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The Hard Part Begins

Ysabel is searching for him. She smells him all over the house, no way not, but he’s not here. She calls and there’s no answer.

Ysabel and Efanor have an interesting relationship. They were never what you’d call warm and cuddly with each other, though occasionally we’d catch them sleeping within touching distance. When we got Ysabel, she came into a…mature household of Elrond and Lynn’s beautiful Madam. She came from a cattery where there were mostly adult cats and never really got a chance to play/socialize there either.

A few months pass, Madam moved to Florida with Lynn, Elrond passed…and in came Efanor. Ysabel was certain we’d gotten her a walking talking squeaky toy. We were concerned at first that she’d hurt him, but she never did. He just rolled with the punches and came back for more. They never really fought, but they played in their own strange fashion.

She actually aged faster than he did. She has some health issues and was just never as athletic, and as he got larger than her, we had to be careful that he didn’t hurt her. He still wanted to play; she generally wasn’t much interested.

But they were bound in ways we only came to appreciate when we moved up here.

On the oft-documented drive from OKC to Spokane, we got separated. Carolyn was in her car with Ysabel, I was in my car with Efanor. The details of the separation and how we got back together are irrelevant, but suffice to say, I discovered we’d lost track of Carolyn when Efanor rushed to the back of the car and began calling. Before that, I was too busy watching heavy traffic.

His upset didn’t end until I finally got hold of Carolyn by phone at midnight. I was in Valentine NE, she was in Wall SD. Of course, he probably settled because I did, however that doesn’t explain why, the next morning when I pulled into the parking lot of Carolyn’s hotel, after several hours of calmly sleeping in his carrier, he was suddenly perched with his front paws on the dash calling out. Meanwhile, Ysabel, in the hotel room, was at the window. This…before I was anywhere near the room.

There were other hints of a connection between them over the years, but nothing quite this curious. But they’ve never really been apart before. And now, he’s gone and I’m still here and her universe just…isn’t right.

Cat’s live in the Now, but her Now is including the confusing mixed signals of Efanor smell to trigger awareness, and no Efanor. And there’s no way to explain to her.

Maybe it’s time for a serious spring cleaning. Probably do us all good…

7 comments to The Hard Part Begins

  • I think Birdie (my gravatar) felt the same way when her mother Ruthie was gone. They’d lie on the bed next to each other and groom each other, but never really played like Sydney and Sadie play. When I brought Sydney into the house a couple of weeks after Ruthie passed away, Birdie kind of looked disgusted, but they started to get along. Birdie won’t play, but Sydney has her sister Sadie to play with now. I hope you’re able to find another walking, talking squeaky toy for Ysabel. 😉

  • kokipy

    May I share with you our experience of introducing young ones to a mature cat – about 2.5 years ago I decided it was time our girls had the wonderful experience of kittens. Actually, that is a bit not right – I took the old lady Py to the vet, she was 9 at the time, not really old I guess, and the vet, who rescues feral cats and kittens from a farm in PA, persuaded me to take home kittens. It wasn’t too hard – she said, here, hold them while I see to Py. so I held the tiny black one (in the bowl to the right) and the little silver grey one, and I was within minutes prepared to brave divorce for the little guys. (The spouse thought one cat was quite enough. But he is resigned now, and actually quite likes them). I took them home and the children were in rapture. (the one who is 11 now says she tells the black one all her worries. She says he is the best thing she’s ever had in her life. She can do anything to both of them and they never scratch her – she’s been handling them since they were five weeks old and she can do ANYTHING with them. She loves them!)
    But here’s the point: The vet told me that when you have an older cat, it is important to get two kittens, not one, because one kitten will harass the older cat, wanting to play all the time, but two little ones will play together, leaving the older one the room she needs. Now Ysabel may not feel that way, because she had such a bond with Efanor. But our old Py, who lost about a quarter of her body weight when the boys came home in protest (she’s gained it all back now) is quite happy they have each other to play with.
    I know you two know cats and don’t need this information. I’m just sharing because, well, because I love talking cats, I guess. We will be eagerly awaiting your news.

    • I hope Ysabel can feel better soon. Hah, my Goober was quite taken aback when Smokey, then a tiny kitten, ventured right up to Goober’s bowl to sample Goober’s food. Goober hissed, backed up, and was quite put out, complaining much vocally…but let Smokey eat. I made a mistake by talking to Goober and holding him back. Shouldn’t have. Goober is already too non-assertive. Whereupon Smokey (of course) became the Top Cat.

      I wish I’d thought of the two-kitten solution, though they came to an understanding.

  • OrionSlaveGirl

    Emily and Katie are sad also.

  • The two kitten thing is very wise. I considered it. If I had a family, I’d consider it even more. But there are two elements at work here for me. If I got two…they’d play and bond with each other rather than with me. Since I’m here 24/7, I’ll run him into the ground with playing. If we got a second and it tried to bond with Carolyn, that would just kill Ysabel. So…One.

    Also…three cats when we travel would really be problematic.

    I wasn’t going to say anything, but we think, we really think we’ve found him. Waiting to hear and it always depends on if he likes me…but we’re really in hopes.

  • Isharell

    Oh, good luck on the new kitteh!
    And a good cleaning might be cathartic (and certainly always necessary, darned housework).
    Poor Ysebel. They just don’t understand, quite, where their friend has gone. But hopefully she’ll soon have a new distraction.
    I do find it interesting that you’ve already got the name. It always takes my mother and me days or weeks to “find” the right name.

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