from sept. 19, 2012. the day i put emma down. originally posted to facebook.

so i’m writing a little more out. thank you, giovanny. i grew up with dogs. the idea of getting a cat never crossed my mind. then i started dating someone with a cat that i kind of liked and i began to think about it. it wasn’t a shining time of my life and my thinking was that at least when this guy left, i would still have a cat for company. (note: that was actually the only real relationship i broke off. although my hand was forced. please note that if you give a guy an ultimatum between you and his drugs, you will not win.) so i got it in my head that i wanted a big fat gray cat that i would name fred. at that time, my friend jackie worked at the human society and called me to let me know that she had found that exact cat there. i went and checked him out. he was laying in his litter box and when we got to his window, he turned his head around and looked at me and then turned right back around and went back to sleep. seriously, could there be more of a perfect cat for me? even though he hissed at me in the little room, they still let me take him home. probably because i was the only one brave enough to do so.

i like to think that i made him like to cuddle rather than i broke his will, but he used to follow me around where ever i went. i used to take him places like a dog. he loved to ride in the car. he also would meet me at the door every day when i got home and not let me get by until i picked him up and hugged him. not a small feat since he got up to about 20 lbs. this weight is probably the result of the fact that he would eat anything under the sun. he especially loved tomato sauce. he gave begging for food a new name. if you sat on the couch and ate, he would sit on the windowsill so that his front paws were on your shoulder and he would watch you eat. every night when i used to eat at the kitchen table he had his spot where he would sit and watch me eat. of course this was all learned behavior that i should not have allowed. but it worked for me.

the name fred never fit him though so he became sebastian. or, of course, seb.

after abovementioned guy, i was living alone and facing a really lonely period of my life. clinical bouts of depression and anxiety lasting from my teen years didn’t help much. to catch you up on the other part, i had recently gotten out of a ten year relationship, but we don’t need to go into details there except for me to say sometimes what seems like a huge crisis is a blessing in disguise even if it takes years to know it. um, huge blessing. huge. HUGE. i’m sure you get the point. done.

anyhow, about a year after seb i got emma (who is indeed named after a jane austen novel/character) because i thought he would like company (not so much). and we became a little furry family. i’m not really furry but i am italian. i had friends and have the most supportive parents, but these little guys were always with me. even when i had to move them back into my parents for a month (second time for me and a long story for another post) where seb insisted on terrorizing my parents’ dog toner except during those times he sat patiently next to toner at the pantry door so my mother could give them their morning cookies.

if you could be closer to a pet, then i was closer to seb and probably let him terrorize em a little more than i should. but that never stopped her from following him around. seb also terrorized justin. you may already know the story about the first night justin slept over. i’m going to tell it again because to me it never gets old.

the first night justin slept over, seb pooped on his bag. that pretty much defined their relationship from that point forward, but when justin asked me to marry him, he was asking the cats as well. much to his horror.

i didn’t realize how much em meant to me (which i know is horrible) until she went into routine surgery and ended up with such severe complications that she ended up with several surgeries and was touch and go many times. but even then when seb died, i was too devastated to realize that i needed to comfort emma too and that she could do the same for me. Tammy helped me see what i needed to do there (thank you so much for everything you did for me at that time (and others)) and today i can’t imagine what i was thinking.

you pretty much know the story after that because i have been the crazy cat lady with only one cat. but almost all of you understand that a pet is a family member and with losing emma today, i feel like that little family is gone now. that, for me, is really really sad.

now of course, i’m not the same and my life is not the same. i’m married and happy and not lonely. although i think lonely does come with clinical depression and is not necessarily a reflection of reality. nights without my little buddy will be lonely when justin works and tonight will be my first experience with it. hopefully i will just pass out. tomorrow i will probably have a headache worse than any wine hangover i have ever had. although i have had some doozies so maybe not. justin will be home the next few nights to help me transition. and from what i understand my classes weren’t exactly angels today so when i’m at work, i will be totally focused on that. although if you’ve been a classroom you know that a curse and a blessing is that with 24 and 25 kids per class, you don’t have time to focus on anything that is happening outside of that room.

so i’m going back to my bad tv now. divorce court just ended, but i’m sure i can find something of equal or lesser calibur to help me zone out.

i wonder how long it is going to be before i stop looking for emma every time i get up. or stop waiting for her to join me on the couch. we had this thing where i would cover up with a blanket she took over and she would curl up on my legs. every day. i took her to the vet in the blanket and they wrapped her up in it when they sedated her. she died wrapped up and cozy, with her chin on my finger in the way that she had come to like and me petting her head and talking to her. the doctor, who while not her usual vet was wonderful, and crying especially when he talked about putting his cat down in aug and not being able to do it himself. justin stood by with me, giving me the space i needed, but letting me know that he would be there the whole time. it happened so fast. the doctor said it would and that many people often say that they can’t believe how fast it was. this, of course, was the first thing i said because heaven forbid i am original in a time like that. he also assured me to react the way i needed to because he was pretty sure he has seen almost everything. i wonder what some of those things are. i did okay, although i wouldn’t use the word stoic.

i kind of feel bad for the cashier at on the run who had to ring me out with my $.79 32-oz cherry coke (be careful with the flavor shots—moderation is key) and justin’s monster. she pretended nothing was weird about me, but my lips were probably quivering and eyes were probably puffier than my boobs.

you know, gio, you were right. writing this was amazingly cathartic. this does not mean i feel okay and i certainly do not mean to make light of any of this. but for about 45 minutes, this all became a piece of text and not what i am going through. and i thank you for that.


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