Thursday, September 6, 2012

Morgaine - Part 1

If you follow my twitter or my Facebook or know me in person, you probably know by now that Morgaine died two weeks ago.  I've been having a really hard time with it.  Every room in the house hold different memories, so that even simple acts like going to bed or making coffee are a monumental undertaking.  I've been sort of wading through my life and all of this sadness.  We picked up her ashes at the vet on Wednesday, so it feels like a good time to stop wallowing and start finding new ways to exist without her.  This doesn't mean I won't still miss her, and it doesn't mean I won't be sad.  But I have to continue on with my life, even though I am now without my tiny baby.  And a good way to start, I thought, would be to put all my heartache into words here.  Not only does it help me to write my feelings down, but this will also save me from having to explain her death over and over again to friends and family.

If you did not have the pleasure of knowing Morgaine in person, let me start with her adoption story.  Back in December of 2005, our dog Oreo died.  Kylie and I had wanted cats for a long time, but Oreo only wanted to eat them.  When she died, my parents relented and we were each allowed to get a kitten.  Not, by any means, to replace Oreo - I don't believe in running out and buying another pet to "replace" your cat or dog.  They are not objects that you can easily replace when you wear one out, they are beloved members of the family.  So to everyone who keeps asking me if I am going to run out and buy another cat, the answer is no.  And though I might not show it, the very fact that you would dare to ask that question offends me and tells me that you have can't possibly fathom the pain I'm going through right now.

Baby Eli and Kylie
But anyway, Kylie got a kitten for Christmas.  Not just a random kitten in a box under the tree, but a kitten that she handpicked from a litter.  He was adorable and they bonded instantly.  I, too, could have picked a kitten from that litter, but none of them really felt right.  So I continued my search, going to every pet store and animal shelter and crazy cat lady ad in the paper.  Just ask my mum - she was my cat searching partner.  Amazingly enough, there were very few kittens to be had in December in Pennsylvania.  And again, none of them felt right.

A day or two after Christmas, we went to the Animal Rescue League to try again.  Much to our surprise, there were three whole kittens.  Two of them were friendly and outgoing, playing and meowing and generally being adorable.  One of them was barely visible above the wall of the litter box; ears back, eyes slitted.  The complete opposite of what a kitten should be.  She was black and white and, unlike almost every other cat in the building, did not have a name.  Her tag told only her ID number and the date she had been brought in: 12/24/05.  Much to my distress, the two friendly kittens had a note on their cage stating that they had already been adopted.  Bummer.  I suspiciously eyed the grouchy kitten and finally asked one of the cat attendants if I could hold her.

Babe and Virgo
"Okay," she warned.  "But she's already attacked one family today.  So if she starts to bite or claw, just drop her."  Uhhhhh, okay.  I ALMOST told her to forget it, I'd just try back again some other time, but instead I took the terrified little black and white bundle from her hands and cradled it to my chest.  This kitten was not vicious and violent, she was just scared.  She was completely still in my arms.  And then, it happened.  She started to purr.  I later read that cats purr not only when they are happy, but also when they are scared.  So she probably wasn't purring because it was love at first sight, but it doesn't really matter.  My mind was pretty much made up by this tiny little sound.  I went home without her, presumably to think about it.  My mum commented that she, with her black and white medium length hair, was almost a combination between our previous cats Babe (a short-haired black cat) and Virgo (a long-haired white cat).  I went back for her the next day.  I named her Morgaine because I was super into The Mists of Avalon at the time.  The rest, as they say, is history.  She grew into the most loving, affectionate, happy cat you could ever meet.  Well, towards me anyway.  And she never once bit or scratched.

Me and Morgaine
So that's how Morgaine and I met.  It seems like a long time ago, but it was not nearly long enough.  I feel so robbed by this terrible thing that has happened.  Tomorrow I will tell you that part of this story.

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