Welcome back to my Expressing Gratitude Series
In Part 1, I wrote about gratitude as an essential part of my daily practice and how creating space for gratitude helps me in my life.
For Part 2, I am sharing a personal experience with gratitude. Today I am grateful for a video I watched on Instagram with Russell Brand speaking of his cat Morrissey. The Instagram post caption said his cat died and I felt an immediate connection. As I listened to Russell speak, he articulated so well about the love I feel toward my dear orange tabby Tigger.
Morrissey was 16 years old and Russell had him before he got married and had children. As I listened to Russell, I flashed through 19 years of great moments and memories with Tigger. I adopted Tigger when I was in college. I loved Tigger from the first moment I saw him. Tigger was a 2-month-old kitten and I was 21… I thought I knew so much then, but I knew nothing. Tigger still loved me unconditionally and I love him unconditionally. I did not know an animal could capture my heart so much as Tigger did.
Russell explained the last moments of Morrissey’s life in great detail. I returned to the day my mom and I were with Tigger at PetSmart. I could not bring myself to decide on my own so I dreadfully waited for the veterinarian to tell me that we have exhausted all options. I knew the moment was coming. I felt it coming but when the moment came and she told me that, I fell apart. I had to say goodbye to Tigger. Goodness, gracious this was the most challenging decision I ever had to make. My dear Tigger laid in my arms with a fragile body and shallow breaths. I did not want him to be in pain anymore. I also felt selfish for not wanting to lose him.
But what saved me is that I knew this was not a goodbye but instead a see you later. I decided to euthanize Tigger in his physical form because he was suffering from illnesses. He lived a long good life for 19 years. Tigger is and will always be my friend, my companion. When I close my eyes and focus on my breath, I can feel Tigger is still with me.
With my eyes still closed, I return to this painful moment in my life to bring healing and show myself, love. I visualize my present self, watching my past self and I send her love. I hug myself and say, everything is okay Shaani. You are doing the right thing Shaani. Tigger loves you. I love you Shaani. I tell Tigger I love you. I tell my mom thank you for being there for Tigger and I. I hug my mom and I say, Mama, I love you. I tell the veterinarian and staff, thank you for the compassion and great care for Tigger and my family. I take a deep breath, walk out of the room and I open my eyes. I return to the present moment.
I focus on the memories of when I adopted Tigger at Humane Society, the only time Tigger came to our rescue and killed a huge cicada at my mom’s house, the time Tigger ran out of my apartment and jumped into the snow but was so startled by the coldness that he froze and I had to go get pick him up, the time I brought my newborn twins and their little brother home from the hospital and introduced them to Tigger, the time Tigger ran out of our house at night, I was so scared that I couldn’t find him and I eventually found him at a neighbor’s house two lots over but he wouldn’t come to me so I had to climb a fence, run and grab him in front of two large dogs.
I will always have these memories and so many more in my heart. I am grateful for the healing this moment has brought me. I am grateful for the connection I felt with Russell sharing his narrative. I am grateful for 19 wonderful years with my companion Tigger. I am grateful for the ability to feel and share the divine love within me. Thank you.
Stay tuned for my next writing about Expressing Gratitude