Hi, I’m Mykonos. For thirteen years my former husband Grenoble and I lived with our mom and some periodic visitors, like Grandma and Grandpa Zuber. Then everything changed seven months ago. We moved into a house with our mom and her husband.
Grenoble, who I affectionately called Nobler, and I kept
to ourselves at first. Our father figure is real tall, which kind of scared me, and I heard him say a few times that he was a dog person. Dogs? Really? They’re so loud and hyper whereas I’m a picture of beauty and grace, or at least most of the time. I’ll admit that I periodically fall off the back of the sofa when I’m sleeping, and I do a funky high step through wet grass, but mostly I’m a lady.
After awhile Mom’s husband started picking me up and chatting with me. He’d rub my head and back and talk all sweet like. I wasn’t buying it. He acted like he wanted to be my buddy, but all he was doing was taking away from precious lap bonding time with Mom. I pushed away from him with my front paws to clearly communicate that I wasn’t interested in what he was selling.
Then my love, my darling husband, my Nobler passed away. I hadn’t known heartache until I woke up the next day to find the house missing his chitter chatter and pitter patter. I didn’t hold back my emotions. Who cared what anyone thought? I was a widow and it hurt. I cried a lot. A low, guttural cry that wasn’t at all feminine but spoke the depth of my loss.
After Nobler’s death I couldn’t find peace. Eating grass, sleeping in the sun, staring down birds – nothing could make me happy or satisfied. I became a nomad, wandering from room to room, from one corner of the yard to another. No spot was right, no light was enough, no human touch felt right.
Then one morning when leaves sprinkled the back yard and the sun woke up later than I was used to, I realized that the sun felt good on my back and the air smelled fresh and crisp. I saw new opportunities with my surveillance of the yard, and looked forward to taking an afternoon nap in my bed. I smiled as only a cat can, and flicked my tail a few times, thankful that the oppressive weight on my heart was starting to dissipate.
That day was the beginning of my new life as a single lady. I opened my eyes to new possibilities and strove to find out who I was. You know, the me deep inside that hadn’t been tapped into when I was a wife, a companion of another feline. As I grew into my new fur, I also made certain to remember every day that Nobler was Lost but Not Forgotten. He would always hold a special place in my heart.
Apparently Mom’s husband could sense the change in me. He started trying to lay his head on me when I was on Mom’s lap. Then he began wandering through the yard periodically trying to find me so he could rub my back and say nice things. Sometimes I even rolled over so he could rub my belly because I’ll confess, it feels good. Then he pushed things one step further by making me snuggle with him on the sofa each night. What is he trying to prove, I fumed. He’s not my dad and never will be.
I resisted his efforts, determined that my relationship with Mom would not be hurt just because her husband was a permanent figure in my life. And then something happened. I discovered that his height created more space for me to nestle up against him. I’m not saying that Mom’s too short. She’s just right. I simply like having more nesting space. And then he started draping his arm over me while we snuggled. The weight was oppressive at first, but when I made myself relax it made me feel protected and cared for.
Now I’m pleased to call him Dad and look forward to our one-on-one time, especially after Mom goes to bed. I think she gets a little jealous sometimes, but that’s okay. I know she’s happy that I found another human to love.
How did your pet adapt after losing his/her companion?