It was the sight of the closed cupboard door that buckled my knees and sent me thudding to the ground. I had thought it would be a glimpse of her empty bed, her untouched food dish, her abandoned catnip mouse, Miguel. But it was that door. Hours earlier I would have doubted its ability to even close in the first place – as the door to the little cupboard where we stored her litter box, it was always open at least the width of a paw-pull. But no cat was ever going to crouch down and hook that door open again, and as that horrid realization sunk in, everything suddenly came over fuzzy and grey, and I swooned to the floor in an indelicate heap. Lucky I didn’t break something. Other than my heart, which feels like it has been damaged beyond all repair.
Our beloved kitty, Weegie, passed away Monday morning. She was an old girl, very nearly 18, and after a terrible weekend in which we watched her formerly aging, but still sassy and spritely, condition inexplicably deteriorate by the hour, we took her to the vet, who confirmed our very worst fears – our sweet little girl had run out of steam, and we wouldn’t be bringing her home. And we didn’t.
Now we are two heartbroken people aimlessly drifting through lives that, through great determination on Weegie’s part and a lot of indulgent acquiescence on ours, were all about her. Think we’re coddling morons all you wish, she was the sweet, fuzzy, constantly meowing sun around which our planets orbited, and we didn’t want it any other way.
Now it feels like the lights have gone out and everything has come over very, very cold. Mostly it seems like some sort of switch has been flipped inside me, and absent the frequent sobbing fits, triggered by something as innocuous as the sight of one of her striped furs clinging to the edge of a blanket, I feel nothing. This is probably my mind’s way of course correcting after a weekend spent in frantic, fretful, watchful mode, but it’s worrisome all the same. Mr. Finger Candy is not faring much better. We’re just…broken. And incredibly lonely, even together in our grief.
I want to talk about her. I want to tell you the story of how we came to be her people (it involves a day playing hooky and $6 coffees.) I want to share the photos I took of her strapped into 14 years’ worth of Halloween costumes (mylar shark for the win.) And I want you to think me a coddling moron when I tell you we had a tumbler of ice cold water permanently stationed on our coffee table because she preferred to drink from human receptacles in the most inconvenient spots possible (“Oh man, I’ve eaten off that coffee table!” you might be thinking to yourself. Yup, you sure did. But I swear I Windex’d first.)
I want to honour her, but to do that, I need to start feeling anything other than cold, empty and alone. Because all I’m feeling right now is the raw, immediate hurt, and even the sweet memories of her are too painful to bear. But hopefully soon. Miss you, little Weege.