I’m sitting here listening to old Smashing Pumpkins CDs while I peruse the internet, vacant of any real desire to get the things that need to be done actually done. The fiance says their music is depressing and he can’t listen to it. I disagree. It’s always been something we’ve fought over, hilariously enough. My devotion to this band stems from an adolescence of being raised on it. It’s hilarious that any time I hear a single song from the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, I can instantly recall the days spent idling around on EverQuest. I actually burned through both CDs because they played on an almost constant loop while I played.
It’s funny how you can completely revisit a time lost by just hearing a song or smelling something familiar. Anyway, listening to Smashing Pumpkins actually does the opposite of what my fiance claims… it makes me feel quixotic and thoughtful. It’s a huge inspiration for my creativity. Listening to the Adore album at the moment… I can just feel the slightest ebb of creativity, stifled and smothered by current real life demands. It sucks, but that’s the way it is, apparently.
Aside from that, I spend most time surrounded by cats. No, seriously, surrounded by cats. It’s almost as if they can feel something is wrong and think that if they lay around me in a prison of fur and purr loud enough, it will go away. If only. It reminds me of the times I spent crying into Nikita’s fur, listening to her purr wildly, trying to muffle out the loud noises and violence filtering through the door. These cats surrounding me just make me miss her so damn much. I hate that I can’t have her, that the time for her to constantly be there, annoying me and wanting on my lap all the time are gone, flexing her claws into my leg, mrowing loudly in the middle of the night because she hears a cricket. Thirteen years with her and I’ve abandoned her. I can’t take her, she’s too old and we will be moving a lot. She’s very neurotic and does not like change. It would kill her.
I don’t have many pictures of her left online and the ones I have of her are physical pictures I can’t scan… but I still remember taking this one. She was playing with a string. I think I was sixteen or so.
I just want her to be healthy and happy… it seems she is. When Puff (the new kitten we’ve acquired and I’ve taken to calling Puffin) sleeps on my head, all I can think of is when Nikita would do that, or sleep around my neck. I remember the first few nights with her were hell. She was up all night, restless, confused, still very scared of people except me. I fell asleep watching that old show from the 80s, with the professor who did science experiments with kids of public access television. She was purring and sleeping around my head.
My fiance already lost his cat, it happened about two years ago. He still cries if you talk about Tigger, he had him since he was diagnosed, almost. Hard thing to lose, especially hard to watch someone you love be so completely torn apart. I’m used to losing animals, I’m prepared to lose her, but I hate that I will miss these last few years with her. Without her, I don’t know if I’d still be around. She my best friend through the worst part of my life.
Fiance and I have pretty much decided we’re taking Loki with us when we leave. He’s too attached to me and I am fond of him, too, even if I’m not used to male animals at all. I’m almost loathe to get him fixed, though. I think it will steal a part of his personality away, even if I get mad when he randomly decides to be a snit and bat at me with his claws. Puffin is already way too attached to me. I’m here all day, everyone else is gone. The animals love me.
I know a lot of people begrudge having animals because they can’t deal with the loss, but I can’t imagine my life without them. Nikita helped me through so much by just being there, by simply existing. I’ve had pets all my life and each pet has meant something special to me. I remember losing my first, true pet, Izzy the hamster. I cried for weeks. I was heartbroken. I came home from kindergarten and he was gone, dead. It doesn’t get less painful as you go on, you just learn that it is life and death is inevitable for everyone and everything. Life isn’t about fearing death, it’s about enjoying what you have and spending all the time you can to ensure that when the time comes, you have no regrets. A part of me will probably die when Nikita does, but I also know that a major part of me is alive because of her and will continue to be even after she’s gone.
I just wish it were easier to communicate these things to animals, but maybe that’s what makes it what it is. That lack of communication and the simple, base understanding that comes not from language, but from life, and sharing a part of it with something else.
I love my cat, I will always love my cat… but I know that I will love others, too. It doesn’t lessen the love I feel for her, it builds onto it. Nothing will replace her and I don’t want anything to.
Fiance doesn’t understand the way I think or deal with death, but we’re very different. Somehow, we’ve both faced it from a very young age, just in different ways. He nearly died, and I’ve watched the people around me die all my life. It’s strange how it shapes you.