Friday, June 5, 2009

One More About the Animals

Remy is my girl. Considering how the last month has gone, I feel like I should mention now that she is very much alive and well.

I adopted her a little more than three years ago when she was about 12 weeks old. She's always been a little aloof, preferring to go about her business and come to me when she wants pets or attention. She's more vocal than Keegan ever was, though, always willing to let me know when she wants food, wants love, or wants me to open the bathroom do so she can do something disgusting like drink out of the toilet.

She'll hop into my lap occasionally, but rarely settles down, and she'll come sit on the bed with me, but her all-time record for time was about fifteen minutes.

She and Keegan kept their distance from each other, though Keegan would sometimes pin her to the ground so he could lick her head, and she'd purr and lick him back until someone took it too far and they ended up wrestling. Mostly, they kept to themselves.

So it took me a little while to realize that she wasn't taking Keegan's disappearance well. She started searching for him and mourning him while he was still at the vet's and I was still convincing myself that he'd be coming home safe soon. I didn't connect the way she cried in the hall or sat on my bed and yowled with worry for Keegan. I didn't quite realize that she was coming to me for more attention than ever because she was lonely.

Honestly, I relished the attention and was happy to give her all the love she wanted. She patiently sat with me while I cried, and I failed for almost two weeks to realize how much she was suffering.

It dawned on me bit by bit, and I started wondering what I should do about it.

Then, on Saturday, I had one hell of a dream. Someone's cat died, and they carried it out of the vet's and just dumped it by the side of the road. I was walking by, saw the sad little body, and gathered it up to...I don't know. It made sense at the time, like anything in a dream does.

This cat was an orange tabby calico, and when I picked it up, it came back to life. I immediately rushed it into the vet, which looked like no vet's office I've ever seen, and the people inside expressed surprise about the now living cat that they'd just sent out with its owner to bury. My response? "I have no idea what you're talking about. This is my cat...Symphony. did this other cat die? And can we make sure that doesn't happen to this cat?"

I woke up on Sunday with a vaguely urgent feeling, like there was this cat that needed me. Remy still wasn't doing terribly well. She was eating and drinking, but not much. She wasn't losing weight yet, but I was getting worried about my girl.

I had to go to PetsMart to get Remy more food, so I stopped to look at the adoptable kitties just out of curiosity. No orange calico tabbies. Just as well. The idea of a new kitten made my eyes tear up.

But there was one who drew my eye. She reached through the bars to grab my fingers, but didn't use claws. She just pulled me close, and she walked back and forth to be petted. She purred and meowed at me. I made myself look at the other kittens, and while they were lovely and adorable, that one kept drawing my attention.

I left the adoption area to pick up the cat food, and almost paid for it and walked out. But I stopped and asked if there was someone who could unlock one of the cages and let me meet a couple of the kittens.

The one I was looking at had a sister who was admittedly prettier than her. Prettier and more psychotic. When the sister was lifted to see the other kittens, she growled and struck at them, then remained agitated, even clawing the poor girl in the face. The one I was looking at, however, growled a little when presented with the kittens, but then nestled into my arms and played with a little black kitten from the next cage over without a protest.

She came home with me, and I named her Symphony, for the cat in my dream. She immediately knew that was her name.

She's part Siamese, part ragdoll. When I brought her into the house, Remy came up to sniff at the box, and didn't even bat an eye when the box meowed. They sniffed noses though the holes in the box, and when I left Symphony out to see her new home, Remy only kept a close eye on her.

When Symphony got too close, Remy growled or hissed, but never made a move at the new baby. Symphony backed down immediately during every non-confrontation, and now they're pausing to sniff at each other, and Symphony is trying hard to convince Remy to play with her.

Remy no longer paces the house crying. She's eating well again, and she's gone back to being her old self. I sort of miss the Remy who wanted lots of affection from me, but if this means she's happier, then I'm definitely happy.

Symphony loves to be petted and get attention. She adores being held, and she follows me to bed every night to curl up beside me. When she plays, she doesn't use her claws, though she loves to chew on my fingers, which I'm having to discourage. She loves Itzl, the other dog, and plays with the puppy we're fostering.

She's fit into the family smoothly and perfectly. And her markings aren't orange tabby calico, but she is sort of pale brown/grey calico.

My heart is still bleeding over Shika, and I don't know if I'll ever really stop hurting over losing my Keegan. Remy still searches for him, even though she's much happier now. There are holes where Keegan and Shika belong, but Symphony has found her own special place here.

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