The Odd Behavior of Memory

Last night I thought of Caisha.

Caisha was my cat, an adorable, staid, stoic kitty who was black as night with beautiful golden eyes.  When he was born, I hoped he’d keep the blue, but of course he didn’t, and as soon as I saw them change I knew that was right and proper.

CaishaCaisha learned, fairly early, that he was hard to see in the dark.  As I have a habit of walking around in the dark, he developed a “trill,” which he only used at night when I came into a room he was in, to let me know he was there.

Caisha was with me for twelve years.  There was another cat, Shinji, who was sort of Caisha’s little brother.  Shinji died in 2005 of an unknown illness. It was hard to let him go, but I still had Caisha.

In December of 2009, I came home to find Caisha laying on his side under a cabinet.  He didn’t respond, and when I pulled him out, he continued to lie there without comment, not reacting to anything, even my then-two-year-old daughter prodding at him.

We rushed him to the vet, and they determined that Caisha had a tumor, one we could not have detected, and that it was already far too late.  I made the incredibly hard decision to let him go.  When it was over–I never let my animal companions die alone if I can help it–I calmly walked to the car, handed my wife the key, got in the passenger side, and immediately dissolved into heaving sobs.  I felt like a part of my heart had been ripped out of me.

Cut to last night.  I walked into my room, saw my current cat, a lovely little creature named Celty, who is totally unlike Caisha and yet has become my new buddy.  She’s ill–in fact, I’m taking her to the vet this afternoon–and thinking of that reminded me of Caisha, and tears threatened again.

I really hope the news with Celty isn’t bad.  It’s way too soon to go through all that again.

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