Grief is a strange thing.
It feels like an empty socket where a tooth used to be. Poke and poke, taste the blood, poke and poke, feel the pain. Eventually it may, or may not, hurt less, even if the bleeding stops. Sometimes it may surprise you. Sometimes the weirdest shit surprises you. Like--I can talk about what happened with Idris today. Monday I could not. Today I almost made it without any tearing up, and would have, except there was a cat in the Petsmart adoption area who was yes, long and lean and black--but what got me were his eyes. Beautiful, green eyes, like Idris had. I had to walk away. I came back, because I will not be ruled by my feelings, but it hurt, surprisingly much, to look into that cat's face and see eyes like Idris's. Tonight we talked about our decisions, and his death, and Nous choked up. I didn't. But I cried my way through Monday and Tuesday morning like a small child, where no one could see.
And the grief isn't about Idris, not really. I mean, yes, it is--a beautiful cat, smart, so damned alive until he very suddenly wasn't. But he was a happy little guy, almost right up to the end. I grieve for me, because there's a happy little guy hole in my life and my routines. So it's...kinda selfish, in a non-perjorative sense. No. The word I want is personal. Grief is very personal.
I know, when we get another cat, people will decide it's too soon, too long, too something. People always have opinions about that. A friend of mine waits a year after one dog dies to acquire another. That would be too long for me. It works for her. Okay. My parents waited a month to get puppy Baron after my dog died. I think they waited a couple more to get Maxie after he died. We waited almost a month after Pooka to get Idris.
Tomorrow, we will go to the humane society and come home with one of the black male kittens.
It's not about replacing Idris. I can't. I don't want to. I loved him, and I still love him and I will miss him for a long time. I am glad to have shared his life with him. I am glad I was there to the end, no matter how much it sucked for me. I don't regret him at all. I wish like hell he was still here.
But I like having cats, more than one. And we can have more than one. And there are so many cats at that shelter who need a place. Well, we have one. It won't be Idris's place. No one can take that. Or Pooka's. Or Pixie's. But tomorrow, there will be someone new here. I look forward to meeting him. And I will probably (definitely) still tear up sometimes, when something reminds me of just how big the Idris-shaped hole is, will always be.
And that's okay.