Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Every child needs a pet.

Sam and I found two kittens for our twins last April.  I think it was April.  They were born in February.  One of my former students had posted about them on FB, and there was a picture of a little black ball of fur, and two calico kittens.  I knew we wanted the little black one, a male kitten, and one calico.  My student told me that there was one particular calico that seemed to be best friends with the black one, so I of course said she was the one we would take.

Sam picked them up and we surprised our kids.  They couldn't believe they actually were going to keep them... that they were our kitties.  Michael came up with the names Luke and Leia, and those names because perfectly suited to their personalities.

Leia was much more timid at first, but became very tolerant of being handled by the children.  She was "Stella's cat," and Stella really had a hard time not picking her up, even if she was sleeping or eating...  Gosh, it was stressful trying to help Stella understand that's not how you get a cat to want to spend time with you.  Michael was also wanting to handle Luke all the time, when truly, both kittens were so adventurous and played together, racing around the house, skidding around corners, crash stopping into walls.  They were so entertained by each other.  They slept snuggled together.

Luke because more weary of the kids, while Leia seemed to relent, and allow them to harass her a bit more. Poor thing.  Luke would scratch, if he wanted to be put down.  I was worried at first, but I realized, he just wanted to be moving around and didn't want to be picked up in the middle of his "missions" and adventures. As he grew, his body became very muscular, especially his shoulders.  He loved to climb the curtains, so Sam built them an indoor "tree" covered in sisal rope, with little platforms for them to lay upon.

You see, they were going to be indoor cats.  We weren't going to let them outside.  The road, even though it's down the long driveway, is so busy, and cars go faster than they should.  Yet, we realized that it was almost cruel, to keep them inside, when they were so fascinated by the outdoors.  They sat in the windows, listening to birds.  They stood in front of our french doors, or the big windows at the front of our house and watched squirrels and chipmunks running and hopping and climbing.  They would bat into the air, become rigid, as if they were acting out the entire scenario of chasing the rodents around the yard.

We bought harnesses with leashes, and they loved exploring with the kids, but Luke was always ready to run around, and Michael would be out of breath running with him.  We eventually let them out, and we would sit on the grass and watch them.  They would stay right within our sight, but they were in kitty Heaven... running, catching those rodents (gross), and climbing trees...  Eventually, they would sit at the door and meow, wanting to go out.  We all talked about it, and decided that we had to let them be outdoor cats.  We kept them in at night.

We also discovered that Luke had a true love and connection to Sam.  He was kind of weirdly obsessed with Sam, actually.  He would try to suckle the inside of Sam's elbow, and slept with Sam every night.  Sam could pick him up and carry him around and he loved it.  He would let Sam do anything.  He would freak out if anyone else picked him up that way.  He was Sam's buddy, for sure.  I think Michael kind of understood that Luke was more like daddy's cat, but that was okay.  Michael was happy to have Leia sleep on his bed, and at school he saved up all his "compliment points", 140 points, to have the opportunity to bring his "pet" to school.  He was so excited to bring Luke to school.  Sam and I were like, "Oh goodness, this will be crazy," but we were going to bring both cats, and go together, to keep them under control.  Luke would be a good boy for Sam.

I was laying in bed, it was the afternoon, and it's been bad... my pmdd... or Thyroid... whatever it is, I have not been doing well.  And my ferritin levels are so low it's crazy, right now.  I am so tired.  I am so dark.  I am so empty, and depressed.  Apathetic.  Sam came home at lunch last Friday, and I said, "I can't get up, please, I can't even function."  He told me he needed me to, today.  He said, "I need you to get up and help me.  I have some really sad news to tell the kids."  They had a half day.  He would be getting them in a half hour.  I knew.  Sam started to tear up, and I knew it was Luke.  I knew Luke was dead.  Sam told me he saw him in the road, and he buried him with Meghan.  He said it was horrible.  I was already feeling ridiculously terrible, so I didn't help things by crying and saying it was impossible that Luke was dead.  It had to be another cat.  And I said he have to find Luke.  He must be somewhere.  Sam reminded me Luke hadn't been on our bed the night before.  He's on our bed every night.  I opened the door and called to him.  He didn't come.  Sam said he couldn't really identify if it was Luke for sure, but he knew.  He just knew.  How horrible is that?  That Sam had to go and get him off the road, like that?  I cried for Sam.  I cried for Sam, really.

Sam was crying.  But he is so strong.  He said it happened.  There was nothing we could do.  He said he was happy he could get his sweet buddy off the road and bury him, himself.  He said it was a horrific experience, but he needed to do it for his Luke.

My kids call this "Vampire Kitty."
Luke was really like a little dog, in a way.  The way he acted towards Sam.  He followed him everywhere when he was home, and slept on top of Sam, sometimes with his face staring into Sam's sleeping face.  When I would wake in the middle of the night (common with PMDD) with a panicked feeling... scared, Luke would be rouse himself excitedly, like it was finally time to get loved up by Sam, and he would climb all over him, trying to find his hands so Sam would pet him.  He would climb on me too, and liked me to pet him, but really I was consolation, if Sam was awakened.  And even though waking in the night was always an awful feeling, I would giggle, then end up laughing hysterically at Luke's antics.  When I felt close to my worst, Luke could still make me laugh.

Leia has been meowing a lot... She seems to be looking for him.  She will make a full search of the house, meowing the entire time, then want to go back outside.  She stands on the deck stairs looking out at the yard, very alert.  I really feel like she's looking for Luke.  It makes me sad.

And it's sadder, I know, that my nanny is getting older and weaker, even if she is "doing well," yet I haven't seen her since December.  I haven't visited her.  I haven't brought the kids down.  I don't know what is wrong with me.  I can't.  I feel like I can't.  I'm so sad, I start crying (even now), just thinking about it all.  My failures... I know she wants to see me.  She calls me.  She misses the kids.  And what is wrong with me?  What is bloody wrong with me?  It makes me hate myself, a little bit.  And you'd think I would then just get in the G.D. car and go... just fucking drive down there.  And I don't.  I don't.  Crying about not seeing her, and my failure to see her... I'm just crying for myself.  I'm crying selfishly.  I want to be a better person. I want to not be scared of what will happen eventually, and be with her now.  I hide.  I'm hiding.  I want to be strong and healthy like Sam.

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