On Thursday we had to euthanize our poor sweet kitty and it is fucking killing me.
I don't really like cats. Nonetheless, when we took my mom's dog to the vet fifteen years ago and the vet asked if we wanted a cat and we said no and then he brought out a pot-bellied, jumbo pawed, mini-tail and mini-head, kitten named Ugh. A. Lee, we fell in love. Turns out Ugh became Ernest, and we became smitten. For the last fifteen years Ern would greet my husband at the door and jump into his arms when he came home. He would sit on my lap while I knit or watched t.v. and he would fall asleep in my hair and migrate to my feet as the night progressed. He fell in love with LB and would let her pet him, smack him, kiss him, hug him, sit on him, and ride him like a horse. I thought that with the dog and the baby, he didn't get as much of our time, that he was a bit marginalized. But now that he's not around, I realize how much he was part of our day to day lives.
It turns out, mourning a pet is similar to mourning a human family member in that the little things creep up on you. You're lying in bed and you hear a thump thump, you think, oh, it is Ernest coming up the stairs. Cue tears. You're at the store and checking out, all of a sudden you realize, you don't need plastic bags anymore since you don't have a litter box to change anymore. Cue tears. You go into the basement and leave the door open. You think SHIT as you turn around to shut the door because you don't want the cat to come down and get caught up in a mouse trap. Cue tears. When you've had your furbaby for fifteen years, they become people. They become your children. They become integral parts of your lives that you miss them like hell when they are gone.
I've been exalting his virtues, and though they were many and he was a sweet, sweet boy, he also would bite. Me. He would bite me an only me. Preferably when I was sound asleep. I like to think he was having kitty dreams and my ankle or foot or whatever, was some great menace he was chasing. This is somewhat more pleasant than thinking he was a sadistic bastard to me, and only me. Either way, I loved him lots and miss him lots.