Friday, October 14, 2011

Puffins Celeste

It was January 22, 1999 and I was at home and heard the doorbell ring.  I was 16 and at my parents home.  I opened to door to see my boyfriend at that time, Ryan, standing there.  He pulled something out of his pocket and there was a tiny black and white kitty sitting in the palm of his hand!  My own cat!  I fell in love with her instantly.  And I knew her name already... Puffins.  Celeste was added for her middle name because she was angelic to me and it meant heavenly.  She was my earth angel for the last 12 years.

I got her name out of a National Geographic magazine when I was in 7th grade.  I loved the name of that animal and always said when I got my own cat, I'd name it Puffins.  And there was my Puffins.  She was just wonderful.  She loved me and was always with me.  She'd sleep with her head on my shoulder and then run down the hall in the morning and jump into my arms.  I went away to college and my parents told me she cried for me every night.  But when I'd come home, it'd be like nothing had changed.  Even though I went away many times, she'd always be there, like usual, when I came back.  She never forgot our bond.  I never forgot her... I literally thought of her every single day.

I always said I wanted to be cremated when I died and wanted her ashes to be mixed with mine.  I had planned to cremate her too.  Recently I had been worried about her... I'm not sure why, but I had been.  I kept hoping that if she was going to pass, that she would do it at home, so I could hold her little body.  My mom always told me how cats run away to pass and I just didn't want her to do that.  She was about 12 years old now... but she seemed pretty healthy.

Yesterday Eric and I went and put flyers with her picture up around the neighborhood.  This afternoon I got a call from a neighbor about a block down saying they had been feeding a cat that looked like her for the last two days... there was hope!  We drove there, but it wasn't her.  So, I was in my parents backyard calling her while Eric was watering Cameron's tree when the backyard neighbor asked me what cat I was looking for.  I told him Puffins, my black and white cat.  

The old man walked toward the fence to me and looked sad... he said he was conflicted about telling me and saw her flyers hung up, but said that day after the storm, which was Saturday night, he saw a lot of buzzards in the yard next to his and he was sure they were around Puffins body...

I just stared at him... and asked him if the cat he saw was fluffy, because she wasn't.  I needed to make sure and he said no... he couldn't see her face, but after he saw the flyer, he was sure.  Only two black and white cats ever went to his yard and he's seen the other since the storm, but not her anymore... and she was the one on the flyer.  It made sense... Puffins went missing about Thursday or Friday... Saturday night was the storm... Sunday he saw the buzzards and had the dream she was with snuggling with Cameron's stuffed animal.  And she always jumped over the fence at that area... so that would be the place she would be found.

So my Puffins is gone... I hate that this happened now.  I just hate it.  After Cameron, I was finding my way to God.  I'm trying to.... I'm praying every night with Eric... we're reading the bible every night.  And we want to start going to church.  The only way I can get through losing Cameron was having faith that I could see him again on the other side.  But now Puffins is gone... all within a little more than a one month period.

People say that she's just a cat and some people can't understand... others may.  But for 12 years I thought of her as my baby.  I cared about her like one, I thought about her like one, and I worried about her like one.  Yeah, it's not on the scale like Cameron... but it's a different type of love.  And true love.  It's real and I can't understand why two of the most precious one's in my life are taken from me so close in time.  First my Cameron which no one should ever have to go through... the loss of a child is one that nothing can compare to.  But now Puffins... which I just cherished for so long.

I keep hoping that she didn't suffer.  But I wish I knew how she went.  Was it the storm?  Was she hurt?  Did she think about me and wonder why I wasn't there to save her?  Or was she sick and she went like mom always said.  I hope it's the last... I didn't want her to suffer.  I can't imagine her suffering...

I keep thinking that maybe she was taken from me to give to Cameron.  Maybe God wanted Cameron to be with her?  But why?  I needed her right now... I'm still hurting.  But maybe Puffins was taken to him to show Cameron how much I could love since I loved her so much.  Cameron never got to feel my love... I wasn't able to hold his live body or kiss him or fall asleep with him.  But I was with Puffins.  I miss my Cameron so much... soooo much.  I now think the dream I had Sunday where Puffins was with Cameron's dinosaur, sleeping with him, was maybe her giving me comfort... telling me she's with him.  At least I hope it is.  I can only hope there is a purpose for this... otherwise, why put me through so much pain in such a short time...

In Memory of Puffins Celeste Exon
December 25, 1998 - October 2011

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