I’ve been stuck. Blocked. How do I bridge the time between getting off the road and back on? Do I jump back in and skip over this, the slow part? To me the slow part seems essential to the continuity of story. And then again not much occurred. BUT everything occurred. Read or don’t read. This is for me, as it has always been, but more so. Cathartic.
We drove directly home during the initial shutdowns of March 2020 due to Covid. And then? And then we waited for June. Because on June 1, 2020 my husband had a job waiting for him… a nine hour drive from me.
This is where my lonely summer begins. With me, the two dogs and Mister (the love of my life, my large black tomcat, my old man).
This situation felt familiar. Many years before, on another planet entirely, I lived a lonely summer in the northern woods with just me and two fierce cats. Differences. In this case I was not working, I was well provided for, I lived much further in the woods and more isolated, I had running water, internet, emotional support etc…
What am I trying to convey?
Even if events on the National and personal level were wearing me down I was in a healthier environment than the one echoing up from my past.
I spent the long summer days working through overdue household projects. Painting. Staining. Cleaning. Purging. Fixing. Finishing. All while my attention was glued to the National news. Protests and riots. Covid-19 numbers. BLM and a President who frankly scared me.
What I didn’t see immediately, was that my love, my forever, my Mister was dying.
To some a cat, to me a person.
Over the weeks I cared for him. Adjusting his food based on behavior. Going ever softer and wetter. At some point I was feeding him every couple hours, just little bits of watered down paste. Getting woken up in early morning hours (4:00 am) to him gently pawing my face and crying: feed me.
I held him.
“They” say cats who don’t feel well hide. Mister did some of that. But in the end he was with me. The last weeks, days and hours I held him. Through the nights and as much as I could during the day.
My husband came home. Should we discuss what transpired? No. Boring adult decisions. We’ll leave it at: that particular opportunity we tried out wasn’t for us.
The time came to get back on the road. The week came. Packing. Finishing up chores. But Mister was not alright.
The decision with the veterinarian. Mister had not responded to the treatment.
In the hours until the appointment… Four? Five? I held him. We fell asleep together in a patch of sunshine. I cradled his weight and the rest of him stretched across me. My old man. Black whiskers gone white. My adventure cat. My studio cat. My muse. There for me the last fourteen years, no matter.
We buried him by my studio.
Then we departed…