Things I Still Do For My Dead Cat

Shani Silver
3 min readMay 12, 2021

Why, even?

Photo by Tatiana Аzatskaya from Pexels. This is not my cat. I didn’t have it in me to look through old photos of her today to put one here.

CW: Pet Loss, Grief

I don’t know anything about grief. I’m really bad at it. I’m one of those supremely lucky people who hasn’t had death in their family beyond the natural course of grandparents and both times I was in such shock and denial that I avoided everything there was to avoid, figuring I’d learn how to “process” death eventually. Eventually came when my cat and only companion of 12 years had one kidney problem too many and passed away in early April. I don’t like the term “Rainbow Bridge” and I’m sure she’d have rolled her eyes at it, too.

While I actually did take about three days to allow myself to feel painful, terrifying grief, I was super proud of myself the first day I felt functional again. I thought I did the grief good, and that I’d be okay moving forward. While I am for the most part, things sneak up on me. Things you don’t think about until they’re in front of your face, reminding you that your arms are empty. Here’s what I still do for absolutely no reason at all:

Avoid making loud noises of any kind. I put away my dishes as if they’re wired to explode.

Immediately look for her when there’s a loud noise outside to tell her it’s okay.

Save bits of twine and tissue paper from online shopping deliveries.

Avoid allowing my feet to breach the lower righthand quadrant of the bed, lest I kick her.

Mute movies until after the lion has roared.

Avoid “her” places when spraying Mrs. Meyers air freshener just in case it gets in her eyes.

Turn the sound off on my phone whenever there’s a dog video with an awoo.

Leave a throw blanket across a chair I never sit in because it’s more comfortable than the plastic seat.

There are other things, things I could never do that I was able to once she died. I can have a bath mat now, that’s cool. She never didn’t piss on one. I can leave the toilet lid up because I’m not afraid of any tomfoolery happening in there. I can open my windows, that’s huge. I’m on the fifth floor and was always terrified that she’d crawl out on the ledge then fall off and die because one time she almost did and I’ve never know fear that acute. I don’t…

Shani Silver

Author, podcaster. shanisilver@gmail