When I was in 1st grade my mom brought home a kitten, her name was Honey. The moment I set eyes on Honey I wanted to pet, love, and hug her. There was just one problem, the cat hated me.
The first time I tried to pet her she hissed at and scratched me. It turned out my mom adopted Honey from a home with kids who would chase and harass her. I was around their age so I guess I reminded her of them.
Over the years there wasn’t much improvement. Our relationship was very one sided. I’d feed her, do high pitched animal talk at her, i’d give her treats, and she just wanted to be hateful. She peed in my bookbag and shoes more than once. I suspected the cat had a personal vendetta against me. Up until the day she died when I was a sophomore in college the number of times she tolerated me petting her could be counted on one hand.
Still, Honey had a special place in my heart. One day she went out on the windowsill of a window on the second floor of our house and fell. I was worried about her but Honey didn’t care. While she was recovering under my mom’s bed, I peeked under to check on her and she hissed at me. She was in bad shape but still had the energy to say, “get away from me.”
When I was in high school Honey’s health started to deteriorate. She wouldn’t eat or drink much, she started using the house as her litter box, and her fur became dry and patchy. The vet said this was just old age and there was nothing he could do about it.
I was home from college one summer when Honey died. We had a new cat named Muffin who didn’t get along with Honey so we had to monitor their interaction and keep one in the basement at night. One night Honey was in the basement and the next morning my mom couldn’t find her.
My mom came to me and just knew Honey had died but couldn’t face finding her body and asked me to do it. So I went down into the basement and looked. I found her under the washer peacefully curled up as if she were napping.
A couple of months later I had a dream about Honey. It may seem harsh but I had disposed of her body in a dumpster. My mom told me to take care of it and I wasn’t sure what else to do. Anyway, in this dream, the dumpster was in an endless meadow on a warm sunny day. Honey jumped out of the dumpster, looked at me, and ran off into the meadow looking healthy and agile.
I don’t really believe in the supernatural anymore but my mom believes that was Honey’s way of saying goodbye and letting me know she was ok. At the time, I believed that and it gave me closure, a closure I still feel.