Missing Misty so much, orientating Gerald and the return of Creamy

I miss Misty so much.

In the last few months, Misty’s daily routine was set. If I didn’t know if she was already in the porch, she would jump up onto the window sill and call me from there. And if she’s not back yet, and I go out to the porch with her food, she would mew from afar in response to me calling her name. She knew her name. And she would come running back from the rooftops, jump down the garbage compartment and come running to me.

That was our daily routine. I know how much I’d miss that now.

Misty’s passing was like Kimba’s. Kimba has a kitten whom I rescued from our back alley in our old neighbourhood. He was covered in fleas (I’d never seen a cat with so much fleas before) and he was mewing for help in our back alley. I took him in, bathed him (it was so late at night too), dried him and the next day, took him to the vet’s for a full check-up. He was declared fine.  Kimba became Indy’s best friend (they were around the same age) and also my very, very loyal companion.

That’s Kimba after the midnight bath to clear off the fleas.

Indy’s best friend.

Kimba was drawn to me so naturally; it was almost like he had a strong affinity with me. He accompanied me for everything. Bosco had the same affinity and was taken away too soon as well. Why does this happen? Some cultures believe that they have come to finish something that started a long, long time ago, a relationship forged aeons ago, and they have come to continue that relationship but always only for a short while. Until today, whenever I hear birds chirping in the afternoons, I will remember Bosco. He used to sit with me every afternoon and we’d listen to the birds. For those who don’t remember Bosco, he was poisoned. He could have ingested poison accidentally, I really don’t know.

Kimba’s death was sudden and tragic. It was so similar to Misty’s. I was taking out the garbage that fateful night and he always followed me out. In our old house, we had no way of confining the cats, so they were all CNRM and free roaming. He would always follow me back after we threw the garbage, but for some reason that night, he decided to cross the road behind me. A neighbour was driving back, very slowly too, but she probably did not see Kimba at all in the darkness and her car hit Kimba. I saw Kimba writhing on the road, bloodied and I carried him back. I will not describe the rest.

A slow car – exactly like Misty’s. In Misty’s case, giving the driver the benefit of the doubt, I really do not know if she was speeding as I was not there, but she said she saw Gerald and Misty playing by the roadside. And she didn’t know how she could have hit Misty. Did Misty suddenly dash out, which cats are apt to do when they are playing vigorously or fighting. I just recently saw two cats fighting in an alley in my morning walk and both dashed out of the alley, still chasing each other (that was definitely a fight) and a speeding car zoomed by down the slope just missing them. My heart dropped for a moment.

After Kimba passed away so tragically, I was in a deep denial. I was bargaining with Fate and I wanted him back. I was willing to do whatever it took just to have him back. It was a very difficult period of my life. When I rushed back yesterday from my walk to see Misty on the road, I bargained too. I told Fate, “take my life, just take my life, and give it to Misty, please… I already have a heart condition, my days are numbered, just take my life right now and give it to Misty”.  That was the first thing on my mind. I suppose that it what a parent would do when she loses a child. I think it’s just wired in us to react that way.

So for months after Kimba passed away, I hung on, and finally I succumbed to severe depression. This was also coupled by Jia-Wen’s accident. Two incidents which weighed so heavily on me. I went into depression and it was very bad.

At that time, I was still in contact with Dr Tan Chek Wee, the Singaporean geriatrician who taught me everything about TNRM, with the emphasis on M=Manage. I have never met him in person before, we only communicated via email. He gave me this advice after Kimba’s death. He said: Kimba’s suffering is over, why are you still suffering?  I know his advice was wise, logical and true. It’s our emotions that prevents our brain from letting logic take precedence. It is always our emotions that control us.

Until today, I always remember Dr Tan’s advice whenever I lose a pet. I try to be logical. The deceased pet’s suffering is over with death, I have to take care of the living, they are still with me, they still need me. Mourn and grieve if you must, but I must not neglect my duties and responsibilities to the living, I tell myself. And that is how I get by nowadays. I cannot say I’m successful, but I try.

