This is when...

Since Sunday's loss I've been finding myself in hundreds of little moments of, "this is when...". 

This is when Millie would come curl up on my lap and steal a few moments of love.
This is when Anya would wave "HI KITTY" and then jump away when Millie batted at her.
This is when Millie would be getting under my feet and yelling at me for food.
This is when I would be giving this bit of salmon juice to the cat, instead of giving Maya a double dose.

There are so many ways that cat fit into my life, some of them wonderful and some less so.  You don't realize how deeply someone has become part of your everyday until they are suddenly gone.  My lap is so freaking empty at night and my bed too quiet without her motor running at the end of it.  And Mark is firmly in the "no new pets" phase, insisting that the next animal we get will produce eggs.  I'm OK with that, most of the time.  Then I feel the silence in my bedroom and vacuum up nothing but flat stands of dog hair, rather than the rolling bits of fluff that used to annoy me and yet where so perfectly Millie.  Those rolling bits of fluff were all that Maya and I found of her Sunday morning, really and when I find one hiding under the bed I am almost loath to let the vacuum anywhere near it.

I gave away what was left of her food and gathered up her bowls to clean.  I laundered the bedspread.  I dug up photos of her when she was tiny and set them by the scanner, but haven't had the time or emotional energy to actually scan them. 

Yesterday when we went to Grandma's house Anya went up my mom and with a huge grin on her face said, "My kitty got eaten!"  My mom hadn't caught up with this blog in a week or so and was shocked to hear the news of Millie's death. 

"That's the saddest thing I've ever heard." She told a still grinning Anya.  Then looked over at me with sorrow in her eyes, knowing how deeply I must be hurting.  Nothing like mother-love to heal a bit of a broken heart.  And it is healing.  As the freshness of her loss wears off, I find myself approaching normal.  Abet, a "normal" with big empty spots where a large orange cat used to sit.  

How long will I be grieving her loss, I wonder?  And when will it be OK to pull down the metaphorical black curtain?  What is too soon and what is crazy-cat-lady?  I guess I just have to ride this bit of the river and see where it takes me.  

my kitty