I was going through our bills this evening, doing some maintenance and filing, and I came across the file we keep on our pets. We keep everything (it’s a problem) so we have all the paperwork from every office visit and medical procedure our animals have undergone.
Looking through that file and seeing the paperwork from when we adopted our first two kittens made a funny, lumpy spot rise in my throat.
In March of this year we gave one of those kittens away to the pound. She was a bad kitty and had begun doing very naughty kitty things. She wasn’t always bad, and I think I forgot how much a part of my life Emma was.
I don’t miss her doing her business all over the house. I don’t miss her fighting with the other kitties and making a ruckus. I don’t miss her screeching yowls when the other kitties would look at her wrong. I don’t miss the way she claimed any territory around me as hers and hissed and spit and screamed if others came too close.
It’s sort of funny how I’d forgotten all the good stuff about Emma and only remembered how bad she was. I had forgotten that bringing Emma and Zoe into our lives felt like one of the first few steps out of my grief over Colin; those silly kittens were life-affirming for me, and they were part of my new life with Mr. J. They were like our kids, the first cats we got together and we brought them home to the first house we had together. I love the kitties I have now, Zoe and Paper who hardly ever do bad things; I like the way there isn’t Emma-pee all over everything. But sometimes I really miss the way she was when she was a kitten, before I ruined everything by bringing Paper home. Sometimes thinking about her triggers stupid feelings of loss and emptiness.
And sometimes it feels a little silly to grieve so much over such a thing. You'd think after burying a husband that giving away a cat who pees on my stuff would be easy.
As soon as I can swallow past the lumpy spot in my throat, I'm eating something fattening and unhealthy.