March 29, 2012

Kittenticipation

Having cat-related death thoughts lingering at the top of the page makes it look as if that is still my current frame of mind, and partly it is, but it's more that (1) I got the new Stephen King (11/22/63), and (2) Henry is sick with something that means he wants to sit on my lap and read books / play video games / talk about fighting imaginary monsters all day long, which is par for the course except that he's too sick to go to preschool or my mom's house so there goes the time I usually blog.

So. We all continue to be sad about Benchley, but some of the "I HAVE HAD A GLIMPSE THROUGH THE CRACKS OF THIS DAILY FACADE INTO THE UNFATHOMABLE DEPTHS BELOW" feeling has faded. Plus, we are coming up on Kitten Season, and we are planning to place a soft furry kitten bandage on the Benchley-death owie, so the anticipation of that is helping as well.

I am anticipating it with somewhat less joy than the children are, because in my experience kittens are darling little pains in the tail/pocketbook, and pre-trained/vaccinated/fixed adult cats are where it is. But the children have never had a kitten and will love everything I dislike (wild careening! skidding across countertops, knocking everything in their path to the floor! racing right up my standing body!), and the kitten will be a cat soon enough, and in the meantime I can enjoy the cuteness of a kitten as much as the next person, so it won't be all bad.

Hm. It seems a little tactless to be talking about kittens so soon. Well, I don't think I would be if it weren't for how the idea of it seems to cheer the children, and also because of how lonely our other cat seems: she walks around, looks out the window, sits mopily in my lap, walks around a little more. She's good with people, but she's a cat's cat and always preferred to hang out with Benchley. Without these factors, I think I would be more at the "Why bother to get a new pet, when it will ONLY DIE???" stage still.

18 comments:

Amanda said...

I think a new kitten is a perfect band-aid. It doesn't mean that you loved Benchley any less.

I hope the perfect little bundle of fur lands in your household soon.

Saly said...

Oh, a kitten! Yes, a kitten! I remember when we went to the shelter looking for our first kitten almost 12 years ago...I was set on an orange tabby and then my Sebastian who is white and brownish orange jumped from his cage and on to my shoulder, and then climbed to sit on my head. He was immediately mine. Now he's a 17lb pain in my neck, but he still sleeps wrapped around my head at night.

Uh...my point? It is that a kitten will be SO! worth it for the memories. I can't wait to see/hear all about it.

Slim said...

Plus, dealing with Kittenhavoc will keep you busy and allow the grieving to grind along in the background.

I am very enthusiastic about other people's baby animals. We're coming up on a year with the dog we got as an adult, so clearly I like them move-in ready, too.

StephLove said...

I hope Henry feels better soon. I think you'll like 11-22-63. I did.

I'm one of those people who needs a long time between pets (when our last cat died, it was more than a year before we got our current two), but I don't think it's heartless, just different ways of dealing with the sadness.

Sarah said...

I was having one of those "Why bother when everything will ONLY DIE?" moments last night too, except about KIDS, thanks to a rather grim conversation with Jim about the fate of a very large family we know of- there are eight siblings and four step siblings. They are all now in their fifties and sixties, or would be, and of the twelve, we realized that five of them are already dead. Also, most of those deaths happened quite awhile ago, meaning that the parents had to bury all those children. Only two of them are still married to their first spouse, and only three are married at all, and that was the case before all the deaths, too!
That just... seems like not a great general happiness/luck level for such a large family! Kind of depressing. I totally got into a momentary, "Oh my gosh, why do people even reproduce when it just gives you more people to worry about and grieve for!" mood.
Um, anyways, I snapped out of it a bit now. But I certainly could now use a soothing story about a large family whose offspring all grew to live long, successful, healthy, marital-bliss-filled years.

d e v a n said...

Oh yes, a furry kitten band aid is quite effective.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I once heard that men who marry very quickly after their wives have died are typically men who very deeply loved their wives and loved being married. They miss their beloved wives so much that they want to recreate the happiness they had with them IMMEDIATELY. I'm not sure if that's TRUE, but it's sweet and romantic. And that's how I feel about you talking about/getting a kitten so soon after losing Benchley: you loved him so dearly that you want to experience that catly joy again right away. It's not tactless; it's a tribute to his memory and your love for him.

(I am reading too much into this, no?) (Nonethless, that's how I FEEL.)

Here's hoping Henry feels better soon!

