I knew that moving would be one of those things that was plagued with good and bad. The sad though, was what I didn’t expect. Moving is always stressful. You have to carry heavy stuff, try not to break stuff, you get exhausted and tired and you just want to quit an hour into it usually. At least that’s how I always feel.
From the beginning the move started out with mishaps and accidents. For starters, when I arrived at the apartment on the Upper West Side that I was moving out of I realized I had forgotten the keys so I was unable to let myself and the movers in. That delayed us 30 minutes and costed me a very expensive round trip cab fare from the Upper West Side to Astoria and back again. None-the-less I rolled with it and actually didn’t get that stressed out.
The movers were fine with the delay and once in the apartment they flew through everything as I just sat against the window watching like a bump on a log.
The drama started once they were out loading the service elevator. My cat Archadeus slinked out to me and meowed like a crying child at my leg. My heart immediately broke.
I walked in the kitchen, denying what I knew was the reason he was crying, and checked his food bowl. The bowl was full, but he had followed me into the kitchen while continuing to scream.
My eyes moved from the full bowl of cat food to the beautiful white cat and I sunk to the ground. My back was against the light wood cabinets as I slowly dropped to the floor. Then while sitting there with my legs straight out on the kitchen tiles Archadeus climbed into my lap. He meowed again and climbed my chest with his front paws, rubbed his snowy white head against my chin and pushed himself into me. The first tear fell from my eye and landed on his ear like an unexpected whisper of love.
He dropped back down into my lap and rolled himself so he was upside down looking up at me. He meowed again. I could tell he was sad because he refused to purr like he usually does.
Then I said the words “goodbye” and our first hello floated into my mind.
When I lived in Virginia, back in 2005, I was at my neighbors house. She was telling me about how a street cat gave birth to 5 kittens on her porch and then disappeared. Because she had a huge heart, she took the kittens in, but said she couldn’t afford to keep them.
Then out of her closet I saw a little white head poking out to investigate our voices. I crouched to my knees to look in and saw all the kittens hiding, except the white one. The others were black and white, but this one stood out like an angel in the shadows leading the charge to find his mommy.
“Hey cutie” I said as I reached my hand out slowly. The kitten didn’t hesitate. Instead, he ran straight to me. I picked him up and held him to my chest. He was the size of my palm. The tiniest thing I had ever held. I knew I had to have him. I knew he was meant to be mine
He has been my baby ever since.
Now, years later, I have to say goodbye. I am thankful he isn’t dead, but I will never see him again.
As soon as all this was done floating through my head while I sat on the kitchen floor this morning with Archadeus in my lap, I just began to cry. The tears flowed from my eyes as if a damn had broken inside me. I couldn’t control myself. Every ounce of energy inside me poured out as I held him to me sobbing. I was so thankful I didn’t bother putting on makeup. I would have just looked a mess if that was added into the mix!
Archadeus never likes to be hugged. Nope, he has always preferred to be pet, sit in your lap on his own accord or look at you from a distance. Today he wanted nothing more than to be held and it couldn’t have killed me more. Even writing this I am crying. I’ll never see my baby boy again. I know it’s a cat and not a child, but he is a huge part of my life.
After a few minutes of crying I heard a movement from my right and looked up to see one of the movers who had let himself back into the apartment. I wiped my face and said I was sorry. He told me not to be and that I needed to grieve. Apparently when he asked if he should take the cats things and I said no he could hear the pain in my voice and that it must be hard to leave a pet behind. He is right, it is hard because pets are family. Pets are children.
I know it’s pathetic, but having to have said goodbye to him, I feel so alone right now. I’m not even a cat person! I’ll forever miss him.