You are currently viewing Today I am just sharing a personal story of vulnerability and grief…

Today I am just sharing a personal story of vulnerability and grief…


I am always a bit hesitant to be vulnerable, you know what I mean? But then, when I manage, it is actually all good…

​Friday was an emotionally challenging day for me.

A year ago, as we were planning our regular trip to the Ficksburg Cherry Festival, our little Peanut cat was bitten by a dog. Peanut started living with us accidentally. The Boschhoek Estate security guys were driving along the estate, when they realized the cat screams came from underneath their truck. They stopped and then searched for Peanut for hours, and brought him to me when they found him – “cat rescuer of Nottingham Road” reputation gets me these kind of results. We were looking for a home for him, but he was traumatized, so it was not that easy. And next thing he just settled in with our cats. and stayed. Very happily.

And then,  a long and traumatic story about a ten day fight for his life… Hope up, hope dashed, hope up, hope dashed… nursing him through this. I still have traumatic flashbacks of finding his broken little body, and of how he perked up when I walked into the hospital the last time and called his name. It is still hard, and that is just the nature of grief. It is meant to be hard. Until it gets better.

It came to an end on a Sunday night in Martin de Scally’s excellent Veterinary Hospital in Hilton. After hours of holding him through an operation to remove the dead tissue around the wound and an emergency blood transfusion with dog blood, Peanut looked better, and once again we dared to hope that he would make it. We went home hopeful.
The call came at one in the morning. There is only one kind of call at one in the morning.

He was only a year old, and gave us so much joy and love.

This week I had to take Smokey to our local vet, as all the other cats got over a bout of sniffles just fine, but he is still snorting and snoring and struggling to breathe. Smokey is now better, but I talked to the vet about Zoli just getting fatter and fatter on diet food. Turns out heart conditions can cause, amongst other things, fluid build up in a cat’s abdomen. I had already been thinking, for the last month or three, that I should make sure it is not a tumour,.. Well, I was not sleeping anyway, courtesy of snoring cat, now this…

Hence the trip to the specialist vet. On my own.

I have learned this very big lesson a few years back: I do not have to do everything on my own. I can ask for support, I can ask for help. I can be vulnerable. It is not weak to say “I do not want to do this by myself”. Yet here I am driving along the N3 and the thought strikes me – what if I have to make a hard/heart decision today. By myself. Now, Zoli is not just another cat. She is Princess Preshiss. The one who has that tiny special place… And I am driving towards this thing all by myself, Superwoman style.

I could feel a panic attack coming on, and had to talk myself out of this kind of thinking very fast.
“Step one, stay in the now. It is what it is. I can do this. I can do this. It is all going to be OK. Everything will work out just the way it should. Breathe. Stay in the now. I am OK, all is OK. I will handle it. I am handling it… I have managed to survive bad things before. I am still here. Stay in the now. Just drive. Breathe.”

Panic attack averted.

Zoli was scanned from top to bottom. She is a healthy, fat cat! She is now on even more expensive cat food with mostly protein, the way cats would eat in nature.- the equivalent of rats, birds and locusts for desert! We are weighing her food, and taking it slow. Baby steps, Zoli!

Big lesson here.

Stay in the now! And being human means that hard things happen. to all of us. Sharing is not putting our load on someone else. It is taking in the love.

The other beneficial thing that happened was that the trauma flashbacks I was experiencing, even when Martin’s newsletter arrived through e mail, is now changed by a trip I made with a different outcome. Sometimes we just have to travel that road again, to work through the  trauma moment, now matter how much we fear it. We are still here, after all, so clearly we are making it through.

If you are struggling with a fear of vulnerability (so do I, and all of us!), I am here and I am ready to help. More on that here…

I would love to hear from you!..

Much love