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You have my deepest condolences. I have lost 2 bunnehs and 2 kittehs during my adult life. I empathize with you most sincerely.

Ginger K


My sympathies goes out to Ingrid and you.

Aside: I suspect we have a religious concern troll and that John = Paul. I wouldn't be surprised if another morph attempts to post similar tripe.


I am so sorry to hear about Lydia. I just found your blog a couple of days ago,and am enjoying it very much. Discovering you are a cat lover is one more plus. I am nearly 58, and have had 3 to 5 cats my entire adult life, all "rescued", as well as having a number of "temporaries" until more permanent homes were found. They all come to the end of their lives, and unfortunately, it always hurts. My thoughts are very much with you.


I suspect "Paul" is "John" again. Sad when Christians show themselves to be exactly what they are, selfish and ignorant.

My sympathies about Lydia's passing. I wish you a bottle of good wine and fond reminiscences.

Doug from Dougland

My heart breaks for the both of you. Lydia was surely a very fortunate cat indeed to have had owners like you and Ingrid. Best wishes


Twisting the knife, indeed. I would urge anyone else tempted to flout the request of the grieving and to obstinately exploit Greta and Ingrid's loss as an opportunity to propagate oppositional beliefs about death to consider how *they* would feel if, after losing a loved one, someone with oppositional beliefs exploited *their* time of grief in a similar fashion. My mind boggles to think of how hurt and indignant they would be. If their desire is to be positive ambassadors to their "spiritual persuasion" (whatever it may be), they would be better served to show an ounce of humanity and empathic sensibility at such a tender time.

I'm sorry if that was an inappropriate or presumptuous outburst, but I was just aghast at the insensitivity and obtuseness of those comments.


Very sorry for your loss. Keep Violet close; I'm sure you will find a lot of comfort with her.


I'm sorry for your loss and about the jerks. It's wonderful, indeed that you were able to give Lydia a good life and a good death.

Nurse Ingrid

@ Kim:

You say it, sister. Many thanks for your eloquence.

And to everyone else who has offered their kind words and support, many thanks again. Greta and I have been very touched by all your comments.

John the Drunkard

Damn the trolls.

All my condolence for Lydia. Our Olive is 18 going on 19. Still a feisty moggy barring a bad leg from a freakish calcification.

My future ex-partner has converted to catholicism. She has accepted the homophobia, the authoritarianism, the sleazy miracle stories etc. BUT...she reserves the right to believe that--you guessed it--she will see Olive in the sweet bye-and-bye.

It is probably too soon to say so, but there are other cats in the world who need your love. Your relationship with them is not a substitute for Lydia. This other cat(s) has a right to its own connection to you based on its own, and your own, natures.

So Sorry.


Why does everyone hate me so much, all I did was to console Greta for her loss


For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. ~William Penn

Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That signifies nothing. For us believing physicists the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. ~Albert Einstein


"God is not someone or something separate but is the suchness in each moment, the underlying reality."
— Stephen Levine

"I have seen many die, surrounded by loved ones, and their last words were ‘I love you.’ There were some who could no longer speak yet with their eyes and soft smile left behind that same healing message. I have been in rooms where those who were dying made it feel like sacred ground. (26)"
— Stephen Levine (A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last)

healing comes not from being loving but from being itself. It is not a case of being clear but of clear being. This healing is not about anything else but being itself. Nothing separate, no edges, nothing to limit healing. Entering, in moments, the realm of pure being, the gateless gate swings open-- beyond life and death, our original face shines back at us."
— Stephen Levine (Healing Into Life and Death)


John: Look asshole, all you need to know is that she has said that this sort of "consolation" is upsetting to her, in no uncertain terms. Why the fuck do you feel like it's more important to keep spouting your opinion on the topic in this particular venue than to respect the needs and feelings of someone who is dealing with a tremendous personal tragedy?

Greta Christina
Why does everyone hate me so much, all I did was to console Greta for her loss

John: I made it very clear that I did not want this sort of "consolation." I made it very clear that I do not find it consoling -- I find it intensely upsetting. I have already explained why; you can read that explanation again here.

It is clear, however, that you are more interested in making your arguments for the existence of an afterlife than you are in actually offering empathy and support to a person in pain. And you are clearly more concerned about your own hurt feelings over other people being mad at you than you are about the grief of a human being who has lost someone they dearly loved. You can mouth all the mushy platitudes you want: it cannot disguise your utter lack of the simplest human compassion. If you think your comments are making any non-believer reconsider their non-belief, you are sadly mistaken. It is having the exact opposite effect. It is making people recoil in horror.

I have banned you from commenting on this blog. You are apparently attempting to get around that ban by commenting from a different IP address. I am going to continue banning every IP address you comment from. I am tempted to delete or disemvowel your comments, but for the moment I'm going to leave them, as an example of how revoltingly self-centered and cruel religious believers can be when they are pretending to offer comfort.

