Bella died tonight.  This evening, she was acting strange, sprawled out under a radiator and panting a lot.  I called the out-of-hours vets and they told me to bring her in.  I left her there and the vet called me later to say she was being treated but that her blood-work indicated a toxin.  They strongly suspected she'd licked or drank anti-freeze somewhere.  Half an hour later the same vet called to tell me she had died.

I am completely devastated because she was sort of like a child of mine.  I would have thought of her like a child, until I actually had a child, and its not the same; but losing her hurts a lot.  I had been thinking about her mortality a lot over the past few days and I wonder if I somehow sensed this coming.

Death is hard to accept.  Its difficult to accept that a loved one, even if its a pet, is gone and you'll never see them again.  The worst part about death, and this isn't obvious, is that it makes us stop living properly.  We focus on the loss, and the potential for loss, instead of celebrating the life.  Anger at loss, and fear of it, and cynicism because of it, robs us of our own lives.

My biggest challenge, at this point of my life, is to not succumb to cynicism.  I don't want to become jaded and defeated because I've somehow avoided it up until now.  So many of the people around me have lost their shine.  Its evident in the workplace, in my personal relationships - even on Facebook.  My beloved Bella is gone and far too soon.  I am sore about it, but I'm happy I had her.  I'm happy she was there for close to seven years and I don't have a single regret about picking her up from the manure in the farm yard, as a tiny kitten, and bringing her home with me.