A Sad Farewell

My heart aches today as I returned Symon and Symba to my friend. I got these 3-month old kitties 3 weeks ago. During this time, I was utterly infatuated by them and was elated to fulfill my lifelong dream of having kittens.

When I was a little girl, we moved around a lot. So my desire to have a cat didn’t materialize until I first year of high school when I went to live with my aunt who had two cats. I thoroughly enjoyed playing and cuddling with them during my stay. After moving back to our family home, my parents allowed me to have a cat, as long as it stayed outside the house. I had a tuxedo cat that had babies and gave birth to three black and white kitties; one was Snow White! One day when I came out to play with them, Snow White was limping. I carried it to its mother, and then soothed it until it fell asleep. The next morning, I found it gone! My Mom told me it died so they buried it. I still remember the pain I felt for the loss, and the disempowerment in the face of fate.

Then after high school I got married and moved to the US. Here my favorite activity on the weekends was to visit the local pet store and pet all the cute kitties. My desire to keep one was vetoed as my husband was allergic (or so he said). So for the next 20 some years I continued living vicariously through friends who were cat owners and kept dreaming of one day when I could have one of my own.

Fast forward many years, I found my current husband to be a fan of cats and dogs. But he deemed our apartment to be too small to keep a pet. Out of the blue, my daughter asked me to keep her cat Stella while she looks for an apartment in the city. I was completely thrilled on the opportunity! I drove Stella, food, litter and all, from Chicago to Huntsville, Alabama on an 8 hour road trip. Although Stella was not a very touchy feely kind, we established a bond where she would come nuzzle with me on her own terms, especially while I would sit down to pray. I used to babysit for a friend, and our afternoon naps were my favorite time of the day with Ryan on one side and Stella on the other – warmth that filled the deepest corners of my being.

Stella moved with us to Atlanta and got spoiled with the extra space. I kept updating my daughter on Snapchat with Stella’s newest moves. With family over for holidays and some kids being allergic, I moved Stella to the garage. She started stepping out in the yard whenever the garage door opened. I started being away more for school, and one day upon my return, my husband announced that Stella has not returned in three days! I became frantic, looked all around the neighborhood, and asked kids if they had seen her. But to no avail. My heart ached whenever I saw another tuxedo cat.

Then three months ago, my friend told me they have kitties that they are hoping to find a home for. I went to go see the little fuzz balls and instantly fell in love! They told me I had to wait as they are too young to leave their mommy. Until three weeks ago, when I was told it is time! After stopping at Walmart for carrier, food, litter, and automatic feeders, I went to go pick them up.

As soon as I saw the Tabby/Bengal combo, I knew I want to call him Symon. The golden Tabby of course looked just like the little Lion King, Symba. After a thorough checkup at the Sweetwater Creek Animal Hospital, vaccinations and flea treatment, Symon and Symba were ready to join our family. I gave them both gentle baths and rubbed them dry until they were fresh smelling and fluffy. The next few days were lots of picture taking, video making and of course cuddling. Until two days ago, when my husband demanded “You have to choose between your kittens and me!” He was inconvenienced by their presence and told me to get rid of them. Unfortunately the matter was nonnegotiable.

So today, I packed them up in the carrier and drove them back to my friend’s house. I sobbed profusely and they both looked at me with worried eyes. My friend reassured me that I can visit with them whenever I wanted. Yet how can that be the same as picking them up in my lap any time? I wonder what the kittens represent for me. Is it the bond I established with them, is it the attachment? Do they fulfill my yearnings to touch be touched, to nurture and to be loved? Nothing is for sure right now, except for that my heart aches and I break into sobs every few minutes. I momentarily take solace is knowing that they are safe and are probably pouncing on each other right now.

Aalia SiddiquiComment