Absent Cats

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.

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “Absent Cats

  1. I know your house is so empty right now. I understand the grief. I am so sorry that you both are having to go through this. Any time you need a kitty hug, Wiki is available…Love you both and let me know if I can help in any way….

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  2. My heart goes out to you and your partner. ❤

    For a long time after I put Lily T. Wolf — my last husky — to sleep I still saw her out of the corner of my eye sometimes, and I still miss her though it's been 3 years. Her death marked the end of a (great, glorious, difficult) time of my life. I still have dogs (large ones) but maybe that will end at some point. And, while I had so many Siberian huskies (and would like to have one or more now!) it's impossible. I can't give them the life they need. Dusty is 12 1/2 years old — very near the expected end of the lifespan for the dog breeds he seems to be made of. We've been through so much together and I know when his moment comes it's going to be hard for me and for Bear.

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  3. We went through the same thing at the beginning of last year when our last fur baby left us (literally, she was fading away and walked out never to return). I still imagine I see her out of the corner of my eye and hear her scratching at the door. I agree that like is much more spontaneous now, but I still miss her, and her brother. Thinking of you.

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  4. We have lost SO many dogs over the past 10 years, we stopped saving their ashes because we were going to need our own mausoleum. And yet here we are with three dogs again and I never intended to have so many. Dogs tend to just … show up. Cats used to show up too, but these days, I simply can’t deal with more wildlife. It gets harder and harder to find people to care for them. But I don’t know. Our cats and dogs and birds and whatever else you might have, are part of our identity in some strange way. It is hard to imagine being without them.

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  5. We’ve had 5-7 cats for as long as I can remember and it never fails–when we lose one, I walk round thinking how empty the house feels. Most people, would wonder how I’d notice one less cat but I notice . . . Your house must feel mighty empty . . .

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  6. Adjusting to that quiet house isn’t easy! It will get easier with time, but we can’t lose what we love and not grieve. I love your idea of fostering homeless kitties…that sounds like a wonderful plan.

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  7. It’s always so sad, the transition time after a loss… fostering down the track sounds like a good idea, and yes, enjoy the spontaneity of your ’empty nest’… but still, there’s always that little cat-shaped hole in your heart isn’t there? *sighs Hope you’re both doing OK, G xOO

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    1. Thank you very much for thinking of me and for the kind nomination. Right now, my life is rather full, and as you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been blogging much less. Hopefully back at it soon.

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