Monday, June 11, 2007

Not My Life



I'm completely dialed into the grief outpouring that is the lost pet community.
There's a woman who's been looking for her dog for three months. She posts on Craigslist every day. I listen to the shelter hotlines each morning, to the point where now I know the schedules of the different workers who call in.

There's the one guy at the Seattle shelter that they must be testing out, but he is too cheery, and says everything in a way that makes it sound like a joke, and I want to call him and say, this is no joke, buddy. This way I feel? It couldn't be LESS like a joke. And if you announce the arrival of one more deceased family loved one with that cheer in your voice, I'm going to come over there and beat the shit out of you. For myself, and for everyone who is dialing that number (that they now know by heart) just hoping to hear that their baby was found and turned in, and that you insensitive fuckers at the pound don't harrass and stress them out too much.

In addition to the 100s of lost cat ads posted daily on various websites, there are the occasional FOUND cat posts. I check all of these with so much hope in my heart, and then I see these stupid cats blinking back at me, photographed in all sorts of weird area, sinks, tubs, wherever their fear has driven them, once they gave up and allowed themselves to be caught.

And I think, Finny, honey, will you please let someone catch you? Because I know how smart you are, and how tricky, and how absolutely impossible you were to catch when you didn't want to be caught. Remember when we used to use the flashlight to lure you inside at night? And when you wised up to that we used the laser pointer? And when you wised up to that we pulled weeds and tossed them, knowing that you would run over to help, and to chase the weedlings and pounce on them? And when you wised up to that, Mommy just let you stay out. She just kept the bed warm, and made sure that when you finally came in, you knew you were wanted, and loved beyond all reason. That's what Moms are for.

But then I also think that Finny was such a joy, such unadulterated love and purity, that I wasn't supposed to have him the whole time. That maybe there's another harried woman, coming home from a job she despises, into a house where she could use some help, and now that I've got a light at the end of my tunnel, and my husband doesn't work insane hours, well, now I've got things to lighten my load. So maybe Finny was needed elsewhere.

But then I think, no. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
He was MINE and that was the deal. That was the deal. You weren't the one that woke up in the middle of the night because an 11 week old kitten was biting your feet, and you looked at the bedspread and it was bloody, because he was teething. And you didn't pick him up and let him chew on your fingers for an hour until he conked out in your arms, exhausted and with freshly broken new back teeth in his little mouth. You didn't do that for him. I did.

Oh, tinks, it is so hard to keep going on with this hope. And Lakshmi wants to walk with me, but I'm afraid to let her see what I get like when the hope overwhelms me and then leaves me broken. When I think maybe today, maybe this time I call, maybe this time the phone rings, or someone emails me with a Your Lost Pet subject line, when they post of an orange male neutered tabby anywhere within a 30 mile radius of me, and then CRACK. I'm back to three weeks ago when I walked into the house from gardening and thought, "That's funny. I haven't seen Finny since I got home."

But it isn't funny. It wasn't then, and it isn't now, and for every 40 cats that go missing each day, they find one or two per week. And I don't think that any of those FOUND postings are going to be you. Because that is not my life.





1 comment:

Alison & Craig Buchanan said...

I hope you find Finny!! I'd hate it is Ringo or Sue went missing.

Good luck

Alison