Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The next day

This morning started off relatively well. I didn't sleep much, but when I woke up I found myself not as unhappy as expected. I was thinking of yesterday, and watching my friend sinking deeper and deeper into a state from which he could not be brought back. So I had a feeling of some relief for him that his suffering was now over.

That didn't last long. Habits of long standing betrayed me. As I have for years, each time I walked through the living room I would look at the back of the couch, one of his favorite sitting/sleeping places. Or I would look at the chair in my office, where he liked to curl up while I was working.

It was a ritual for me to start my coffee brewing each morning while refilling his water dish and feeding him breakfast. This morning, I only made coffee.

The things I felt compelled to do today -- putting the remaining cat food in a bag and delivering it to my cat-owning neighbor, washing the food and water dishes and packing them away, removing the litter box and taking down the structure I built years ago to partially conceal it (this was made long before Hobbes was born), cleaning up a few stains from yesterday -- again hammered home the awful truth:

He's gone.

Right at the worst time yesterday, my musician friend from the Midwest called. All I could do was explain what was happening in a few short sentences and tell him to call later. Today, he did. Thankfully, he also loves animals -- in his case, dogs -- and understood what was going on. We talked for hours.

There is a part of me that wishes I was less emotional and cared less about things -- especially living things -- than I do. I inherited a reluctance to show my emotions openly from my father; what I did not inherit from him was the actual ability to hide them.

For that reason, I have ventured no farther than the trash bin and the mailbox today. My emotions are on edge now that the shock of yesterday has worn off, and I'm not willing to expose anyone, particularly strangers, to the sight of an aging man wandering around with tears pouring out of his eyes.

R. told me that when his dog died, he was unable to function for weeks afterward. I was that way when my dog died, too.

I am like that, only more so, now.

Much as I have loved all my cats, and my dog, and mourned the death of each, Hobbes was in a class by himself.

Right now, I don't know what happens next. And don't much care.


Interested said...

Aww, Scribbs ((HUGS)). It will get better. Give yourself time.

lowandslow said...

You have to mourn before you can begin to heal. MrHobbes is at peace now. Eventually you will be, too.

kingofpain said...

Condolences, mate.

Justfly said...

I sadly have to agree with something my neighbor once said to me about death of a loved one. Time doesn't really heal the pain, one just gets use to living with the pain and learns to deal with it.
I think there are more people that can understand your pain, so don't be afraid to show it.
The date yesterday you wrote as your title: I can understand the length of time you had Hobbes. My youngest son was born in 1989. It is a long time to love someone, care for someone and have mutual non-verbal understanding of each other.
I am glad you had your musician friend to talk with, it was probably Hobbes that set up that call. He knew you needed someone to talk to who would understand :)

Anonymous said...

I am sad for your pain.

I fell for Hobbes when you posted the picture where he looked like an old boxer...a toughy. From then on when he would come to mind I would think, "what a guy!" and that he was.

betty said...

{{MrS}}, Paula told me about Hobbes a few minutes ago. I am so so sorry. I know he's with my babies, my Benji, Roxie and Jessie and Bitsy and Morris the cats. We'll see them again someday. I'm sure of that. Take care. {{{hugs}}}

kashew said...

You carry Hobbes in your heart. Right now you are unused to the weight, but you will adjust, and Hobbes will ALWAYS be in your heart. Hugs

polarbear169 said...

All condolences, Mr. Scribbler.

EarlGrey said...

Every once in a while we get to have this one fury companion who is *there* -- he or she doesn't just be a cat or dog, they interact, they have a personality, they communicate, they relate.

I'm sorry to hear of Hobbes passing, my friend.