Life as I Know It

A Recent Difficult Goodbye

I was trying to post something from Plinky on here, but it wouldn’t work, so I will just write the account on here.

A prompt was: Recall the last tough goodbye you had.

I thought about this for a few seconds, and remembered the old family cat, Summer.

She was a feisty, little self-important cat that everyone in the family loved, except my former brother-in-law. We got her August 2001. I wanted to name her Baby, but my (then) six-year old sister got naming privileges and named her Summer. She also decided that we would give her my sister’s birthday because six-year olds think they’re awesome.  I was hesitant to get a cat, because they’ve always hated my guts. So you know what that means?

The damn cat followed me…everywhere. When I would wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, there was this tiny little dark figure sitting at the end of the hallway glaring at me. I ran away from her, afraid she would attack me in the middle of the night. During the day when everyone was at work or school (I had just finished school), I would hide out from her in my parents’ bedroom. Once or twice, I decided to be nice since she cried so cutely outside the door, but she always dug her claws into my thigh, and I thought she was attacking me, so I promptly sent her back out. I have since learned that they’re grabbing on out of fear, not for evil harm.

This pattern continued for another week or two, until September 11 happened. I remember coming out of my bedroom, running down the stairs (I was feeling claustrophobic and scared), and Summer was sitting at the patio window staring out at the falling leaves (this was her place, and you didn’t move her unless you wanted to face the consequences), and I just picked her up and took her outside with me. And from that moment, we bonded.

So several years later, my family packed up our digs and were going to move all the way to Oregon (we were living in New Hampshire at the time). Summer couldn’t come with us. The time up to finding someone to take her was agonizing. My mom was in hysterics, because she didn’t want to put her in a shelter, she didn’t want to do her the injustice. Finally, my dad’s co-worker came and saw her, and they decided to take her home with them. We put her in her carrier, and they left us to say our goodbyes. I walked up to her carrier, got down at her level, and kissed her nose through the grate. I whispered, “I love you baby, and I will miss you.” You can’t see this, but I am fighting tears. I stroked her nose, and then promptly went to my room to cry.

For me, the bonding from 9/11 was strong. She was a magnificently annoying cat. She meowed from upstairs and when you would acknowledge that you heard her and bid her to come to you, she would just continue meowing. She would meow at your feet, and you’d have to pick her up and take her to her food (yeah, she was that lazy). She was crazily attracted to males, and would rub up against their legs or be up in their faces. She didn’t like outsider females very much, and when you cried, she would sit in your lap and nuzzle you. She wasn’t a lap cat, but she deeply craved attention. And she was spoiled rotten, like most house cats.

We have two cats now, both crazy and cute when they want to be.

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