Wednesday, March 13, 2013


For years, my life felt static - my job was the same, my home life was the same - I felt like I was in the same place I was 5 years ago. I had seen many of my friends get married and have kids, move abroad and just move into the next phase in their lives.  I admit I was envious of their progression in life.  For all my complaining, 2013 has certainly delivered on being a year of major life changes so far!

I found out at the end of January that my two cats, Bubbles and Moosh were much sicker than I realized. I had brought them in for their annual check up a couple of weeks before bringing them to their foster home (a great couple agreed to look after them while I was in Korea).  They were both diagnosed with serious illnesses.  I was in shock to say the least.  I had known for some time they weren't in the best shape, but I did not expect the severity that was reality. 

I struggled for a while to decide what to do: get them treatment and hope they get better, or say my final goodbyes to them while we're all still together? I had to make the agonizing decision that it was in their best interest to say goodbye.  I knew their conditions would worsen once their lives were turned upside down.  A new home and losing their "mom" would put a stress on them, would be that much harder for their foster parents (they didn't sign up to look after 2 sick cats!) and would be so painful for me to watch from afar, when I know I would want to be there with them as they struggled to just survive.

R.I.P. my two little guys

 Bubbles 2000-2013

Moosh 2002-2013

**Photos courtesy of Matt K.**

I am forever grateful to the Bytown Cat hospital for their home care service.  They were able to come to my home and save the cats the stress of travelling in their final moments.  Saying goodbye to them was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I believe it was the right decision.

I had mentally prepared myself for months to say goodbye while I was gone overseas, but I just thought it was temporary.  I my mind, they're just at their foster home and I'll see them later.  The constant realization that they're not there and I'll never see them again has really been the hardest part.  It's like a reoccurring brick wall I hit every time I think about them (which is a lot).  After having them in my life for over 10 years, it was a real blow to lose them. Their deaths was the first time I experienced real grief.  I don't look forward to more losses like theirs.  

While I had said a tearful goodbye to my boss in December of last year, I didn't feel like that part of my life had ended just yet - I knew I would still talk to him regularly, just we had always done. The death of the cats were the first real big change I would experience this year.

I was glad for the timing of my impending departure: I packed up and moved out of my apartment just days after the cats' deaths.  I couldn't stand being in an empty apartment without them.  I had always planned to live with Fabian for my final two months in Ottawa (to spend as much time together before I left), so really, the timing of it all worked out well.

Last week was another big change: the end of my time at the Senate.  It took me days to go around to say goodbye to all the staff that I had worked with over the years.  I did my best to say goodbye to them all personally.  It certainly was bittersweet - I was looking forward to a new challenge but I know I would also miss the place I've loved working for the last 10+ years.

Now that I'm unemployed for almost 2 months, I find myself spending time with friends, preparing for my trip and obsessing over completing the Aeroplan Star Challenge (if I can do it, we'll be able to fly Fabian over to visit me in Asia twice!)

My life has been anything but static in 2013.  My job is gone, my home is gone, my two guys are gone.  They're all changes both good and bad.  I can only imagine what other changes this year will bring for me!  I can only hope for more of the good!

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