Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ode

When my sister told me that she wanted us to get my mom a kitten for Christmas, my first thought was “Oh hell no.” I remembered back to a particular pre-divorce Christmas a few years earlier. My dad surprised us with a puppy. And by “us,” I mean all of us – mom too. She was pissed – how could my dad have made this big decision without talking to her about it?


Of course we learned to love Gracie.


But then my dad left. And when he did so, he left Gracie. And then my sister went to college. And there my mom was – a single woman with a dog. Don’t get me wrong – she loved Gracie. But she felt resentful that she was now the sole person taking care of her. She traveled a lot for her work at that point and always had to make arrangements for Gracie when she was gone.


So getting Mom a kitten seemed to me to be a very bad idea. But then of course my sister H pointed out how much Mom loved Gracie and how she felt sort of lonely and was missing my cat (who had lived with her for a while before she came to live with me). And then my sis started talking about the cute kittens that she had already gone to see and the particular one that she had fallen in love with. And then…


Mom was a bit irked. She thought we had a lot of gall. We did.


But that precious ball of black fur knew exactly what to do. He snuggled his way into my mom’s heart in pretty short order. He even became great friends with Gracie. Oh yes, that Java was a special kitty – a perfect combination of snuggly and frisky and autonomous.


We all made adjustments when Mom moved to the city to live with the wonderful man who would become her husband. New digs, new animal siblings, new neighborhood. Java had been an indoor/outdoor cat in our quiet neighborhood. There were numerous conversations over what to do about that. Mom and her sweetheart didn’t want to give Java up – they adored him. That Java had won over this man was a feat – he had never liked any cat. And yet he loved this cat.


So Java moved to the city. He hated being indoors all the time. He meowed at the door. And so, they began to let him out for short periods of time. They worried. But Java would show back up at the door happy as a clam. For that year and a half in the city, he happily basked in the adoration of his family and the happy ramblings among the neighbors’ yards. He laid at the feet of the bed when I came home to visit and rubbed up against my legs and snuggled into my lap.


Yesterday Java was hit by a car, and the family that loves him is mourning. And beating themselves up a bit. And missing him so terribly much.



4 comments:

Virgin In The Volcano said...

I'm so sorry. One of our dogs was killed by a car years ago and I remember how hard it was. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry! I miss you...We need to talk soon! We're both in the same "remind me why I did this again boat," but somehow, we'll make it through...Afterall, we belong to that special "sisterhood" of the past, and we always make it...some how, some way :) We'll make a date soon! Give the Babe a "hi" for me!!
Love ya girl!
erin

ImNobody said...

I'm so sorry about your loss.
He was lucky to have you, and I'm certain he loved you every bit as much as you loved him.

PT-LawMom said...

Oh no!! There is very little as difficult as the loss of a beloved pet. I am so sorry. :(

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