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Old 01-25-2012, 06:54 AM
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,721 posts, read 11,739,154 times
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Hi, all. I just opened a can of soup for my early early lunch -- it's a type of soup I haven't had in years (cream of chicken). The second I smelled it, I started to tear up (bizarre reaction, I know!) -- it reminded me of my kitty Mabel because she loved to eat Mom's leftover cream of chicken soup. Mabel died back in the summer of '07 at the age of 16 (I had gotten her from the Humane Society when she was just 6 weeks old so she had a pretty long and happy life).

I know that smells, sounds (like certain songs), etc. can be memory triggers, but WOW was I unprepared how something as simple as opening a can of soup could trigger this visceral memory of my sweet kitty.

Do the rest of you have similar "triggers"?

-Karen in New Hampshire
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:12 AM
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,683,339 times
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That makes sense to me, although I can't pinpoint any particularly strong memory triggers in the house at the moment, or food or other things. Oh, well, I haven't had them in the last several weeks but tortilla chips sometimes. The other cat was always very interested in them and I eventually began breaking off a few little pieces. She did actually eat a few pieces most of the time. The blue ones were her favorite; not sure if she would eat the others.

My biggest trigger these days is reading here. I read every new post here and respond to many. When people post about various disease diagnoses and/or needing to make end of life decisions with cats, I am reminded of when I had to do that 3 years ago. It's still a very sad feeling.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:14 AM
Location: Near Nashville TN
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Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Do the rest of you have similar "triggers"?

-Karen in New Hampshire
Every time I see a gray and white cat it brings back sad memories of my first cat Tommy. My family conspired to get rid of him. One day he was "gone." I was only 11 at the time and was devastated. It turned me against several family members who I was unable to forgive or ever trust again. I never felt the same about them.

Every time I hear the name Lucy I'm reminded of a grayish brown tabby cat I dearly loved when first married. My mother convinced my then husband (I'm remarried) to get rid of her when I went to the hospital to have my son. No one said anything to me. The shock and grief I felt to find her gone when I came home with the baby, was again, devastating. It was the start of a wedge between us that only widened over time.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:25 PM
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,721 posts, read 11,739,154 times
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greg42 and =^..^= (had trouble typing that! :-) ), thanks for the replies. I'm sorry I brought up some sad memories. I should have realized that might happen with my question. Actually, when I thought about Mabel this morning, even though I got teary for a minute, it was actually kind of sweet to remember her licking up all the yummy leftover soup. I don't think about her every day now, so when I do, it's usually nice memories.

I hope you both have many wonderful memories as well. :-)
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:00 PM
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I understand completely, Karen. I just lost my 19 yo orange tabby a couple weeks ago. I was at Costco and started to tear up when I passed the display of Tang (his name).
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:01 PM
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When I go to bed at night, sometimes I think about Mickey, he would do the "stare" because he wanted to cuddle under the covers with me, but he always purred so loud, I could never get to sleep...but I usually would let him snuggle for a bit.

We still think about Beau on occasion, and compare him to Jasper...no real comparison, Jasper is completely different...we miss Beau so much still. Beau was a remarkable cat, and extraordinary...he was very social, and he was like a "cat-nurse", my daughter was sick when she was young, and frequently had monitors and oxygen hoses, and visiting nurses or therapists come over, Beau would watch the nurses and therapists, and they even included Beau in the therapy sessions, he was part of the OT and PT exercises for my daughter..."okay, lets pet Beau"...and he would patiently sit and be petted by a little girl with CP, with jerky movements, sometimes poking him in the eye, and he patiently purred the whole time. He was awesome.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:05 PM
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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Oh absolutely I have those triggers...but I regard them as treasures, fond remembrances of my very dear friends, gone on before me...
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:14 PM
Location: In the real world!
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Just walking by my refrigerator and glancing up triggers it for me. The last months of Boo's life she spent a lot of time up there with her face in the corner and as it came closer and closer to the end, she stayed up there more and more. Her last 2 days she never got down except when I took her down to clean and redress her tumor and give her, her medication. She was 16 years old and I cry every time I glance up there still... That was in October.

