I hope Vito comes to visit this morning. I've been in the habit of waking up early to get some work done in the garden before the sun becomes too hot - or simply come out with a cup of coffee and sit on one of the Adirondack chairs inspecting my work and checking on the new plants that recently got planted. Often Vito walks past or curls up under the Korean national flower a couple of feet away from where I'm sitting so that he can be involved without actually being involved.
Vito and his sister Lollipop were born in my garden over a year ago. Their mother just appeared one day out of the blue and gave birth to kittens. She nursed them, some of them didn't make it. Vito and Lollipop did. I started feeding the ginger cats everyday and they became my outdoor pets. Their mother absconded as quickly and mysteriously as she arrived.
Lollipop was hit by a car early Monday morning. I woke up to texts from Rob saying that he thinks he saw her on the road as he drove to work. My mouth dried up and I ran outside in my pajamas to check. I picked up her body, not looking at her head. I heard a neighbor say "Oh, they really got it....' as I carried her into my garden. I don't know why the neighbor said this. Maybe he was as shocked by the sight of a dead cat and didn't know how to express his condolences. Maybe he's a big idiot.
It was the first time I ever touched her. She was always such a small, shy cat. I laid Lollipop on the ground and dug a big hole under the Palo Verde tree. When her enterrement was complete I went inside the house and texted Brennan. I caught him before he left for work and he came by to check on me. I openly wept. I couldn't stop. We stood by Lollipop's grave and lit incense.
I don't know if Vito understands that his sister is gone. I'm sure he does in a cat way. I planted an orange rose bush and yellow flowers under the Palo Verde tree and called it Lollipop corner. Vito walks past without any special reverence.
I bought Vito a bunch of toys from the pet store on Tuesday. A felt chili pepper filled with catnip. A fake mouse that dangles from a string and squeaks. A pillow you can warm in the microwave and leave with your cat to use as a comforting pillow. Vito doesn't seem interested in any of them.
Yesterday when I came home from the nursery and planted more verbena bonariensis and white gaura, he brushed past my legs multiple times. He stayed with me the whole time until the job was complete.
He emerged from under the Korean national flower about two minutes ago. Walked past me then disappeared around the house. I will go back into the house now and fill my, now cold cup, with more coffee.
Here's Lollipop last week, sunbathing on my balcony.