Cumin, The Inspiration for the Love and Above Cat Club

orange tortie tabby cat
This is Cumin, the cat who inspired the Love and Above Cat Club. I had the honor of caring for Cumin for 19 years, 4 months, and 4 days. When she transitioned, I realized that she had been my longest, and most unconditionally loving and loyal relationship. I hadn’t truly understood the amount of love and trust she and I shared, so when she passed, I felt like the world dropped out from under me. I loved her so much and when she was gone, I was at a loss for how to truly love myself without her. Because, in caring and loving her I felt like I was caring for and loving myself. I worked with an animal communicator to help me heal and adjust to the new way Cumin would be in my life. The animal communicator also transcribed some of Cumin’s words of wisdom which I will share with you on this Journey together.

“I am not afraid to die. I am not my disease. I am more my relationship with my mom.” -Cumin

 

orange tortie tabby cat lying down

Dr. J called that afternoon letting me know that the biopsy not only confirmed that Cumin had oral squamous cell carcinoma, but that it had spread to the jaw bone and was indexed an 8 out of 10 in power force. She said there was nothing they could do. I originally had an appointment set-up with our holistic vet in the same hospital so that we could proceed with our next steps after oral surgery, but when I asked if I should keep it, she said that due to the aggressive nature of the cancer and that it had spread to the bone, there really was nothing she thought they could do. I knew that I didn’t want Cumin’s last stretch of life to be filled with stressful car rides, lugging, poking, waiting in hopes that some treatment might work. So after talking with our primary holistic vet, we decided not to take her back. That was the last day she was at the vet that had previously saved her so many times over.

lit candle next to wooden box

Dr. J told me about things to watch for: excessive drooling, blood, trouble eating, trouble grooming, broken jaw…. I wasn’t very present, just consumed with how could this be happening. We had just received a stellar blood panel the other week. As if reading my mind, Dr. J told me something that I needed to hear, something that others might have been offended by. All things die. We all have to die at some point. You’ve done such a great job at helping Cumin heal her liver, her pancreas, and most recently, her kidneys. The cancer might be a way of helping her die. She wouldn’t die from hepatitis, kidney failure…so maybe the cancer is the way. We just can’t live forever. As I write that, it sounds cold and cruel. But over the phone, it was compassionate. I could hear what Dr. J was saying: I am so sorry. Start preparing because this cancer is bad. She will die from this.

grainy photo of tortie tabby kitten

On July 13, 2016, after 19 years, 4 months and 4 days, I said goodbye to the physical presence of my soulcat, Cumin. I was unprepared for the gripping, hollow pain that would follow despite having six months to “prepare.” As I write this, it has only been 12 days since I last got to snuggle up to her warmth, bestow her with gentle kisses, and remind her that our love is eternal. Unlike the other numerous dear cats I’ve had to say goodbye to, by this time I would’ve put her things away. But the room is as it was when the vet came to the house, administered the two shots, and showed herself out. I remember carefully cleaning the dried blood off her paws before wrapping this sweet soul in her favorite purple blanket.

lit candle next to wood box with pet collar on it


Almost everything is the same, except for two things: she is no longer sleeping, curled up in her cat house, and now, this wooden cat house is an altar of our love. On it are her cremains in a dark wooden box with an engraved plaque that reads, “CUMIN Love Ambassador, eternal.” Her sparkly gold collar with her gold cat angel and pink heart tag with “Cumin Love” rests on the box and pictures of her are scattered all around a white candle that I burn in her remembrance and honor. But everything else is still the same. Her IV pole that I affectionately named, “Poley” for subcutaneous fluids stands there, complete with shiny, colorful decorations of stars and birthday cakes and a fluid bag with words on it, “peace, healing, love,” in accord with Emoto’s research on water crystals. ** Even her litter box is still here, complete with her last footprints in the sand. Right before her transition, she walked over to the litter box and peed for her last time on this physical plane. I quickly cleaned it up but she walked back in, walked around, as if leaving me a love message, knowing it would provide comfort for me to see her prints in the days that would follow. Cumin so selflessly thought of me even at the end.

wooden box with pet collar on it, wall art of heart-shaped tree in background



Cumin taught me how to give and receive love, how to trust and be present, and she is still teaching me about my self-worth and self-love. After over 19 years with Cumin, I’m learning how to love all of myself in the way I loved her.

