Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things are rarely as they seem...

This is more of a personal post rather than a "topic" but feel free to read anyways.

Last June, my husband and I adopted two cats from the SPCA. He picked a male kitten, totally adorable (as every kitten is). Black, with white paws. His name was Calvin. We weren't planning on getting two cats, but then I saw an all black, female cat...her name was Hazel. She was small and pretty, and we decided to bring her home too. It wasn't that Calvin was only Ian's, and Hazel was all mine, but over the year, they seemed to know who picked them. Calvin loves my husband...everything he does, it's about Ian.

Hazel never really went by Ian; she focussed her attention on me...but not in the way you'd expect. She was never a cuddler, nor did she ever want to be held. She mostly kept to herself and tried escaping out the front  door at every chance she got. Eventually, we stopped trying to keep her inside. She would come and go as she pleased. But when she did want attention, she would pick the most difficult times. She'd be all in my face while I tried doing laundry, or while washing the dishes, or while cooking on the hot stove. When my baby was born, she added a few other times to her list: when I bathed our baby, or tried laying down with her for sleep. She also seemed to know almost the exact time when our baby would be almost asleep. Then she would rush over and lick her face. (A crabby baby and a frustrated me would be the result!) Ian said she was trying to be a momma kitty and do all the momma things with me. It was cute...but not really.

The day things really turned south for Hazel was when she tried biting my baby's head. Little Olive was crying, and Hazel came right onto the couch and (I kid you not) opened her mouth onto my child, baring her teeth and all. I couldn't believe it. She tried two other times after that, but I stared at her till she went away.

I threatened to give her away, find her a new home, or surrender her to the SPCA. Sometimes she just drove me crazy! Well, as horrible as it turns out, she has a new home now. Yesterday morning, we found Hazel dead in the street right in front of our house.

I didn't know how to react at first. I tried helping my husband bury her, but he kept telling me, "Don't look at her, darling. It's really sad." After a while, I did get a look at her, and it really broke my heart. Her eyes were all gross and her body was so sad and stiff.

After she was buried, Ian and I were very upset. I cried and felt so bad for her. No matter if she was a crazy snot cat, she shouldn't have gone that way. It might have seemed at first that I didn't care about her, but I truly am sad about losing her.

Processing this grief is harder than I thought. Some people might say, "Oh, they're only cats." But those who have had to say goodbye, or never had the chance to do so, will understand.

I'm going to go take some ignatia now (thanks to the suggestion of my mom). Maybe Hazel, Mr.  Tumnus and Padme are all in cat heaven together.


Natalie said...

I'm so sorry, Maggie...!!! :(

Theresa said...

Maggie, I am so sorry. I completely understand the grief of losing a pet. We've lost a couple in the past, both of which were traumatic to Scott and I. I feel for you all. :(

Jean said...

Maggie, as Evan would say, "My heart hurts". I kept thinking all day...maybe it wasn't her and she'll return bratty as ever. I remember when I first saw Hazel and said "you got my cat", she was exactly what I was looking for (except female). She was/is a beauty.
Losing a pet is hard, we name them and they become part of our life and our family. I remember having to put Samantha down, it was so sad but at least I got to say goodbye.
I am really sorry for your loss.

LuAnn said...

Maggie, I'm so sorry about Hazel. Be patient with yourself and allow time to heal. I'm here if you need me. I love you!