She should’ve died with me by her side.
I’m eventually going to have to repaint the basement floor one of these days. All the scrubbing and the scrapping has left it chipped and dull in certain areas, mainly where the litter boxes are kept. There’s only one now by the way. Only one litter box left. I threw hers away the morning after we found her. She didn’t use it much anyway because of the sickness, so I didn’t care too much about tossing it. But now, as I stare at the black coated stains near the washer and dryer, I find myself wishing I had kept it.
She had been sick for almost two years. Our neighborhood Animal M.D. contributed her health issues as a result of a shrunken colon. Test after test confirmed this to be true. A diet change was supposed to help somewhat but it never did. She would lose control of her bowels and let loose all over the basement floor, including the stairs that lead back up the kitchen. And there I was, ready and willing to clean up after her. But I didn’t mind it too much. I knew she was sick and keeping her comfortable was our job – my job. But sometimes, on days when I was tired from working or running around with the kids, I did mind it and I yelled at her. I would go all the way down the stairs step by step making sure I didn’t step on anything and work my way up. Smudges and smudges of feline diarrhea all the way up the stairs. Sometimes it would sit there for hours while we were at work and I’d have to scrap it off the concrete floor to remove it. I would cry and wonder why she wasn’t getting any better and then I would get angry and yell at her. And then I would find her, pick her up, hold her close to my face and tell her I was sorry and that it wasn’t her fault. This was my life for almost two years.
I know it sounds crazy, but I miss the smell of her diarrhea mixed in with the scent of burning incense in my home. It used to hit me like a ton of bricks, the smell, but I miss it. I sometimes miss the smell of the poisonous multi-surface cleaners I used on a daily basis, too. And the powdered deodorizer I used for the bedroom rugs when she couldn’t make it to the basement in time. I miss all of it. I miss the smell of her fur. I miss the smell of her kitty breath. I miss her. I miss my Allie.
What I don’t miss is the smell of her decaying body that hid under our front porch for more than a week.
The day she went missing was the very same day he threatened to put both of our cats outside simply because he was mad at me. It’s how he does things sometimes. He uses the things I love the most against me when he’s mad or doesn’t get his way. And the pills and drink do not help his cause. To this day he denies putting them outside. But I know how everything really went down. Doesn’t matter how much he denies it or tries to make it seem like it didn’t happen the way it did, It will forever burn bright in my memory and nothing will ever change my mind. Funny thing is I also remember the day he brought her home. She had wandered into his life by chance and it was love at first sight. I remember getting the call from him asking if he could bring her home. She was dirty and tiny and adorable, and he loved her immediately. We all did. She made it easy for us to do so considering she never grew more than the size of a large kitten. She was our Baby Cat and it was hard not to love her, even when she got sick.
But it was me who took care of her when the messes started popping up out of nowhere. It was me who took her to the Animal M.D. It was me who was open to trying new foods, trying cat diapers, new food bowls, new ‘lower’ litter pans, new cleaning products, new everything. I’m the one who suggested moving her litter pan to the upstairs porch so she wouldn’t have to rush to the basement. I’m the one who took care of her, made her comfortable, cleaned up her after her. It didn’t matter if he was the one who brought her home for us to love seven years prior. She was my cat.
And I failed her.
After all of it, she ended up dying without me by her side.
When I returned home after the argument, I found our Big Cat on the front porch waiting for someone to let him in. It wasn’t until he was inside that I noticed he had feces on the right side of his body.
I checked our backyard, I circled the block, I drove around, I repeatedly called her name but nothing. She never came.
I left out food and water in a bowl with a blanket covered in our scent but nothing.
I created flyers with two pictures of her side by side smack dab in the middle and the word MISSING in bold red lettering on the very top of the page.
I posted her pictures on numerous Facebook pages. I called the local police department. I visited shelters but nothing and continuously checked their websites for updates.
I would sit on the front porch, call her name and just wait for her to respond. But she never answered.
And then it started to smell in the house.
Sometimes it feels as if we’re put on this earth to suffer. All of us. Because of death.
Sometimes it feels as if we’re put on this earth to suffer. All of us. Because the actions of other people.
When you’re looking for a lost pet, they tell you to check underneath porches, in neighboring backyards, in bushes, trees, etc. And I did all of that. But I was calling her name. Her being something other than alive never even crossed my mind.
We eventually took out the flashlights and searched under our porch to find her huddled in a ball. All by herself. Gone. She had died with her paws covering her eyes. In my mind she knew it was coming and she was afraid. And I wasn’t with her to make she was comfortable. I do, however, take some comfort in believing Big Cat was with her when she passed. Explains the mess he walked in with that fateful night. But considering it wasn’t me by her side, I feel guilty no matter what. She was right underneath us the entire time. Waiting for us to find her. My tears fell tenfold when I remembered that are town had a terrible thunderstorm while she was missing. She was afraid of thunder and always hid under one of our couches or one of our beds every single time she heard it. And she was out there, alone, the entire time in a thunderstorm. There is a picture I took of my son in the car right before I drove off with the porch in the background during the time she was missing. Every time I look at that picture I can’t help but think she was right there. But I was looking for her thinking she would eventually come running up to me. Because she wasn’t supposed to die yet. Not like that. Afraid. Alone. Wondering why. Not without me by her side.
She’s buried in our backyard now. And that’s it. She’s gone. Because when our animal’s and our people die, they’re just gone. Memories and pictures is all we have. The only chance of seeing them again is in our dreams.
But she has yet come to visit me. And I believe she won’t. Not until he’s gone.
But how do you get someone to leave when they think they’ve done nothing wrong?
A few days ago while cleaning my bedroom I happen to come across a FedEx envelope with her MISSING flyers in it.
She wants to visit me when my eyes close at night. I know she does. I believe that in my heart.
That’s why she keeps my memory fresh, in hopes that one day I’ll eventually wake up.
Thank you so much for reading.
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