Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rest in peace, little fuzzball

I thought I would only be heartbroken for a few days, but I was wrong. The amount to which a companion permeates your life and becomes a part of your consciousness is astonishing; no act feels complete without my little pet. I wake up in the middle of the night whistling to get her attention, which hasn't worked since before she lost her hearing. When I'm not thinking about it, I close the doors to make sure she cannot escape into the dangerous daylight. I wake up wondering if I have fed her. Picking a stray cat hair off my blouse makes me feel like a traitor, like I am plucking all evidence of her life out of the world, destroying a limited resource. Vacuuming feels like an act of war against love.

I'm going to get this party started again in a day or two. Things have been mad hectic and, for the most part, madly joyous. There's just this cat-shaped absence around the corners of every moment, and I didn't want to pick off another shred of cat hair from my clothes without saying something about her memory to balance out the slow erasure of proof that she ever existed.

People who have babysat her for weeks still don't believe she ever did exist, in fact. She was shy to the point of pathology before she went deaf, and hid from all strangers, even those bearing food and love. Why, I don't know; all her life, she lived with us, and never knew a harsh moment from a human.

She once got her head stuck in a Kleenex box. We laughed until we almost peed ourselves. She liked to knock things off the nightstand. Maliciously. She chose targets for their "excite the humans into doing what I want" potential: fragile things, electronics, full glasses of water. She was koo-koo for coconut, and would even drink curry "juice." She thought jerky was the bomb. She knew when I was upset and would come stick her face in my face and say "brrr!" I think she could smell the tears, but her perceptiveness and willingness to comfort a creature of another species was amazing.

I can't share her life with you, but this is her picture. She existed, even if I manage to corral all her sheddings and get them out of my clothes. And I loved her a lot.

See you soon, everyone.


Lithium said...

Glad to see you are back. Thanks for sharing the memories of Pepe!

Ducks said...

Sorry to be a downer for a while... I promise to perk it up now that I'm in somewhat less crisis mode!

I forgot to mention two things about her:

1) hey, she beat cancer, and still had two little cat boobies to spare!

2) her snouty was definitely an outy.