Well, it’s been a week since our cat Turbo passed away. A whole week. And I still miss that cat tremendously.
You know, in retrospect, I wonder if Andrew knew Turbo was sick? Remember how I talked about Andrew suddenly hissing at Turbo whenever he came near? What if Andrew could smell the sickness? The other cats were behaving strangely as well. I remember the Wednesday before Turbo passed away, when we first saw pee outside the litter box but weren’t sure who culprit was, all the cats were acting weird. Not quite frantic, but they seemed on-edge and anxious, more high energy, like they were trying to tell me something. They were acting like they do when they want food, only they had plenty of food. Only at the time, I dismissed it as them all just being weird wanting me to think they were hungry.
But …what if they just knew?
Or maybe it’s nothing. Maybe in my grief, I am seeing signs that in reality, weren’t there. Or at least, maybe they weren’t as obvious as I think they were. Sometimes I wonder if I’m taking these subtle signs and turning them into huge cement blocks of guilt and hanging it around my neck. I can’t stop feeling guilty. I feel like I was a bad mom by not sensing just how sick he really was. Since his death, we haven’t had to fill the water bowl nearly as often. As in, instead of filling it at least once a day or sometimes twice, we’re now filling it every three days. He’s always been a thirsty cat, ever since I’ve known him anyway. Maybe that was another sign that he was ill.
Ah, who knows. It could have been anything.
I know many people out there think I’m crazy for being this upset over the loss of a cat. But look. Turbo wasn’t just a cat. He was a member of our family. We fed him, took care of him, taught him to behave, and most of all, we loved him. And in return, he loved us unconditionally.
He had a wonderfully quirky personality, even if he was a bit defensive at times. (Before Paul got him from the rescue center, Turbo had been severely abused by his previous owner.) Turbo was highly independent. A quiet sentinel who stood guard over Nathan. He was the only cat out of all ours that actively sought Nathan out. And whenever I had Nathan in his room with the baby-gate in the door (like when I needed to mop), you could count on Turbo sitting right there, watching Nathan play. Sometimes Nathan would toddle over to the gate and stick his fingers through the holes, and Turbo would saunter over and sniff them. I bet he wondered what that animal-cracker smell was…. Nathan’s hands always smell like either animal crackers or Cheerios. And when Nathan was not behind the baby gate, Turbo was exceedingly patient when Nathan would yank one of his legs, pull his tail, or yank out handfulls of fur. Nathan doesn’t grasp the concept of being gentle just yet!
Turbo was very patient when we bathed him, as well. He obviosly didn’t like baths, but he let us bathe him anyway, and get this- he would even let Paul use the blow-dryer to dry his fur! I remember before we banned the cats from our room and Nathan’s room (due to my allergies and too much cat fur getting everywhere), he would sleep on our legs. He was so heavy that once he laid on our legs, it was as if we were paralyzed and unable to move them. Turbo the Terrible was a solid 30 pounds of muscle (well, ok. He had some fat, too.) He used to curl up around my head and sleep on my hair.
Our front porch has rails and a gate, and Turbo was the only cat we would ever let outside. He was really good about not trying to jump off. The other cats, however, would immediately start sniffing for a way to get down, which is why we didn’t let them outside (we live really close to a busy road) but Turbo just loved laying outside, swishing his tail contentedly, not worried in the least about trying to get down off the porch. Just happy to be outside.
I miss that cat.