- 5 years ago
I’m so so sorry about Clyde. Your situation reminds me of something we went through 2-3 years ago.
I adopted two of the most amazing, silly, sweet, mischeivious little half-siamese troublemakers about 15 years ago. They fought each other over cuddle time with me, comforted me through all the ups and downs of my 20s, and kept me sane through a horrific divorce. Then one morning, I notice that Billie’s tummy is a tad swollen and decided to take her into the vet, just to make sure everything was okay. Very long story short, we found out quickly that she had an advanced, aggressive cancer, and we had almost no warning. From first noticeable symptom to her death took less than two weeks, and those two weeks were the hardest of my life.
It took months before I could even talk about the possibility of adopting in the future without bursting into tears. Around Christmas, we were finally able to discuss it, but I still clearly wasn’t quite ready. And then one of our closest friends called. There was this cat, see, that had been skinny, scrawny, sitting on their front stoop in the 20 degree December, crying for food. They’d given him tuna, but he just stayed on the stoop, crying up at their 2nd story window over and over. They’d finally broken down and let him inside their apartment, where he promptly curled up on the couch.
They wanted to find a home for him, but they couldn’t keep him at their apartment because of the landlord (and yes, we blanketed the neighborhood with signs to find out if he was someone’s lost baby, searched every online ‘lost pet’ listing, etc). Could we take him in just for a few weeks? Well, of course we can.
My friend said “I bet you’ll fall in love with him as soon as you meet him and want to keep him.”
I didn’t. I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready. He wasn’t Billie.
He’d do something insane, like climb over 7 feet of cat gate (how the hell?), and I’d roll with laughter – then suddenly, it would remind me of something Billie had done, and I’d shut it all down. He’d curl up on her favorite chair, and I had to leave the room. He’d climb up on my chest, purring so loud I couldn’t hear myself think, and aggressively headbutt me in the face, and I’d suddenly be reminded of Billie kneading her favorite blanket with that drugged out happy-cat face.
But it occurred to me at some point that I was discounting my bond with him. I didn’t feel as strongly about him as I had about Billie – because Billie had been with me for over a decade, through so much of my life. But he and I had just met. We were just getting to know one another really. I finally realized that it was okay that I didn’t feel the same way about him… yet.
And that I didn’t have to choose between them. Giving myself permission to love him didn’t mean that I loved Billie any less. I had enough room for both.
It wasn’t love at first sight, the way my friend thought that it would be. But now, 2 years later, Schrödie is an integral part of my life. We got to know each other, and I love him every bit as much as I loved Billie. He’s my stripey, shoutey, doubled-thumbed attention-whore, and I adore him.
I wasn’t ready, but he came into my life at just the right time.