| We adopted Kess at the age of ten months from the Macomb animal shelter at the end of last year.
Her shots were up to date, she was fixed, solidly built and active. Thick, course fur with spots and stripes and a loud, almost Siamese, voice.
Nervous around children, she really only bonded with me and tended to avoid the girls–though she would visit Sam in the night and pounce on her stomach to wake her up. She made friends with the dog, meowing and rubbing against his legs in greeting. Often I would hear her playing in the office, juggling a beaded hair scrunchy while rocking wildly in a toy rocking chair. I regret I never recorded her doing that.
Friday, July 19:
We came home from my parents and I let the dog out.
He was happily scampering around, pissing on everything, as we gathered our things from the car and went inside. I ducked into the office, which adjoins the kitchen and is separated by an archway, to drop off my computer bag. It was then that I found Kess laying next to the kids’ toy-box, as if she were resting a bit after playing with the scrunchy.
I thought she was sleeping, so I called her name… She didn’t move.
I touched her and she was stiff.
She wasn’t contorted, looked for all the world like she was asleep.
I didn’t manage it well. In a some amount of shock I cried, “Oh, no, Kess!”
Sam and Riley ran to see what was wrong and were therefore confronted with our loss without any type of warning or gentle easing. Soon, there were tears all around, made worse by the shock because we didn’t know she wasn’t well. Almost immediately Sam took Pitstop the dog for a walk, “I need to go for a walk. I need to be alone!” she said. I let her go, trusting the dog (80lbs of big-and-black) to keep her safe.
Riley cried and cried, I sat her in the kitchen for a moment and ran down into the basement to get a towel to cover Kess with and when I came up Riley said “I think I heard her purring.”
Maybe I was blunt, and I definitely didn’t stop to think much when I told her, “that’s not possible, Kess is gone, she can’t purr,” and that set her off again. I don’t know that I handled it right, but my instinct is to be honest.