Monday, July 30, 2012

A Very Pretty Little Reminder

Eliza Jane Doolittle.  Named after the famous character in My Fair Lady and also a song by Vince Gill, "Little Liza Jane". 
She's not just my cat.  She's a reminder of everything I've done right and wrong in my adult life.  I adopted her from the Anti Cruelty Society in Chicago in 1996.  She was tiny.  About 6 weeks old and in a cage all by herself.  They didn't know where she came from or where her siblings or mother were. She had those same huge eyes she has now, but on a much smaller kitty face.  I fell in love immediately.  She came home with me the next day to what was my first apartment when I lived on my own after graduating college the year before.  We were two pretty ladies living together in the world and making our way!

Drinking got in our way.   Drinking took everything away from us.  She didn't ask for it.  She couldn't do anything to stop it except for look at me with those big huge eyes as if to question, "why do you keep doing this every single day to us?"  I never had kids when I was a drunk, and I can't imagine the anguish moms feel for having put their kids through this devastating life.  But I had a glimpse of it with this little soul depending on me for everything and I fucked up.  Every day.  Over and over again.  It didn't mean I didn't love her more than anything in the world.  It just meant that drinking took over any logical thinking or feeling.  IT TOOK OVER AND BECAME MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

She was there while I was an active drunk and lost everything, in the end - even her.  She waited when I was homeless, and she was living with my parents.  She waited when I was in jail.  She waited when I got sober and was in a halfway house.  She came back to me and has loved me ever since because I can take care of her properly now.  Too much to put on a cat?  Maybe.  But I believe I see all that in her eyes.  And she's another reminder of how grateful I am for every gift I have in my life today.  A roof over our heads and money to buy us both food is never taken for granted. 

Where she is happiest.  On my dear sweet Husband.
She is really my husband's kitty nowadays.  They have a very special and sweet relationship that I'm only a tiny bit bitter about.  In reality, when he and I got together and he not only "tolerated" my cats, but FELL IN LOVE with them?  It told me a huge amount about his character and how well we would fit together.  They are his cats now too and, as far as he's concerned, they always have been.   This is one of the greatest gifts of our relationship.  I hear horror stories about couples breaking up over their pets.  It was never an issue for us.  In fact, I believe it made him want to be with me more because of these two kitties.  You remember Sally Boy's story, right?

Sally Boy Kitty on the right.  He didn't find me until AFTER I got sober.
Do I feel guilty that I had to give her up for a while?  Of course I do.  Do I think she even remembers 12 plus years ago?  No I do not.  But I do know that when I look into those huge eyes sometimes, I see where we were back then and where we are now.  We have everything we could ever want and need.  I keep my past close, and she's a big part of that.  I don't regret the past, nor do I wish to shut the door on it.  I live my amends every single day I stay sober.  And a big one of those amends happens to be to one of my cats.  That seems pretty damn good to me.

17 comments:

  1. The unconditional.love,and never ending forgiveness is what makes animals a great part of the family. We dont OWN them, they belong with us, not to us. And I know a lot of people that could use a lessons from our furry family

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  2. I love this! I am completely convinced that the lessons learned from your past is what will make you a kick-ass amazing mother to your twins. Oh, and your cats are dang cute too.

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  3. Dumpster HusbandJuly 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Eliza is a very pretty girl.

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  4. Love this a lot! There is no doubt you will be both be amazing parents! The love overflows in your home! =^..^=

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  5. HA! DH posted about the cats. Love the post. You will be a great mother of all, cats, kids, mankind, aliens, and whatever else the universe throws at you.

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  6. I still beat myself up about how my bullies suffered while I was drinking. They're gone now... and I have a new bullie who gets the new me, the sober me, the responsible me.

    And I will make it up to my two now departed bullies with her. Every day. Grateful for the chance.....

    xoxoxO!!!

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    1. oh you so get it. and yes, you get to make it up every day. what a gift we have. ANd our furries love us.

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    2. And sober friends like you..... who touch hearts in ways you may never ever know.

      When are we doing dinner? lol

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  7. you made me teary-eyed. wishing nothing but the best for all of you!

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  8. you made me teary-eyed. *sniff* wishing nothing but the best for all of you.

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  9. Tears! I love this post. And her and you and Sally Boy and Dumpster Husband and all the beautifully intertwined stories.

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  10. The quietest victims. I miss my kitties. I'm glad you have your little Eliza Jane. xsnos

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  11. You didn't "give her up." You took care of the two of you and now she's home again. You are already more dedicated than many pet owners. This is a reunion story.

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