The deal made with the crueler aspects of life, OK, I’ll go down this path with Molly as she withers away getting thinner and thinner. I will love her more and be extraordinarily gentle. And as long as she shows some interest in her surroundings then it isn’t time. I will do this but I’m getting another kitty when it’s time for Molly to go.
The months went by, and my tummy turned with pain watching her suffer and trying to ease her constant beseeching that I relieve her discomfort. Until it became necessary to finally do the only thing left that could be done.
During all those months what sustained me and gave me the strength to take on this role was the knowledge of getting another little animal. The urge to do so occurred immediately, the very next morning after her death.
“Cory,” I sobbed to my son over the phone, “How long do I have to wait to get a kitty?”
“Until you are OK on your own,” he responded. And Samuel seemed to agree. And the proper person in me agreed. Yet the unrelenting emptiness bent me over with sobs. The days went by with no relief. This wasn’t a normal grief. This was something else.
Since childhood I’ve had kitties to cling to and love. Humans became too dangerous. Having a warm being to love preserved something in me that might have been forever lost.
Animals allow a safe place where tenderness flows freely, warmly and openly. A heart needs to open.
A friend calls. “I know you don’t want to do this, but I think you should go to the local animal shelter and look for a new kitty. So many are lonely like you and need a home,” she says. I could hear her tears for me. She is older and lives alone with her dog and two cats. She knows.
“Life is not worth living without them,” she confides. And my desolation matched that sentiment. “Follow your heart, she added.
Within the half hour I told Samuel I was off to do errands and headed to the shelter. A little black long-haired kitten was quietly being run all over by a smaller kitten vying for attention. She had only been there a week and had been rescued from an abusive home. She will have my home now.
The worker who put her in my lap as my tears poured forth said, “I know she will be well taken care of.”
And I responded, “So will I.”