How could such a quiet creature leave such a deafening silence?
I moved my feet on the couch last night, having caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eyes of Mica who, of course, was not there. In his later years, Mica was less likely to greet my arrival home at the door, more likely to open an eye then settle back into sleep on his nest-like pillow. Unlike Petey, who even if you wake him up by opening the door, comes around the corner, grinning madly and wiggling like he's doing the watusi and sometimes emitting happy whimpers or little barks. And yet, it is Mica's silence I miss when I open the door. It's impossible not to look for him.
I've had a low barricade to keep Petey out of the kitchen (and out of Mica's litter box) so he won't bolt in and gulp down Mica's food. (Apparently, cat food and poopies are doggie delicacies.) Now it's no longer necessary, but I still automatically lift up my feet as I enter the kitchen. I decided that Petey can start eating his meals in the kitchen, rather than right outside it. And as I prefer Mica's white enamel bowls, I've decided they are now Petey's. So I put Petey's dinner in one last night and called him. Now, let me tell you—Petey usually eats so fast that sometimes I have to be sure I actually fed him, it's gone so fast. And after years of trying to get to Mica's food, suddenly he was very hesitant about going into the kitchen. Instead, he stood in the doorway and stretched himself at a 90-degree angle for a couple bites, then just backed off into the living room. Maybe it's too soon. He seemed relieved to have his breakfast out of his old bowl just outside the kitchen this morning.
I've been looking for signs that he realizes Mica is gone. This morning, he walked into the kitchen and began sniffing -- the air, the rug, Mica's empty bowls. He followed his nose into the living room, sniffing the carpet where Mica spent much of the day yesterday before letting out a sigh and going back to sleep in his favorite chair.
One more story in this already too-long post...
My Mom wore a gold pine cone on a chain around her neck. She wore it all the time — you can see it here in this photo.
I have since put it on a much longer chain and I purposely put it on yesterday as I knew I wanted my Mom's strength to be with me on this tough day. (I had my Dad's watch on as well.) After the vet gently gave Mica the injection of Valium, I was talking to him, whispering endearments, singing our silly song. I gave the vet the nod for the second injection and told Mica "Now, go find Mom and tell her I love her." He breathed his last. And when I looked down, the pine cone charm was pinned down by two claws on one of his front paws.
He had arrived. My message was delivered.