I meant to write a few days ago that it had been two calendar months since Twinkle's death. Yesterday was nine weeks. I miss her. That black, ropy tail, the eerily human voice, the little gestures of familiarity and affection that were somehow all the more valuable and cherished for their rarity. I don't want to forget those things. I want to remember.
There is Ally now.
Ally is a small, light, year-and-a-half old calico who came to live with us Saturday last week. She belonged to a friend of Shelley's, Cagney, who came to the realization that she needed to find a new home for Ally sometime around the time little Twinkle was dying. A week and a half after Twinkle died, Shelley tentatively reached out to me to make me aware of this. Given that I didn't even have Twinkle's ashes back yet, I knew I would need time even to really consider it. It had been my intention to wait till the new year and see about finding another cat who needed a home. But this just seemed almost karmic. Through Shelley I expressed an interest to Cagney, and asked if she would be able to wait a couple of months, till mid-December. Cagney had not problem with that.
I went to Cagney's home in November to meet Ally. Ally was very friendly. Cagney and her boyfriend had gotten her when they were together, but had since broken up. Cagney was seeing another fellow and planning to move in together, but he had a cat of advanced age and was not sure Ally would be accepted. As well, Cagney travelled a lot on sales and felt Ally was not always getting the attention she craved. Cagney wept when she talked to me about finding her a new home. I knew then it was the right thing to do to help out. A week or so later, Cagney came by while Shelley was here to see what kind of a place Ally would be moving to. Max and Bonnie were confident and curious about the visiting humans, and I think that helped convince Cagney that my home is a good one for cats.
Saturday last week Cagney came with Ally and Ally's things. We both got a little misty as we arranged things... it wasn't easy for me, either, to see someone parting with a beloved pet. In fact, I'd been dreading that aspect of it. Having just lost Twinkle myself, it hits pretty close to my heart. But the good news is that Ally was of course merely changing homes and friends.
For the first two days I kept Ally isolated in the spare room. She knew there were other cats but didn't have to deal with them. Monday, I let her explore the place with Bonnie and Max in my bedroom. After two hours, I opened all doors. Adaptation began. It's been an ongoing process but Ally, at this point, has very nearly found the new way. Max still intimidates her a little and I hear the odd hiss now and then, but so far Ally's socialization has gone a lot quicker and lot smoother than Twinkle's.
She doesn't replace Twinkle. She isn't like Twinkle. But she does have a home provided by Twinkle's heartbreaking loss. I can't pretend I don't feel a little guilty or worry that I'll lose what was distinctive about Twinkle, particularly since she was with me only a year and a half. But this feels as though it was meant to be, somehow. It was the right thing to do.
And then there's Lexxi.
I volunteered to be a transporter for Toronto Cat Rescue last August, but till now, nothing has worked out. Wednesday came the call to transport little Lexxi, 6 months old, back from the Petsmart where she was awaiting adoption to her foster home again. She'd been spayed, but after four days, was not eating. Since Twinkle wouldn't eat, that really registered with me. So Thursday I drove to Brampton and picked up this tiny little thing to take her back to her sisters at her foster home. The young woman there was happy to see Lexxi again and Lexxi started to purr. I emailed yesterday to follow up and it turns out she got Lexxi eating again in just minutes. I feel good about that. I was in Lexxi's life for less than an hour but I might have made a difference.
Here she is in my cat carrier on her way home.