I gave away my children’s beloved cats. I know. I have lost the sympathy vote.
I can’t believe it.
Turns out I’m allergic to cats. Swollen eyes, constant cough, head ache.
So this past weekend the two puddy tats went across the street to live with a woman and her two children. I hope they will be a happy.
“I think they’re going to take it better than you,” the woman said kindly as tears leaked from my eyes.
At home, my children sit bereft, emptiness where their Darwin and Snowflake should be.
I fear their loss will be their Rosebud.
I am particularly upset because they were great pets. They gave back. They snuggled and were amusing and entertaining. Yes, their poos stunk to high heaven but they didn’t need to be walked!
So every night for the past two months I have lain awake trying to figure out a way not to be allergic. I have vacuumed constantly, I have taken pills, I have shut doors to my bedroom and office. I have meditated. It’s mind over matter, I told myself. I even bought an air filter. And still every morning for the past two months I have woken with golf balls for eyes.
Sometimes you just can’t think yourself out of a problem.
And then in a moment of cosmic weirdness, last night I rented the video of CATS. I don’t know why. I had been meaning to show it to my kids and I just did it. And we watched as each character metamorphosed into our departed pets. By the end I was a molten mixture of snot and tears, my children on each side of me patting me on the head.
People say they’ll get over it. Children do. But I have a feeling I won’t. Not so easily. Because I’m old enough to know that it won’t happen again like this, this mixture of two perfect cats, time and space to enjoy them, and mom taking care of business (ie. cleaning the litter box). It was perfect pet heaven and I blew it.
Now I can add to my long list of envies: parents who are not allergic to cats.
T’is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, wrote Tennyson.
But when I look at my children’s sad faces I’m not so sure that’s true.
photo by fragmented (flickr)