Saturday, January 14, 2006

The cat came back

The cat came back, the very same day. The cat came back (I thought she was a goner) but the cat came back; she just couldn't stay away.

(With apologies to Harry S. Miller, writer of The Cat Came Back)

Lucy is fine. Three teeth lighter, but just fine. My Beloved has taken to calling her "Gummo" instead of her old nickname, "Bucky". She doesn't seem to mind, but it's possible that she's still a little hopped up on drugs. Give her time - she'll exact her feline revenge eventually. Perhaps with a particularly large poop, since, much to his dismay, he is the master of the litterbox.

I worried like crazy about that poor little snaggletooth. I would never, ever compare her or what she went through to Thomas - never in a million years - but having to take her to the vet and leave her there knowing she was scared and in pain just about killed me. I don't have the stomach for this - not after Thomas. I felt so guilty - so much so that I bent down and apologized to the furry, confused little face starting out from the carrier and told her I loved her before I left. Right in front of the bemused receptionist. And I didn't care.

I wanted to make sure I said goodbye.

I don't remember if I told Thomas I loved him and I don't think I said goodbye. Oh God, I don't remember...

That immediate horror of losing Thomas came flooding back yesterday, but as a feeling of dread I couldn't shake - not as images or real concrete thoughts. I just knew that it was possible that I was going to lose another someone I love, and that horrible feeling of being awake in a nightmare returned.

I asked God to let her come home to me. "She's just a cat", I said. "I'm not asking you to save a baby this time - surely you can at least leave me with my cat."

No, I didn't get struck by lightning. But I did stop praying at that point, fearing I'd gone just that one step too far. I honestly didn't mean too - I just got carried away. Sometimes I don't realize the depth of the anger still simmering just below the surface.

But in the end Lucy came home, a doped-up, staggering, bleary-eyed mess of a cat. Minus three teeth. She has seen me through a lot of sorrow and change during our almost 9 years together, and it's amazing how attached I am to her. Like any pet, she's a walking ball of love (who now has much fresher breath).

The only thing is, I woke up this morning wondering why God answered this prayer and not the pleas of a mother in agony 10 months ago.

I'm happy I have Lucy - but why wasn't I allowed to have Thomas too?


Sherry said...

I'm am very happy your little furball of love is back home - where she is obviously very loved - and back with much fresher breath. =-D

Catherine said...

Shortly before Sam was born, one of our cats took a leap off the kitchen roof and came up lame on one of her back legs. I remember sitting there crying, "How am I going to take care of a baby when I can't even take care of a stupid cat?" I feel ya.

I don't know why some prayers are answered and some aren't. Unless maybe it's just happy coincidence when it seems our prayers have come true?