Monday, 1 August 2016

The insurmountable grief of losing a kitten

Grief is a path you walk alone,
So I've been told.

But you're not really alone, are you?
The dark, uneven road is plagued by scary monsters, those that freeze your bone marrow and leaves you paralysed.

There's Sadness, with a stench of rotting eggs. It weighs more than you can bear, sitting on your shoulders squealing and demanding a piggy back ride despite your unsteady balance and weak knees.

There's Anger, holding your left hand, making you wanna hit something, hit it really hard.
It's scales and spikes are hot as hell, burning your flesh.

Frustration has your right hand, making you feel so helpless and vulnerable.
It's suctioning trunk steals hope out of you.

And Loneliness, that's the ball and chain hampering each step.
It's steely, icy grip leaves you constantly shivering.

There's Guilt, making the path slick and slippery with its oil-like emissions spewing from it's fanged mouth.

But despite it all, take a step. Take it, you hear! Maybe you'll have to shuffle along. But this road needs to be treaded. And you know what, it's gonna be a slow, lonely, and arduous sojourn.

When you reach a certain point, maybe it'll be an end of some sort, Anger won't be as intense because it'll have cooled off,  Frustration a fraction of what it was because it's suction as diminished, Sadness and Loneliness dimmed to almost nothing. Guilt, a remnant.

All of it will probably always be with you, though, especially Sadness. But you have to have faith you'll be all the better for it. Believe in this journey, embrace the hurt, and keep on moving.

Even on those days you feel you've moved backward, or you slip and fall, pick yourself up, breath, and shuffle along. Pick. Yourself. Up.

And when you feel okay again, that cute, furry, black as coal kitten will most likely be proud of you.


RIP Coal, my darling kitten who died of FIP
Gone too soon on 25 July 2016.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Coal is here

I wrote this post, It's Time for a Cat in early 2014. I ended it off:

I need to get a cat...stat. He/she will be black and dubbed "Coal". And I shall love Coal forever more.

I am so thrilled to announce I've gotten her. Coal is real and has invaded my heart, mind and soul. I already love this little furball with everything I have, and more. 

Because memories can so easily fade, I'd like to chronicle Coal's adventures as she skittishly explores her new home. 

Coal's Chronicles - Week 1 

On the morning of 16 April  2016, I woke up with nervous excitement, butterflies causing a riot in my tummy. I had good reason - I was going to pick Coal up from the shelter. 

During the last week of March, I strolled into Cat-a-holics, the shelter in Rosebank and asked if they have a black female kitten for adoption. They did. Merien, one of the owners, directed me to her cage. There were three other kittens there too. Coal was shy, and she ran behind her bed. The other kittens were suckers for attention. I liked Coal because she was shy. It reminded me of  myself. I paid the deposit for her and told Merien I'll get by 16 April. In the interim, I visited her twice. Once, with my editor, Mary, whom Coal hissed at. It showed me how feisty she is.  

I spent the two weeks chatting to my good friend, Alysha, and Mary, both cat owners and self confessed cat lovers, about what I should get. Their knowledge and expertise proved invaluable. I felt I could prepare for the little one's arrival more than adequately. I spent two weeks slowly shopping for her things.

Alysha and I went together to the shelter. For years, she's been sending me pictures of black cats in pet stores, asking if she could get me one. We agreed  when I do find my cat, we'll go together. And so we did. 

I set up the downstairs bathroom with everything Coal needed: litter box, a scratch post, toys, covered bed, blankets, food and water bowls. She immediately sought shelter behind the toilet. I thought I should let her be, but Alysha has experience with cats, she has one of her own, Loki. She retrieved Coal, and trimmed her claws for my sake since I had to admit, I was a little afraid. 

So after my first week having Coal, these are some of the highlights: 
  • She managed to wriggle her way out of the bathroom by early Tuesday morning. While doing yoga, I saw her paws push out from under the door, then her head. I had to let her out, and left her in the house for the day. I worried and fretted about both the state of the house and Coal the entire day. By Tuesday evening, S.O and I managed to barricade the bathroom door so she can have her two weeks in there, as recommended by the shelter. 
  • I bought her a covered bed, but the roof zips off. She managed to topple it face down and spent I-don't-know how long trapped in her bed. I felt really bad, I should have checked on her before I slept. But she was fine, and when I let her out, she bee-lined for her food and water. Poor little thing! We've now put in a heavy door stopper in the bed so it cannot topple over and so far, it works. 
  • She's slowly, skittishly and bravely exploring the house bit by bit. She's still very nervous when I take her out of the bathroom and won't easily come to me. But in the bathroom, she is oh-so-loving and responsive. She calmly sits on my lap, purrs, and even rubs against my legs. She feels safe there, and it really shows. 
  • We've established a spray bottle as a disciplining tool. While cooking one afternoon, I found her hanging by her claws on the curtain. I shouted and sprayed her face with water. I hope she learns. 
  • I've seen moments of intense energy where she'll go mental with her toys, and bite her bed with all her might. It's the most adorable thing ever.