This will be the first time in 15 years I have not lived with a cat. As I got out of bed today and walked to the bathroom, I kept watching my feet to be careful not to step on a cat eager for her breakfast. Although I've noticed that before during periods when Betty was staying over at her Aunt Oddrun's, it was especially poignant this morning. Then this afternoon I sat down to watch TV and had to keep myself from calling her to join me. (We both loved lazy TV days sometimes.)
George and I had a nice quiet little "service" for Betty. We laid her to rest in a quiet spot in our backyard. We buried her with her hand-made kitty bowl (since food was her favorite pasttime), an old t-shirt of mine, a few of her toys, and pictures of me, George and Oddrun (who was her sometimes-mommy). Then we lit a pretty citronella candle holder that looks like a miniature gazebo, some other candles and incense sticks, and sat at her grave for about an hour sipping tawny port wine. It was very healing.
Thanks to everyone for all the very sweet phone calls, emails and notes on the blog entry. We are sad, but compared to the other two deaths we have dealt with the past few months, at least this one wasn't tragically early. It's the difficult part of having pets - having to say goodbye at the end of their lives. But we know what a difference we made to Betty, having saved her off the farm and giving her 14 years of food, warm beds and love. And she returned it all tenfold (at least the love part of it.)
We're going to be pet-free for a while until we get settled into our apartment after it is rebuilt. At some point after that, be prepared for a blog entry to introduce you to our two new pets: a French bulldog for George and a new kitten for me. We're going to raise them together, and also bring them over right away to meet Oddrun's cats, Clarence & Lucy, so that they can all be pals and have sleepovers together.