All the avoidance in the world hasn't changed things, Timmy is still gone. We've been showering Tabby with love and keeping her largely indoors; til she's older and Cocoa is allowed to roam free, we tell ourselves.
We buried Tim in the garden. I laughed and sobbed as we had to pull up the rest of the misshapen and stunted carrot crop to make space for him. Eventually, we'll plant a tree for him. I worry that he's too close to the back fence, that the neighbour's dogs will bother him. Then I remember he's dead, and I cry. I pegged out washing nearby this weekend, with Tabby in and around my feet, and I remembered how much he enjoyed smooching my ankles while I folded or shook out garments as necessary. I love that cat. I loved that cat.
I've been keeping a cautious distance from Cocoa, not yet ready to commit, given events transpired so shortly after his arrival. He has a terrible infestation of fleas and this morning pooped under the table, so it was easy to be a bit distant. In fairness, Cocoa is not thrilled at being kept indoors after eight or so years of having unfettered external access and I believe the poop incident was a clear communication that he's not happy with the current state of affairs. Even if I disagree with the mode of expression, I can appreciate a cat so clearly committed to taking a stance. We'll get there.
It's amazing, isn't it, that the short passage of a couple of months has wrought so much change in my formerly responsibility-free lifestyle. When my boss asked if I was ok the morning after, I dissolved into tears, apologised for being unprofessional and exclaimed I couldn't believe I feel like this about a cat. But I do and it is what it is. I wouldn't take back having adopted Timothy for anything.