I wake and Tiger is snuggled in between my legs. We get up and he cries a bit. He doesn't want food. He wants Bella. He has always been vocal and protective of Bella, or "Little Sweetie," as Steve calls her. Steve has been gone and part of us wonders if she went to look for him. It was a lovely day to set out, a day like when Mole in Wind in the Willows was called to explore.
Lying in bed, I feel like I want to go up to the Humane Society and adopt all the dogs and cats they have. I don't want to miss one so much. I go between no more pets and all pets. My heart feels literally like it bleeds.
The Humane Society has a tape they put on each night a 5:30. You dial 1 for dogs and 4 for cats - oh, it isn't dial anymore, is it - you push a button and you hear the animals that were picked up in the last 48 hours. They start south and go north. Two were picked up in MV yesterday, but not Bella. She was, and I do think it is a was, and not an is, though people assure me she is probably out exploring and will be back, Bella was fast. They also list the animals who were picked up DOA, and one was euthanized yesterday for medical reasons. With each cat, one's heart literally does sit in the throat. It is a very painful phone call. (My computer tells me I have misspelled or done something wrong with euthanized, but I'm leaving it anyway. The little red line is a perfect documentation of my feelings. They are not right in this moment.)
When we got Bella and Tiger, she was hiding in the back of the cage. Tiger was in front, like a circus promoter, saying "Take us. You won't be sorry," and the minute I saw them, I knew they were for us, though we had only planned on one cat, but two has been just right. They entertain each other, and Bella takes extra care of Steve and Tiger of me.
Anyway, I am in great pain. Oddly, Rhonda and I set up this day a month or so ago, a day to get in the car and drive and see where her son Mitchell, who is where Bella probably now is, would lead us. Can you believe the day he is giving us for our drive? We'll stop and hike and eat either in Stinson Beach or at the Station House Cafe. It feels odd because it is almost like Bella is sacrificed or honored, so I can meet Rhonda a little more closely. I am not beginning to compare the loss of Bella to the loss of a son, but, this loss is bringing up all my losses. I woke, missing all those I love who have died. It is like they are all embodied in Bella's sweet, compact, dear, precious, little body. She was never very big, and she was white, not the best color against the woods. We were told to keep her out of the sun, so she wouldn't get skin cancer, but she stayed out of the sun pretty well herself. She liked to be under things, protected. She always licked you when you petted her, wanting to give something back.
Well, what can I say? The loss is huge. We worked so well as four. There is such a hole, such an ache, so much pain, and instead of moving around it, I'm trying to stay right with it.
On Saturday, Lee spoke of noticing when we moisturize our arms or legs, if we think we are just putting moisturizer there, or if we are aware that we touch the whole body. Be aware today of what you touch. Notice your meetings with chair, floor, people, air. Can you allow a little more air inside, puff up a bit on it?
I am going to use every trick I've learned today to try and spread out this pain like fruit and dry it in the sun.
Dried fruit is just right - jerky - something very hard to swallow and chew. I am in pain.