Since we’ve lived in KZN, we’ve lost 6 pets. That’s one a year. Before that, we had two cats and two dogs. Granted, one of the dogs passed away from cancer and was replaced, but he was very old and sick when we got him. We loved him, but we knew it was coming.
The year we moved down, one of our dogs took fright during Dewali, got out of the gate, and was hit by a car in the middle of the night. The next year, our darling first kitty died, essentially of stress as a result of monkeys attacking him and marking their territory throughout the house. Shortly thereafter we got a gorgeous kitten who was mistaken by our dogs for a mole.
Then DD#1’s cat (since birth!) passed away of old age. She was 11 years old, which is not young, but not really old, is it? Down to one adorable, friendly, intelligent, loving ginger tom, we were heartbroken on Christmas day when he slunk away and died of a (suspected) snake bite.
I don’t mourn for pets as a rule. I wait until I’m sure they’re not coming back, as I did this time, and by that time I kind of already know they’re gone so I’ve already come to terms with it without realising that I have.
When we realised we were officially a cat free family, we got a kitten. Our new acquisition was “very-good-looking-but-not-very-bright”. A cute, cuddly, purry, playful, friendly, stalkery, feisty little character who loved milk and made sure he got it MANY times a day, he wasn’t a replacement but he sure was an absolutely adorable addition to our family.
On Friday I spent the afternoon watching this little guy chasing bugs on the lawn. He would stalk them, pounce on them, dance through the air, then come inside for cuddles. Over and over. I also noticed kites circling overhead. I had a moment’s concern, but I didn’t really think much of it. We went out on Friday evening and when we got home, there was no greeting of outrage at us having abandoned our little guy. The next morning we raced out to drop DH at work, came home, then headed out to do shopping. It was only on the way back that we realised we hadn’t seen him since the previous afternoon.
After a neighbourhood hunt and a lot of prayer and patience, it’s now nearly a week later and he’s still not back. I know tom cats roam, but we’ve had two big storms this week and he hates thunder (or even dirt). He’d have been back by now. The girls have had a number of moments filled with tears and sadness at his absence. Today was my turn. The flood gates have opened and I am just overwhelmingly sad at all the pets we’ve lost in the last six years, particularly the most recent two. I miss them both so much and kee[ wishing they’d both saunter through the door in their suave, sweet ways.