Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saying Goodbye

A beautiful account of an annoying cat, by my wife, Angie:

Seven and a half years ago I met a cat.  This was an interesting thing for me.  I was raised in a home where the common saying was, "Run it over!"

I know what some of you readers are thinking, but that's just the way it was.  My grandma is deathly afraid of cats and that fear and dislike were passed down to her eight children who in turn passed it to their children.  Cats were just not a part of my life--EVER.  On my mission we would often find ourselves at "cat ladies'" homes.  They would live in tiny apartments with 20 cats that would crawl all over me, while I would try and teach the Plan of Salvation.  Their claws would tear my brand new nylons, and I would paste on a happy face and then freak out after we were far away.

A few years later I met this guy named Joe.  I fell head over heels for him.  One Sunday we went to visit his grandma, Nelda, at her assisted-living home in Provo.  I was forewarned that she had a cute little cat name Figaro.  I took a deep breath and inwardly gave myself a pep talk that, yes, this guy was worth it.  He was and still is.  :)  We had a nice visit with Nelda.  She gave us ice cream bars, and I was really enjoying mine, until this crazy white fur ball came leaping across the room and ate mine!  The nerve!  Thanks for nothing, Figaro!  I'm serious, that cat was crazy!  Little did I know what was about to happen....

This guy Joe asked me to marry him, and I said YES!  We planned a beautiful reception and got prepared to be husband and wife.  Great times....  

One day I came to visit, and much to my surprise, and I admit, dismay, Figaro was there.  There was a cat living in my future home.  What!?!  *  NO!  *  Yes.  *  Really?  *  Uh huh.  *  Wow!  *  Okaaayy. 

The biggest shock of all was that after getting married and moving in, I came to really like that crazy cat.  And let me tell you, he was crazy!  He was so feisty.  We would spend hours sitting on our bed running our fingers under a blanket while Figaro would attack them.  It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen!  Really.  Figaro talked a lot, too:  Meow.  Meow.  Meow.  Meow.  Meow!  Meow!  Meow!  Meow!  MEOW!  MEOW!  MEOW!  MEOW!  All the time!

I loved sharing stories about Fig with my first graders.  They asked about him everyday.  It became part of our morning routine.

One day we got brave and let Fig outside.  He'd never been outside before.  He was so scared.  I was, too.  I didn't want my cat to get hurt.  Days passed, and Fig would beg to go outside.  More days passed, and we would have to go search for Fig to get him to come in for the night.  Figaro learned to hide in the ditch.  He didn't want to come in.  He loved adventure.  One day we got home from work to find that Fig had been hurt by the neighbor's mean cat.  "Run it over!"  (What???  Did you think I'd changed completely?  Um, NO.)  Nobody hurts MY cat and gets away with it!

We frantically called the wonderful veterinarian of the family for some professional and fatherly advice.  Figaro got better, and our world once again became calm.  That is until we discovered I was pregnant.

All my old fears returned.  The cat might hurt our baby, I thought.  I decided, for us, that the cat had to go.  We ended up heading to Michigan and my sister, Dianna, inherited a cat.  She was beyond excited. 

One night in Michigan, we called home and learned that Figaro had gotten lost.  I found myself on my knees pleading with the Lord to help that silly four-legged monster find his way home.  He did.

Years passed.  Figaro became a permanent fixture in the Olsen home.  He was always around to great us with his loud meows whenever we came for a visit.  I would often find him and tell him my problems, fears, and frustrations.  I knew he always agreed that I was right because he would purr in contentment every time we chatted.  

Now fast forward seven years to the present....  My parents and sister moved two months ago.  They aren't allowed to have any pets where they currently live.  There was no getting around it.  So Fig's been living with us.  It's been like old times.  Except now we have a cat of our own and the two of them HATE each other.  Fun, fun, fun!  And I had forgotten just how much Fig talks.  It's annoyingly great!  One problem.  We can only have one pet here.  Fig had to go.  What to do?

My dad posted an ad on  Weeks later he called and said he needed to come get Fig.  I didn't think much of it.  I figured Dad was just coming to take him to his place and "pretend" the cat wasn't there.  This was last Sunday. 

Figaro and I had a nice little chat.  I hugged him.  Told him I loved him.  He said he loved me, too, and that he would be mine forever, no matter what.  He's getting old, but he returned to his feisty ways, and we played the blanket game for a while.  I gave him a hug and a kiss.  He kissed me back.  I went into the bathroom for a while.  When I came out, I learned my dad had come over.  A man had responded to the ad.  He wanted to adopt Figaro for his girlfriend, whose cat had died the night before. 

In the few minutes I was in the bathroom, the man had come and taken my Fig. 

My heart broke.

Someday, in the next life, I know that Figaro will get to choose who his family will be.  At least I think so.  I hope he chooses mine.  I miss that annoying guy.  More than I ever thought I would.  

Dear Fig, I hope you're okay and that you understand why we had to say goodbye.  You're the best friend a cat-hating girl could ever have.  I love you, Figgy.


No comments:

Post a Comment