I was going to write a simple diary post about this, but I think there is so much ground to cover that I should at least make it into an essay.
After the house fire in 2008, I found Leo. Mama Kitty had him at the scoff of his neck. I assume she was moving him somewhere. With the kind gaze of Mama Kitty, I picked him up. I noticed that he didn’t have a tail.
I took him home.
Home at that point was my grandmother’s house just down the road. My mom and dad were having a difficult time, but I was too. I spent most of my days alone, which normally was OK, but after what happened, I needed a friend.
My mom hated the idea of having a kitten. She flat out told me I needed to put him back outside.
Luckily, my grandmother was there and she fell in love with him.
I named him Rasputin, but my mom couldn’t pronounce the name at all. I decided to change it to Leo for her benefit.
My mom did fall in love with Leo, and really, how could you not?
Leo helped me during a dark time of my life. He was the sunshine that scared away the shadows.
He died in 2016. I was working at the time. I lived with my partner. Leo lived with mom and dad. I had just finished my Associates’ degree and transferring to a four-year college. My mom called me at work and I knew it was the end.
She tried to reassure me that they didn’t know what was going on. I cried at work like a baby. I hate crying in public because I loathe people’s pity, but I knew that this was the end for Leo and I wasn’t there to help him.
My mom is sick with cancer so my sister and her husband took Leo to the vet. They called me later to tell me the news.
Mom said that he couldn’t go to the bathroom. After a vet visit, my mom informed me over the phone that apparently, cats use a muscle at the beginning of their tail to relieve themselves and Leo didn’t have that muscle. After about a week with treatment, Leo was getting worse. He’d cry in the cat box and he was immobile in his kitty cushion.
I am glad that he is no longer in pain, but I regret not being with him when he was sick.
Last Sunday, I asked for Leo’s ashes. At the moment, Leo’s clay paw impression beside Hekate’s candle, and Persephone and Hades’ portraits.