Musings from a common teenager.
June 25th is a date of infamy. It should of started out like any other day: piping hot breakfast served in the morning by Mama, Dad watching TV on our rinky dink green loveseat, and sister complaining of boredom when millions of stuffed animals lined her shelves. But what had happened the nights before, ruined everyone’s appetite of the cookie-cutter morning.
June 23rd-ish,Our first pet cat, Vee-Vee, was attacked by a raccoon. That night, supposedly before the attack, she would not come inside. It seemed she was miles away as I desperately called her name and jiggled the door handle and shook the food bag. The next morning she came inside, slow and limping, and crawled underneath my bed. I put a dish of food and water by the foot of the bed to coax her out and make her eat. Mom made an appointment with the vet for the 25th. I remember praying for her health and for her to be alive and better before getting into bed. I rarely pray for anything. Isn’t it funny how we turn to God when we want something to get better for us and our well being?
So.. instead of waking up to eggs and bacon, my mom, sister and I caught Vee-Vee, put her in her carrier and left for the vet. I held the carrier close to me, making sure not to drop it. I could feel her heartbeat, but was it fast as if she were afraid or was it slow like her body was shutting down? We were called into the room and opened her carrier and she sat on the counter looking kind of pissed off. The vet came in, we told her what had happened and it wasn’t long till I found my sister and I outside in the waiting room on a wooden bench, staring at the door. I kept my sister occupied with reading Pet Monthly or Names For Your Cat, also occupying the wandering thoughts that ran my mind into a terrible forrest. I would diminish the thoughts with quick shakes of my head. I wasn’t about to invite the thought that something could be horribly wrong. But when my mother came out of the door, her back to us, I lost the hold of those nasty nipping thoughts as they clawed free and ran around my head and clouded my eyes. Mom’s eyes were watery and what little makeup she applied was blotted underneath them. She sniffled and took hold of our hands and told us the clinic was going to euthanize Vee-Vee. Sister searched our faces for the meaning of the word and soon understood.
We were led back into the room. I never noticed how depressingly designed it was. The walls were a pale, medical mint seafoam green maybe even pistachio. The fluorescent lights shone too bright, showcased many dead flies who crawled in, not expecting a short life. The chairs were metal and the floor was an ugly white. The vet told us we could say goodbye for a minute or two and told us we couldn’t kiss her or provoke her in case she bit us, which could result in us having rabies. What really bothered me was that she didn’t even leave the room. She stood there as she saw us cry and clench the cat to our chests. She was waiting for us to leave so she could put the girl out of her misery. It’s not like we were going to steal her! We couldn’t have a proper goodbye in respect to the loss of a pet. I hugged Vee-Vee and petted her white fur. Scratched the top of her head and under her white neck to her pink chin. I touched her little white toes on her long gray rabbit foot. And as soon as we rushed in there to cure her and take her home and love her more than we did then, we were on the road with a cat out of place.
–Time to take a break from the dramatic air. Hi, what snack are you eating? What did you last watch on TV? What are your feelings on pie? Now back to the soap opera–
She cried, my little sister, and mom too, but I held my tears back because I was the strong one. Because I had to be the strong one. The cat cage beside me was empty and it cried too. The ride was silent and so was my mind. Like I was mentally digging a grave for her and all of my thoughts gathered around the site. And when we finally reached the back door of the house, I went in first. The first to bask in the air of where Vee-Vee once was. Everywhere I looked she was there. In my room. On my desk. By my bed. On my bed. In my eyelids. I stayed in bed the whole day.
The news must’ve finally broke to my father. When I heard him walk into my room and sit in my black office chair, I felt my eyes pulse. He and I both had contributing factors to her death. I called at the back door June 23rd every ten minutes. 10:10. 10:20. 11:50. 12:00. 1:00. Dad finally came down the stairs, awakening from his slumber, yelling at me for the constant opening of the back door and my shrill voice being thrown into the night. He told me to not open the door again. I brushed my teeth. I prayed for her health. And I passed out on to my bed. My father has two emotions: Being Feddie and being annoyed. But that moment in my dimly lit room, me under the covers, him on the chair, we both had the feeling it was our fault. And when he let out that sob, it seemed unreal. A sensitive side was peeking through, one with true emotion and feeling, and for the cat who didn’t like anyone except me. I finally let out my gasping cry and we both sat there in that dimly lit room and shared a feeling I will never forget.
Many times I cursed myself for giving up on her. I should’ve went out with a flashlight, suppressing the idea some lunatic murderer was on the loose, and searched for her. I might’ve stopped whatever hurt her. I should’ve kept calling for her and eventually endure one of my father’s infamous lectures. But I didn’t. That small “should’ve” haunted my thoughts and I couldn’t exorcise it.
Mom eventually told me it was her fault Vee-Vee died. She hadn’t been up to date with the cat’s shots and she was overdue on her rabies shots. Mom said if she was on top of it, Vee-Vee would be alive. I wasn’t about to blame her. At the same time, I knew I couldn’t blame myself or my father or even God. It was time for her to leave us and maybe teach us responsibility and even some kind of cruel lesson.
So that’s what happened. Them feels. Oh yeah, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died too. Rest in peace, girl. I love you.