I also remember that right after Bobby passed away, there was a planned event at a mall for fundraising and AnimalCare was given a booth (this was during the days when we had to do active fundraising at events). I was present for the event and a lady visited our booth. She was our blog follower and she reprimanded me, saying that Bobby had just passed away, so how could I still come to the event. She said I should be at home grieving, it wasn’t right that I still did the event. To me, Bobby’s passing was expected as he passed away of old age. I grieved and I missed him but I knew his time was already up and I was prepared for it. This kind of passing is a bit easier to accept than the sudden and unexpected type.

I try my best to understand death as scientifically as I possibly can. With death, suffering ends. There is no more suffering in the deceased. No more pain. Only we grieve because we replay the circumstances leading to their death, and we still feel that pain for them. It’s our emotions vs our logical mind. That is not an easy battle for the logical mind. But one thing I know for sure is that all our other cats still need me to look after them, and I must carry out this responsibility. I owe it to them. My grandsons also need me to help look after them and I cannot neglect this responsibility.

With this, I do my best to carry on and move forward.

This morning, I woke up at 5.30am. I was able to sleep last night, but I kept waking up and each time I did, Misty was the first thing on my mind. I repeated Dr Tan’s advice to me, “Misty’s suffering is over, why am I still suffering?”. I tried to stay as logical as I could.

I did not hear Gerald yowling last night, but later, my husband said he did, at around 4am. I didn’t want to come downstairs so early for fear my presence would make him start yowling so I only came down at 6am. The moment I reached downstairs, Gerald came to the door and started mewing. There is a difference between mewing (which is fine) and yowling (which is way too loud and persistent). Mewing is okay, he’s just talking to me. But yowling means he’s not happy.

But at the same time, there was mewing at the window sill. Oh my goodness, Misty, is that you?  Was your accident all just a bad, bad dream. Is that you, Misty?

But no, it wasn’t Misty. It was Creamy. Creamy has not done this before, mewing at the exact same spot on the window sill that Misty used to do.

It was Creamy.

I already told myself yesterday that I am not going to feed Socks. Socks has a home down the road and he is very well-fed. Also, I do not want Socks walking up this road (the road where the kindergarten parents rush off after dropping their children). The road slopes down so cars would naturally speed up. And it is normal for parents to drive slowly when their children are in the car, but once the children have been dropped off, they tend to speed up to get on with their morning routine.

On another note, husband and I went to the kindergarten to see the principal yesterday, but she wasn’t in. Later, she called me and she came across as being empathetic and understanding. She said she too is an animal lover and she agreed with everything I said about educating the parents to please respect street animals, whether dogs, cats or treeshrews. Humans cannot expect animals to look right, look left and look right again before crossing the street, I explained. Please educate your parents, I told her. I told her it is not only about driving slowly, but also about being vigilant of any animal who is around. They might just dash across the road suddenly, we have to be vigilant. She agreed with me and everything I said. Let’s hope she does it. This time, there were four people in the neighbourhood who were proactive and I’m thankful for that. Normally I am the only one fighting for the animals, but this time, four people spoke up. Granted, some of their concerns were, “what if this happened to a human child”? It is quite normal for humans to put humans first. Those who place animal lives on par or above humans are a small minority.

I know Creamy has a home in the back road, but I also think that whenever he comes, it means he is hungry. And I know that if he only comes to socialise and is not hungry, he will not eat even though I offer food. But he ate this morning. I also know that during public holidays, he comes.

Husband is of the opinion that I should not feed anymore cats in the porch. I know where he is coming from, but I will play it by ear with Creamy.

Creamy definitely has another food source, because sometimes he doesn’t turn up for weeks on end, and when he does, he looks well.

Perhaps Creamy has come to take Misty’s spot in our porch. That could also be a possibility.

I will play it by ear.


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