Sunday, February 1, 2015

The first hard goodbye

Tomorrow I will take my cat of 10.5 years (she was a year old when I adopted her), Mona Minou,  to her next family and hopefully her forever home. Many have asked why I am in a rush to adopt her out. It's not at all that I am ready to get rid of her (though I won't miss the 5 am wake up calls for breakfast!); but let's get real here, there will never be a good time for me to say goodbye to this sweet, little 9 lb beast that has napped next to me, followed me around my home, licked my cheeks, and talked back to me over the years. She has always been a momma's girl and our bond is tight. I will miss her dearly and in fact, I tear up as I type this. She snoozes right next to me now, clueless about what tomorrow has in store for her. 
Just this afternoon, a little nap on me

When Zorig returns home to UB in nine days, my apartment will be hollow and empty. Instead of three living and breathing beings--it will just be me. Alone. I know I will miss having Mona's furry face to come home to; however, I know that giving her time to adapt to her new home/family sooner, rather than later, is the right thing to do. There is no reason for me to selfishly cling to her, using her as security blanket to help ease my melancholy over being once again apart from my Love and as a comfort in the coming months while I prepare to wrap up my stateside life and to begin the big move. 

While I'm sure I will cry tomorrow when we leave her, I am 100% confident that she is going to a GREAT home. She will be loved and cared for. I have known this family for 6+ years and have been in their home numerous times. They were the first people I offered her to and were definitely my first choice. Mona will be their primary pet and won't have to contend with other cats or deal with a dog. She's always been the sole pet in my home. She likes her humans and doesn't want to share us with anyone or anything. She's grown quite attached to Zorig over the past six weeks. The minute we return from being out and about, she lays down and stretches herself out, her eyes pleading Z to "massage" her, as he calls it. This is unique to how he pets her....she never lays down and rolls over for me. 

Unlike any other cat I've ever known, Mona has the personality of a dog. She's rarely off in the corner and aloof, but instead chooses to always be closer to me and talks A LOT. Her vocal range is quite impressive and I've often thought she reminds me a lot of Gizmo, the mogwai, from the movie Gremlins. Most nights are punctuated with a serenade--she carries around one of her many small stuffed toys and sings aloud to them. She's been doing it for years. Sometimes for just a minute or two, while other times carrying on for 10-15 minutes. 

So tomorrow at 12:30, we will deliver her and all of her accessories and toys to her next home. We'll hang out maybe an hour or so, chatting with the family while she hopefully begins to wander and acquaint herself to her new surroundings. She adapted to my new apartment within a couple of days, so I know she will be fine. I hope to be able to visit her a time or two before I move and I know I will get email updates about how she is doing and how they are loving her and taking care of her. Perhaps I'll even get a picture from time to time.
Sweet, sleeping Mona Minou

And so I march forward towards this major life change and begin to do the hard and necessary things. There is no easy way to say goodbye to this cat that has been my constant companion, and no easy way to have her absent from my life. Yet I know that taking her with me would be foolish. Moving across the ocean, for those of us with limited means, requires that we truly evaluate each and every thing that we own to discern the value and importance. While I will sell all of my furnishings, it will be the books and personal effects that will require some serious thought. What can be replaced there? What can't? And does this item have significant value for my future? Will it bring me comfort?

Mona has been the coolest cat I've ever known. She would be impossible to replace, I think. So tonight I pet her soft fur, listen to her purr, and think about the 10+ years we've had together (remembering too, all the puke I've had to clean up!) and I am thankful for her presence in my life. Soon she can be that for three lovely people. I wouldn't be surprised if she had another 10 years in her. 

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