In the middle of summer, I had to rehome one of my best friends: my cat.
In the middle of a hot June Sunday, while sitting in the Chevrolet Avalanche on the way to Guitar Center, my cell phone rang. I answered it to find out that it was my mom calling from the house phone, so I guessed that she was already back from her weekend long vacation in Florida. “Hello?”
“I’m getting rid of the cats,” she said, a little too loud.
My body stiffened with shock. I was fumbling through my brain, trying to find words, but all I could manage to say was, “Welcome back.”
“Did you hear me? I said I am getting rid of Cissy and Simon.”
When she said their names, a lump developed in my throat and my eyes started to burn “W-Why?” My sudden sobs made my voice jump up an octave.
She sighed, her tone exasperated, “Because! It smells like ten cats live here, not two. It stinks and there is hair all over the carpet!” Her exaggeration entered my imagination, and I pictured my step-dad having a fit about the “dirty” house.
My sadness switched over to anger as I remembered that my older sister was watching the house while my mom was gone. This was her fault; she was supposed to keep the house tidy! Then, the thought of losing my best friends prodded my mind, and I couldn’t speak. “Here you talk to her,” I choked, handing the phone to my dad, my voice muddled by sorrow.
I heard bits of their quiet colloquy which had only made my constant crying worse. “When are you getting rid of them?” my dad asked; I could hear the sadness entering his voice.
“Today,” she said after two seconds, the longest two seconds of my life. Why? Why was she doing this? Was it because I had spent most of the summer at my dad’s house? Was this some sick, cruel joke to get me to come back home? So many questions, that I know I’d probably never get an answer to, filled my brain.
Then fear overwhelmed me. Would she throw them outside? Re-home them? Give them to a shelter? An unfamiliar place the cats, nor my mother, knew nothing about and just leave them?
“Do you think we could drop by there and pick Cissy up so she can stay with us for a week? Then Kristina will have some time to say goodbye to her.” My dad’s brilliant idea lifted my heavy heart. I could re-home my best friend. I have a chance to say bye to her. Forever.
The last week I ever had with Cissy was one of the shortest weeks of my life, and I didn’t want it to end. I’d found a wonderful home and family to give her to and just knew that she’d love it. It’s sometimes hard losing a best friend, but it has definitely made me stronger for what’s to come in the future.