You’d be surprised the impact a 7 lb. cat can have on a family. Maybe I should say it’s surprising the impact of the sudden loss of a 7 lb. cat. I think the suddness of Smokie’s death is what has gotten to me and Hubby the most. One day she’s fine, the next day she’s gone . . . to get blindsided like that just knocks the wind right out of you. I know that Suzalita had recently experienced the sudden loss of her kitty, S’mores, and my heart went out to her and her family. I couldn’t imagine that kind of sudden loss. Now I know just what they went through. I had just taken Smokie to the vet for her annual exam a little more than a month ago and she got a relatively clean bill of health. She was 16 years old and had developed some old kitty medical issues, but nothing serious that required immediate medical attention. She had a slight heart murmur and had lost two pounds since her last checkup. But the vet said that could be normal for an older kitty and he wanted to check her again in 6 months.
I’ve caught myself calling for Smokie in the morning when I come downstairs to let the dogs out. I still expect to see her sitting at the top of the basement stairs – her favorite spot to watch out for Luci. I even looked for her when I took a load of laundry down to the basement this morning. Hubby and I both have had "emotional moments" when we go downstairs to take a shower and see her empty bed. Both the dogs seem to know that something is missing, but they aren’t sure what. Luci keeps going to the basement door and looking down the stairs for Smokie. She misses chasing Smokie across the kitchen floor. Blacky and Smokie never really got along and they didn’t have a lot to do with each other, but Blacky has noticed that something’s not quite right in the house and is a little skittish when he sees me crying. I think he remembers all the crying that I did when Goldie died and he’s thinking, "Oh, great, here we go again!" Mainly, though, I think Blacky’s surprised that he doesn’t have to share his water dish with the little black cat. Yes, Miss Smokie was quite the diva and when she was upstairs she HAD to drink out of Blacky’s water dish. Not only that, this little 7 lb. cat would not budge and made Blacky wait until she was done before he could get a drink. Blacky’s a 98 lb. dog, but he learned early on in his life that Smokie was the boss and he always let her have her way.
Hubby and I are both taking Smokie’s death really hard, so we thought that it would be a good idea to put away her things so that her death wasn’t such a smack in the face everytime we walked past her space in the house. So this afternoon I got up the courage to clean up Smokie’s space and put her things away. I didn’t throw away anything. I still have it all. It’s all tucked away in a safe place for now. But we aren’t faced with reminders of her loss everytime we take a shower or everytime I walk into the laundry room. It’s a little strange to look in those places and not see her or her stuff and it’s going to take some time to get used to the new look. I miss her very much, but it’s less painful to see her space without her stuff than to see her stuff without her. The sight of the empty space where her bed used to be is painful, but not the "rip my heart out and feed it to me on a silver platter" painful that looking at her empty bed was. I hope that makes sense.
Once the space was cleaned and the reminders were put away, I stepped back and took a deep breath. Yes, it’s better but it’s still weird that she’s gone. And it’s not like I’ve removed all reminders of her. There are still several pictures of her through out the house. And I’m guessing that her spirit is still here, too.