Thank you, everyone, for all the kind words and heartfelt sympathy on yesterday’s post. It helps a great deal to know so many of you out there care and share this particular kind of grief.
I took yesterday off to wallow and let myself just be sad. Today I’m trying to move onward.
And I really tried to write today’s post about something else, but clearly I’m not done thinking about Teddy and her enormous impact on our lives. This picture is the last we have of her – that David texted to me Thursday afternoon, so I could see she’d gotten out into the sun and was enjoying herself.
Naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about Teddy and all the times we’ve shared over the years. David and I have been trading memories. And it’s funny, because it occurred to me that we got kitten-Teddy right when I first “became” a writer. It was on my mind, too, because someone asked me this weekend, at the really wonderful Silken Sands Conference, about my writing history.
Astonishing that over 16 years have gone by.
I remember that time well. I cut bait on my PhD, took a Masters degree and ran. I’d decided not to do research, but to become a writer. I got a job that paid pretty decently and gave me the freedom to write. To celebrate that job and my new direction, I bought a Maine coon kitten. Teddy.
She sat on my lap while I wrote. One of my early essays was about her, published in a literary magazine dedicated to odes of all kinds.
One thing I wanted to tell you. Early Sunday morning, when David and I were talking about the bad night he’d spent with her, he suddenly said “whoa.” It was just after six his time, and a cat had just looked in the front door. “A bobcat?” I asked. No, a domestic cat, he though. Orange and striped.
Now this is odd, because we don’t really have domestic cats wandering our rural neighborhood. The houses are quite a distance apart and nobody lets their cats roam far, because the danger from bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions is very real. Especially when the light is dim. He’d never seen this cat before. It looked in and ran off. We haven’t seen it again.
I like to think it was Teddy’s spirit guide.