Developer: Justin Forcier
Launcher Quote: “Our cat Cloey had an aggressive type of cancer and took a turn for the worse very quickly on July 3rd. We were worried that she would have to suffer and be in pain until the 5th, since July 4th was a federal holiday. Thankfully we found someone who provided home euthanasia and they were available on the 4th.
Cloey joined my family on my 13th birthday and we grew up together over 14 years. We had moved across state to college together and later moved across the country together.
My fiance and I spent our last day together with her on our balcony, her favorite spot. It was sunny and beautiful outside, and the birds were chirping.”
There’ve been a few Meditation Games entries that have zeroed in on the fact that pets are family, and are to be treated as such, but few of them handle the end of a pet’s life with such simple peace and grace. When the end is near for a pet, owners sense it. They know in their bones, in their heart that their long-time companion is on their final legs, and as they tend to try to cope with it, many owners have different types of reactions, though most if not all of them suffer emotionally with the prospect of it being the end. This is especially true if the pet has been around through different phases and parts of an owner’s life, and that both of them have grown up together because of it.
The developer for this entry chose to be at peace with the fact that their pet was nearing the end of her life. Even though it was painful and anxiety-inducing to see it coming, and to not be able to do anything at first until past a holiday, the fact that this entry showed what they did on their cat’s last day together in terms of enjoying one another’s company one last time as well as a few simple actions taken was a way to bring closure and be at peace with what was going to happen.
Nothing really helps the initial pain of losing a beloved pet from your life – the vacancy they leave is very keenly felt in the first little while after it’s all over. But things like creating a game dedicated to the best parts of spending time with them does help to dull the pain just a little bit. It also serves as a permanent homage, a tribute to what they were, giving something at least a little tangible to hold onto in order to both deal with the lack of their tangible presence and deal with the inevitable, intangible pain. It’s in this way that I think that the coping gets a little bit better, and that the pain that threatens to overwhelm a pet owner who loses their pet gets held back, at least for a little while longer.