Monday, January 23, 2012

Losing a Pet, Drying Tears, and 118 Pages

I am currently stuck at the bottom of page 118...not because of lack of ideas, but due to a great loss in our family.  Last night, around 8:00 p.m., our neighbor came by to tell us that there was a kitten in the road.  Our kitten. 

RIP Wise Juno (July 2011 - January 22, 2012)

This story began last summer, when a good-natured stray cat adopted us.  Or rather...a pregnant stray cat adopted us.  She was so sweet and so affectionate (and she also looked quite a lot like our beloved Maddie cat which we last two Januarys ago of old age...a ripe, old 18 years!), and we could not bear to see her almost skeletal frame.  We immediately started feeding her...and taking her ice water to fend off the heat...and fashioning a bed for her.  When my son first laid eyes on this "stranger cat" (his term for a "stray cat") he was mesmerized by her very green eyes, and (since we were planting collard greens at the time) he proudly dubbed her "Collard Green Eyes" which (thankfully) was shortened to Collie. 

In the record breaking heat of last summer, three of her kittens survived (we did not find where she had hidden the kittens until the next day).  We were blessed with three little black and white bundles of fur and energy: Coco (fluffy and sweet), Ringo (the risk taker), and Juno (the wise one, with a skunk-like face).  Last night, we lost Juno.  My kids were inconsolable.  There were many tears in our house.  Lots of "big questions" from little souls who were not quite ready to wrestle with them, and yet they must.

Ironically, I was at the part of my book where death loomed just pages away for a certain character.  But, in the midst of the tears and howls of heartbreaking pain, I could not bring myself to sit down and write.  There were tears to be dried, and a cat funeral to arrange.  So, my character was spared for another day.

Sometimes, there is enough death for one day.