Friday, January 4, 2013

A Kitten Left Behind

Separation Anxiety

In Desperate Need of Milly Kisses

Sometimes Milly helps me blog !
I have been on vacation with family in Florida for the last week or so. I agreed to the trip under the belief that my kitten, Milly, would be able to join us. However, as the trip drew closer I soon discovered that Milly would not be able to come. I felt extreme guilt and anger. The two of us have not been apart since the day I adopted her 3 months ago. Having never owned a pet before I didn't understand why people got so upset and anxious when they were forced to leave their pets. Now that I am a "Mommy" I completely understand.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

- Anatole France

I can say that France's words  apply to me. Milly has awakened a part of my heart that I didn't even know existed. I didn't know I could love with such fervor. I always knew that I had a strong protective instinct but it has grown immensely since I adopted my kitten. Milly has provoked me to put her needs above my own- refill her food bowl when all I want to do is lay in bed, play with her when I simply want to sit and think, empty her litter box when I don't feel like leaving the apartment. Milly depends on me for everything- food, water, affection. She follows me everywhere I go. After I have been out for a bit she comes running to the door as soon as she hears my voice. She rolls on her back and waits for me to rub her belly and nuzzle with her. And in return I rely on her for company, soothing, and love. She sits on my belly while I sleep. She snuggles in the crook of my arm. She displays her affection with loving licks, which I fondly refer to as kisses. 
A Kitten Left Behind
I felt awful leaving her; she couldn't understand that it would only be for a short time, that I would be coming back. And I anticipated, with certainty, that I would experience separation anxiety while we were apart. Milly has been my number one motivator over the course of the past few months. She has brought warmth and happiness into my life. I was concerned about how I would be able to find calm and feel love without her constant presence. Our first few days in Florida were ok and I didn't think too much about my kitten left behind. There was ample distraction for me as my family and I walked the streets of South Beach. The upcoming New Year provided me with an event to think about and look forward to. Milly was still in my heart but she was not constantly on my mind. However, as soon as we got to Sarasota everything changed. 

The day we arrived was the same day I found out about the death of my friend. (Discussed in yesterday's entry, Life is Precious.I was beyond distraught, and although I was surrounded by my family, they were unable to provide me with the love and sympathy that I needed. My grief and pain were not describable and could not be mended with words of compassion. My inaudible emotions could only be healed by a love and comfort that can't be spoken. I needed my kitten and I still do. She has a way of making me feel whole. Her purring soothes me and tells me that everything will be ok somehow. I can't describe the magnificent impact that she is able to have on me. But I can sense that I am in desperate need of Milly kisses right now. Perhaps it is this unspoken and non-human love that will be able to pull me out of the depths of misery and sorrow that I am currently experiencing.

"Love cures people- both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it."

- Karl Menninger

I know Menninger's quote to be true. When I am in relationships with others- friends, family, Milly- that involve love I feel an infinite sense of peace and healing. But, right now, as I grapple with an abundance of difficult emotions, the only love I long for is that of my kitten, Milly. The sadness over the loss of my friend is being amplified by my separation anxiety. There are no words to comfort me. Most humans don't want to sit down and talk about difficult or depressing issues. I know Milly would listen to me regardless of the topic; her willingness to listen to my sadness brings me comfort even if she does not understand what I am saying. It doesn't matter that she can't comprehend my words because she can sense my emotions and she can respond accordingly. She wipes away my tears with Milly kisses. She warms my heart by protectively snuggling on my tummy while I sleep. She soothes my nerves by purring with pleasure. She exudes love, peace, and positivity; these are all elements I need at the moment. 
Love is medecine !

I need my Milly to offer the love that "cures people" because my human relationships are unable to provide me with this at the moment. We all experience separation anxiety at some point in our lives. Sometimes it is over a pet, sometimes a friend, sometimes a loved one. The nice things about separation anxiety is that it is usually easily cured; it will dissipate once you are reunited with the person or animal who you have been apart from. But sometimes separation anxiety is permanent. 
There are those occasions when you will never be reunited with the one you are yearning for. This permanency can be for a number of reasons- death, moving, a relationship deteriorating- and in these cases we need to figure out how to cope. Maybe it involves becoming more active and trying to distract yourself. Perhaps you need to reach out in order to build new relationships; they will never replace the old ones but they can help to fill the void. And you can always do what I did- adopt a pet. You will be doing an invaluable service to both you as well as the animal that you save. Thankfully the separation anxiety I am feeling regarding Milly is not permanent. We will be reunited tomorrow and I will be able to snuggle with her for hours on end. She will purr and love me and hopefully provide me with the comfort that I need in order to get through this rough time. Sometimes human contact isn't able to provide us with the compassion required to overcome hardships and cope with grief. Sometimes the simple love of an animal is the perfect antidote for pain.

"Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet."

- Colette

Wishing you a calm and happy day,

"[Milly] rolls on her back and waits for me to rub her belly..."

I promised Milly I'd be back; the separation anxiety will cease-

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