Friday, June 28, 2013

In an instant ... gone.

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Ossie -- on top of the bathroom mirror.
I had planned to talk about my garden.  (Such as it is.)  But then real life reared its ugly head.

We never know when someone we love will be instantly snatched from our lives.  Eleven years ago this week, my cousin lost his middle child to a car accident.  It happened so fast.  One day here ... one day gone. It's a devastating loss his family has never recovered from.

Something similar happened to my sister-in-law just yesterday.  No, she didn't lose a child.  She never had children.  But she has cats. Or she had cats.

She went away on vacation for a few days leaving her beloved cats in the care of the cat sitter she's trusted and used for more than a decade.  On Wednesday the cat sitter said her boy was fit as a fiddle.  Less than 24 hours later my sister in law came home to find her boy dead in the middle of her living room. There was blood around his mouth, but no other sign of trauma.

Ossie was a bad boy.  He was constantly in trouble.  He bugged his housemate Mollie.  He broke things.  He climbed places where he shouldn't have gone. He should have been named Mischief, because that was what he was always into, and my sister in law loved him more fiercely than she ever loved a pet.

I know exactly how that feels.  I have had many cats over the years, and I've loved them all.  But once in a lifetime there seems to be a pet that demands more love from you than any other.  For me, that's my tiny son, Fred.

Like Ossie, Fred is constantly in trouble.  He should have been a greyhound.  He loves to run.  And even more, he loves to chase things.  Or rather, he loves to chase the other cats.  He talks.  OMG, does he talk.  But mostly at night...when the rest of us are trying to sleep.  He has kitty OCD.  That means sometimes he just runs and runs and runs and the worst thing you can do is pet a cat when it's suffering from that.  Except ... if I pet him when he's hyper, he calms right down. Not for anybody else, but I seem to have the magic touch.

Sadly, I can imagine only too much how lost and hurt and alone my sister in law feels.  She loved her boy like I love mine.  (And boy have I smothered him in kitty hugs and kisses.)

Rest in peace, Ossie, and know that you were deeply loved.