It's been more than a week now since Cayenne left this life. I miss her. The house seems oddly empty without her, which doesn't make much sense because Isaac is a huge presence in this home. But whenever Isaac and I got out, it feels very odd coming home to a house without Cayenne. It feels like coming home to an empty house.
I thought Isaac would miss her. I expected him to look for her. He always used to go look for her as soon as we came home, anytime we went anywhere, even if we just went outside long enough for him to pee. I thought he would still look for her for a while when we came home after she was gone. But he doesn't. Hasn't. Not at all.
I do. Many times, upon coming in the door, I catch myself starting to look for her. I'd gotten into the habit of checking on her every time I came home, to make sure she was still alive, to see if she was OK, to make sure she hadn't thrown up or pooped somewhere so I could clean it up right away if she had before Isaac got to it. I'm doing that less now, as time goes on, but at first I would start to look for her every time I came in the front door.
It feels weird to feed Isaac and not have to feed Cayenne at the same time. My couch felt very weird at first without all the layers of pee-proofing I had on it for Cayenne. I cried when I put away all her stuff, her water dish, her blankies, threw out what was left of her medicine, etc. I did laundry and my linen closet is practically bulging with all the clean towels now stored in there, without towels all over the house for Cayenne.
Last Friday I delivered a box to the Richland County Humane Society, full of cat treats and toys. I'd made little labels to stick on all of them, with a little picture of Cayenne's beautiful face and the words "from Cayenne with love." I also donated a few of Cayenne's soft fleece blankies. I chose not to see the cats in the shelter, not to give any of them treats or toys personally, because I felt like that would be too hard. I like the idea of kittens happily playing with the toys I picked out, though. I like the idea of Cayenne's name and face on the packages of treats. I like the idea of some homeless kitty snuggling on one of her blankies. When I left the shelter, I sat in my car and cried for a while, but I feel really good about donating things there.
On Friday, I also picked up Cayenne's ashes from the vet. I thought they'd be in a cardboard box or something. I hadn't planned to get an urn for them because I plan to put them in the urn my cat Eileen's ashes are in. Eileen and Cayenne were special friends and I love thinking that they are together now. Before she died, I told Cayenne to say hello to Eileen for me and to tell her I love her.
Well, the vet gave me her ashes in a beautiful wooden box with flowers carved in the top of it. I still plan to put them into Eileen's urn, but I was so touched by that box. I started to drive away and then had to pull the car over so I could cry for a while.
It is so hard to think that Cayenne, that beautiful soft warm little cat, is in that box. I don't believe that's really her, that's her body, but we are not our bodies. I mean, we are, but we are more than our bodies, too. The essence of Cayenne, her soul, her energy, is not in that box.
I miss her. I miss her a lot.
I'm glad Isaac doesn't seem to be grieving.
I'm coping with everything better than I expected, really. But I miss her.