There have been too many months of putting things off. It’s too easy to leave those boxes in the basement, the ones containing all the things you couldn’t bear to get rid of but really have no place for anymore.
So many times I’ve moved, and I always knew there would be another move in the future. Some when, somewhere, all of those things could be needed, could have a home again.
But this is it. Last stop. If there is another move in my future, there won’t be much baggage going with me. So it’s time to face up to all those boxes and finally decide to let go.
The trouble is, it’s mostly pictures. Mostly pictures of all the cats that have shared a portion of my life. When I came upon the pictures of all the foster cats I found homes for, I was unaccountably overcome by a wave of emotion. Why? I just don’t know. I did my best for all those guys, and I placed so many of them. I should be happy about it, right?
I didn’t often weep when I saw them go. I sent them off with my love and my blessings and as far as I know most of them went on to have happy little lives. So why am I so sad now?
The truth is, when I decided to take in foster cats, I was beating myself with a big stick, because I knew how hard it would be. But I had always promised myself that I would dedicate my retirement to helping animals, and having a foster home seemed the only way to do it. Making donations to a favourite charity wasn’t going to be enough.
The way I was brought up, you had to do the right thing, regardless of the cost, so that is what I did.
Kina wasn’t a foster cat. He was a gift from very generous friends who were concerned for me when I lost Mohammed.
They had been persuaded that I should have a “posh” cat. God only knows why! But wasn’t he beautiful?
He didn’t like me. Some cats don’t like some people. It’s just the way things are, and these days I find it easier to accept.
But what do you do when you have been given a beautiful creature that quite obviously spends all his waking hours plotting his escape?
Part of the problem seemed to be that I was female. Kina adored my boyfriend, who lived elsewhere. Kina would happily have gone home with him, but that could not happen.
What did happen was that I was given another cat, the theory being that a kitten would settle Kina down, and we would all live happily ever after.
As you can see, the dear boy was a devoted big brother. He thought Yeti was a lovely little cuddle toy and where she went, he went.
But Yeti grew up, and Kina became the big brother bully. She took up residence beneath a radiator where he couldn’t reach her.
I had another problem too, of my own making, I admit, but as it turned out, it was all for a good reason. I moved into a coop building where I was not supposed to have a pet. The friend I purchased the place from had a cat, and she assured me there would be no problem.
My friend’s cat was a quiet, contented little thing. Kina, on the other hand, saw my move as his great opportunity. As I would not allow him to entertain himself at Yeti’s expense, he had decided it was time to make a break for it. And he knew all about the house rules.
Kina was Balinese. They have loud voices. The little wretch would position himself by my front door and wail. My nerves began to unravel.
At about that time, a friend of mine at work lost his beloved Siamese cat. After a suitable mourning period, he asked me one day if I knew where he could get another Siamese or a Himalayan (like Yeti). I said, without really thinking, “how about a nice Balinese?”
And that was it. I cried for a week, but on the appointed day, Bill and his wonderful wife came by to meet the wicked boy and they were barely through the door when Kina hurled himself at Bill. I could hear him cry “you’ve come for me at last!”
Kina had a long, blessed life and could not have been more loved. He had the family he wanted, and although he took a round about way to get there, he certainly did live happily ever after. I really think animals know sometimes how to persuade us to do the right thing.