It’s been four months since Leonard died. I remember going to bed that night, constantly turning over my pillow to find a dry spot, sobbing so much I couldn’t fall asleep.
The necropsy showed that he had a massive liver and kidney infection. My vet excused his language and said, “Shit happens” when I asked (perhaps with a quiver in my voice) what I could have done to prevent it.
Soon after, he sent me a card offering his condolences, and said it was a pleasure dealing with someone who cares so much. It was probably the best thing anyone could have done to assuage any feelings of guilt. That fact that Leonard had a stub tail with no signs of scarring makes me suspect that he was the runt of the litter, likely born with a weak constitution, but that doesn’t stop me from always feeling like I could have done more.
He was always so affectionate, almost to the point of being overly so. Every morning he’d rub his nose on my face until I stirred, which would be extremely aggravating if it weren’t one of the most seraphic ways to be woken up.
I remember him sleeping with me one bright afternoon. Dolly decided to nestle herself in the crook of my arm under the blanket, and Leonard soon joined us, though he decided to curl up on my neck instead. It was the perfect nap configuration.
I’m still glad I had him, as short as our time was. It saddens me most to think that I never got to know what he’d be like as a mature cat, whether he’d keep his playfulness and extroversion into adulthood. At the very least, Heather G and Sergey, Aaron and Trolley, Darren and ____ all got to meet him before he died.
I took this picture of his Humane Society profile before heading over to meet him. They named him, “Elvis”.
I’ve been checking the Humane Society website for male kittens available for adoption ever since. I recently found one with the right details and a goofy face too, but I don’t think I’m ready for another cat yet. I’m not sure I could handle it if the next one happened to die so suddenly as well. But I know that soon enough I’ll be itching to adopt again, and that the idea of having another cat in my life will prevail over any worries.
The hardest part was putting away his food bowls, and that terrible sense of finality that he’d never be eating from them again.
Spending so much time at home meant Leonard was in my company for a large part of the day. I’m getting used to his absence, but I still miss the little guy.
I had a bunch of random footage and I never knew what to do with it, including a few moments from the first time I let him out of quarantine into the rest of the house. When he died I kept watching the footage over and over again until it sort of pieced itself together into this small vignette of a kitty who lived with me for less than three months. I hope they were happy ones.
The vet’s office called this morning to tell me Leonard didn’t make it through the night.
I’ve been bawling randomly since. Uncontrollably. I haven’t cried like this since I was a kid. I suppose it’s the shock. I always expected Dolly to be the one to go first, and not for many years at that. I know I’ll be alright, I just need time. It was such a big decision to adopt another cat, and I jumped on it cause I wanted one so badly, and I made all the preparations, and nursed him back to health so many times, and now he’s gone so suddenly.
____’s been talking some sense into me. I blamed myself for not going to the vet sooner; maybe there’s something he could have done, maybe being on an IV earlier would given him the strength to recover. But I did what I thought was best at the time, and there are countless maybes in life, and there’s no way of knowing why he died because the tests weren’t finished. It could have been something congenital, which seems likely considering he was sick most of the time.
Continue reading “Goodbye, little buddy”…
I was going to wait to see how his personality developed before settling on a name, and for a while I was calling him Serge (after Gainsbourg) cause he was almost overly affectionate, constantly pawing me and rubbing my face with his. Eventually, I realized it’d be impossible for a cat to live up to such namesakes, so I went with my first choice, which was Leonard. It has Leo in it, which is perfect for anything from the felidae family. I could never call him Lenny though cause “Lenny Cohen” sounds so wrong to me.
I love cats with goofy faces, and I can tell Leonard has a bit of one already from the way his cheeks puff out. I also like my cats fat cause there’s more to hold when they decide to crawl into the covers. As novel as it is to see how tiny Leonard is in comparison to Dolly, I’m looking forward to see him putting on some more weight.
Unfortunately, Dolly’s personality has changed. She’s a bit less affectionate, less vocal, and more sickly; I’ve been dealing with perpetual respiratory infections and eye abscesses ever since I brought Leonard home. I’m wondering if she associates being miserably sick with the arrival of the new kitten. Her maternal instincts seem to kick in when he lies next to her, and she’ll try to lick and groom him, but he doesn’t seem to like it much and they end up fighting. Hopefully, he’ll grow into the habit.
I’m living a drama-free life.
____ used to tease me about my drama, convinced that I loved it because I always seemed to be creating it. But drama is just a by-product of the struggle when you’re discovering yourself and trying to become the person you’re meant to be. It’s never an easy path; otherwise, you’d already be that person.
I don’t have bad days anymore either, but I can’t tell if it’s because I’m handling things better or if I’m not challenging myself enough.
And now that there’s no more drama, it feels like I’m finished. Like there’s no next step for me to take and nowhere else to go, because I’m here. All that’s left is to enjoy this existence.
That’s not to say my life is without a touch of inner instability. I still have memories, thoughts, lust, and love, and they’re enough to fill the mind for an entire day. But now I know everything’s gonna be okay.
Now that I’m working from home full-time, I barely step outside. Living like Foul Bachelor Frog, cause yesterday’s pants are today’s pants if they have the belt in them. There’s nothing for me out there. It’s never worth the trouble anymore. I’d go out if I wasn’t so content in my comfortable home with two cats and everything I need to sing or write or create.
I’m just wondering if I’ll ever get tired of this.