The kicker is, I was having a really good day on Saturday. I wrote first thing (700 words!), and let the kitten out and in a couple times, and got some other tasks done (can't remember what now, but they were things that needed doing). Then we put Cat3 out and went off to do some errands. Which took longer than expected, so we cut the list short to pop home and let Cat3 in (she can't be around the other cats), and let the kitten out one more time in the lovely sunshine.
He was so happy
. His little face just lit right up when he realized he got to go out some more.
He went out, then came right back in for a snack. Then went out again, and nattered around with the other two cats while we unloaded the car. Then he wandered off into the neighbor's yard; I half-heartedly reminded him that he has a perfectly good yard of his own, but he goes over there a lot. He looked back over his shoulder at me as if to say, "It's fine, mom! I know what I'm doing!", then turned and headed off again. And we nipped out to finish the rest of the errands, planning to return in plenty of time to get him in before dark.
I haven't seen him since.
Understand, my cats mean the world to me. I'd be wrecked if anything happened to any of them. But the kitten is... special. Not that I love him more
; it doesn't work like that, and I love them all equally. But the kitten.... When we first found him four and a half years ago, I was in a pretty dark place emotionally. He is a lot of what convinced me that the world could have brightness and joy and colors in it again. I have treasured every moment with him -- I know people always say that, but in this case it's true. I've always been able to find the energy to dangle a string or follow him to see if that squeak meant "food" or "out", even when I was sitting like a lump. And it's always been clear that he loves me.
He's never been a cuddler; he likes a pet well enough, but won't stay on a lap unless he's being pinned there. Lately, though, he's been increasingly willing to ask for cheek- and neck-scritches, and he's taken to leading one of us into the housemate's room, jumping up on her bed, and settling down for us to sit beside him and pet him. The last couple times, he held still for me to pet him like that for an hour or more.
A few days ago, I went for a walk in the woods with him, his most favorite thing ever. This cat who's dubious about being handled indoors becomes extremely demonstrative when his human is outside with him: he repeatedly came over for petting, and rubbed my ankles, and purred, and asked
to be picked up; at one point he clambered over my shoulder and down my back, and I bent over to make a "table" for him, and he sat, ensconced in what felt like the meatloaf position (I couldn't quite turn to see), on my lower back for what had to be a good twenty minutes.
Today, I have nothing to do but sit in the house staring at the door, in the forlorn hope of seeing a little pink nose on the other side of it.
I've often told him, "Every day is a good day, because you're in it." Not many good days, ahead.This entry was originally posted at http://lizvogel.dreamwidth.org/128251.html because LiveJournal has broken posting on my browser. Comments accepted here, but please comment on Dreamwidth if you possibly can.