Since Spider’s death 10 days ago, things have not been the same around here. I know that animals grieve the loss of a family member or close friend as much as us humans do, but obviously, their grief manifests in slightly different ways from ours. We can see the obvious signs of apathy, searching behaviour, clinginess or loss/increase of appetite, but what really goes through their little heads is something we cannot possibly understand.
Ruby absolutely adores Lugosi, but has never been very close to Spider. Nevertheless, the first few days after Spider’s passing she was very clingy and vocal, followed by now being rather withdrawn. The whole dynamics in our household are wrong now, and everybody knows how cats hate change!
Getting back to understanding Lugosi’s grief… I’m trying. And whenever I am close to Lugosi I do actually *feel* his pain, and it hurts me more than my own grief over Spider to see him suffer.
Lugosi and Spider have been together since birth and have never been apart (except for vet visits). Whereas I can talk to friends and family and creatively work through my grief, Lugosi has no little feline buddies he can “talk” to and grieve and share his pain with, so losing the “yin” to his “yang” must be a terrible blow to him and something he cannot understand or make sense of.
“He still isn’t back. It’s been such a long time and he’s not back. Even his smell is fading everywhere – let me stick my nose in the air and see if I can find some more scent of him…. [walks around the room] ah, there’s a little bit of him there, but it’s faint. And there too, but yesterday the same spot smelled more of him. There has also been nothing new deposited by him in our communal toilets for ages, and I have not seen my brother for the longest time now.
Is he going to come back? I don’t know. I am confused. I have never been separated from my twin and I don’t understand what has happened with him and where he went.
From the way the human acts, all confused and crying and acting very different from her usual self, there is something definitely not right. His smell is also no longer on her.
The girl [Ruby] has not been very helpful. She is suddenly more clingy than usual and I’m not in the mood for her. She has been acting strange and erratic too recently. My stomach has been sick and pooping has been painful for a few days. I really miss my brother, I don’t know if he will ever come back…”
I don’t know whether this is what he is thinking, because cognitive and sentient thoughts are really just how us humans think and relate, but no matter what, I am there for him if and when he needs me, and I tell him this, along with other reassuring words, various times a day. And that I LOVE HIM.