After the storm

Author: fraise

Sunday 8 August 2010, in Cats

Sleepeh kitteh tummeh

An hour before I returned to the vet for the last time on Thursday, Nice was hit with a hail and rain storm; our first rainfall since the end of May. It lasted up until a few minutes after Grey’s passing, and hasn’t rained since. Kanoko was puzzled when I came home without Grey, pawing at the empty cat carrier and looking at it from every angle, then meowing at me. The next day, Kanoko was much worse; when I got home from work, he had strewn placemats and napkins around the apartment, and had rubbed his face raw on one side during the day. He’d never done any of that before. While I was home, he obsessively searched the apartment for hours, especially re-checking Grey’s favorite spots on the cat tree and kitchen bar. When he’d exhausted himself from all the walking, Kanoko sat and licked his fur for another hour, occasionally stopping to meow-wail — it was not a meow I’d ever heard before.

Saturday (yesterday) went better, although Kanoko still took time to search the apartment occasionally. He snuggled with me much more than usual, and finally, in the evening, relaxed enough to sprawl out as shown above. Today he’s mainly been sadly peeking into Grey’s spots, again; the most heart-breaking was when he even checked under the living room chairs, then sat listlessly, head drooped for several minutes, just staring at the floor.

I want to thank everyone who’s written — I’ve read all your comments and been touched by them. Like Kanoko, I too keep looking at Grey’s spots out of habit, since he always had his head toward me, the only exception being when he was watching birds outside. But when there were no pigeons at which to gaze, he’d sit on his white chair and meow or sigh happily when he saw me go by. I’d usually go out and give him an ear scritch.

I most miss his “discoveries”, which he’d always share. Slugs were the funniest. This winter was very wet, and my patio would often get the slimy visitors in evenings. One evening, I heard Grey give a long, insistent meow. I wondered if something were wrong, so checked on the cats from the patio door. Grey was sitting on his hind legs in the middle of the patio, Kanoko was napping on the composter, nothing looked amiss. “Meeeeeoooowww!!!!” Grey repeated. “What, dear?” I asked. “Maw!” Grey replied, keeping still in his spot. “What? What is it?” I asked him. He looked down, did a cute little dance on his front paws, and happily said “Meow, meowmeowmeow!” then looked up at me expectantly. I went out to look at what was fascinating him. “Moww!!!” he danced again on his front paws, looked down, said “meeeeeow!” and looked up to say a soft “maw”. I burst out laughing: the object of his curiosity was a little brown slug. “Yes dear, that’s called a slug,” I told him. It moved, ever so slightly. “Maaaaawwww!!!” he said to it, cocking his head to one side. “Yes dear, they’re very slow,” I chuckled, and patted his head. He purred and gave another soft “maw”.

His gentle spirit is very missed. I am, however, experiencing a different sort of grief than for Malo’s more traumatic passing (just after I’d moved in to my then-new apartment, he had escaped through a window that wouldn’t close properly and been hit by a car). Although Kanoko and I miss him very much, and wish that Grey had had more time in good health, remembering his trust and purring happiness while in my arms at the end makes it much, much easier to bear.

5 responses to “After the storm”

  1. shannon (washington, dc) Says:

    Anna (often referred to as starwberry-lady in our house), I have been a long-time reader and have enjoyed your post immensely. I am very sorry for your loss. It has been nearly 6 yrs (and 5 yrs since we add 2 kittens to our family), since the loss of my first kitty it is still a sore with a scab.

  2. Bruce B Says:

    You know I’ve been reading your blog for… well, awhile. ;) Thanks for sharing with us your “stormy” trip to the vet (funny how it stopped just after… hm?), and your tender remembrances and observations of your “sweeties”. Sounds like you’re well into your mourning/bereavement process, and I personally appreciate your openness. Thanks!

  3. Sasho Says:


    I don’t know why I didn’t think of this when you wrote about the cat shower, but it’s amusing an good for a smile. It surfaces in my email about every six months or so. Perhaps you have seen it? . Watch how the kitty gets one ear for a while and then the other. It doesn’t make the grief go. But a good giggle lightens the heart.

  4. Sasho Says:

    Sorry, somehow the URL disappeared. Hope it makes it through here.

  5. Jojolabanane Says:

    When we lost our Joseph, Bonnie was very lost, even though they had only been together for 6 months. Poor Bonnie became very withdrawn and wandered about looking for Joseph in his fav places. She knew something was wrong. After less than a month we got our Malo to keep Bonnie company, and because we wanted to offer him a forever home (he was a feral stray). However, our Malo, unlike yours, has turned out to be a bit of an independent cat and won’t interact with humans, except for food and to be let in and out, or with Bonnie. Cats other than Bonnie are only there for fighting. You might find, contrary to our experience, that Patches has come at the right time and will end up being a bit of a godsend for Kanoko. Time heals with cats as it does with humans and Bonnie got back to her normal self quite quickly. Here’s wishing you and your furry companions the very best.

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