Hi, everyone. Things have been hectic here, financial problems out the wazoo, struggling to remain under a roof and a bunch of other stuff, so I haven't posted or added to Hot Rod's memorial page in a few weeks. That's not to say that I haven't missed her and thought about her nor does it mane that I haven't thought about all of you here, either. Cocoasmom, Ghattan, Abbey and MyAngelHobbes come to mind right off. I hope you are all okay - those I named and everyone here - those of you on this side of whatever divides us from those who've left and for those on the other side, too.
Something odd happened Wednesday morning that I think might have been Hot Rod saying hello. I'd spent the night with my boyfriend and came in early that morning. Before feeding Sassy, we spent some time lovin' and cuddlin' on the couch. Then, I asked if she was hungry and Sassy, knowing what I meant, started toward the kitchen. I was just a footstep behind her. We took a couple of steps past the coffee table in the direction of the dining room and kitchen when I heard a tiny bell ring behind me. I turned my head back and looked. There was nothing on the floor behind or near either Sassy or me. On the coffee table behind us, however, was one of the girls' toys, one that Hot Rod had played with some and Sassy wasn't interested in. It has a bell attached to it. I knew that it was the bell that I'd heard as soon as I looked at it. (All those cheap bells on the toys may sound the same to some folks, but to those of us with kitties who play with them, we know the different "tink" and "jingle" sound that each makes.) The toy was touching nothing nor had it moved from where it had been, literally, for days. (When it comes to housekeeping, I say, "If it ain't stinkin' or stickin', I'll get to it when I get to it." ;) ) Neither Sassy nor I had touched the coffee table at all as we passed it. There was no breeze or draft in the apartment. Hot Rod crossed my mind immediately. I think she'd caused that little bell to jingle, maybe to say "Hi" to me. Who knows? Maybe she'd visited Sassy during the night or that morning and couldn't resist letting me know that she'd been here. I heard a bell jingling this morning, too, although it sounded like it was outside somewhere. But it's not a sound that I've heard before from outside my window.
Today, I was watching The Wedding Singer...you know, the comedy with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. At the end of the movie, he sings a song to her, "I Wanna' Grow Old With You." The line in the song, "Carry you around when your arthritis aches" reminded me of Hot Rod. I started to sob heavily and I've been sobbing off and on all day, even just now, just typing about it. I'm glad that she doesn't have to deal with arthritis anymore, but I miss carrying her around: to bed at night, lifting her off the bed in the mornings, lifting her to the sofa when she wanted to veg with me, etc. Mostly, I miss the communication between her and me. We'd learned early during her declining years to communicate with one another so that her needs could be met and so that she'd know what was up with me without having to follow me around. For instance, when I'd put her on the bed at night, if I needed to step away from the bed to turn off lights, go to the bathroom, check the thermostat, etc., and was returning immediately, I'd put my hand on her head and tell her, "I'm coming right back. Don't get up." And she wouldn't. If, otoh, I was only putting her on the bed to get her off of the floor or because I thought maybe she was ready and I was going back into the living room, I wouldn't put my had and her head and say that to her. Almost 100% of the times, she'd follow me back out of the bedroom. See what I mean about our communications with one another? I miss it. It gave us both structure in our days and, I admit, companionship for me (and I hope for her, too).
It looks like I'm getting a kitten from my sister, which is very good for Sassy. She's so bored and lonely, I can tell, which isn't surprising since her neediness is the reason I'd adopted Hot Rod way back when. Anyway, about four weeks ago, my sister adopted a kitten for her nine-year old daughter. Within a few days, the novelty of the kitten wore off for the little girl. Since that time, my BIL has grown to resent the kitten. "Resent" may be too strong a word. Please understand that BIL is a very nice man and would never be mean to or harm an animal. But he's a dog person. He's always had dogs and never cats. My sister says that she's noticing him giving preferential treatment to the dog, which she says could cause issues between she and her husband if something doesn't change soon.
So, with Sassy being lonely and sis having a 12 week old kitten that she can either find a home for or return to a shelter that does euthanize after so many weeks, this works out for all. Oh,, and since I'm suffering financially, sis will pay for the shots and spay, as well as any other medical bills that might arise until I'm back on my feet again. How can I say "no?" A kitten to train and play with is, if my hunch is right, exactly what Sassy needs to keep her occupied and she'd have a companion again, another girl kitty, just as she's had all of her life.
My feelings about the new kitty have gone from knowing it's best and even looking forward to bringing her home and watching them interact to feeling guilty, as if I'm not being loyal to Hot Rod's memory. I know, however, that Hot Rod wouldn't want Sassy to waste away from loneliness and boredom. My sister said that Hot Rod would want another kitty to have a good home and I'm sure that's true, but I'm not sure that she'd want that kitty to have a home with me. She was very possessive and jealous of me. I mean, the looks that she'd give Sassy and me when we were cuddling or playing. Man o man, her face looked like she was thinking, "Hey! Wtf is going on over there?" Then she'd come lumbering over, give Sassy one of those cat looks, and Sassy would take off in a huff. LOL! I was her big, ugly hairless cat, dammit! And no one else's!
So today, while there are no scents on them but hers and Sassy's, I put a few of her favorite small toys in her urn with her, along with one of my ponytail ring holders. She used to love my hair and even my ponytail ring holders, probably because they smelled like my hair. I guess that's my way of letting her be a little selfish and possessive, even from the other side.
I also worry that I'll love that kitten. Hell, I know that I will. I've seldom held and pet a cat that I didn't fall smitten with and having one in my home for even just a few months...Then I worry that she'll take Hot Rod's place in my heart although I know that that's impossible. Hot Rod was Hot Rod and no other cat that I've ever known. I've loved and lost other cats, but none were like her nor did I have the kind of bond, relationship and communication with any that I had with her. So, I guess I should stop worrying.
Well, friends, I need to get going. Thank you so much for being here, letting me share these things with you, talk them through with myself as I type them to you, and just to let it out.
If you hear an unexplained ringing bell in the following days, say "Hi" to Hot Rod, okay?
Hot Rod's and Sassy's catmommy (and future catmommy of a new baby girl)