As I became conscious before opening my eyes, I instinctively reached for Bobcat. He was not in bed sleeping next to me. He must be standing guard at the front door or reclining by his scratching post, I thought. I anticipated that any moment I would hear him clawing at the scratcher or the click-clack sound of claws on the hardwood floor.
Within seconds of those thoughts, in my pre-dawn haze, I remembered that Bobcat was no longer with me. Just the day before he’d joined his best buddies, Topper and Lexington in Heaven. Over the course of three days after an advanced kidney failure diagnosis resulting from diabetes, Bobcat slowly started to succumb to the inevitable. Before he got any closer to suffering, I called Home Pet Euthanasia of Southern California. On Friday afternoon, January 15th, Bobcat’s spirit was peacefully set free from his dying body.
For the first time in thirty-three years, I’m without felines in my household. I’m a cat lady with no cats. Having had two or three cat companions in my life for all these years, and now, being completely alone is jarring to my soul.
Mornings are the hardest without Bobcat. I miss his good morning greetings of head-butts and “kisses” on my forehead and cheeks.
Early this morning I walked out to the old picket fence enclosing the yard to take in a stunning view of the full moon nestled in storm clouds. While moon gazing, I thought of Bobcat. He would have been standing right there next to me in the lemon clovers if he were still here.
Not wanting tears to ruin my view of the beautiful scene in the sky, I stifled them. But as I walked back towards the cottage, tears started to slowly run down my face. Tears of sadness, yet, I smiled thinking that Bobcat’s precious spirit was with his compadres, Topper and Lexington, flying in the clouds and saying an enthusiastic “Hi Mommy!” to me from the moon.
I was in the midst of writing an entirely different story before I became a cat lady with no cats. I wondered how I would continue writing about my life with cats—sans cats. My mom and cat lady friend Gail both reminded me that I’m still a cat lady and have stories to tell. So I will continue my stories about Bobcat and other cats who were, or are still in my life. And once I’m past the grief of mourning; once I’m rid of cancer and I’m back to my lively self, I will have more stories to tell about a new feline family member…or two.
To my precious Bobcat (who also responded to nicknames Bobby Cat, Bobba, Bobba Cat and Bibbidi-Bobbidi as called by friend Laura who thought him to be quite magical), thank you for your unwavering love, companionship, and for being a strong healing source in my life throughout my dealings with cancer.
I will miss you forever.