As many of you know, Lucy the cat left our household last week. Her brother Jules left last November. Its pretty darn strange not having any cats in the house. For the last 40 years, I’ve shared my home with cats. Before that, I had cats, too, but they/I lived at my family’s home or college, and it was a bit different.
For the last several years, and most intensely the last two, a great deal of household energy was focused on the care of our two elderly cats. Two cats, two medicines each twice a day, with the dosages varying by the day of the week. Mobility limitations drove modifications for accessibility, whether to litter boxes (we had as many as 6 at one point), sleeping stations, observation posts in front of windows, etc. If we were to be gone from home, even for one overnight, skilled carers had to be found. Not all that different from aging or ill humans.
Its odd now having all this space in the house. Literally, with all the beds and boxes and food and water dishes not scattered everywhere. The even bigger space is in their missing presence. We were so accustomed to checking in with Jules and Lucy, keeping track of them, monitoring their needs and presence, and modifying our own behaviors to accommodate. Look before you step, don’t leave doors open, be ready to get up two or three times a night with a cat who is thirsty, hungry, or simply wakeful.
We are adjusting. Its lovely to have fewer sleep interruptions, and the house is less cluttered. We can be much more spontaneous in our plans without needing to arrange care. I recall my own mother finding great pleasure in spontaneity once my parents became “empty nesters”. And at the same time, we are really sad. I miss those dear fur persons who were such a part of our lives. BA and I are grieving. Not only Jules and Lucy but what may be the end of an era. Down the road, we may foster kittens or elder cats, but at least at this moment, I don’t imagine starting over with a permanent set of cats. I have plans to travel more, and as Lucy and Jules often reminded me “Cats Don’t Like Wheeled Vehicles”.
I miss you Jules and Lucy, your absence is noted. Thanks to you, and Toto, Waldo and Susie for enriching our lives. Romp freely, little ones.
For today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt of Absent.