Monday, May 19, 2014

The house is empty

Audrey on the lookout for wood mice.
I don't remember a time when I didn't have at least one companion animal about the place. A few years back, we had four dogs and four cats. One by one, they've all died, mostly helped on their way by an injection. One or two of them gave a little sigh as their small bodies went limp.

It's six years this summer since Wizzy died - my Jack Russell constant companion. Lucy, an eccentric small tabby cat, died just over a year ago. And now the last of them, Audrey, named after Ms Hepburn in her little black dress, has gone. I took her to the vet on Saturday and my friend Mac came round and buried her yesterday. She's by the hedge, near the spot where she'd sit for hours, waiting for wood mice to pop out of the undergrowth. They're safe now.

It seems strange, not having to worry about where I put my coffee mug, as there's no cat to knock it over. I don't have to leave the sitting room door open, so she can come and go and she pleases. I'm not followed up and down the garden by a black cat with her tail up in the air, telling me a story that I don't understand. There's no bedtime ritual, a cat sitting on my chest, purring like crazy, having a fuss before she retires to the foot of the bed. I can't hear the cat flap clatter or the bells on her collar when she comes in from the garden, and I won't hear the cries that mean "Where have you been?" when I've been out for a few hours.

How can such a small animal leave such a big space? My friend Don, who was fond of Audrey and brought her treats every Sunday when he came for tea, isn't very tactful. When told she'd died, he said, "Well, you won't get another one, will you? If you did, it would probably outlive you," and then he laughed. He has a tendency to laugh inappropriately. He laughs every time someone's murdered in Midsomer Murders. I didn't respond but cut the conversation short. Silly man. Doesn't he know about adopting an older cat? Or cats...


Scatz Smith said...

Go ahead, adopt another cat or dog. They deserve all the love and care you give your animals.Silly man - there's life in the old girl yet!

Margaret Nelson said...

Less of the "old"! :-)

Pat (in Belgium) said...

I know exactly what you mean; I've had cats all my adult life.
For the past two years I've been "fostering" the annual offspring of a semi-feral cat who showed up in our garden one day (& I made the "mistake" of feeding her).
I was looking at my (ha! As IF I "own" them! Cats!) brood the other day also thinking some of them may be here when I hit my 80s...and then?
I'm with Scatz (except for the "old" part...geesh!). Go for it!

PS Just saw an article saying that black cats AND dogs are less likely to be adopted from shelters than any other color or combination thereof! Are people crazy or what?!?
I'm four years into my second black cat (female) & she is just the sweetest (& most talkative) feline!

Margaret Nelson said...

Yes, I've heard about black cats being over-looked too. Makes you wonder if the people who do that deserve to have cats at all.

Thanks for the encouragement!