This is the story of our love adventure.

-This is an excerpt from “The Cumin Love Adventures: Healing the Loss of a Soulcat” which I wrote privately to help me heal.

black and white photo of cat in frame next to lamp and lit candle
angel wing art on the wall

       


5 comments


  • Jude GOGOLEN

    Thank you and Cumin, for this beautiful , reassuring and comforting love story. Our Norton, who was soon to be 18 and one of our only all-beloved cats (all dropped off, found hurt or sick… when they first blessed us with their pure love), who was only six months old when he came to enrich our family beyond words. So that equalled many, many years of shared love…but we are only humans, and we always want more years. Forever would be good😻 It is hard to believe that on July 5 this month, Norton had been in Heaven a year. We ache for him, have times when it truly seems we see him and/or hear his distinctive voice during our wakeful hours. He was a spectacular guy, and so many of the ways you described Cumin sound like Nortie. And your expressed emotions, your love and your grief…I could’ve written it all, although perhaps not so eloquently. Thank you so much for your help through my mourning, reminders of the reality that our little guys don’t want us to be in pain…they aren’t now, and like all best friends, want us to be at peace even as we shall always miss their little bodies being right beside us. That love…oh how enormously blessed we are to have had, and to still have, such a treasure❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ Thank you again, and may God bless you always ❤
    ———
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Hi Jude, thank you for reading Cumin’s story and for sharing how much it resonated with you. What we experienced and are still imprinted with is such a deep level of love that goes beyond what words can express. But I feel you and I so appreciate you sharing your love story with Norton. Cumin and Nortie both shared July as their transition month💗. It’s been 5 years since Cumin’s passing and at this time in my healing, I’ve come to think that although the grief “settles” a bit and perhaps transmutes, it doesn’t fully go away, nor is it meant to. Love just comes with grief. It’s the cycle we live and process. So just know that as you continue loving and missing Nortie, I’ll be here with you, as I continue to love and miss Cumin.


  • jmuhj

    Siena:
    So many of our lives mirror each other’s, it seems. There have been many beloveds in my life, feline, human, and other; the latest to ascend, at just shy of 18, most likely of the same scourge that claimed your Cumin angel, is our Tarifa, who left us last August, but only for awhile. We miss her so very much. Of the many traumas in my own life, the (temporary physical) loss of my beloveds is but one, and a natural one, at that. A part of me goes with each of my loved ones who ascends, and we shall all meet again, never to part. As to the traumas, they will be laid down when I join them.
    ———
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Thank you for sharing this with me. This love, this life is so full and bittersweet. I’m so very sorry to hear of Tarifa’s transition, but perhaps as you and I have been so fortunate to connect here, perhaps she and Cumin will find each other as well. I’m so happy to “meet” you! Sending so much love to you.


  • Amanda Vallo

    Siena,
    Siena,

    Thank you for sharing. My read of your soul energy? (I don’t typically swim in these waters) is that you are intensely private in your grief. Thank you for opening, sharing and helping me, a tough spiritual warrior!! access another layer of pain and community we all share as a part of being born human. I hear your voice in such a powerful beautifully written tribute to Cumin and the love you shared on earth and now beyond. Please know you and Cumin have helped me grieve today in places I didn’t recognize still need healing. I miss my Miss Mitty! Couldn’t love this passion project more despite the pain. Love n Above Cat Club Card Carrying Members

    Amanda and Mitty too (in spirit)


  • Char

    Thank you Cumin❤️


  • Karin Weale

    I had the privilege of sharing this world with an awesome cat, Timbit. He was a stray I found in 2002. He was 17 when he transitioned in 2019. My world will never be the same. I doubt I could share love with another as I did with him. He was one of the best relationships in my life. He will always be in my heart. He was my favorite Hello and my hardest Goodbye. Thank you for sharing your experiences with Cumin.


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