Friday, December 12, 2008
Take Two Purrs and Call Me in the Morning
My oldest cat Alice (the gold one) is sleeping on top of my comforter. Not too long ago it was just the two of us and I was buying her way too many kitty toys and even found this adorable stocking that had a golden kitten picture on it that was eerily what she looked like as a baby. Sometimes it feels like the day I got her was just last week, and other times it feels like I've had her for ten years.
The day I got her was a hazy afternoon and the air danced from the ridiculous heat as steam rose from the concrete. I walked into the Humane Society, realizing the last thing I remembered was exiting the highway which was two miles back. This happened often, as if the grief clung to me and blotted out bits of consciousness. It was just after my friend was killed in a car wreck that I found myself in the shelter. I was looking for something to cling to so I wouldn’t have to let her go just yet, for something warm and calming to help me not feel so alone. Since I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time, I had decided to get a cat.
Right by the door was an gold kitten standing up on her back paws and leaning against the front of her cage and looking at me intently with enormous gold eyes like she was a child looking into an ice cream shoppe. She meowed a few times as if saying: “oh good, you’re here to take me home.” I walked over to introduce myself. She licked at my finger as I touched the cage and started purring as if her life depended on it. Her name was Alice. “Hello, Alice.” I said softly. I knew right away I wanted her, but when I asked the clerk she said we had to spend time in the observatory room. We went to a little room with a big window and a bench. When she set her down Alice came over to me, touching my hand with her cold little nose and looked up into my eyes with her huge golden ones. There was peace in her eyes, and healing, so I took her home.
I hunkered down on the couch for a nap. Grief overcame me and as I started crying about my friend my sweet cat crawled up into my lap. Alice looked into my eyes, with a calm gaze and I could see she was worried and determined. I started sobbing about the unfairness of my friend’s death and Alice listened, licked my face and purred healing into my wounded soul. It was as if she had been sent to make me well again, to be with me through this dark time and show me the way out and home again.
Alice was my therapist and with each meow she would work out my fear that everyone else I loved in life would die too. Each purr convinced me it was ok to start living again. I was no longer alone grieving for a life lost, and I had the help I needed to let my friend go.
Now that she's mostly outside (we had to kick her out for a while because she kept jumping up on the baby... I think to protect her actually but often her excitement was a bit much) I feel like I never see her, though maybe it's because she's a surly teenager now. Every now and then though she comes back and purrs her way back into my heart. She even takes an enormous amount of abuse from Kaiya and will only occasionally hiss at her.