animal kingdom / DAILY FARM LIFE

loss, love and miracles

As if we didn't have enough sadness to deal with last week, the girls and I were faced with the strange disappearance of one of our beloved cats, Rosie. Most of you will probably recognize Rosie as the "upside down cat". She was a total sweetheart. The kind of cat you're constantly tripping over as she flops her body down in your path hoping for a rub of the belly or a scratch behind the ears. And she put up with all kinds of loving "abuse" from the girls.

At first, we thought she'd disappeared to have her babies. But I still remained suspicious, knowing it was about two weeks too soon for her to be due. Emma wandered the yard every morning and every evening calling for her. It was heartbreaking. She didn't understand why Rosie would disappear for so long because she always showed up when it was time to eat.

After being gone for two days, I decided it was time for me to check along the roadside and this time when I did, I found the grass littered with clumps of her fur. I can only imagine that she must have gotten carried away by something in the night.

I've been gently trying to warm Emma up to the idea that Rosie might be gone for good. And she's finally embraced the fact that she's not coming back.

loss love and miracles

Though the heartbreak is difficult, I believe these times of loss teach my children a lot. I truly believe they've been able to process and talk with me freely about the death of their great-grandmother because they've experienced death in other forms, since we've lived on the farm. Though no animal is as dear to their heart as my grandmother, I still believe these times have been used for their growth and understanding.

loss, love and miracles

Meanwhile, by the sweet grace of God, there was a kitten in this newest litter of Black Walnut's that is the spitting image of Rosie. It really is miraculous because Black Walnut is, well…black. And the father was a solid, dark grey cat. But somehow in a litter of all black kittens and one grey kitten, there emerged a striped cat, just like Rosie.

I told Emma she could keep her. And Emma's pouring all her energy and love for Rosie, into the new little Rosie.

As if we didn't have enough sadness to deal with last week, the girls and I were faced with the strange disappearance of one of our beloved cats, Rosie. Most of you will probably recognize Rosie as the "upside down cat". She was a total sweetheart. The kind of cat you're constantly tripping over as she flops her body down in your path hoping for a rub of the belly or a scratch behind the ears. And she put up with all kinds of loving "abuse" from the girls.

At first, we thought she'd disappeared to have her babies. But I still remained suspicious, knowing it was about two weeks too soon for her to be due. Emma wandered the yard every morning and every evening calling for her. It was heartbreaking. She didn't understand why Rosie would disappear for so long because she always showed up when it was time to eat.

After being gone for two days, I decided it was time for me to check along the roadside and this time when I did, I found the grass littered with clumps of her fur. I can only imagine that she must have gotten carried away by something in the night.

I've been gently trying to warm Emma up to the idea that Rosie might be gone for good. And she's finally embraced the fact that she's not coming back.

loss love and miracles

Though the heartbreak is difficult, I believe these times of loss teach my children a lot. I truly believe they've been able to process and talk with me freely about the death of their great-grandmother because they've experienced death in other forms, since we've lived on the farm. Though no animal is as dear to their heart as my grandmother, I still believe these times have been used for their growth and understanding.

loss, love and miracles

Meanwhile, by the sweet grace of God, there was a kitten in this newest litter of Black Walnut's that is the spitting image of Rosie. It really is miraculous because Black Walnut is, well…black. And the father was a solid, dark grey cat. But somehow in a litter of all black kittens and one grey kitten, there emerged a striped cat, just like Rosie.

I told Emma she could keep her. And Emma's pouring all her energy and love for Rosie, into the new little Rosie.

28 comments on “loss, love and miracles”

  1. Tissue please? That was such a tender post….thanks for sharing, and sorry for your losses. Your heartfelt honesty hits home….even during times of sharing the not so easy stuff. WIshing you sunny days ahead.

  2. this is a beautiful post. your photos, your words and how you and your daughter have dealt with rosie passing…it’s really lovely. thank you for sharing. and of course, the baby kitten, sigh. everything that’s good wrapped up in fuzz.

  3. Aww I am sorry about Rosie! It is a hard thing to learn as a child.

    It is really nice that there was one striped kitten just for Emma though 🙂

    Hope everything is going well for you and the whole family. I have been sending lots of prayers your way!

