Earlier this week, we said goodbye to my constant companion of more than 13 years and the kitty I referred to as “Zoey’s kitty”. Our little Cece had kidney disease and she fought it off many times, but couldn’t fight it anymore. I’ll admit, this one was really, really hard. I hate losing my pets, but Cece was a special figure in our lives. We first met her at my friend’s house when a police officer (our friend was an officer as well) stopped by with this tiny little kitten he’d found in the road. And we were all instantly in love. I asked to take her, but had to leave her with my friend overnight. The next day, my friend cried as she handed the little kitten over to Joe who was going to keep an eye on her until I got off work. Later that day, Joe calls me to “come and get the cat”. I was afraid she’d made a huge mess at his house—then again I wondered how much a tiny little kitten could do in just a few hours? I arrived to find her tucked under his chin—asleep. It’s where she’d been for hours and he felt too guilty to move her so he’d also been stuck on the couch. Cece was definitely a lap cat. She was always on my lap on the couch, she slept on top of me. And she followed me from room to room—even in the middle of the night when I’d get up to go to the bathroom. She’d get up, jump from the bed, follow me to the bathroom and expect a drink from the faucet. I was nervous about the cats when we had Zoey—would they like her? Would they hate her? Most of them were unimpressed. They just avoided her. But not Cece. If Zoey was somewhere, Cece was likely to be nearby. She seemed to seek out time with her as well. She joined us for naptime, playtime and bathtime!
My mind cannot detach the experience of losing her and losing Zoey. Before leaving our house for the vet, I searched for a picture of Zoey and Cece together. I’m not sure why I so badly wanted it with me, but I did. I found one of the two of them and my mom together. As I was sitting there, holding Cece, the vet tech asked me if I wanted me to put her name on the box with her ashes and asked how we’d like it spelled. I almost started to spell Zoey. They asked if I wanted to be with her. And I almost said “well of course. I held my daughter as she died. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?” After she passed, the vet left the room to give us some time with her, but I began to panic. I just couldn’t hold her as her body grew cold and stiff. I held Zoey like that. I couldn’t go back to that place.
Cece was very well loved and a wonderful addition to our family. She brought me great comfort and really wonderful “cozy time”. She helped me through the most difficult time in my life. My little cat, Finn, runs away anytime someone in the house cries (which happens more than you’d like to think), but Cece never did. My sobbing, rattling body never bothered her. She’d stay in my lap though it all. Losing pets is always difficult. I won’t begin to compare it to the loss of a child—it is not even close. But they do have a special place in our lives. Losing them sucks, but I don’t want to give up the time I have with them. I will miss her terribly and hope she’s cuddling with Zoey again.