Tags: grief over a pet
Oh, how I love a cat named Stella.
I remember being nervous about taking home such a skittish kitten. Stella shared a cage with Skip at the Humane Society. Skip had me right from the start. But Stella was cautious with me. Without even looking, she could sense my hand coming near and she’d dart this way and that to avoid capture. I brought both cats home and hoped for the best.
I put my new feline friends in the bathroom when I got home so they could get used to a small space at first. It was hard to leave them alone while I went to work the next day. When I returned home, I eagerly ran up the 3 flights of stairs to get to my condo. I opened the bathroom door, and there they were, safe and sound and looking up at me with happy eyes. I stepped closer to Stella, and she didn’t dart away. She continued to look up at me, and she didn’t scramble while I reached down and pet her. She had accepted me. Sigh of relief.
The first night out of the bathroom, both cats slept on the bed with me. When I woke up in the morning, Skip was wrapped around the top of my head, and Stella was asleep in my hand. My heart melted.
Stella was such a funny little thing. When she was a kitten, she loved to fetch. And she loved to dig out makeup brushes from the bathroom drawer and wrestle them to the ground. And of course I would toss a makeup brush down the hallway for her to chase. She’d bring it back, drop it at my feet, and wait for the next toss.
She loved heights, and that included the tops of doors. She didn’t especially like being held, so if you were holding her and standing by a door, she would reach up and look for a grasp on the door or wall. I’d give her a boost, and she’d pull herself up to the top of the door. So cute. She would stay there for a while, purring like crazy and squirming around like it was the best place on earth. Once or twice, she used my back as a springboard on her way back down to the ground. We got in the habit of calling her “My favorite little black monkey kitty.”
Two years after getting Skip and Stella, Dane and I got married. Dane grew to love the kitties, and the affection was returned. Stella loved to push the envelope at her new home. One day, we watched in awe and horror as Stella jumped from the railing of the deck to the roof. But when her front paws reached the roof, it was the flimsy gutter that she grasped. Even with a tenuous hold, she used grace and athleticism to pull herself up.
We let the cats outside a lot. They seemed to know the boundaries of the yard and would usually stay within them. Stella was a small cat but she didn’t know that. She would chase neighborhood cats out of her territory. I even saw her stomp her paw on the ground in front of another cat as if to say “This is MY land.”
We were so blessed to have Stella. She showed love by rubbing up against us, rising up to meet a hand, and sleeping at the foot of the bed. When we watched movies, she would snuggle on my legs. And once in a while when I picked her up, she would press herself up against me and purr.
Stella isn’t around anymore. She was venturing out 2 weeks ago, expanding her territory, when she got hit by a car. It was a hit and run. I found her in the front yard of our neighbor’s house. We buried her in our back yard, in a box, with a few blades of grass, a leaf, and a makeup brush.
Oh, how I grieve for a cat named Stella.