  4. oh. dear. We’ve lost two dogs in the past three years, but none like that. Heartbreak both times. My last dog is ten in the fall and won’t have much longer. As N grows older I dread having him feel that pain of loss of a beloved pet. Grandparents go to heaven, but pets, no matter what we say, are felt differently.

  5. that is such a wonderful story!(and cats can have litters where there is more than one father. i’m pretty sure of it – i remember being amazed when i saw it on the discovery channel or something like that years ago).

  6. It is true- although sad, it is an important lesson. If we could protect our children completely from death, would we? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that a little longer. Glad the kittens are doing well. The new Rosie sure is a cutie! ~Sara

  7. Sometimes windows open when doors close. Death has been a tough subject in our house – over this school year two fathers and one infant brother in my son’s pre-school class have all passed. My son has never dealt with loss – he’s only four – and it has been tough. Perhaps an experience such as Emma’s might have helped him.

  8. no no no!! rosie….this breaks my heart and i know i would have the hardest time living on a farm. i thought of this fact just today actually, as at preschool we’ve been hatching chicks.i’m so happy that black walnut has a little rosie to warm emma’s heart.you’re just pouring out the soul lately molly.

  9. Little Black Walnut may be just the thing for you and your family. I’ll pray for comfort during this time for you and your girls and your husband. Losing a grandmother is difficult. So many words, memories, scents, pictures need to be captured before you forget and passed on.

  10. I am absolutely convinced that having pets helps children deal with responsibility and loss.I know that when my Dad died, I was 15, it really helped me that I had had lots of mini-losses along the way.We had many pets as children.Cats,dogs,birds,rabbits,guinea pigs etc.Each loss was very painful but a learning process.The cycle of life does go on and is beautiful.Grief is a natural process it’s just the degree of intensity that alters.Give Emma and Little Rosie a hug from us.

  11. I think it is so important for kids to have pets. To see that shorter life cycle, to be a part of it and to learn to understand and cope with death. My daughters two hamsters recently died a month or two apart and she was able to say to me that she understood how her friend felt, who had just lost her grandmother. And while we know that people and pets are not the same, children (and grownups) love their pets in a special way.I was very sad to hear of both your losses, but for your children they get to see the cycle of life right from the beginning again, and that is surely a blessing.Sending much love your way…

  12. It really is a gift to have animals and to live outside city limits where the everyday often brings conversations of life and death and cycles…recently a friend died leaving behind two small children one of who is my son’s age. While the conversations go on and the comprehension is not quite there, we do have a point of reference to work from.

    I’m sorry for your loss, the cycles of life, don’t get easier the older we get.

  13. ((hugs)) Having just lost my Grandmother two weeks ago today, I feel your pain.I am sorry to hear about Rosie, the new kitten is lovely! I hope she helps ease your pain.

  14. so sorry to hear about rosie. but you are right, it is best they have the experiences when young and learn how to get through them with the love of the parents. and little rosie looks like a sweetie who will get lots of love.

  15. I’m so sorry about Rosie, but you’re right on with your kids by facing it rather than hiding it (other than the gory details). My sister in law (27 yrs) has always been protected (she’s the baby of the family) and when our granny passed away last year, i always thought she missed out on a precious time with granny by not facing it and her parents saying she shouldn’t come & see her because it was too tough! ????

    This new kitty will be loved!

  16. So so sweet. And truly, a precious way for them to learn and experience the passage of life and reflect on the good times. Farm life behooves anyone, I say. It’s a little microcosm of everything you’ll ever experience. Let the healing begin.

  17. I’m sorry you lost your grandmother; and sorry you lost your “old” rosie.I agree that dealing with death in “smaller” forms prepares kids for bigger moments–but it’s still so very hard to see our little ones hurting. 🙁

  18. I’m so sorry to hear about your losing your darling cat, she looks like she was an utter sweatheart.

    It is important for children to learn about death through pets but it’s heartbreaking when it’s not a natural death.

    Little Rosie is beautiful!

  19. i’m trying to type through tears…. this is a very touching post… i’m so sorry that Rosie may be gone, i know how hard it is when your beloved pet just disappears, but it does seem like a miracle you’ve found the new little one! I’m sure she will be a happy & well cared for kitten!

    x nadine

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