Dear friends & fellow travelers:
My heart is heavy, and it’s time to share why. I have stories to tell you about wisdom teeth woes and adventures in Mexico. And eventually I will tell those. For now, though, I need to explain why I’ve fallen silent, why I couldn’t find the words, why I’m taking a moment.
For all these years, I’ve shared my life and my dreams with you, but very few of you know that I’ve done so with 2 pets by my side. I used to think that to admit to having and caring about cats made me seem weak, sentimental, and, because of cat lady stereotypes, crazy. So, they were my little secret support system. If you knew that I had 2 cats, you were very much in my intimate inner circle. And if you made it into that circle, you know how dear and important they were to me. You know that I tried to downplay their significance by telling stories about how I only rescued them to ward off the mice in my terrible Hell’s Kitchen apartment 10 years ago. But you could see through that. You could see that the 10-year journey had been rocky and that my Miu Miu and Grace had been there through each character twist and path turn. And you could see that my Nashville life was dedicated to 2L bunnies and to 2 cats, tucked neatly into an Icon oasis of lavender Mitchell Gold sofas and turquoise walls. On January 13, I turned in my keys to the 2L wonderland. On May 12, I said goodbye to my Miu Miu, my silent partner, my comfort through the storm, my heart.
As many of you know, we chose Phoenix for health and family. My lil Becca flew home with me to move the cats in with my brother Mikey while I plotted my next move. Mikey gave them a better home and more tender care than I ever could have hoped for, so I figured I had some time to explore. I then became consumed with wisdom teeth recovery, and Miu Miu, we now know, became consumed with cancer. The vet gave us antibiotics for a bladder infection, and, assuming we were both experiencing separation anxiety, I made it my mission to find us an apartment and bring our family back together. And I did. A week ago right now, Miu Miu, Grace, and I shared one perfect night together in our new apartment, one night that made me believe that we had found our way back to stable, that life would be ok again, that all would be mended, and that health and happiness were on the horizon. I saw what I wanted to see. I saw that Grace was playing while I made dinner to the sound of Chelsea Lately in the background. I saw that Miu Miu was with us. I didn’t see that she was sprawled out on the white shag rug in pain. By Saturday morning, she couldn’t walk, and her organs were shutting down. My mom, Mikey, and I rushed her to the emergency hospital. We gathered around and said our goodbyes. We petted her. She purred. I whispered in her fallen ears that she could go, that I would be ok. And, as I did every night, I assured her that she had my heart.
So, dear friends, it seems that the proverbial cat is out of the bag. You now know my secret: I care. I loved, and I lost. And now I’m sad. But fear not; I am not too sad to see the subtext. As her final guiding act, she made me write again. She gave me a story that was too important to go untold. She gave me 10 years of support, and now she’s made me talk about it. She is my Cheshire Cat.