Loaner is all I have now. She sleeps most of the day and I think not at all at night. She can’t get up on the bed with me, and it is a ritual that I pick her up each night and deposit her there. I know she misses our lemon tree, under which she drowsed away the days.
I miss having a kitten. The sheer exuberance and joy of kitten hood is a big lack in my life. Mojo would be out most of the day, checking in now and then with me by uttering a meow as he came through the pet door. And he and Bijou were the best fly ball catchers anybody ever saw. I would pitch and they would leap up and snag it smoothly as you please. Any one of their toys sufficed.
Ah, sweet babies. I long to cuddle you so.
People tell me they won’t have another pet after losing one. That they can’t go through another wrenching event of loss. I could agree, except that I love cats (and all animals) and would be willing to invest again in one or two.
I mourn little all-black Bijou who was hit by a car, and Tango and Mojo who didn’t come home. They loved the outdoors so who am I to deprive them of it?
The memories persist. Bijou liked to sleep under my chin, which inhibited me from reaching for the light switch. Mojo always uttered a meow whenever he came in. Tango always laid himself on my hand in bed for ten minutes before he went to eat. In his grave manner, he observed the rituals of love.
If these traits aren’t close to being human, then I resign from the human race.
Whenever I go out then come back inside is the time for treats. Loaner comes to greet me with meows and trills and we go through the ceremony of getting out the tuna fish.
It is the least I can do for her since we have moved to this new place, an apartment with no lemon tree or grass or flowers. She has adapted, I think, but I worry that she cannot bask in sunshine as she has in the past. The rays hit the balcony in a slant and she has yet to go out on it.
If Bijou were still with me I wouldn’t have moved at all. That little cat lived for the outdoors. I miss him and yearn for his shenanigans, his gallops throughout the house, his squeaks that may never have developed into proper meows. Not that Loaner gives out proper meows, more likely croaks.
The heartstrings vibrate in pain and nothing can be done about it.
He was a character, that one. Our tussles of will power always came around curfew, when he would emerge (sometimes) from the brush around the neighbor’s downhill fence. He knew my call, all right, and success depended on how willful he was behaving.
He would flop and wiggle, as much as saying “I don’t wanna go in!” get up and walk a few more steps, then flop again. I let him repeat this routine until I felt there were no more flop/wiggles in store and he would bolt back through the fence. Then I gathered him up and bore him to the patio door where he made one final attempt to wiggle free of my arms.
Once inside, he went to check in with big sister Loaner, visit his food bowl, watch his show NatGeoWild and at night come to settle under my chin with mighty purrings.
How I miss him.
I returned from a five-day stay at the hospital and could not Wait to see Loaner and Bijou. As soon as I stepped into the house I called, and here they came to greet me. They were none the worse for wear without me but I think they missed me.
I couldn’t complete the course of treatment for Bijou’s right eye where a foxtail had found a home, but it looks alright to me. Foxtails are a regular menace to animals in the summer. They work into eyes, ears and noses.
So many things to do — copy machine out of order, DMV smog test due, one toilet tank broken inside. Sigh.
It’s Mojo at three months in the photo. He didn’t come home 11 months ago. Heartbreaking? Absolutely.