My sweet, beautiful, wonderful cat died Monday night. I wasn’t there, but from what my mom said, it was peaceful, and on her own terms, so I take some comfort in that. If things had ended before I think I would have wondered if there was more that could have been done, but it happened naturally because it was just her time. She was ready.
It’s still kind of hitting me, and I’m not sure how long it will take before I fully understand that this death thing is forever. Part of me is struggling to believe that she is really gone, and I’ll never see her again. I knew it was coming, and the scare a couple of weeks ago actually really helped ease me into the grieving process, and made it a little easier. People sometimes get impatient with me for being unrealistic and thinking life should have a point, like in a book or movie, and things should happen for a reason, but I really thought when she rallied she would hold on until I got home so I could say goodbye and be with her in the end, and it’s hard to accept that things just don’t always work out that way. It’s hard, since I’m going home so soon, and if she had just waited a little bit longer I could have seen her, but I wouldn’t want her to suffer for a single minute, and if it was time then it was time. I know she was sick, and I know she was old, so I can’t be too sad that she’s beyond hurting now, although I already miss her terribly. I keep thinking about the last time I saw her, before I moved to Baltimore. I had stripped my bed, so we slept snuggled on my sleeping bag, and she stayed there the next morning as we packed up. I gave her a kiss, and told her that I loved her, and to be good, and that I would see her at Thanksgiving, and then after I went downstairs I ran back up to say goodbye and kiss her again. Even though I wasn’t with her in the end, I have to believe that in her little kitty mind she understood that she was so very loved, and not just by me, but by our whole family. And that helps.
I didn’t have classes today, so I was able to fall apart a bit, and cry, and try to figure out what if anything could help me feel better. I went swimming, and ate ice cream, and listened to the David Sedaris essay about his cat dying, and napped, and so far none of those things have really helped, but they pass the time. I played “You Are My Sunshine” on the mandolin over and over until I got it perfect, and that did help a little. Music is tricky right now though- sad songs are a bad idea, so no bluegrass really (I can’t listen to “You Are My Sunshine” but playing it is ok for some reason), but Avenue Q is acceptable, as is The Book of Mormon. Popcorn makes me cry. What I really need to do is study, but my laptop is still in the shop, which makes it even harder to get things done.
It’s obviously too early to think about these things, but I’m already worrying about future pets. I can’t stand the idea of getting another cat. It could be magical and wish-granting, and voiced by Bing Crosby and I know I wouldn’t love it as much as I loved Lancaster, but the idea of never having another cat is terrible too. It’s problematic, especially since the thing I think would make me feel better would be kitty cuddles, but I only want Lang, and that’ll never happen again. I don’t see a solution, but it’s still very fresh, so I suppose I just have to give it time.
For now, I can take comfort in remembering good times with my girl. We had a great run, and I loved her so much that there are plenty of them to reflect on. She was such a great cat- beautiful, funny, silly, bossy, affectionate, and sweet, and I feel very lucky to have had as much time with her as I did.