One day in early 2005, The Husband came home from work at Knott’s Berry Farm and said there’d been a litter of kittens born in the stable and they were having trouble finding homes for them. Could we take the female when they were weaned? At that time, we had Gizmo, a female in her mid-teens. A kitten might be a good companion… Then he came home another day, begging to take one of her brothers because a forever home had fallen through. Technically, we were only supposed to have 2 animals at that time, but who was going to know??
They were born around the holidays and we got to bring them home around Valentine’s Day. We set the carrier in the living room, opened the door and waited for them to come out and explore. The little gray girl came out first, followed eventually by her jet-black brother. The Husband suggested naming her after a bold woman in literature and we settled on Irene (pronounced Irena), for Irene Adler, the only person who ever bested Sherlock Holmes. We shortened it to Raina. To stay with the great detective’s theme, we named her more timid brother Watson.
Typical kittens, they would run around like crazy, then drop into a deep sleep. They were so small, we could hold them in the palms of our hands and they would both sleep in my lap as I worked on the computer. She was always a little sweetie and had the softest fur and prettiest face.
Turns out, older cats don’t always like younger ones. Gizmo wouldn’t want to be bothered with those rambunctious kittens, so she was deemed Hissy Cat, for the way she’d react if the kittens tried to engage with her.
By 2015, we’d lost Gizmo and adopted two more cats, a black male, abandoned on our street, and another from Knott’s, a female calico. The girls didn’t seem to get along and Raina took on the mantel of Hissy Cat. She took up residence in the bedroom side of the house after that and lived quite happily on her own. She’d snuggle under the covers with me. She liked it when I’d sit on the floor with my legs straight out for her to lie on and fall asleep. And she liked to help me write (no, it wasn’t really all that helpful, LOL). Streaming on the computer, she would sit daintily on my thigh and I would stroke her furry paws. Or, if The Husband were with us, she’d jump from lap to lap, making sure to give us equal attention. She was my Girlie.
One of my only regrets in life is that I couldn’t bring myself to be with Blaze, the beagle I grew up with, when he passed. I just couldn’t be there. The very compassionate vet we worked with on Sunday night asked us if we wanted to be with Raina at the end and we unhesitatingly said yes. She even said she has some pets that she won’t be able to be with when the inevitable happens because it would just be too painful. But for me, now, I understand that being with them, stroking them and telling them how loved they are, is as much for us as it is for them. I told her to go find The Mom and she’d recognize Raina, even though they’d never met. And I’ll bet Blaze is right there beside her.
2 thoughts on “Lessons in Grief – Part 6 Raina”
❤️ ♥️. Blaze. I remember him. That’s the kind of grief, regret, love that makes you a rich, kind, conscience and loving person as you travel through life. I have regrets that occasionally niggle at me, working to keep me on track to be a good person. It’s comforting to imagine all our dearly departed safe and together. Thank you for your gift of writing and to be able to share this personal story. Gay
❤ ❤ Thank you!