Remembering Pig

So it’s our one year anniversary, Pig. Last year on July 22, we first met you at the Denver Dumb Friends League. You were unfortunately named Ginseg (I’m guessing some DDFL worker was trying to spell Ginseng), but Papa astutely saw that you were to be Pig. And boy, did that name fit.

In that little meeting room, you stole our hearts. You revealed your possessive personality right away, claiming us as yours and warding away random little girls who looked dangerously close to wanting to adopt you too. You were tiny, with enormous character. And that never changed.

On July 23, we got to take you home. You were neutered and ID chipped. And although we never had to use that chip for lost and found purposes, we lost you anyway. It still hurts.

But now we are literally (and figuratively) watched over by you. We just got a home security system installed, and our password is Piggy. Words can’t express how appropriate that is.

And so we can sleep better at night knowing that you are protecting us, as you were always our jealous little cat who didn’t like to share us anyway. Thanks, Piggy.

At random times, it hits me.  I miss you, Pig.  Mostly now, we focus on the good memories.  We talk about how funny, pushy, messy, amazing you were – but then there are the moments when the tears come back and take me off guard.   This is one of those not-so-infrequent moments.

I wish we had more time, Pig.

Love,

Mommy.

Hey Pig,

I’ve procrastinated about talking to you because it hurt so much even thinking about you after you left. Obviously I can’t be upset at you because you were sick for a long time and were sweet and purring through the pain right up until the end. After your injection and watching your head sink slowly down into my lap seconds later I knew that you were done being in pain but it left me with a jagged hole in everything where you used to fit in. I can’t say that I’m all better yet or that I don’t look for you around the house absentmindedly when I wake up in the morning but the pain is much less raw and immediate. It has scabbed over a little bit and replaced by a slow and constant ache. In ways I feel a little guilty because it has only been two weeks despite the fact that those weeks felt like years in terms of emotional havoc and the feeling of powerlessness. The remainder of those feelings won’t recede but now at least I can remember you with nothing other than love and without fits of guilt and rage and anger. None of it was ever your fault for any reason other than being the perfect cat for me. It is very difficult to let go of that.

There is another cat in the house now. This, in theory, should make me miss you less but it really does not. His name is Bug and he is friendly and sweet (you would undoubtedly love him) but is not a replacement for you. That is impossible but he does remind me of you all the time and make me miss your huge personality and what a fucking weirdo you were. Leonard also looked for you for several days and called for you even longer. She is difficult but, in the end, grew to love and accept you as well. Your mom and I have talked a lot about the effect you had on her and how much she changed as a result of you sharing most of your short life with us. You reawakened some remaining shred of kitten-hood in her that has not disappeared in your absence. Whatever parts of her are not a total pain in the ass you share some credit for developing.

I had some digital pictures developed from April. They were taken during your last stretch of seeming like you would recover and when you were still eating and you were on my lap. I have a lot of pictures of you on my lap. I miss that feeling of knowing that any moment you will hop into my lap and wrestle my arm into submission. That was one of the best feelings imaginable especially in the sense that you trusted me completely. Anyway, we’ll get a frame for those pictures, one with me and one with your mommy, and finally get pictures of you up on the wall. We were kind of slack about that but we thought we would keep you forever and never felt the pressure of time passing. In as sense we did get to keep you. In the days immediately following your passing it was an unbearable weight on my heart that seemed like it would crush me if it did not subside. It really didn’t but the weight lightened when I realized that there was nothing we could have done to save you or to make you feel any better. Instead there is just a presence that lurks continually and waits for me to quit crossing my legs so it can creep into my lap and purr silently until it falls asleep.

We’re also going to get a memorial put up for you at the Dumb Friends League. This is something I wanted to do sooner but it made me too sad and it was just too difficult to even try to sum you up in a dozen words. It’s still impossible but I want to dedicate something permanent to you even if it pales when compared with the sweet and neurotic character that you were. It isn’t perfect but it is something.

We miss you and love you. You still have dibs on my lap anytime. Two weeks and two days.

It’s been a week since we’ve lost Pig. There’s something already timeless about this hurt, about his memory. I still think I see him in his old haunts: on the sofa pillow, under the dining room table, by the water dish. The tears have stopped flowing so much, but I’m still caught off guard everyday at how much I miss the little guy.

He was a weirdo: a small, pointy cat, the runt of the litter, almost euthanized early in life due to the horrible conditions he endured before being rescued and brought to the Denver Dumb Friends League. I guess he was always a bit sickly. But he had a big, playful heart and not a mean bone in his little body. He was a lover, for sure, and a stubborn one at that. Once he planted himself on you, it took bulldozer-like strength to move him, and he was patient enough to wait until you were in the right position to come back again.

He was a talker. I often tried to imagine what he would say if he possessed the power of speech. I would think to myself that it would be amusing, quickly realizing that it would soon get pretty annoying hearing him babble on about nothing but shoelaces and treats and imaginary bugs. The first peep we heard from him was at the shelter. We were meeting him for the first time in one of those little rooms, and a young girl happened to pass by and tap on the glass door, wanting to say hi to the adorable little kitten on the other side. Pig wasn’t having it and proceeded to promptly hiss at her through the glass. That startled the girl, but it endeared us to Pig even more. The deal was sealed. He was ours, but more than anything, we were his.

And this will never change. We miss you, Piggy.

This is placeholder stuff. I didn’t feel right leaving this empty. I took a whole bunch of pictures of all of the places in our house where Pig spent his time or did the weird things that made him so unique and precious. I’m catching up with the things I wanted to do around the momentary lapses and spontaneous emotional breakdowns. All the wounds are still raw but I’m trying to convert them into something that is less about me and more about the amazing little guy.