"The car broke down, its dead, it won't start."
(See Benny's mom dropped him off at school so she could drive her beloved Buck The Truck.)
Me: Why are you sweaty?
"I walked up the damn hill! Have you ever walked up that hill? It took me forever"
Me: "Wheres the car?"
"At the thrift store"
Me: "Well did you unlock the alarm first before trying to start the car?"
(See, Ben's mom owned the car for seven years before giving it to her soooo I kinda figured she would remember that you have to unlock the alarm before starting the car."
Problem solved! I was irritated and amused. The feeling of irritation wanted to take over because I had to drive her back down and I was already running on a tight schedule. But I left the feelings of amusement win because it was just too damn hilarious that she had to climb up a hill for no reason at all really.
I went to school and during a break ran back home just to pick up an item I had to return. It was 2:45 and I asked Ben's mom, When do you have to pick up Benny? "2:45" she says. " Oh I gotta go!" So I leave and she leaves and the stove is left on. Intuition tells me to turn off the stove because there is a chance she might not come back in time. But I told myself to fight off my doubts because how rude of me to have such little faith in her that I just assume she will get lost and take forever to get back home.
Well, I should have listened to my intuition.
As soon as I pull into the parking lot at work I get a call from Benny telling me he is still at school, unpicked up by his mother who is now an hour late. Shit. Shit. Shit. Is all I can think. The stove is on.
So I call my neighbor and try to devise a plan for him to break into my house so he could turn off the stove. He is always so helpful and I always can call on him in a pinch. But then he says....
" I have some really, really, really, bad news for you."
In my head I thought: (They lost the baby, they lost the baby, they lost the baby.)
See, my neighbor has been trying to get pregnant for forever. With polycystic ovarian syndrome, an irregular period, and a blocked tube, her getting pregnant was really a miracle of sorts.
I braced myself to say "Oh my gosh I am so sorry."
"Rocky died this morning."
I felt my heart fall to my feet and I wanted to burst into a flurry of tears but I couldn't. I wanted to know my house wasn't going to burn down. I wanted to just start the car and turn back home. But I couldn't. And it was one of the most frusterating feelings ever.
Rocky is Herman. The cat that basically has lived in our home for a year. He was only five-years-old. The past few days he had been acting out of character. Slow and lethargic and sleeping heavily. My intuition told me something was terribly wrong but I looked to Ben for any affirmation that my concerns were just being exaggerated. He told me he probably just was sick of had allergies and that he would be better soon. It wasn't out of the norm for Herman to sometimes get into cat fights and be tired so I thought maybe I was being a worry wart.
He stayed in our house and slept all day thursday night and all day friday. Saturday morning Ben let him out and his owners despite noticing he had been acting strange since Wednesday did not take him to the vet until this morning. There, his temperature was 97. something when I guess a cats temperature is supposed to be 106. something. And there as they were plugging him into iv's to rehydrate him he took his last little breath.
My heart sank all over again as I pulled into the parking lot. No Herman to excitedly run and greet my as soon as he heard the roar of my car. No more rubbing up against my legs as we walk down the steps together. No more hilarious sleep positions to laugh at.
Lately, I'd been prematurely missing Herman so much. I thought of what it would be like the day me and Ben are done with school and have to move out of these apartments. How could I just look at his little face and know that it would be the last time I ever saw him. How could I just drive off and let him sit on the front porch of an empty apartment waiting to be let in and loved. I wished that his owners would take him away and that I would never have to say good bye. But never would I have thought that the last time I would see him would be yesterday. When I was on route to the store before getting into my car I petted him on his bottom and he tippied his toes and pointed his tail skywards.
Life is full of surprises and unfortunately it isn't always good ones.
& to conclude...
Benny's mom did end up getting lost but she went back home to turn off the stove and then figured out how to get to Ben's school.
& the neighbors did lose their baby.
(Herman on April 17th, 2010)
(Me and Herman at 1:30 in the morning on Saturday. I had no idea I was holding a cat that was dying)