kind: the sort of goodbye we had to say to Ringo, Freda, Smurfey, and too many others. I’d never call death the final goodbye, because I believe with all my heart that it isn’t. But it has a finality in this life that never gets easier to face.

But the second kind of goodbye is sweet – for the most part. We’ve recently said the good goodbye to Jasmine, Donny, Rumor et al. A loving forever home is our big hope for every Tabby’s Place cat, so it’s a celebration every time one of our own gets adopted. And it’s a big, bust-out-the-party-hats-and-noisemakers fiesta when it’s one of our long-timers or Special Needs sweeties.

For the most part.

DrizzleBut…I am a very imperfect, very human human bean, so even the best “good goodbyes” don’t always feel entirely good. The hardest for me so far has been the good goodbye we said to Drizzle about a year ago. Good heavens, did I love this girl. Quite honestly, I still miss her. And, I was even the one to introduce her to her new mama. I was so proud of our sweet, bunny-soft Drizzle, she of the silly somersaults, sad past and snuggle-bunnitude. And I was elated to see her hit the adoption jackpot by finding an amazing forever home.

Elated. I just had to keep reminding myself that I was more elated than selfishly bummed.

But, that’s the kind of love we’re all striving to give our dear ones, isn’t it – seeking the best fpr the beloved, even when it isn’t easy for us? It was best for Drizzle to have the amazing home she now has, even though it took her out of my daily life.

Just like it will be best for Brando. Rusty. Angelina. Mango. Grady (oh, goodness, “our” Grady…but, yes, I certainly do want Grady to have a forever home). And even Mittens. As much as they feel like my special loves, they deserve more – and I want them to have that “more.”

MittensEven though it will make me cry.

I suppose it’s an occupational hazard that we should regularly fall in love here at Tabby’s Place, with the tears and the celebration that go along with good goodbyes. We’ve each got our “short list” of cats who have our heart, and we’ve each had our heart delighted-and-broken-at-the-same-time when “our” cats are adopted. Jonathan had Susie, and Danielle had Sardi; saying goodbye to Jose was hard and wonderful for Karina, and Ginny still misses Bagheera.

But we keep reminding each other that good goodbyes are deeply good – in fact, they’re what we’re all about. And, again, these goodbyes are anything but final. The love and the connection of the Tabby’s Place family stretches across time and distance, defying and outshining all goodbyes.

And that’s good.

4 thoughts on “Good goodbyes

  1. For me the 2 Tabby’s Place cats I knew that got adopted I still wonder how Onyx and Buttons are doing. What I learned from being at T.P. is as soon as you say goodbye to a cat whether its the sad goodbye or the good goodbye another cat(s) come into your life. If Onyx and Buttons had never left I would have never met and enjoyed My Sweet Albert, Pirate, or Midnight. Although I dread the sad goodbye for Albert, I know from experience I’ll meet some other cats that I will become fond of after he is gone.

  2. Regardless of it being a good goodbye or a sad goodbye, look back at all the love and affection that the cats at Tabby’s Place receive during their stay. As cats come and go, at least they remain in the memories there. All are special in their own unique ways. If I lived closer, I’m sure I would end up there as a volunteer also. Everyone at Tabby’s Place keep up the good work, you have my long distance support.

  3. I’m trying to learn more about that special gift of love: the love of being able to say “goodbye” — to let go. All the anguish that I feel before “goodbye time” — dealing with the medical and emotional needs and questions….and then…it seems, a peace comes over me, swept away by the soft wave of love…the moment that I can let go of my beloved. It feels right. I ask for my beloved for a sign: please tell me what you want me to do. All the watching before that “wave” reveals nothing obvious to me. Then, after that wave, I can finally see the sign that perhaps my beloved was giving me all along. It feels right.

  4. Goodbyes are always hard. In your business, you sometimes say them knowing a kitty is just going to be loved elsewhere. But I know if I worked there, I would always be sad to see a kitty leave, even if it is a “good goodbye.”

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