the heart is a lonely hunter
Recently, my son moved out. It’s not the first time, it’s the second, so I wasn’t overly traumatized, but it is a big adjustment.
We are empty-nesters once again. Dynamics change, patterns shift, life changes. And goes on.
We miss him very much, but we are happy to see him moving forward in life.
Two weeks after he moved and got settled in, he came to pick up the one of our five cats that is his.
She is the playful little girl cat, the one who gets along with everyone, the mediator. My son found her in the middle of the road when she was just three weeks old. We had a hard time getting her to eat at first, she wouldn’t take formula from a dropper, and finally we made a mash of food and formula that she dove into, face first.
Every time she ate, her entire face would end up coated with food, and she cleaned herself so often that she rubbed all the hair off her nose. She is the cat that has always made us laugh.
But, we are adjusting, we know that she is safe and is on the next adventure of her life.
Our other cats however, are having issues.
We can’t explain to them that she isn’t truly gone forever, she is just someplace else. And so, they search for her, they mourn, they wander the house.
The kitty in the photo (Missy) is our second oldest, the mother hen, the brooder. I took her outside with me the other evening, and she kept searching the horizon with her eyes, scanning the woods near our house, looking for Charlie.
Our second oldest cat, Pepe, is the silent type, the steadfast sentinel. It’s hard to tell what he is feeling, but he wanders the house and keeps trying harder than usual to get outside.
Naughty kitten, “He Who Must Not Be Named,” is hardest hit, Charlie is his best friend, in truth, the only other cat in the house that truly likes him. He is lost. Two nights ago he somehow managed to wiggle his way up under the quilt on my bed, and lay there like a lump under the covers for quite some time. He’s never done this before. He has spent twice as much time inside as normal, he is restless, angsty, needy, sad. He misses his playmate.
I try to explain to him that she is not gone like George, she is just somewhere else. But, of course, you can’t explain these things to a kitten. And yes, this means I talk to my cats.
Only our oldest cat, the Queen, is unaffected. She has never cared much for any of the other animals that have come into our lives.
You may think that I am crazy, attributing all these thoughts and emotions to cats, but I have lived with them all long enough to know their patterns and habits, and the change is clearly visible.
This weekend, we plan to have my son bring Charlie for a visit. Hopefully, that will make everyone feel a bit better.
Because as far as these cats are concerned, this empty nest stuff is for the birds.
And I am a a slightly crazier crazy cat lady.