Sarah said...

P.S. Sorry, that comment was kind of all about me. Got off the rails a bit there. What I ALSO wanted to say was that since one does EXPECT to outlive their pets, generally, I don't think it's heartless to feel ready for a new kitten. That's just the animal cycle of life. Certainly one still mourns them if they die before their expected time, but it's still not a pain that you were completely unprepared to deal with. So I think most people are better able to handle it than human deaths.
So, you know, no one thinks you're tactless to be thinking of kittens!

melissa.cureton said...

I plowed through 11/22/63 in six days (while my family ran out of underwear, dust bunnies grew, and everyone had sandwiches for dinner). I LOVED it and would love to know what you think! I think somebody the things SK writes about are too creepy, but this was such a compelling story. My husband thought 100 pages could have been cut out and it still would have been good, but I loved all of it!

Mrs. Irritation said...

Kittens are cutest when they belong to someone else. I adore my cats, but kittens are such little fluff balls of terror.

Hope you like the new SKing book, I loved it!!

Heather said...

Here in Australia, Christmas and the kitten season are at the same time which creates a huge problem of people gifting kittens for Christmas then returning them to shelters in February when it all gets too hard.

This year two kittens joined our family in the post-Christmas kitten season. Barley literally climbed out of her cage and up to us the moment we walked in so she came home with us. She is in LOVE with my husband. Our other kitten (Oats) is nearly full grown now and he loves his mama so we've got one each lol.

Now my house (heart?) feels 'right' and if you have a 'right' number of cats then you're ready for one. And I kinda LOVE the kitten phase, even the claw marks up my back right now lol.

Laura Diniwilk said...

I love kitties so very much, and am already excited for the naming process. For some reason that sentence made me picture you holding up your new kitty on the edge of a cliff while we all look up at you with approval, Lion King style. ANYWAY, yes. A kitty.

Ms. Key said...

I'm just playing catch up on blog reading... I am so sorry to hear about Benchley! I feel really sad, because I loved when you were working on naming him... and love this name for a cat. Is that an odd reason to feel sad? I don't know. But I am sorry to hear this news.

A new kitten is probably an uplifting thing to think about, especially for the children. I mean, my friend is a veterinarian and is never without pets... she even has a contingency plan for when one of her pets is getting older... she adds the new kitten or new puppy to the family, so she never goes without. LOL. No less morbid or weird than being excited over a new kitten so soon, seriously. :-)

I hope you'll share the new kitten naming process with us!

lillowen said...

We brought home a new kitten the same day I had my childhood cat put to sleep. Mickey, my cat, had befriended an abandoned kitten in the next "cell" in the kitty hospital, so I kind of felt like he had picked out our next cat for me. I told the vet I would come pick the kitten up in a few days after the loss of Mickey felt a little less raw, but I ended up going back to get him later that same day. Probably not the most orthodox approach to grieving, but it worked for me! (Although the situation was a bit different, since I already had Our Next Kitten all picked out, and was just waiting for the right time to bring him home. Which turned out to be As Soon As Possible.)

S said...

Kittens are cute pain in the asses, which I can attest to currently as we are working through one. But, worth it in the long run. We waited about 2 months between Bodhi's passing and getting kitten and like you, if it wasn't for our son, we likely wouldn't have gotten another.

Stimey said...

Dude. Kittens. Can I come live at your house for the first four months of kittentime?

Lippy said...

I want a furry kitty band aid! I love the kitten phase, the sideways hopping, the puffy tail, the attempted pounce that ends in a face plant. I can't wait for naming and pictures. I have been looking at that Stephen King book, want to hear your opinion when you are done.

goingloopy said...

I had a kitten band-aid. She is an asshole, but she's adorable. Ask at your vet's office...that's where my little Zooey originated. I lost one of my older cats. The office manager at the vet calls her house "a petting zoo," and had volunteered to find homes for a litter of kittens that were born right around the same time I lost my girl. The kittens were mostly torties. I always wanted one. I decided that it was fate and brought my little spotted girl home as soon as she was old enough. Now she's a year old and is a chubby little butthead, but she definitely helped over the last year (I lost my three old girls within 9 months, it was awful and I thought about your "I don't want another one the same age" entry)...so yes. Kittens are a pain, but such a cute pain....and they grow very fast.

PS-I also loved 11/22/63. Best thing he's written in a long time.