October 5, 2009
We lost Ziggy two months ago today. Some days I can putter along just fine, and some days I just cry all over the kitties. I won't go into a lot of detail, but it's become pretty obvious that all the emotions that had to be set aside for a while in order to get through the move and everything else that has gone on recently are now coming to the surface and need to be dealt with. It's not pretty, but in an odd way it does feel better to finally get them out.
The Electric Mayhem goes in this week for her second FIV/FeLV test. We're pretty confident that she will come up clean again, though we're still keeping our fingers crossed. At that point, we will have to decide whether to adopt again. Even in those last few days we had with Ziggy, we started to talk about adopting another cat, or even a pair of them. After he was gone, and there was such a huge void in our household, we knew that we would adopt again if the follow-up FIV tests would let us. The talk about adopting has been pretty regular over the past two months. So it's not a matter of "if" but of "when". But as the time has drawn closer, I've been feeling more and more uncertain about the whole idea of looking for another cat. This uncertainty is tied directly into where I am in the whole grief process. I won't spell out and dissect just where I am on the Kubler-Ross model (how do you do an umlaut in HTML?), but suffice it to say that I finally realized that my hesitancy to adopt is strictly emotional.
There are plenty of good reasons for us TO adopt: Ziggy was a wonderful, friendly boy who just wanted to be happy and for everyone else to be happy. He would be completely in favor of us adopting again. There are a lot of kitties out there who need homes, and we have plenty of room to take one or two of them in. The Electric Mayhem needs a companion to keep her busy. (Or maybe a minion.) The Amazing Husbandini and I are "cat people" - loving kitties is what we DO.
I've looked online at some of the cats available in our area, and I find that I'm most drawn to big grey/tabby boys - and I don't know if that's a sign that it's not time yet, or if it's just a good sign that I'm drawn to any of them at all. (In my defense, I've always had a huge soft spot for tabbies.) The last thing I want to do is to go into the process looking for Ziggy. I would give a lot to somehow have him come back to us, but I don't want to replace him. That would be unfair to us, and it would certainly be unfair to any potential adoptee kitty.
The Amazing Husbandini (super wonderful intelligent man that he is) has suggested just going to the shelter with no plans to adopt and just seeing how it feels. Not even go in and see if any of the cats "speak" to us, but just go and see how it feels to be in the shelter. That's probably an excellent first step. In my head, I have this image of the shelter where we adopted Ziggy - but the shelter is empty, and all I can see is the absence of Ziggy. Intellectually I know that's not how it will be - the shelter will be full of cats (it's a cage-free facility, though they do have several "cat rooms" along each side of the main space) and people and noise, and there will be a lot to focus on beside the fact that the last time we were there, we were adopting Ziggy.
Well, anyway. As you can tell from the quality of the writing today, I'm going through the messy part of all these emotions. Aside from the vet appointment later this week, I also have a trip coming up later this month to visit the parentals. So there's nothing that needs to be done until the end of the month. We're very tentatively looking at Halloween weekend for our first visit to the shelter. That's three-plus weeks away, which will be even more time to work through all these emotions. We'll see what happens.
(And I'm not discounting the possibility that I might come back from my trip with some new additions. My parents haven't adopted since we lost The 'Tude a few years back, though my mother would really like to. If the local shelters play their cards right, I might find myself hauling some Nebraska kitties back to Colorado with me. It is so very within the realm of possibility.)