Wednesday, March 28, 2012

a legacy

It has been a crazy second half of March. We have battled croup (both kids), influenza, a sinus infection that required anthrax antibiotics (really) to clear up, business travel, a mysterious face- and arm-covering rash, and a billion appointments and missed appointments. But the hardest thing was saying goodbye to our cat, Lucci. She was 21 years old, and I'd had her and her sister since I was a sophomore in high school. Bijoux passed away a year ago, and Lucci said goodbye yesterday, so we are without feline companionship for the first time ever for the kids (and in decades for me!). She went blind over the weekend, and she had already gone deaf and had severe arthritis, so getting around was very difficult for her. She seemed disoriented and scared and was not eating well. We tried to give her some peace in a gentle farewell.

Caroline took this pretty hard. We thought at her age, she would just be excited about the future of getting two new sister kittens (something we'd mentioned we'd do sometime after we get over mourning our other cats) and not really get caught up in too much sadness. Who can resist the healing power of kittens?! But she has been surprisingly focused on the loss of Lucci.

When we braced her for the news, we talked about how Lucci had gone blind and must be really scared and nervous about what was going on around her, since she also can't hear. Caroline tried to find the positive, "Well she still has 3 senses left. I think that means she has 3 lives left."

Later, when I was going through her papers from school, I found this memorial drawing she made:

At the bottom, that's a mouse. Because "all cats love mice! She should have one!"

She requested that we get Lucci's ashes back and plant a garden in her memory, placing the ashes in with the flowers.

After dinner, she wrote a note.

[heart] Bye bye [heart]

Dear Lucci,
I hope you are ok in your deth.
I'm sad that your ashes.

Good bye,

And this morning, "to honor Lucci's memory," she chose underwear made of fabric covered in playful cats. Lucci would be honored by special underwear, indeed.


Emily said...

Thank you for this post. I lost my cat, Bright Eyes, a few weeks ago. She was 18 and I'd had her since I was 6. I'm still so sad about it, that I'm crying now, but your post is really comforting to me. I wish I had special cat underwear to wear in her honor. :-)

oh kate said...

I love your family.

Anonymous said...

Caroline you bring such joy to a sad time !!! She truly is a miracle child with such an amazing heart ! Love you Jen !!!! Jules

Rebecca said...

I'm not a cat person, but I am crying right now. I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye. I'm so glad Caroline is such a ray of sunshine, as well.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the nice thoughts, everyone!