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Rosie Ginsberg

May 6, 2015 – September 2, 2023

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To Rosie – On Cats & Mental Health:

Rosie the cat was an old, sweet soul. I adopted Rosie as an adult. She was around six when I got her from the Best Friends Animal Shelter by the World Trade Center in NYC. My friends picked her out for me since I didn’t know what to look for in a cat. I watched as they played with all the cats, and Rosie was the stand-out. We all fell in love immediately.

She loved eating tuna, playing with a laser pointer, and she vibrated a palpable healing energy; a “high energy.” It brought a true healing, peace, and calming nature to me, my home, and those she interacted with. My favorite nights with her were sitting on the couch while she purred on my lap, no tv on, no music, just quiet and feeling a warm, calming energy permeating around me and my apartment. She loved it when I played ukulele for her, and she would squint her eyes in a cat smile whenever I called her pretty. When I was having a bad day, she would sit on top of me and purr, and her good energy would soothe me.

I had never had a pet before Rosie nor had I ever been around an animal. When I adopted Rosie, I was severely depressed. My drinking and drug abuse was out of control. My mental health had decayed to a point where I didn’t feel any love or light. Nothing could get in. All I felt was darkness and isolation. So, with no options left, I adopted a cat to try and feel something.

There’s a Leonard Cohen quote that says “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” The day I brought home Rosie, I remember for the first time I felt a spark of love and light get in through the cracks. It was like some little ember had gotten through to me, and from there my heart just opened up and my whole life exploded and changed. I was filled with her love, I snapped back to reality. I got my life together, i gave up alcohol, and my life unfurled with love instead of darkness. Now I am healthy, happy, and deeply grateful for everything I have. I owe it all to that little spark, the first time i felt the light of love after a period of surreal darkness.

When Rosie was diagnosed with Diabetes, I had to try and heal her. I learned a valuable lesson about relationships. You can take it, but you have to give it back. The nature of reality is cyclical. Rosie had healed me, and now it was my turn to heal her. You always take it and you always give it back.

Taking care of a dying, sick animal for a year taught me grace. It taught me truth about the nature of love, life, and suffering, and I will always be thankful for the experience to care for such a sweet, positive, energy. I’ll remember how lucky I was to have called her mine.

I’ll remember her always through the deep gratitude I have for the permanent impact this tiny cat made on my life. Every chance I get to paint a new brushstroke in the picture of my life with a clear heart and mind, i’ll remember her in the subtle cracks of the finer details.


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