I am at peace with having her put to sleep but I just miss her so much!
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:37 PM
Location: Philaburbia
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Eating clam chowder reminds me of my childhood cat, Muffy, because if I dared to leave my place at the table while eating clam chowder, she'd hop up on my chair and start eating it. She'd also try to steal the ham out of your sandwich.

My spouse's cat, Bear, I think of every time I see a piece of furniture that he clawed up. He lived to be almost 17, so he clawed up a lot of stuff! All the bowls and some of the toys that my cats play with now were Bear's. And I have a picture of my husband with Bear when they both were young. Bear and I were a bit antagonistic toward each other -- he was 10 when I met him, and he acted like a 3-year-old who didn't want Daddy to find a new Mommy -- but I really missed him when he was gone. Part of me doesn't want to get rid of the clawed up furniture -- every slash reminds me of both Bear and his daddy, who are together now. Part of me wants to get those horrid things out of my house!
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:41 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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Eleven days ago, I had my beloved 19-year-old "Weasie" PTS after life with liver cancer became unbearable for her. She was introduced to me in late 1992 as a kitten aged approximately four months. Her coat was gray, with whitish-gray tabby markings, and her chin was pure white. The runt of her litter, she arrived one evening along with her brother who I named "Puppy." The friend who brought them into my home had learned of them through a co-worker, who'd arrived at her apartment building one night earlier in the fall to find the two of them - and their littermate(s) - in a ventilated box which had been left in the lobby. Puppy was a good bit larger than his sister, and appeared to be solid gray until you got very close and could see faint black tabby striping. Although his hair was quite short it was soft as could be. Having been born the previous summer, the two of them were already in "catolescence" with eyes of yellow hinting green.

The tie between Weasie and Puppy was strong. He could groom her for over an hour at a time. Usually they napped close enough together to be touching. But they were typical siblings, with plenty of chasing and play fighting to go along with the shows of affection.

In early March of '93, Puppy went outside in conditions that foretold the blizzard which struck later in the day. For about a month I'd carefully introduced him and Weasie to the outdoors after they developed the knowledge of where home was. The sky was about the same uniformly slate color as he was on that cold dreary morning. No pet or human who had any say in the matter was venturing forth. Because Puppy was never found it can only be surmised that a motorist didn't see his gray self amidst all the grayness and couldn't stop in time. Weasie went into a state of high anxiety, dashing aimlessly through the house and urinating on a rug. For two days she couldn't calm down. Then suddenly she went into profound grief, howling and wailing even as I prepared flyers to post around the neighborhood. No amount of soothing words and petting could console her. She somehow knew her brother would not return. I never completely shook my denial that he was gone. But she remained "in a bad way" for most of the month before moving forward emotionally.

Weasie was having such a tough go of it during her final days that I took January 13th - yes, Friday the Thirteenth - off from work. Her hind legs had begun to fail her that week, it had gotten so that she would only eat from the floor or out of my hand, and I wanted to be RIGHT THERE whenever she cried. (I work from home, which has always been a nice arrangement and was a blessing during this time.) Late that morning, when she seemed reasonably comfortable I gathered cans of food which had yet to be opened. Off I went to the city's Animal Control office to donate them.

I was astonished by what I saw when I opened the door to the office. Two kittens, not two months old and still blue-eyed, were at play on a desk. They were siblings. One appeared to be solid gray - until you got very close and could see faint tabby striping - and the other was a gray tabby. The "solid" gray kitten was female and the tabby was male. The brother had bolder markings than Weasie, and was white on the tummy as well as the chin. But why quibble? The coincidence was eerie and heartwarming at the same time. It was a "memory trigger" of my two cats before I had ever laid eyes on them. The kittens scooted over to check out their visitor. As I gave them skritches, and baby-cat purrs started, I noticed that although the sister's hair was quite short it was soft as could be. Differences notwithstanding, this pair could just as well have been Puppy and Weasie two decades ago. They had their whole lives ahead of them, while Puppy's had ended far too early and Weasie's would conclude the following day.
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