Sunday, May 19, 2013


Six years ago today, Hypatia became a member of my family. As sad as I am to be marking this anniversary without her, today should still be a happy occasion. I got to spend part of my life with one of the sweetest, most gentle feline companions on the planet. Our time together was brief, but so incredibly full of love and joy -- and today should be a celebration of those happy memories.

I'm still having a very hard time coping with her loss, but lately I've been finding myself smiling sometimes when I talk about her instead of immediately bursting into tears. I still cry a lot, but I like those moments, however rare they may be, when I can say her name and feel happy. One thing that has helped me find comfort has been coming up with ways to honor her memory and keep her present in my life.

The day that she passed away, my mom gave me a gold chain for her name tag, and I wear it every day along with a hand-stamped charm displaying her adoption date. Sometimes when I start feeling sad, looking at her spot on my bed or seeing her favorite food at the grocery store, I'll just clutch my charms and reassure myself that even though she's gone physically, she'll forever be in my heart.

I understand this definitely isn't for everyone, but I also had a cremation crystal made with some of her ashes, and had it set in a ring. I chose a pink crystal since she had a pink collar and a pink bed, and was just such a sweet little dainty cat. I personally think it's a beautiful way to memorialize a beloved animal, and it really provides me with a sense of calm knowing that she's always with me wherever I go.

I had this one wall in my room that I never really knew what to do with (it's an awkward space next to my window, about 2' deep) so I decided to make it into a little Hypatia art arrangement. I ordered custom portraits from a few artists on etsy and hung them in a grouping with a photo of her that I printed on fabric and framed in an embroidery hoop.

Obviously not everyone grieves this long for their pets, and I know that I was more attached to Hypatia than most people are to their animals. I am, by definition, a cat lady. My cats are my kids and Hypatia was my baby. But time is healing my wounds a little, and my other goofy playful cats are helping me cope. I was actually watching a video of Hypatia a couple weeks ago and when she meowed, Arrietty meowed back. They kept going for a few minutes, and it was so moving I can't even begin to describe it.

As difficult as the last couple months have been, I am just so happy that I have so many warm memories to comfort me. When I glance at the art grouping on my wall or look at my ring, I remember how she used to cover her food bowl with anything laying on the floor --tissues, socks, carpet fuzz, paper bags. I remember that she liked to comb my hair with her paw to wake me up in the morning, and that she would use my dad's sneakers as a scratching post.  My heart will always be heavy, but remembering how happy she made me when she was here is finally helping me to smile a little now that she's gone.

gold stamped charm - sarah fewell
cremation crystal - cremation solutions
hypatia painting - dog dream
portrait of me & hypatia - paper plants
hypatia illustration - brett manning