every year, i want it to be something more, something important, something valuable, a time that matters. instead, it's just .... time.
mostly spent alone. mostly spent waiting for... something. the something mostly being for this time to be over.
and there i go again, wishing for whole parts of the one life i have to live to be over asap.
i brought marcel home on new years eve. suffice to say, he was being fostered in gray gardens. had he been a female cat, 100% he would've been named big edie.
but, as it was, he didn't strike me as a marcel. nor a tito. nor a felix. nor an oscar. nor an arnold. nor any of the other names i batted about for the last 24 hours, even though marcel was already engraved on the pink heart.
bingley was supposed to be marcel and then he just wasn't.
on the 30th, i finally found the words to email the vet who worked with us that sunday morning. this morning she replied. yesterday, a sympathy card from the hospital arrived along with a heart that, if i plant it in my garden, will apparently provide flowers for years to come so i can remember my beloved pet.
with each of the cats, there has been a moment of panic in the adoption process. that moment, i think, where the heart is on the cusp of being cleaved open and letting this thing in, and the whole of your brain screams nooooooooooo!!!!
i didn't feel that this time, with this guy, maybe because my heart, having been so recently cleaved, my brain having been so battered in this last year, it was all ready.
but i couldn't find a name. a name, i'm newly aware, that will be shouted across the apartment during teaching, a name that rolls off the tongue, a name that fits the named.
everything sat uneasy, which maybe speaks more to my own mental state than the nature of this animal.
i felt no panic. what i felt was the violence of naming him. in part, maybe because it's hard to get a sense of the character of an animal who won't leave your closet.
she wasn't ready when we arrived, the foster. there were so many cats. ya'll, i cannot even. i'm pretty sure i made eye contact with him several times, as he fled and hid under the bed. there were five of them, just under the bed. 14 all together.
and i felt bad, because i just kept thinking this would be so much less traumatic for him if she'd only thought to have him in a bathroom alone before i got there. instead, we spent thirty minutes chasing him around the whole house. shining lights under furniture only to be greeted by other animals, friendly enough, who were not him.
when we got him in a bathroom, i knelt on the floor, waiting. he stood in the shower. stood on the vanity. stood in the space between the shower curtains.
i don't remember how long it took but it wasn't long before he did the thing we always look for in my family. when he approached me and butted his head against my hand so i'd pet him.
that's the sign that the cat has chosen you. and let me tell you, i tiptoed out and got the space bag and came back in and scooped him up and we got out of that place real fast and we went home.
kristina picked me up from the hospital after bingley's death and she drove me to pick up this guy. on the ride home, we tried different names on him, but nothing seemed to fit. and he peered through the plexiglass with big big eyes.
he's king of the bathroom now, hiding among the hems of my dresses. but when i go in there, he comes out and stands up on his hind legs so that his head can make contact with my hand.
i miss bingley horribly, if i'm being honest. when we facetimed the other day, nanette wanted to honor my loss while my primary concern was that i not be bawling in the middle of a conversation with her kid so, while i appreciated her attempt to honor my loss, i also had to shut that shit down.
he looked so confused when she took him away. i'm trying not to think about it, but what an awful thing to have to do, seriously. to end the life of someone you love. it was the right thing. it was the only option. but still, how fucking awful.
and garebear and debo were immediately all like there are so many cats who need homes, now you can help another, and i leaned into that and it provided a lot of relief but also, still. you have to sit with it every now and again. i am so grateful to have had him for those four months, i am so grateful to have each of them for however long we have, and also how fucking awful. how incredibly fucking awful.