Saturday, March 20, 2010

"I guess this is goodbye old pal, you've been a perfect friend"

Sondheim's lyrics can appear to unaffected as just words on a page or phrases trilling out of some person's mouth.  But these lyrics, sung by Jack of Beanstalk fame in Into the Woods, are ringing over and over in my head after the passing of little Izzy on Wednesday.

Izzy was both saved and savior.  I lost Maya a few years ago after she succumbed to her own ill health.  Pinter, our boy, mourned her passing, wandering through the apartment looking for his "big sister" and howling when he couldn't find her anymore.  He spent many night sleeping in her favorite spots, remembering her smell.  Only a week or so after Maya was gone my mom called with an idea.

"We found her under the trailer," she said, speaking of a tiny white short-haired Persian who had washed up under their trailer during a horrific storm.  "We heard this faint little cry and climbed underneath to find her trapped under the house.  I think she was sent here for you."

I was nervous.  I wasn't sure I was ready for a new cat.  Maya's passing was still very much on my mind.  I was going home for Thanksgiving anyway so I made a deal.  I would bring Pinter with me and let him decide.  If he was comfortable with this little kitten then I'd bring her home with me.

He wasn't.  Pinter was so horrified by this little creature... keep in mind he'd never met a kitten before (at least not since his own litter).  In fact, he was so anti-kitten that he ran off to hide.  She of course loved him... instant big brother!  I fell in love with the little white nugget immediately and knew I had to bring her home but at the moment I was terrified because Pinter has REALLY vanished!

After an hour of searching (in a not-so-large house), and with my panicked "Where is he? Where is he?" screaming, we finally found him.  He had somehow managed to climb into a kitchen cabinet that was wedged shut from age and warping.  Magic... had to be magic.

My mom and I knew that this little girl would be Izzy... named for the panicked screams I had blurted for the previous hour.  Izzy would join our home.  And Pinter, after 2 or 3 days, decided that she wasn't leaving and caved in.  He loved her like his own little sister.  In fact, he and Joxer were the ones who were at the door the minute I came home on Wednesday.  They got my attention and then took off down the hallway, me racing behind them understanding the unspoken urgency that they conveyed.

Little Izzy was saved from a storm and saved me and Pinter from loneliness and loss.  She didn't replace Maya... but she did become a new, important and loved member of our family.

Ren suggested, like the old wives' tale that cats can steal your soul while you sleep, that Izzy had stolen his sickness while he slept to save him.  I like that idea.  It makes her passing easier believing that she gave of herself to save the person that she loved.  I have no doubt that she will continue to look over us and protect us from afar.  She, Maya and my mom are probably playing together on the other side... until we need them down here.

A good girl to her last breath.

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