Greta Christina
They see a chance to jump in with their preaching and don't care the least about what the people they direct it to might think about it, or if they might offend or hurt someone.

Getting the message out is more important than showing a minimum of respect by making sure first that it is proper or would be welcomed, it seems.

Maria: Normally, I don't care about that. I know that the things I write often offend and hurt people, and are considered by many to not be proper or welcome or respectful. So I defend people's right to say things that I find offensive, hurtful, unwelcome, and so on. That's the marketplace of ideas, after all. If I'm posting an article criticizing people's cherished religious beliefs, knowing that people are going to find it upsetting, I can't get too annoyed when people respond without being concerned about whether it's going to upset me.

But sheesh. To do it in a freaking obituary? If you had told me when I started blogging that people would be using an obituary as an opportunity to grind their religious axe, at the cost of rubbing salt in the wounds of someone who had lost someone they love that very day, I would have said you were high. I guess nobody ever went broke underestimating the self-centered callousness of the human race. Sheesh.


Maria: Normally, I don't care about that. I know that the things I write often offend and hurt people, and are considered by many to not be proper or welcome or respectful. So I defend people's right to say things that I find offensive, hurtful, unwelcome, and so on. That's the marketplace of ideas, after all.

I see what you mean, and yes, I can't say that I aren't doing just that too. So yes, you are right. I guess what annoyed me the most was the "spam quality" of it, as in seeing the words "someone died" and then jumping right in, seeing it as a chance to preach. At least when I prepare to put in an opinion, I have read what I'm about to argue against. (And if they did read it's even more callous.)

So I'm willing to retract that bit, or I would really be hypocritical (seeing as sharp-tongued as I can be at times). But, yes, there is a time and place to bring up certain things, that I stand behind.


John is an evil selfish person. A great example of theist.


Wow, I'm sorry to hear that.


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Greta Christina

Despite having been banned from this blog, John is continuing to attempt to comment from multiple IP addresses. It has been repeatedly explained to him why he has been banned, but he is ignoring these explanations. His comments have therefore been disemvoweled, as will any future comments from him.

And to anyone else reading this: Please do not start arguments about religious beliefs on an obituary thread. It is grotesquely cruel. Thank you.

Marc Alan Di Martino

My cat Ninotchka died of cancer the other day, too. I hadn't seen her in eight years, though the news was heartbreaking. So sorry.


This is the first time I've ever left a response on this blog, though I have stopped by from time to time to enjoy the excellent writing. However, I had to break my silence in order to offer deepest sympathies on your loss. I know it may seem silly, as I am a total stranger to you, and so many others have already offeredup their sympathies, but as an atheist and an owner of some well-loved kitties, I was moved by the thought of how you must be feeling.
I don't know if its true, because all I have to go off of is the anecdotal evidence of my own experiences and those of other atheists I have personally known, but it has always seemed to me that grief for atheists is generally much deeper and more profound. We have to face up to the loss of loved-ones (and cherished pets are indeed loved-ones) for what it is: not a temporary separation, not "see you later", but instead "you've gone forever, what am I to do?" Such loss is heart-rending, and though the grief may be blunted over time, it will always be there. I'm sorry if I'm being a bit morose or depressing, but I honestly feel that it is the bone-shattering sense of loss that lets us understand what a life is worth. A life not profoundly missed is a life cheapened. Anyway, I'm rambling now, but I'll part by saying to remember that our grief is the measure of our love for the lost, and in that way, it is bitterly precious.

David Harmon

My condolences -- and fie to "John" and "Paul", who can't be bothered to actually care about the people they're preaching to.

As with humans, Lydia's "afterlife" is within you and the others who loved her in life. Though she has died, your memories of her haven't -- and neither has the love you "grew for her", and which you clearly retain.


Sympathies, it hurts like heck losing a pet!
I'm a dog person and lost our boxer in August. In his memory we fostered a poor, stressed kennel rescue and got him happy and settled and into a permanent home where he is now loved!
I wondered if you could foster an injured kitty on the journey from rescue to a new home. It helped us and we felt like we paid forward!


I'm sorry she's gone. Are there any animal hospitals or charities that have helped you and/or Lydia, or that you'd appreciate donations for?

(and my apologies if this is a double-post, I'm not sure if it went through the first time)


My first cat was a tortoiseshell who died of cancer. It hurts to lose anyone we love, and the more we love them, the more it hurts. What a lucky kitteh she was to have you and Ingrid for a family. My condolences Greta.


I am sorry for your loss. I've just discovered your blog and have been enjoying it. I was saddened to read this. I have lost pets before, and it is not easy to lose a little furry creature so close to our hearts. She looked like a lovely, adorable, loving cat who made people happy.

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