All my adult life, I have wanted a pet. But I (and later, Chris and I) knew I was in no position to take on that responsibility, what with the ever-changing nature of my – and now our – personal situation. We move, we rent, we change paths…so I’ve always known that when we find “home,” it will come complete with a very large dog who will love me unconditionally ever after. Likewise, Chris has always wanted a cat. This was our agreement: Chris would get a cat, and I would get a big dog…rottweiler, shepherd, pit – mixed breed of course. Thing is, neither of us is a cat person or dog person – it’s just the way we’ve always talked about it.
And then Earthquake came into our lives. And I knew we wouldn’t probably be able to make him ours forever…there were moments of hope, but all hopes were dashed when we learned it would cost more than US$1,000 to get him home. Plus there’s that whole not-having-a-place-yet business…and the fact that Chris’ folks have already adopted two of his sister’s former cats…so it just wasn’t feasible. But the fact was that he was abandoned, not healthy, and the cutest thing I think I’d ever laid eyes on (Chris, too…he was smitten). We decided we’d be like foster pet owners. In fact, we didn’t even know for sure if he would live – his belly was so swollen with worms and malnutrition, the vet thought he was a goner for sure. But he powered through it, got stronger, and cuter, and even a little annoying…what am I saying? He drove us berzerker at least 60% of the time…
Of course, we had to make provisions for when we’d leave…luckily my colleague and friend L, who I’ve mentioned before, happens to be a cat person…and her partner loves cats as well, so they were quick to agree to adopt him when we go. Their place is excellent…Quake will have a huge yard to play in…so big that I doubt he’ll stray too far from it. And he’ll have somebody at home all the time so he won’t be lonely. We know he’ll be loved and looked after, and that makes us really happy.
But it still sucks. I have nothing profound to say about it, except that we’re struggling a bit because we know how much we’re going to miss him…a few of my favorite things: the way he sleeps between us, or between our feet, or on top of one of us when he can; the way he wakes us up in the morning to feed him with his sad little meow and an Eskimo kiss; the way he fights with a blade of grass as if it were his mortal enemy; the way he calls hello to us when he comes in from outside for a drink of water; the way he persisted for months and finally won the Battle of To Sleep Or Not To Sleep On The Desk When We’re Working; the way he makes sure we’re looking when he’s scratching the sofa (attention-seeker); the way he sleeps as if he’s made of rubber, so his feet are pointed at an entirely unbelievable angle to his head; the way he used his litter box every time he went #1 or #2 from the minute he came into the house, even if he’d never seen one before; the way he endeavors to fit his whole self into any bag or box he comes across, no matter the size, no matter how full; the way he looks over at one of us from time to time and gives us that look – the one that cat owners know so well…the squinted-eye look that says, “You’re my bitch for life and I love you.”
Oh, Earthquake…we will miss you terribly.