This post is in response to the prompt Mystery Ending.
When I was born, my mother had 5 cats and 1 dog living with my family.
I grew to love animals of all kinds because of this. They gave me someone to talk to whenever I actually wanted to, because my siblings were older than me.
When I was 3 years old, my parents had gotten a divorce. Of course, at that age I didn’t really understand what that meant. All I knew was that my father wasn’t living with my mother anymore. I never really knew why and I didn’t want to ask.
I stayed with my grandparents most of the time and visited my dad, for various reasons, I’m not comfortable talking about those details right now.
My father, when my parents divorced, took 3 of the cats with him and the other 2 were given away to friends. My dad, by himself at least, couldn’t deal with all 5 cats or the dog.
A couple years later, I had become adjusted to my situation with my parents not being around each other. I lived with my grandparents and my two half sisters. I also saw my father every Monday, Wednesday, and stayed with him on weekends.
During this time, my father wound up having to move somewhere farther away. I was 5 years old at this time and hadn’t started school yet. I wasn’t used to being away from my father very often at all and was really upset with that situation. I now understand he needed to do this for a job he was offered.
The new job was 3 hours away.
For a little while before he moved, he had been working there while driving from his home to his work every day. It became too financially demanding for him requiring the move.
During the months that he was planning the move, something we weren’t expecting happened. My cat, Franc, was getting ill. He had always been the runt and it was fairly normal for him to get sick since he was quite skinny for a cat of 7 years old.
As the time went on, I don’t really know how long as I was 5 years old, he began refusing to eat. My dad, without meaning to, didn’t notice certain signs other than that about his condition.
One morning, my father had come to get me from my grandparents and had to explain something to me. It was something a father never wants to tell their young child. He had to tell me my pet had passed away. I didn’t understand that.
I treated the situation as if he would come back one day. I became really upset whenever I finally began to understand what it meant after a few hours of him never showing up.
My other cats, Marc and Quarters, were confused. Marc, being Franc’s brother, began meowing often without any, at least to other people, reasons to be seen. He missed his brother and it broke me and my dad’s heart.
I’ll always remember that kitten and what he taught me. He taught me the meaning of death and helped me to get closer to the other animals I lived with at the time.
That cat, his brother Marc, is now turning 19 years old next month. The other cat, Quarters, ran away a few years back, but I have faith he lived a long life if he isn’t still alive. I miss him, but I know he was happy before and he lived a good life with my family for almost 7 years.
As time has gone on, years later, I still think about that pet that taught me the meaning of death.
There was a time when me and one of my exes had a conversation about my goals in life because he assumed my goal was just an excuse to say I had something planned for later.
He had commented saying “Most people just say that’s their life-time career choice to say they have one,” which would drive me insane to this day.
Me and him would continue to disagree on certain problems, including our taste in music, or even our taste in food. I was always the one who listened to country and wanted to eat pasta that was leftover whenever I wanted to.
Even when we had those disagreements, this old cat from years ago, would remind me that I need to be civil to those that I once cared for, because death can happen at any time if necessary.