When I was a junior in high school, my parents and I went to the local SPCA to get a kitten. My mom had her heart set on finding an orange kitten. We ended up going home with two black cats. Mom had the inspired idea to name them Holmes and Moriarty. Moriarty was always very outgoing and vocal. He would carry on conversations with you and was always a cute little black fluffball even as an adult. Holmes was much more shy. He didn't trust strangers. But once he trusted you, he just couldn't get enough affection. He loved to lay on one's chest and loofah their chins for them. A total sweetheart. The kitties continued to live with my mom after I graduated from college and moved away. I always loved hearing her update on the cats when I called.
We lost Moriarty in January two years ago. It was really devastating. Mom was with me in Denver and couldn't get back to Texas in time to be with him. This past Friday, we lost Holmes. Mom was with him and he was his sweet self until the end. I just can't imagine going home to Texas and not seeing him. And I know the house must feel so empty to my mom without him. It is so hard to let go of the pets we love. They are part of our family and make up such a huge part of our lives. I didn't know how empty my house in Denver truly felt until I adopted Toulouse in
2001. Now, I can't imagine life without him.
I heard a story on NPR recently where someone (David Sedaris?) said that pets tend to bookmark parts of your life. I got my first cat, Buttercup, when I was in kindergarten. He died when I was in high school. To me, he defined my childhood. Holmes and Moriarty defined my teenage years through young adulthood. Now that they are gone and I'm married and pregnant, I feel like that part of my life is officially over. The loss of Holmes is like the loss of my young adulthood. I suppose Toulouse is defining adult single life and early marriage for me. And now, perhaps early motherhood. It is really hard to let go and I'm trying to think only good things today. Otherwise, I will just be too heartbroken.
P.S. I have my first sonogram today. That will be momentous and exciting and nerve-wracking. I'll let you know how it goes.