My sweet little Kizzy cat did not come home last night (she is actually not sweet but she’s the prettiest little Kizzy in the whole wide world).
It wouldn’t be the first time she slept in the woods. She ran away from my ex two weeks after we got her, when I still lived with him in Texas. His story: he was walking her at the park and fell down a hill and she went running off with her harness and leash. He found her harness, but no Kizzy. I told my boss I needed to leave early and we looked all night for my little kitten but to no avail. I left her litter box, her carrier, along with a shirt that smelled like me and a little bit of food in the park.
The next morning I returned to find she hadn’t taken the bait, so I called my ex and when she heard my voice she began meowing. The feeling of knowing my little baby had made it all by herself in the woods was like nothing I’d ever experienced. A little silver-blue fluff ball meowing frantically before a sea of brown leaves. I picked her up and held her and pet her soft fur for probably five whole minutes before I shoved her ass into the carrier. I kept thinking about that scene in 300 that shows how Spartan boys become Spartan men. I assured myself that she was now initiated into cat-dult-hood and I wouldn’t have to worry about her so much as a new cat-mom.
Despite even being able to look back on that night with pride, last night I stayed up thinking about all the predators she may encounter in the woods. I even tried to consider all the reasons she may have decided to stay the night out. I was sobbing for hours because I was hearing coyotes howl in the near distance. I went outside several times trying to call for her but even that was worrisome, for if she had found a place to hide and stay warm, I’d be calling her out of it.
This morning when I woke up, I was still anxious about finding her. I called around and lo! and behold, that little bitch hopped on the fence and looked at me like she was blowing kisses with her pussy lips. I called her over and she let me pick her up. She’s about four times the size she was the first time she ran off, but it still took me back to that moment of holding my sweet little angel in the woods in Texas.
I grieved like I would have if I’d lost her for good. Now that I’ve had time to rejoice her return, it got me to thinking about how I’ve been doing a lot of mourning over impermanence, as of late. I’ve mourned the eventual loss of my grandparents, and my parents several times while living here in the past year. Ugly crying and begging God to not do it now and “its just not fair!!”; that part of life is so dreadful: impending death.
Its much different to be around as an adult in those relationships and to see how bodies and spirits slowly degrade over time. Just like with my missing kitten, I feel helpless. But I know I cannot be at war with death. In fact, I’ve sometimes thought about how much better it may be for us to not have to suffer through old age, but selfishly I bring my mind back to how miserable life would be without my family members and my cat.
Its a gut-wrenching thought experiment, and one that I know some people have to live as their reality. I feel so blessed to still have my elders even though I know they won’t be here forever. I hug them and tell them I love them as much as I can. The impermanence of life is what makes it so damn hard but also so damn beautiful.
Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa