A heart to love, and in that heart, Courage

Today has been such an emotional day. I cried so very many tears (quite a few of them were in front of a lot of very understanding, kind strangers), and I felt my heart hurt, heal, hurt all over again and feel a tiny, tiny bit better…

You guys know that we lost the love-of-our-furry-lives, Kit, last year in November. You know that we found a kitten in December–a little holiday miracle kitten that we were never expecting or looking for, and that we adopted him. We named him Kai, and we loved him with our whole hearts…

I’m crying again writing this. Because that story doesn’t have a happy ending. We loved him, we loved him fiercely, but he slipped away from us in a single day, a tragic day, a day that scarred my heart irrevocably, passing from lymphoma. Something I couldn’t fight against or save him from.

That was in June. This summer was a hard summer, a summer where I doubted a lot of things, a summer where I felt a lot of pain. As the days passed, the pain didn’t get better…but it eased in a lot of ways. Grief is the price of love, and I paid it gladly for Kai. I would adopt him all over again, even knowing that he would leave us so soon, still a kitten. Because I loved him with my entire heart.

But today, we went to the shelter. Almost five months after we lost our beloved baby, our hearts in our throats, we entered the big building full of dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, their noses pressed to cage wires and glass walls, hoping, praying that someone would notice them, look at them with possibility in their eyes, and–perhaps–the first tremors of love.

We went to look. We went to ease my heart, to see what the place was like, to consider adopting from there “someday.”

And, this morning, someone had surrendered a litter of tiny kittens (when, the volunteer said, they never have any kittens anymore, because it’s not “kitten” season)…

And there they were.

Yes, “they.” Not one, but two. Two tiny, perfect, fragile little brothers. I saw them, and my heart went into my throat. We filled out the paperwork to get a visitor pass, were let into their little room, and I picked up one…and I began to cry, my tears getting all over his fur.

We spent three hours in that playroom, kissing and crying all over these precious, perfect kittens. It’s terrifying, typing all this out. What if they’re carrying an invisible sickness, too? What if they’re fine one day, playing, romping, and then dead the next, just like Kai? I’m so, so, so afraid, and I’m so worried about them, and I’m afraid with a fear that losing something I loved so very much instilled. I’ve lost cats and dogs before, but Kai’s loss was a tragic suddenness that gutted me. “What if?” I think. What if.

But isn’t courage doing something, even though you’re so very afraid? I don’t know if I have much courage left in me, but when I cried all over those tiny, beautiful babies, they still purred. They still touched me with their tiny, perfect paws. They still offered me love, even though my heart was grieving. Even though feeling their tiny, perfect weight in my arms made me weep.

I love them already, even though I don’t really know them. And I’m afraid, yes. But I am not afraid to love.
Fox (Mulder) and Knight are coming home tomorrow, after their neuter operation in the morning. Please send them good thoughts that they get through it okay?

We’re not ready, and we’re ready, all at once. We’re afraid, and we’re excited. And we are full of love.

Natalie with Fox (Mulder) on the left, Knight on the right. ♥

Natalie with Fox!

Me with Knight. ♥ (Note that I’m already covered in kitten fur. 🙂 )


About Bridget Essex

Author of lesbian romances; madly in love with my wife, author Natalie Vivien.
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