Monday, March 14, 2016

Where's the "Good" in Goodbye?

Where's the "good" in "goodbye"?
Where's the "nice" in "nice try"?
-The Script

After nearly 15 years, we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat this past week. You would think I would be used to goodbyes by now, but death is simply not a concept you ever get used to, as far as I am concerned.

I got Zoe in August 2001 when I was working for WHYY. I brought her home and called her Libby for the first 24 hours because I though Sam & Libby would be so cute together. She hated that name. So I called my mom asked for help (as I still do!). We tossed around the name Chloe (a name my dad actually wanted for me back in the day) and somehow came up with Zoe. It stuck.

When the 9/11 happened, Zoe followed the news ticker on the screen with her paw. She was a source of comfort for me during that time and I clung to her. We survived an apartment, a condo, several boyfriends, lots of parties, and more diets than I can recall. Then I met Gary and she loved him from the start. She moved in with him first. Then I packed up all my stuff and moved in, too. She had such a crush on him that she pretended she forgot about me, but I knew the truth. I was so smitten with him, too, that I allowed her behavior.

When I was pregnant with Allie, Zoe became very protective. She napped on my belly and followed me all around. Allie was named after my grandfather Allen but we also loved that having her name start with an A and Zoe's name starting with a Z had us covered. We had a complete family from A-Z.

Now they are both gone.

Zoe's kidneys started to fail a few weeks ago. Lots of trips to the vet, blood work, and overnight stays all brought us to the same conclusion. It was time.

Gary and I brought her back to the vet one last time. We gave her lots and lots of kisses. We told her we loved her. We help her tight. We asked her to look for Allie when she got to where she was going. We finally said goodbye.

Living without her has been hard. It's strange to not have to feed her as soon as we wake up.  The house seems empty without her napping in the sunlight or bathing in the shade. I miss her face, I miss her purring and I miss her.

We tried to tell Miranda that Zoe no longer lives here. We said she got "kitty cat sick" and had to go to heaven. We did not want to lie about death since it is a concept we are going to have to tackle sooner than most. All she says over and over is that "Zoe is a good girl." When I try to explain that she goes not live here anymore, her face falls and she does a nervous laugh and then pretends she didn't hear me.

How am I not used to death and loss by now?

Her spirit will love on in our memories and our hearts. She had a good life and I have to hope that was enough. I guess it has to be. I think it is.

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