It’s a difficult thing mourning for a cat. It’s something you truly don’t want to talk about because no one wants to compare an animal life with a human life, and truly nobody wants to fully admit that they are possibly some crazy cat lady.
So I believe that most cat mourning is done with quiet tears on the couch late at night, with the lights down and a warm blanket on your lap. while you watch sappy romantic comedies and sip moderately priced pinot noir. Or so I’ve heard.
But I’ve never done my quiet and tearful cat mourning before while another kitty presses his warm furry body up around my neck and head and finally comes to rest upon my chest while occasionally licking my cheek, while he makes this painful whining noise because he misses his brother. His litter-mate. His best friend. His lifelong companion.
Truffle now follows me everywhere, wants to ride upon my shoulder nearly all day, and at times searches the deep corners of the house because his silly brother must be hiding somewhere and will pounce on him at any moment. Truffle investigates any strange noise in the house, almost looking hopeful that it must be Tyko. A few evenings ago as we were perhaps in our evening mourning position, the radiator made a noise and when we both looked towards the noise, we noticed a pillow causing a shadow on the window that looked exactly like two black cat ears. Truffle immediately got up on his hind legs and started shaking and making the saddest meowing noise I’ve ever heard. Then he ran to the shadow – finding nothing and he walked back across the room to me with his head down and whimpered on my chest for the next hour.
And my heart broke all over again.
So when people say ‘it’s just a cat’ – I need you to say that to Truffle, because now I know how deeply an animal can feel for someone – and while I’m sad for all of us, I’m the saddest for Truffle because I still don’t think he knows that Tyko is not coming back.
Eloise stopped crying herself to sleep a few nights ago. For a week Esther would tell me she was having trouble sleeping because of Eloise’s sobbing. Tyko was Esther’s cat but truthfully he preferred Eloise over any of us and it was her lap he found every morning and evening, and her room he liked to hang-out in. Eloise is taking this harder than the rest of us humans, and if you know our Eloise, you know how much this hurts her.
Esther hasn’t said much of anything and I think would prefer not to talk about it. Astrid started this make-believe game last week where she would take all of her stuffed animals to the vet and then they would all die. After two days of hundreds of dead stuffed animals I finally I had to sit down with her and squelch her imagination by telling her almost all animals go to the vet and get better, and only a few actually have to die. So I asked Astrid to please start playing an “all animals get better” game instead. So she stopped playing any animal games at all because once a parent steps in, the fun of playing is gone and I’m sure there will now be some therapy bill down the line because I just could not let her go on and on with the imaginary dead animal game.
I’m having a hard time doing any work or getting on the computer after the kids are in bed. Instead I find myself on the couch at 8:30 in the dark while I give Truffle my full attention. So I apologize if that email is a bit late. And if I do find myself on the computer, instead of writing I’m visiting cat rescue sites looking for Tyko. But I know he won’t be there, so instead I look for a substitute because maybe a kitten is just what we need right now.
Even though I know it’s too soon and a decision based solely upon emotion and the look in Truffle’s eyes.
But I dare say the positive that has come out of Tyko’s death is that you will currently not find a more spoiled cat anywhere on the planet. Truffle has new toys, new food, has access to new places in the house, has a lap to curl-up on and a shoulder to ride one at all times, sisters who don’t want to do anything but play with him, and we’ve decided to just leave the bathroom sink faucet running all day and night because truly nothing is more fun than a bathroom sink for a cat.
That damn spoiled Truffle. Oh how we love him.