Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I've been avoiding writing this

It wasn't so long ago that I was writing a very similar post for another furry friend.  In that post, my friend Kim from Fill Your Well, wrote a comment about how in one native American culture they believe that animal friends stay around your feet once they've passed away which I find both incredibly comforting and heartbreaking.  As I walked home from yoga last night, I looked around my feet and saw them all and sobbed for all my friends lost.

About two weeks ago, my dad emailed me to say that our indoor/outdoor cat, Carlita, hadn't come home in about three days which is the longest she's ever been away.  Carlita is a food hound and so while in summer she'd go out at night to do some recreational hunting for squirrels, chipmunks, and mice, she'd always be meowing by the screen door in the morning to get her breakfast.

My parents have a flock of guinea hens which just hatched 18 chicks. The inability of the chicks to defend themselves means easy prey for predators like coyotes who have decided to lurk near our house in hopes to get some easy food.  In fact, they've killed the two mama guinea hens. The fact they've been hanging out and our precious kitty has now disappeared is more than just a coincidence me thinks.

I've found this death harder to come to terms with because I keep hoping that maybe she's just taking a little kitty vacation in a tree house somewhere on our property.  I emailed my dad daily asking if she had come home for days like a child unable to bear the news and the truth.  And she was so young, only 11, and so funny.  As a kitten she always used to walk around with a hook in her tail and we figured she just grow out of that, like kittens do, but she didn't.  She wore it proudly, as she sat on kitchen counters as if she was royalty and demanded to be loved.

She had a fantastic sense of humour, slightly sick, but good.  We had a dog that was completely blind, and she'd sit up on a chair and when the blind dog would walk by she'd swipe it with her paw with an evil smile on her face.

She was loving and cuddily.

When we adopted her, she was an abandoned by her mama, she stayed in my bedroom until she was old enough to handle being around the dogs.  She slept under the blankets of my bed occasionally attacking my feet.  She lazily chased string and as a wee kitten always got poop stuck in her paws, but strangely didn't seem to mind getting put in the bath to have it washed off. 

It just doesn't seem quite real.  I had big plans for going home this Christmas and opening up the kitty door on my bedroom door (cut especially for her) and letting her snuggle with me at night while I slept.  For watching her enjoy playing with the decorations on the Christmas tree, and curling up on the green chair (a chair which is green...?) and reading Vanity Fair while she purred lovingly on my lap.  For the first time since before I was born, there is not a cat at my parents' house and I honestly cannot comprehend it.

When Inspector Climate came to my house last year, he sat down on a chair and was totally and utterly shocked when Carlita came to sit on his lap for a cuddle.  Having only grown up with a shy slightly mean kitty, Inspector Climate refused to move while Carlita was near him for fear that she would leave his lap.  Carlita was a sucker for love and wouldn't leave unless you literally forced her off your lap.  "take a picture, take a picture" Inspector Climate would insist when she'd cuddle with him made my heart bubble over that he was excited to be with one of my furry friends, but more importantly that she had given my love her furry stamp of approval.

And so, while I can't help but hold out a little bit of hope that perhaps now, weeks later, she'll somehow come home, I must finally say goodbye to the sweetest kitty.


  1. I'm so sorry :( *virtual hug from Canberra*


  2. Aaaw...that's sad.

    I once had a cat who went missing for three whole months and one day when we were driving in the neighbourhood we found him wandering about, skinny, but otherwise well. But, we don't have coyotes in suburban Melbourne....

    I hope your kitty comes home. :(

  3. Oh no, girl, so sorry to hear about Carlita!!! :-(

  4. Oh no...I feel so bad for you. I hope she comes home, but if she doesn't, know that she lived a full and happy life with you and your family. *hugs*

    P.S. Apparently there are lots of big scary birds where we are moving to in the Alps (like falcons and eagles) and someone told me to be careful when I walk my dog offleash because they'll swoop down and carry him away. I played out the scene in my head yesterday and almost burst into tears at the thought. Losing a pet is never easy, and we certainly don't want them to disappear from one day to the next...

    Hang in there...thinking of you.

  5. so so sorry to hear about the loss of your pet. sending you love from london xxxxxxxx

  6. I'm so sorry :( - Every time I have lost a pet I tell myself I'm not doing it again...the pain is too much. But, then I think about them in the shelters...alone and I go rescue (this time - two kittens) and it fills up my voids. I hope you keep feeling her at your feet...

