About eight-and-a-half years ago, I decided to take a feline companion. He was a long-haired, orange kitty, so I named him Aidan, which means “little fire.” He has been with me ever since.
Until tomorrow, that is.
My husband agreed to deal with living with a cat in spite of his allergies and asthma, but we felt that we could not ask our children to do the same. So last fall, I started looking for a new home for Aidan. I knew it was going to be difficult, as we wanted him to continue to go outdoors, which he lives for, and we also didn’t want him to go to a family that would declaw him.
Well, almost a year later, I got a phone call from a lady about an hour away who was willing to take him in. She lives on 12 acres of wooded property adjacent to a farm and has a cat door to allow the cats to come and go as they please. We went to meet her last weekend and thought it would be a wonderful place for Aidan to live. It didn’t hurt that she told us she would keep in touch and that we could visit him.
I was very worried about how Linnea would take the news, as she has grown very attached to Aidan over the last year-and-a-half or so. We didn’t want the kids to feel as though it was their fault Aidan was leaving, so we told them our concerns about Aidan having freedom to roam without having to worry about cars and other dangers in our neighborhood, and how much we thought he’d enjoy living near a farm. Linnea was very happy for him and immediately started planning care packages to send him. Tomorrow morning, she has big plans to draw him a picture before I leave to take him to his new home.
For the last few days, I have been getting in some extra cuddles, packing up his belongings, taking him to the vet for one last check-up, etc. He will depart tomorrow, covered in pink, because this afternoon he rolled around in the kids’ sidewalk chalk drawings. Way to make a first impression!
I must confess that I have mixed feelings about his departure. My affection for him dwindled somewhat after Linnea was born, and then more so after he started waking us up at 4amfor food or to go outside. As a result, it’s surprised me how heavy my heart has felt this week. Even though I feel confident that we’re making the right decision, he’s been my faithful companion for so long, and I know I will miss him.