I checked out for a year emotionally. This is a long post because the entire tale is long. It may seem that it is about a cat, but it is really about self-reflection, humility, and giving up past beliefs and control over Mother Nature's creatures.
This is baby Jazz when we had brought him home. He was what I had longed for in appearance, but just like in Steven King's book, "Pet Cemetary", you can't really bring them back. The tale really began when I was four years old. My family was living in a flat in Detroit. Father had a work sponsor that allowed us to come into this country ( yes, there was NO welfare for political refugees in the 70's) and walked to the bus stop every day to get to work. We were POOR. Anyway, I was fairly lonely then, the neighborhood was not full of friendly kids (I almost got mauled by a dog the kids set loose after me) so I spent all my days inside the flat for the most part. One day, I was looking out the third floor window, and saw to my amazement a lady with what had to be 20 cats on leashes walking down the street. She looked up at me, pointed, and tied one of the cats to the telephone pole, then left. Mom let me take him in, and he became my best friend. He was a peach gray angora, all fur and lankiness, and whiskers (which he tripped over quite often until I thought to "trim" them--for which I was thoroughly chatised, and rightfully so!) We spent a year in that flat together, then moved to Hamtramck. Only a short while had passed, and my best friend came home, dragging his legs with a BB shot to his side. He didn't make it. The bullet took his liver. Fast forward 30 years. I never forgot our love, and kept a magazine clipping in my studio of a kitten that looked so much like him.
Nine years ago, my spouse brought home a tiny kitten for a sweetest day gift. Wow, he looked just like my first cat! I thought happiness and joy are here! He is back! But alas, just like in that book by Mr. King, you cannot bring them back. You can never have back the experiences that gave you so much joy, because time moves forward, and every creature, person, moment is unique, and when it is over it is simply over.
I fell in love with Jazz right away, but I was working 14 hour days, and he bonded with my spouse. No problem, I was happy anyway...until the attacks began. First the dogs, drawing blood, then my legs and arms...for no apparent reason. We took him to our cat specialist. She said, "some are just bad children, live with it or have him put to sleep." Oh, horrors, never! So we found a new vet and he was put on organic calming treats to temper his mood.
I have had cats my entire life, but never one that lashed out for no reason apparent to me. I used to fancy myself a bit of an animal whisperer, but this eight year experience took that right out of me. I saw how happy he was when I wasn't around, fine with everyone but me. Once I began to be home more and more, things got even worse, and I had to "rotate" cats and dogs to keep lamps and furniture from being knocked over. It was very difficult. I was demoralized. I had NEVER been disliked by any creature so much. Personally, I think he could smell my Hashimoto Thyroid disorder, and wanted to put me out of my misery, lol. Animals are very in tune to illness!
He was beautiful, fluffy (which required a great deal of grooming and hence further bloodshed on the part of my hands and arms) and wanted nothing to do with me. He terrorized the other cats and dogs, and had a room all to himself because of it. Well, one day I painfully realized that after 8 years nothing was going to improve, so I set about finding him a new home. Much to my amazement, he passed every evaluation with flying colors, and shed nothing but love on all around him.
While I was waiting for him to be adopted, I shed many tears, visited him often, and interacted with him very cautiously, afraid that if he layed into me, it would be all over for him. Well, he loved everyone at the adoption agency, everyone who visited him, and after four visits a mom and daughter took him home. They had lost a cat earlier, and he became her prince, and she his princess.
I learned a lot about ego in the year and a half that followed, about how wishing something into being may not always make it so. Cherish daily moments, but remember that moments in the past will always stay there, and cannot be recreated. Every living thing is unique and irreplaceable. I am no longer a cat whisperer ( and by the way I used EVERY technique out there) and realize that perhaps I was merely a catalyst so that the princess could find her prince....and thank you for letting me get this story out there, so that hopefully I can move forward in my life. I will always love the life on Earth, even if it doesn't always love me!