It was a Sunday afternoon in 2014. Rob and I decided on getting another cat to add to our cat family. We always adopt our cats from the local Humane Society. Not really knowing what we were looking for, we quickly fell in love with a unique tortoise shell. She was so small, only 2 months old. As she stood up in her kitty condo, we noticed her paws. This beautiful little lady had thumbs. Rob and I immediately knew we were going to give her a forever home.
The first week or so she slept a lot because she had an infection. I really wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to keep her due to the other cats. We didn’t want them to get sick too. But a little medicine and lots and lots of love, she recovered and become the best companion, with her sassy, yet regal walk and her gentle personality.
Lucy was the most beautiful cat I have ever seen. And unexpectedly she passed away. As Rob was turning down the street to head to work in the early morning, he noticed something laying in the road. He swerved to miss it and his headlights caught the color of the fur. He instantly knew who it was. He turned around and got out of his car, bent down and lifted the front paw. That’s when he saw the distinct feature, Lucy’s thumb.
All I remember as Rob woke me up was hearing the words. “Hit by a car.” I shot out of bed and asked him to repeat what he just said. He told me Lucy was hit by a car. I immediately started crying. I had never, not that I remember anyways, crying over an animal. Rob and I just hugged each other. We weren’t sure what to do with her. Rob said it just looked like she was sleeping. Rob, being the awesome man he is, took care of bringing her back home. I couldn’t bring myself to help. We still had to function and maintain our daily routine. I wasn’t sure what we were going to tell the kids. Maybe we should just tell them we haven’t seen her? As I was getting Mallorie around for chemo, I was feeding the other cats and just started crying. Mallorie asked me what was wrong, so I just blurted out, “Lucy was hit by a car and she is no longer with us.” I cried, she cried.
I can’t explain the emptiness and pain I felt for the loss of Lucy. While Mallorie and I were at the hospital getting her chemo, I just started tearing up again when I thought of her and how she would want attention first thing in the mornings when I was trying to get everyone up and out the door. She would not leave me alone until I would take a few minutes to pet and talk to her. It’s funny, when she wanted me to get up, she would gently climb on my back and softly nibble on my ear. Of course, I would swat her away and tell her to leave me alone. And a few seconds later, she was back. When she would be sitting on my lap, she would look me right in the eyes and raise her five-digit paw up to my face and touch it like she was telling me, “I love you.”
Mallorie’s nurse, Kim, and I were talking about the loss of Lucy and it just so happened she is a dog lover. We chatted about how hard it is to deal with the loss of a four-legged family member. She told Mallorie and I the best way to heal is to adopt another cat. Since we technically had an open spot in our home, we could rescue another kitty. Not to replace Lucy, but to love on another animal that needs a home and forever family. At first, I wasn’t so sure, but what harm is it to look? After her appointment, we met Rob at home and buried Lucy in her favorite place to play, our back yard. We said our goodbyes and tried to keep ourselves together. Shortly after that, we were off to the Humane Society.
When we got to the Humane Society, we started looking in the condos for our new addition. We only made it to the first one and there he was. The cutest little two month old tabby. He was meowing and putting his little paws up on the glass. We knew that was just the little guy we needed. We did our visit and while the lady was putting the kitten back she said, “Oh, just so you know, we are having a special, two kitties for $30.” What! That was a sign that we needed two. We started looking around again and in the same kitty condo, where we found Lucy, there was a tortie, small and sleeping. It was like I was looking at her. That fur baby was coming home with us.
As I type this post, I have my adorable, Spencer, purring in my lap. He is only 2 months old and is as precious as they come. He is loving and thinks he is my big helper. This little guy was found in a parking lot, now he has a home with lots of excitement and love. Lizzy, our sweet tortie, is four months old. She reminds me so much of Lucy. She’s dainty and demanding when she wants attention. And every so often she will reach out her paw and touch my face. It completely warms my heart. Kim was right, adopting our new little fur balls did help ease the pain of the loss of Lucy. It reminds me that Lucy did have a good life when she was with us and even if she was only with us for a short time, she touched my heart and I will never forget that beautiful spirit or those sassy paws.