I’m going to be honest here, June can kiss my considerably smaller than it used to be* ass. The beginning of June had me saying goodbye before anyone was ready, willing, or able to my uncle. Last Thursday I – Jesus this is hard to even type – I came home and found that my lovely, little, crazy, headbutting means I love you, fury dude had died that morning. The way in which I found him was both traumatic and dramatic and also horribly cliche. Also, I had no pants on. Because of course.
I’ve never lost a pet this way before. Both our cat and our dog were put to sleep when it was clear old age was winning. Mamoosh, our cat, was at the very least ten or eleven. Shadow was seventeen and we’d gotten Bogart a few years before. (Guinea the guinea pig was only a couple of years old, but apparently I was the only one in the house who was sad he’d no longer be smelling up the house.) Westley was six. I’d had him just over a year.
I don’t know what the proper way to grieve the sudden loss of a pet is. I only know my reaction, especially initially, was loud, scary and some of my actions surprised even me. I wasn’t prepared. I don’t think you can prepare yourself to come home – mind on dinner and a shower and finishing the book for bookclub – and find your acting just fine that morning cat no longer moving. I don’t think I could have prepared myself for a phone call that night while I’m on my hands and knees scrubbing fur and blood off my floor informing me that my best friend was just mugged (she is shaken but physically okay) directly in front of my apartment. To say that I was wholly useless would be grossly understating things. I probably won’t ever know what happened. This seems the most likely cause, which eases, although doesn’t erase, my guilt a bit.
Everything about my home feels off right now. I don’t actually have to open my blinds anymore before work because there isn’t a fur-based lifeform that would like to glare at birds all day. My bedroom feels more like some odd combination of a crime scene and a shrine than it does the place I sleep. But I have a hard time leaving it when I am home. I’m torn between not wanting to leave the apartment and not wanting to be there at all. I didn’t hear a thunk, padpadpadpad when I pulled a steak out to cook it for dinner the other night.
Someone once commented, after I finished a twenty minute monologue describing every twitch and flex Westley had made within a twenty four hour period after I thought I’d accidentally poisoned him with bad flea medicine (just say no to Hartz) that I paid an awful lot of attention to my cat. I live alone. And I lived alone for almost three years before I rescued Westley. There’s no roommate to distract me, no boyfriend vying for my attention. It was me, him and my books. I have no idea how I lived for so long without his four furry feet following me all over the damn place. And, I’m sure that’s part of why I’m feeling this so acutely. But, I’ve always been someone who considers pets another family member. They bring light and love in unconditional amounts. They need very little – food, water and snuggles. I’m always more worried about the animals in peril during movies than I am the humans. In fact, in general, I usually like animals more than I like most people.
I’ve already scanned the Indy Humane Society. I have my eye on a fella. I’ve never done this before. Part of me thinks it’s too soon. It feels a little like a betrayal. Part of me desperately wants to not come home and hear complete silence. Part of me just wants to shout to the universe just how unfair this is. Part of me wants to march down to Indy Humane tonight. Part me is crushed all over again when I walk in the door and I forget for a split second that last Thursday happened until I see the spot where his food bowl should be.
I feel like there’s a million things I’m not saying, and yes, I realize this post has gotten increasingly schmoopy and dramatic.
I just miss him.
*A post for another time.