Our 3rd Anniversary: Inspired by Cats and Love, Grief and Understanding

March 9th is a very special day around here.

Not only is it Cumin’s birthday, it’s also Love & Above Cat Club’s third birthday!

Cumin sitting with a birthday cake

Cumin was the inspiration for Love & Above and I knew when I started this business that it would be extremely special to launch on her birthday.

Somehow, we made that happen!

I thought it would make her birthdays less sad, with Love & Above shining a light on her amazingness instead!

The latter is true, the former not so much.

And I've come to realize: it’s okay.

What I continue to learn through living this life is this:

You can’t bypass any part of grief.

Stephanie Rodgriguez, a certified Grief Counselor who specializes in Animal Companion Loss Support, taught me that.

Grief is on its own timeline.

And not only that.

Cumin looking at camera

When something stirs grief, it often illuminates all the pockets of pain we thought we swept aside or tucked away.

But as I write this, I can share that the grief I’m feeling in this moment isn’t sharp, heavy, gripping, or grabbing.

It’s soft, but full, and bittersweet.

I first met Cumin in 1997 at the Hawaiian Humane Society in Honolulu, Hawaii.

I went there to adopt a kitten and when I went into the kitten house there was only one. Just shy of 8 weeks old was a tiny torty-tabby with a mix of stripes, mottled caramel colors, and a big orange splotch on her forehead.

When I saw her, she immediately crawled up my arm, settling in that nook between your neck and shoulder.

The volunteer said I should wait because they get kittens almost every day, and that the rest of her siblings had already been adopted out.

But I knew in that moment she was choosing me.

I brought her home and on her first official vet check up, the vet said, “Take lots of pictures! The time goes by fast! I remember this moment like it was yesterday and although the vet was talking about the swiftness of the kitten stage, this was wisdom for my entire life with Cumin.

L: Cumin as a kitten R: and as an adult

Fast forward to July 2016 and I’m saying goodbye to this sweet soul that spent over 19 years loving me.

Her coloring has faded, the orange splotch on her forehead spread out, and she has more of a white muzzle now. But the rest of her is the same - that determined loving and loyal kitten, making sure I knew we were the ones for each other.

I share more here, about how I felt after Cumin passed.

I was most surprised that it seemed like I couldn’t feel the love anymore.

I know that so many of you can identify with this feeling.

Some of us feel more loving and trusting of the animals in our lives than people and I certainly get that.

For us, our cats are significant secure attachment role models, instead of any caregiver we might’ve had.

Cumin face closeup

Our experience with our cats, especially our soul cats, has been safe, loving, unconditional.

How lucky are we to experience this level of love?

Love & Above Cat Club was born to help us cat lovers love ourselves deeply and unconditionally, like we love our cats.

I’m so grateful these beautiful furry souls are here teaching us how to love.

And as we celebrate our third birthday and begin our fourth year together, I want to tell you how grateful I am that you’re here.

Your kindness, comments, sweet emails, notes and cards mean the world to me.

I know the self-love journey is one we all embark upon in our own ways, but how wonderful it is that we can journey together!

Thank you for keeping my heart open.

I know Cumin is purring loudly and so proud of us all.

Cumin orange torty tabby looking at camera

1 comment

  • Dalinda

    Such a beautiful tribute and inspiring legacy for your dear Cumin. My fur boys give me so much & I’m so grateful to have found your company – a community of loving cat people with such a wonderful mission & quality products. Happy Birthday dear Cumin and congratulations Love & Above.
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Thank you so much Dalinda! That means a lot! Give Baby and Milo a chin scratch for us!

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