If you’ve been following along in our journey of life after loss, you’ll know at the two month mark we got a kitty, named Leo. He’s the most adorable, orange kitty cat that I’ve ever laid my eyes on. All my life I wanted a black cat named Poe and an orange one named Leo. In December of last year, we adopted Poe as Jensen’s kitty and he’s been our little trooper. He’s seen us at our best and our absolute worst. There were days when I was still pregnant that Jensen and Poe would cuddle with each other. He was super protective over me and Jensen while he grew. After Jensen was born, Poe knew. I was at a point where I needed something to hold and cuddle, but Poe was going through a weird phase. That’s where Leo came into our little family.
Always right by my face.
The first night in the house, Leo slept right between Anthony and I. We soon found out he loved to be held and cuddled. He’s right there when I’m cooking and likes to be covered up by blankets. Yes, he’s spoiled. In his defense, I made him that way. I needed something to look after and care for physically. He would listen to me as I sung to him and told him stories about Jensen. My voice relaxes him and he’ll fall asleep as I hold him in my arms. My little Leo has helped me heal. He’ll always hold a part of my heart. (So does Poe, don’t get me wrong! He’s very much loved and cuddled when he pleases.)
Yesterday, Leo had to go to the vet. He had to get fixed, which is a normal and routine surgery that many animals get. Poe had it done as well as my parent’s pets growing up. It’s just how it goes. The night before, I noticed I was starting to get really upset. I kept telling myself everything would go smoothly, just as I always believed it would with Jensen.
Then loss and grief hit. What if Leo dies too?
Death takes over my head sometimes. It took my baby away and taunts me everyday with that fact. Leo can easily be taken too. I didn’t know how I would handle another loss. It would make me question ever getting close and having feelings to something ever again. Because life ends, but it shouldn’t end on my son who was supposed to be safe in my belly and my cat who would be doing a routine surgery. I was hurting and I couldn’t sleep, not that I do anyways.
So, yesterday morning rolls around and I have to force him in his carrier to take him. He meowed the whole time and gave me the saddest eyes. As I drove, he scratched the entire surface of the carrier to try to escape. With each of his meows I wondered if this was the last time I’d hear him. Would it be the last time he heard my voice calming him? This might sound dramatic, but we never know when the last time for any of us will be.
After dropping him off and having the girl there promise me she would call afterwards to let me know he was okay, I got in my car. The memories of leaving the hospital without Jensen came to me in full force. I was leaving empty-handed, full of worry, and not knowing what the future would be like. The silence in my car was broken by my sobs. I miss Jensen. This life is so hard after losing him. It’s not just losing him either; it’s the loss of the innocence I held in this world. Death took away my son from my belly, it would be easy for him to take away my cat laying on the table. Loss and love battled each other for who would win out. I remember through my tears and driving, I just prayed God and Jensen would watch over Leo and he would have a fast recovery.
When I walked into my house, Poe gave me the same look as he did after Jensen was born. He was looking for little Leo and didn’t understand. I would say yesterday was definitely hard for me. I kept wrestling with the idea that bad things happen to good people. Coming home to Poe was nice, but I knew Jensen should have been there too. He should be with me everyday. Then my kitty wasn’t here either. Life after loss hurts. Living with this pain everyday is tiring and it comes out of little things.
Later in the afternoon, the humane society called me. I was anxious to hear how surgery went and if he was recovering well. Well, it went so well that when he woke up he was being a sassy, little boy. He hissed at everyone and didn’t want to be around anyone else… but me. When I came and got him, he stopped hissing as I soothed him with my voice. We came home and I held him as he slept for the better part of the evening. Last night, he stayed in my arms, just purring away. He’s still a little sore today, but he’s recovering and letting Poe take care of him. I’m so thankful he was able to get through surgery and be his little ornery self afterwards.
It brings me delight to see him back home, but it also makes the hole I have in my heart for Jensen sting more. I can imagine how complete the house would feel if Jensen was laying with Poe, Leo, and I on the couch. My life will always have Jensen missing, but we’re learning how to live again.
Happy to be home.