One Big Sorrow and Two Big Joys

This has been a very emotional week.

The sorrow was the loss of my elderly orange-and-white Cornish Rex cat. His death was not unexpected – he was eighteen and a half and had been sick for several days with all the symptoms of pancreatitis. I thought he was turning the corner because, after three or four days of zero appetite, he asked for chicken at lunchtime Saturday and also ate some dry food.

Saturday night he spent a little time on my bed, which I also took as a good sign, as he had been sleeping on the couch since he got sick. When I woke up, I didn’t see him in any of his usually napping places, so I went to the computer, expecting him to come jump on my lap and help me type. 

When he didn’t show up, I went looking for him again. I spotted him on the floor, motionless, between the couch and the potted ficus tree. I understand that cats usually look for an unusual place to die, preferably a small enclosed one. The space between the pot and the wall would have been ideal, but he didn’t quite make it.

The grief is so strong this time around! It has kicked up left-over grief from my two previous cats, the two dogs from my adult life, and the two dogs from my childhood. The animals from my adulthood were all eased out of life by their veterinarians and the childhood pets were “returned to the breeder so that they could have puppies.” I sincerely doubt that was so; I believe they were sacrificed. This was the first natural death (except for mice and hamsters) that I have experienced. 

And it was the first time that the death of an animal stirred up grief for the people in my life that I have lost. Perhaps it was because it was a natural death, perhaps because I am older now and death is closer to the forefront of my mind.

Besides the grief, I have had to contend with urges to do things to his body that are reminiscent of things that were done in the cult when an animal was sacrificed. The urges are strong, but I know that I will not act on them. It feels good to be so sure I am in control of my behavior that the images in my mind do not make me anxious. I can remember times when I was not as confident and I was terrified that the urges would overpower me. Now they are only an opportunity to process death in the cult at a deeper level.

Enough of the sorrow; now on to the joy.

I have a very good friend who had been extremely sick (not COVID) and was hospitalized for over a month. Everybody, including him, expected him to die, but he fooled his friends and family, his doctors, and himself and made it through. He is now discharged home and gaining his strength back. 

During the period when it was touch and go, I remembered all the good times we had had together and cried a lot. We went back a long time – to our teens – so there was a lot to cry over. There was laughter mixed in with the tears and that made me happy even as I was grieving. Now my heart is light again! Of course, since he is the human equivalent of eighteen-and-a-half cat years he probably won’t be with us for a long, long time, but every day is precious. Always has been, always will be.

I don’t feel comfortable saying much more – I don’t like talking about other people. So on to the other joy.

This one isn’t as dramatic, and that is just fine by me. I had a birthday last week and celebrated with a ZOOM call with my family. Last year it was a bigger celebration because I had asked all my nieces and nephews and their spouses and kids. I had also asked everybody to provide themselves with a cake (preferably chocolate with raspberry jam filling and chocolate fudge icing) and celebrate with me. There was one slice of last year’s cake in the freezer but I forgot all about it and so we all had a cakeless celebration.

No cake, no candles, no presents, but lots of love and another good memory for all. We had such a good time that we started talking about doing it for other family members’ birthdays. That would average out to just under one ZOOM celebration a month! 

For years I had dreaded my birthday because birthdays were so horrible when I was a child. For a good twenty years, I didn’t know why I could barely tolerate them, and then – boom! bye-bye, amnesia! – I totally got it. I was happy to celebrate others’ birthdays, but not mine. I acted out in behavior the feelings of wishing to have never been born. 

I asked for no presents on my birthday or Christmas. To make up for it, my family received presents at random times during the year and one set of grandkids got presents on Lobster Day. That was fine by them. I tried to institute a form of Lobster Day with the other set, but they thought it was too hokey and rejected the idea.

When I turned eighty, though, I realized I was depriving my kids of happy memories and asked for a big bash. No presents for me, just a request to pay something forward. That was shortly after I had decided to say “fuck the camera phobia.” Suddenly, avoiding cameras no longer seemed a loving, self-protective thing to do; it seemed selfish. I was going to leave photos for my kids to remember me by no matter how uncomfortable it made me.

It wasn’t as hard as I had anticipated, and it was great preparation for the ZOOM days ahead. 

I’ve always known that I could be happy about some things and sad about other things at the same time, but one emotion has always been far more powerful at the time than the other. This time they were pretty well balanced.


Upcoming Holiday


9/29 Michaelmas/Feast of Archangel Michael and of all Angels

9/22 Fall Equinox


10/11 (?) Columbus Day

10/13 Backward Halloween

10/20 Full Moon

10/31 Halloween/start of Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year


11/1 All Saints’ Day

11/2 All Souls’ Day

11/4 Satanic Revels

11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day

11/18-19 Partial Lunar Eclipse

11/19 Full Moon

11/25 Thanksgiving Day (United States)

11/28 First Sunday of Advent

11/30 St Andrew’s Day


Sundays of advent: 11/28, 12/5, 12/12, 12/19

12/4 Total Solar Eclipse

12/18 Full Moon

12/24 Christmas Eve

12/21 Winter solstice/Yule/St. Thomas’ Day

12/25 Christmas Day

12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

9/21 – 9/27 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, Jewish harvest festival

10/4 Hitler’s alternate half-birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual half-birthday, 10/20, and his alternate half-birthdate six months after Easter, which falls on 4/4 this year.)

10/16 Death of Rosenburg

10/19 Death of Goering

10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday

11/9 Kristallnacht

11/29 -12/16 Chanukah/Hanukkah (Jewish Festival of Lights)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)


You can find more information on the following holidays at: 

Fall Equinox –

Halloween (personal) – 

Halloween (background) –

Thanksgiving –

Yule/Winter Solstice – 

Candlemas –

Valentine’s Day –

Spring Equinox –

Easter: personal – (for background, see Spring Equinox) –

Walpurgisnacht/May Eve –

Beltane –

Mothers’ Day –

Fathers’ Day –

Summer Solstice (corrected text) –

Lammas –


Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 –

Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 –

9 thoughts on “One Big Sorrow and Two Big Joys

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty, Jean. What a blessing to experience a good balance of joy and grief….I know how that feels to have one be more powerful than the other. I always appreciate so much what you share about your life and experiences here. You have helped me process and have validated so much. Peace to you and happy belated birthday! ❤️


  2. i’m so sorry about your kitty familiar, much empathy for your layers of grief reaching back to earlier trauma of your childhood.
    i have a particularly hard time with cat companions given my early experiences of them always taken from me, never to been seen, petted or snuggled again.

    you are so generous to share your inner landscape; tis very validating as always, reading your blog entries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m glad that sharing my process is helpful to you.

      As a kid, I never got to see a kitten turn into a cat. And I think that most of the sacrifices in my cult were cats, simply because they were free or cheap and easy to get. My earliest Satanic memory was a horrific experience of being tricked into killing a cat and being told it showed how deeply evil I was. So it was a blessing to keep my cats until 16, 17, and then, this last one, 18 years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i’m sorry you and those kitties were treated so horribly. so much trauma.
        truly a blessing, you’ve had long time living experiences of your feline companions. that’s healing ❤️‍🩹 hope inducing.

        i am a dog person & share my bed with an old rescue pitbull. very traumatized one too. but i do work in an office with several cats, two of them kittens. it’s been challenging, but think i’m managing quite well given my personal history.
        i hope one day i’ll not be triggered by a kitten; a beautiful little innocent floof (with talons).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’d rather be triggered at home than at work, any day!

          So sorry for all of us, and doubly sorry for the kittens and puppies and cats and dogs and chickens and goats, not to speak of eople.

          Liked by 1 person

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