Saying Goodbye

I am so unbelievably sad. We had to bury our Little Kitty yesterday morning—a bright, beautiful morning—after he was hit by a car. He was three. 

I am still in bed when Batman jumps onto my nightstand. I part the curtains so he can step onto the window sill. He is perched there for a long time, and I later realize he can see the street from the window. 

Jeffery is in the kitchen washing dishes, singing about Little Dude like he does, when I hear a knock on the door.

Our neighbor is more flustered than usual, apologetic for waking us. “We weren’t awake,” I assure him, stumbling, “I mean asleep. We’re awake.” 

“I’m so sorry to have to tell you this, but your cat has been hit by a car.”

“It wasn’t our cat—” I blurt out, and take stock of the kitties. Batman is in the bedroom and Little Kitty—

I look past him to the street. Through the white fence I can see him, fluffy black tail, red tag, lifeless. 

I shout for Jeff, who is still singing, oblivious to the knock on the door (you can’t hear anything through cedar walls), I shout again, louder. He comes. I retreat to the couch to sob.

Batman watches from the window as we dig a grave. Tears spill on the soil. We hit rock about three feet down.

I sit on the porch in the sun, and Batman comes out and joins me, sniffs the air. The breeze picks up, and cherry blossoms fall around us like snow. 

He never got to experience summer. Since moving into our home and letting him out into the world we’ve watched his personality blossom. He would chase us around the yard like a dog, always wanting to be where we were. He was so particular. He loved perching on fence posts and curling up on the rice straw between the rosemary and the garlic, safe from the world. He loved being outside. And when he was inside sleeping, he had to have a pillow

I need to eat something. The pit in my stomach, the ache and the hurt and the sadness and the pain, is magnified by my hunger. I haven't had anything and it's almost noon. I set the water to boil for a third time.

All day Batman looks at me with these huge wondering eyes. We let him outside and he sniffs all around, searching. How do you explain to a cat that he won’t see his little buddy again?

It’s crazy how much you can love an animal. How much joy they can bring to your lives. I think about how much less hair I’ll have to clean up as a consolation, and it doesn’t make up for the gaping hole. In just a few short years he completely stole our hearts.

Life is fleeting. You never know when it’s going to be the last time you see someone. His life was so damn short, but every day was full.

A few months ago I was playing around with my camera settings and decided to make a double exposure. To do so, you select a photo that’s on your memory card and then you take a second photograph. I chose this one of the kitties:

And then I snapped a shot out the window. The tip of his tail becomes a little tree, right above where we buried his body. I find it hauntingly beautiful.

Hug the ones you love. And please please drive slowly.