Was there ever/A cat so clever
I re-read Heather's post about losing Chuck today in hopes it would make me feel a bit better, like someone else understands, in light of losing Holmes last Thursday. I should find solace in the fact there's no one to blame in our situation. It must have been terrible for her to handle being solely responsible for leaving the dog alone outside. In our case, I suppose you could argue that my choice to allow the cat outside in the first place makes me culpable, but I certainly prefer not to. I know he never would have been happy staying inside all day--he was too full of life and too excited by chasing birds and exploring the garden. Despite knowing he could get outside if he pleased, he would still sit atop Ray's recliner daily, peering out between the blinds to survey any and all action that was occurring. I know he would have been miserable if he hadn't ever been allowed to participate.
But allowing him that freedom has left me miserable. Having had him for only two years, after never really planning on owning a cat in the first place, I suppose I didn't realize how much I'd miss him if he weren't around. I was never a cat person in particular, it was just this cat that somehow won me over entirely. I miss the little things I'd come to expect: that he'd always push open my bedroom door, the one I can't close fully, when I retired to my room post-shower on Saturdays, inevitably while I was completely naked and always leading me to chastise him for his compulsion to enter at that exact moment every week. That he'd curl up on the couch with me most nights, the only member of the household to celebrate the fact that I was wasting yet another hour on American Idol, and then stay up with Ray in to the wee hours, keeping him company after I'd already gone to bed. His favorite thing in the world was to play attack games with us inside, or in the yard, or with fake mice that seemed particularly wily when he was wide-eyed and wired off catnip. He'd always come running, because he was never far away, when either of us arrived home from work, a lovely greeting and reminder that after a long day there was always unconditional love waiting at home.
After five days I'm beginning to learn not to check the yard in the mornings or expect him to greet me when I get home. I'm not mis-hearing what I think is him, pawing at the front door to get in, and when I woke up this morning I wasn't surprised to realize I was alone in bed. My friends tell me to keep hoping, that maybe he took a break and will be home in a day or two, but I'm convinced this isn't the case. We've checked the SPCA and walked the streets. We've spoken to the neighbors and posted fliers and I feel like I knew this cat too well and I know that he's gone. He wouldn't have gotten lost and he wouldn't have left. It's hard not to have closure but I imagine the best case scenario, the one where some nice family, charmed by his his good looks and an excess of personality, took him in to be their own and love. I imagine this even if I don't believe it.