Today I was working in my yard. Bopping around listening to my music. Singing out loud and scaring away birds. Although I was resistant at first, this has become my favorite hobby. It truly is a labor of love. It’s relaxing and exhausting at the same time. My favorite aspect to gardening is the clarity I get. I feel refreshed and open. Anywhoos, I get excited at even the smallest sprout. It’s that time of here to view the garden. My eyes were surveying my new growths. As I scanned the ground, my eyes came across my baby Magnolia(growing well) and (my cat) Church’s grave marker. I then turned to the window where he always sat and watched me. Now all that openness and clarity were my animal. I was unable to guard myself from the emotional assault that came over me. So as I cry like a baby, I would like to share with you the story of Church….
We bought our home in the winter. When we moved here, we only had Dotty (our rottie in lab’s skin). And one day it happened A MOUSE!!!!!! I worked for a mouse (Disney) and caught mice (petco). But in my home?! NO WAY! I told my husband we just had to get a cat. Now coming from the animal world I know there’s a fierce over population in cats and we would have NO problem finding one. I looked on Craigslist. Found Free to good home. The people were even willing to drop him off to Greg at work. Perfect! However what my husband brough home was not a cat. It was a zombie. It was Church from Pet cemetery. Seriously that’s exactly what he looked like. Obviously the name stuck. He was truly the most awful thing I had seen. I was extremely disappointed. Them my hippie kicked in. How could somebody do this to this poor cat? He was so sick. Vet visit confirmed he had just about every disease known to cats. Prognosis: Probably wouldn’t make it through the night. If he did lucky if he’d make a week. So I went home determined with a bunch of med combos from the vet that I could save him.
I nursed him around the clock. Trying to keep my heart guarded but he had already stolen it. Far beyond my dreams, he made a miraculous come back. Before we knew it, he was a cat not the walking dead. Although he was better, Church still had health issues. He had billions of allergies. He would lose hair in the fall and spring. But regular trips to the vet kept him ok. And boy was he a GREAT mouser!!! Sure it sounds crazy, but when he meowed for me he said mom. My friends and family can attest to that one! He was my constant company, showing me much love and comfort through very difficult times. He just always knew when I need him. We were like crushed ice and Pepsi on a hot summer day.
Last fall, he got sick. He always got something or another flare up in the fall. From the beginning, I knew it was different this time. I called the vet. Although sympathetic, the vet did say Honey, we knew this was coming. It was a losing battle this time. I knew that. My closest human companions reassured me he’d pull through like he always did. But I knew he wouldn’t. I never left his side. He said mom one last time and just like that, he was gone. As I write this, it’s still as fresh as it was that day. Even though I have kids, cats and dogs,my home is still so empty and quiet without him. My window is bare. There is no warm face watching me in the yard. No cat yelling across the yard. I yearn to see those big eyes again. I want to wake up to his purring while sleeping on my back. One more time I want to chase him off of my stove. I try but it still hurts so bad. I cry myself to sleep more often than I will ever admit. I miss him.
I know animal people will get this. Other people will think I’m the crazy cat lady. But that’s ok. I love him and he loved me. And in the end, as with any relationship, that’s all that really matters.