I call it the “aftermath.” It’s the time beginning when I arrive home after a long absence. It’s the period during which I unpack clothes, paintings, and art stuff. I sort through the mail, listen to voice mail, do the laundry, restock the frig and the pantry. It’s all the stuff I have to do before life gets back to everyday normal. Mind you, it is all not drudgery because it always begins with the rubbing of noses and the scratching behind ears. I am talking about the welcome home from our cats. They are always here, first thing, to greet us.
Sox, in the studio, circa 2004
We have three: Sox (female, white paws), Domino (male, yep, he’s black and white), and Moochie (male, big and fat, he almost counts as two). While they are all different, they are similar in three ways. They all acquired us as rescue cats. They are all very loveable. And they all are “outside” cats with “inside” privileges that include lap access.
Did I mention that Sox turned 19 this summer? My vet once told me that the average lifespan for an “outside” cat was only one year, for an “inside” cat, 11. Sox never considered herself average, neither did we.
In her youth she was the ultimate huntress, with a regal air about her. As she aged and especially in her latter years she was much more content to spend the day asleep on “her” chair, in the studio.
We have been home for five days now, and still there has been no sign of her. We have searched all her usual haunts and then some. Domino has hunkered in on the back porch and has been staying close to home. Unusual for him. Every time Moochie comes in, he makes a beeline for the studio. Last night I found him there, asleep under Sox’s chair. This morning I picked up her water bowl, quietly washed it and put it away. We all miss her.
We arrived safely home from our journeys; the “aftermath” chores are behind us. Life should be back to normal. Not quite so, this time.