bliss-sad's Diaryland Diary



August 17th, 2022, I had to put my beautiful black cat to sleep. His name was V--I got him in June of 2009 after my neighbor's house caught fire. I rescued him (and his brother) from the burned remains of my neighbor's living room. His feet were badly burned, his fur and whiskers were singed and I was told by the vet that he most likely wouldn't make it.

I was determined, though, and I had a lot of free time. So I bottle fed him, dressed his paws, carried him around, shredded newspapers for him to use instead of gravel litter. I had a giant rottweiler mix at the time, and she would spend hours licking his feet and his brother would spend just as much time grooming him. It took some time, but eventually, he got better. His feet healed, though a couple of his toes fused together and his nails never grew right. In his glory days, he was 22 pounds of sweetness. He loved to be carried like a baby and he loved aggressive belly rubs.

He was exactly the kind of cat I'd always wanted. Sweet, tolerant, loving, loyal. All of the things that cats usually kind of aren't. He was my familiar. I loved him in a way I'd never loved anything. I still struggle to talk about him without crying.

It may sound strange to someone who's never experienced this kind of love with a cat, but I took his death harder than I've taken almost any other loss. A piece of my soul died with him.

Several weeks ago, a cat showed up where my husband works. They tried to catch it and even managed to get it in one of the traps, but no one wanted to take the cat home and it was a holiday weekend so nobody knew what to do with it. They decided to release it and deal with it another time. Devon told me about it and said that he thought we should take it--that he felt compelled to take him home but thought better of it. He also said that after they decided to release it, he immediately regretted it. After some discussion, we decided if they trapped him again, we'd give it a home.

So, last Monday while I was at work, Devon sent me a message saying they got the cat. He brought it home and we put it in "quarantine" in our spare room. We didn't know if it was sick, if it was a male or female or if it was completely feral. So the first few days, this cat was a ghost. Like, hide and seek champion of the world. I figured I'd let it adjust, since his only experience with humans (that I know of) up to this point was running from them.

Immediately, I start spending an hour or so in the room after feeding it. The first few days, it wouldn't even come out to investigate food while I was around. Then, Thursday, it popped out from behind the shelf and stared at me the entire time it was eating. I was sitting on the floor, a few feet from the food dish, and when it finished eating, it came closer to me. I reached my hand out slowly, and it ran away but I saw that it was a boy. So I started talking to him. I'm telling him he's safe here, telling him that he'll have a good home and that he'll never have to worry about anything. And then I start telling him about my V cat.

And, as I'm describing my old cat and talking about how much I loved him, this new little black cat confidently steps toward me. I reach my hand out, and this time he just, like, collapses into it. He starts purring and rolling around and pushing his little face into my hand just desperate for love. He lets me pet him for about half an hour before he decides that he's had enough and slinks back behind the bookshelf.

Friday I go to feed him and he comes out from behind the shelf immediately. He takes his time eating and then decides it's love time. He purrs and rolls around and lets me love him for an hour before my back decides that sitting on the floor isn't for 30-year-olds.

He's blossoming very, very quickly. He's loving and sweet in a way that my mental illness perceives as destiny. I'm certain God or the universe or my ancestors or perhaps even my old cat sent him to me. Some kind of balance has been restored.

10:55 a.m. - 01.18.23


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