  7. I'm so so sorry about this! Gosh, not much in life stings more than losing an animal. I'm the same way with animals and truly believe that they never leave you. We lost a sweet cat about 4 years ago and I have never forgotten her. She was white and I still see white cats around all the time.

  8. Oh my goodness this is absolutely heartbreaking. I really really hope she comes home. I once had a friend whose kitty went missing for a whole winter and returned in spring, so don't lose hope. Big hugs...

  9. so sorry to hear about your cat. pets really do become part of the family.

  10. Oh. That's so sad. I really really hope she's just taking a little vacation. Sending lots of good thoughts hon.

  11. Oh honey! Mourn her loss, but never forget my Simon's story. She could come back!!

    If not though? Know that you gave her the best kitty home she could have ever wanted!!!

  12. I'm so sorry for your loss :( I love animals it hurts me to hear that :( <3 lots of love!


  13. I am sorry. I remeber when I lost my bird and a guinee pig, it was very sad.

  14. I'm so sorry to hear about this. :( Pets become such a huge part of the family.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  15. I'm so sorry :( Losing a pet is the worst.

  16. I have big fat alligator tears running down my cheeks after reading this post. I'm so sorry. I wish there was something I could do.

  17. There is a huge lump in my throat.... I am so sorry =(
    This post is a beautiful tribute to her and I hope you will remember her in the wonderful way you described.

  18. I'm so sorry to hear. I know that feeling of hope, we lost a cat to coyotes as well. She sounds like an amazing kitty though. When pets leave I always like to think they got all the love they needed.

  19. oh i am so sad to hear this. I remember crying in the street after my cat died, i was so upset. as everyone says, they're part of your family and it's devastating when they're not longer around.
    thinking of you xo

  20. I'm sorry, that's hard. I understand how that is because it has happened to me.

  21. God the hardest thing. I am hoping she comes home too...but I like the thought of their spirits being at our feet always, keeping us company and protecting us. I'll keep a good thought for her.

  22. Your tribute to Carlita is beautiful.

    I'm hoping this story will have a surprise happy ending, but I an understand why you feel there's probably not much hope.

    I'm very sorry : (

  23. I once owned a cat (he was 11) who left the house one day and never came back. I heard that cats find a quiet secluded place to die and I think that's what happened to my cat. I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. We can get so attached to animals and it really does hurt when we lose them. I haven't owned a cat since ...

  24. Skye - Thank you.

    Many Colours of Happiness - Aw! Thank you.

    Frisky Librarian - Wow, how incredible.

    Oneika - Thank you - it was quite the surprise.

    Crystal - Eep! Scary big birds that can pick up your dog? That's crazy.

    Eleanor - Aw, thank you!

    Off the Cuff - Yes, I know - it's particularly like that because I don't have any animals with me in Australia, it would be different if I still lived my parents and had puppies to cuddle and horses to snuggle.

    Amanda - it's true isn't it? There is something so incredibly special about our bonds with furry friends.

    Emily Jane - I am not sure it is healthy to continue hoping really.

    Amy - yes they do!

    Krysten - It is nice to think of her enjoying some warmth in some tree munching on mice brains (a kitty delicacy I hear).

    Ev Rev - It is true, you had an AMAZING story of a returning kitty.

    Anna - It is pretty painful - she was the bestest.

    Asia - Aw, I've never had a guinea pig.

    Bonnie - Yes, a huge part.

    Alex - It really is

    Kyle - Aw! Just give your fur babies some big cuddles.

    Teachergirl - Thank you. Yes, I will always remember her.

    Nikki - Silly coyotes - wish they'd learn hunt other things besides kitties.

    Crazy Shenanigans - Me too!

    SJ - Aw, thank you!

    Autumn - Thank you.

    Dina - Yes, I can't really continue on hoping...

    lafemmeroar - Yes, cats do like to have a secluded place to die. I've had older cats do that - but not one in their prime, like Carlita.

  25. oh my dear friend, i'm so so sorry. i wish i were in australia to give you a hug. there's so much happening in your life right now, i can't imagine how emotionally exhausted you must be. just know that i'm here for you, even though i'm across the ocean. i'm sending you hugs and positive energy. for your family and your dear carlita too.

  26. That breaks my heart...and I don't even like cats all that much.

  27. Aw...I'm so sorry! I have three cats, not so long ago five. My last 2 died of old age. I have one female who sounds like your cat and she also has a hook in her tail. I call it a question mark tail. She is a diva and a very good cat. It is so hard to lose them. I hope your parents have at least checked around at shelters and animal hospitals and the neighborhood before giving up. Take care.