Little Dude as a kitten, just a month after losing Ibit.
Tiny, little thing.
Ibit in the spring.
Little Dude grown and Ibit's doppelganger.
Having a pet who's a look-alike to a beloved but lost pet is bittersweet. Pain and love flood through you at the same time. The bigger Little Dude gets the more he reminds me of Little Bit (Ibit). Obviously, he's made himself at home, and to see him next to Mabel, who has space issues, shows you just how much he's insinuated himself into not only our hearts but with the other cats as well.
People often have the same reaction--they remind us of others we have loved, and we gravitate towards people who will potentiate those same neural pathways. Bobby has always intermingled in my mind with my baby brother, Kyle, who is just younger enough that he brought out my maternal instincts some of the time when we were children.
Sometimes I wonder if we deal with the loss of a loved one better when we find people similar to them who will trip that same cascade of neurotransmitters. I think it's why we find ourselves drawn to things, too, that remind us of the one we love who has died.
Each day I invoke my grandmothers in different ways. One grandmother's perfume triggers in me a reminder of her grace and dignity and those days I need an extra dose of grace, I wear her perfume. The other grandmother collected cheap cat, owl, and other figurines, showcasing them in an expensive curio cabinet. So you know I have a small curio cabinet in my bathroom, with one shelf devoted to her figurines and another devoted to my rubber duck collection. Each time I enter my bathroom, grace and kitschy humor are immediately there for me. It's a nice combination.
We should all be so lucky to end our days and begin them with reminders of grace and humor and the liberation of being true to our individuality. Both my grandmothers were strong women in their own way. They were unique and handled their challenges in different ways. I have both of them in me, the good and the slightly dysfunctional, and it's a wonderful blend.
May you carry your loved ones with you each and everyday so that you are never alone.