Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Does it always have to be all about her, all the time? The answer is YES.

Sorry for dropping off the map a bit again.  Hard to believe that it was nearly 6 weeks ago since my last post.  

I will get right to it... A little over a week ago, I lost my sweet kitty who was 18 years old.  The one I fell in love with the moment I saw her at my best friend's home when she was almost 3 years old, and the one he gave to me at 5 years old.  We have had quite the good run of it, she and I.  Her mind, spirit, feistiness and unwavering love for me never changed.  Her poor little body just started to fail.  And she fell.  Badly.  It happened suddenly, and I had to take her to the emergency vet, and in the end it was awful, but I did the best I could for her, and the last kind act I could.  And I miss her every minute of every day.

I was to present at a local university that afternoon, and I did what I had to and got through it.  I did not call my hoarding mother until later in the evening, because I would not be able to keep the professional mask firmly on, and I had several meetings/events that day.  I had not talked to her since the week before, so I called her.  

I get the normal peevish 'I hadn't heard from you' routine, and I told her my sweet girl was gone.  She immediately started a monologue about all the animals she has had that passed, started speculating about what happened to my cat, and then trumpeted, "Well, at least you did not have THREE leave in the same week... How do you think that feels?!?"

Um... NOT ABOUT YOU.  NOT ABOUT ME.  This is there here and now, and is about my sweet, gray girl.  I was absolutely furious, and got off the phone quickly.  I have not talked to her much in the week since, and if she starts ruminating on past pets and especially their deaths, I get off the phone immediately.  I cannot stand it.

Her neighbor saw my post on social media and called to check on me, and was FURIOUS that my mother did not tell her that this happened when she spoke to her that day.  I got a lot of empathy from her, and from my other friends- for me, for my gray girl, and the kitty left behind who is lost.  It has been hard, but we are muddling through.

Now - I hope I am not making an ill advised decision because I am grieving. I have the opportunity to rescue an older cat (mid teens) that is a couple hours away that is in a rescue, saved from a high kill shelter after her owner died.  Apparently she has been there for months, and although she can be sweet, she has a quick nip response and has a pretty larger than life personality.  I still am unsure, but she needs a loving home.  I can give her that, and she would be company for my youngest cat, who at age 11, has never been alone (save a couple of days in 2010 when my gray kitty was hospitalized).  I am going to do it, and I hope it is not too soon, or a mistake.  I can never replace my special girl, but I can forge a new relationship, and help a kitty in need.  That little I can do.

This weekend I go to meet her for the first time, and she will come home with me if everything works out, and she likes me.  I did mention her to my hoarding mother.  I should know better, because she immediately fixated on the cost of rescuing this cat from a couple states away, the age... immediate worst case scenario.

I do not care if she approves or disapproves.  This is also not about her, but about the fluffy bicolor cat that has had a series of traumas over the past year, and I think I can provide the quiet, stable home she needs, for however long she is here.  

My hoarding mother has said a lot of really obnoxious things (even for her) lately on a variety of her normal topics, and it is more of the same.  But this event just really, again, reinforces why I am low contact and I do not visit, do not ... well, you all know.

Thank you for reading.  Hoarding, no one wins.  NO ONE.


  1. So very sorry for your loss. They always take a piece of your heart when they leave. My mom, never very sympathetic to pets, ALWAYS says just the wrong thing when I've lost a pet. I don't think she means to be horrible, she just cannot understand the deep love people have for their companions. I think it is wonderful that you are giving an older cat a loving home. My only concern would be introducing her to your other cat. I'm sure you'll make it work out--just give them time to establish territories. Sending warm thoughts.

  2. oh how heartbreaking.

    I think rescuing an older cat is such a splendid idea! It does sound like all three of you need each other. I hope this soothes your home.

  3. Valerie and Lisa:

    Thank you for your warm thoughts. I miss my sweet girl every day, and I am meeting with a tattoo artist to design a memorial tattoo for her. Gone, but never forgotten... I did adopt the 13 year old, and the intro to my 11 year old is going well. Two weeks in there is the occasional growling, no physical contact to speak of, and attempts to play. They just spent 15 minutes zooming around the apartment after each other. I am hopeful they will be friends, and my new girl is a sweetheart, and comes out of her shell more each day.

    Hoping they become friends. And I know that the eventually the loss of my gray grump will get easier.