Orange the Cat
Orange the cat was the first cat I ever fostered. I was so excited to finally put the “cat” in Coffee Cats Kimchi.
She was only 5 weeks old. Fit in the palm of my hand, and had blue eyes so big they ate up the rest of her face.
A student had found her dying, abandoned by her mother, roasting in the mid-summer heat, covered in ringworm. She only needed a foster for a few weeks, so I picked her up from the student the same day I found out about her.
I was so happy to have such a tiny cute kitten, I couldn’t keep her to myself. I took advantage of Coffee Cat Kimchi’s newsletter and gave all my subscribers a sneak peak of my gorgeous little kitten, enticing them with, “more Orange in a blog post coming soon.”
But the unthinkable happened.
Orange was not a happy cat while I had her. She was so scared, weak, and lonely.
She would cry when she took her pills and got her cream, shake after drying off from her baths, and had no interest in the toys I bought her. I tried so hard to comfort her, to pet her, play with her, and baby talk her.
But that Tuesday, the day I would have posted about her on my blog, I came home from work to find her dead in her bed.
Grief is as physical an experience as it is an emotional one.
At first I felt no remorse. I knew from the beginning that she was weak and could die. I felt bad that I didn’t feel bad. I only felt shock that she actually died.
But I couldn’t handle being in the same room with her. I had to go to a cafe to get away. As soon as I got on my bike and started peddling away, the pain started setting in. My heart got heavier and heavier, my throat got tight and I couldn’t breathe, my head started pulsing.
In my mind Orange meant nothing to me. She was a sickly tiny cat that probably would have died and did die. I only had her for a few days. I shouldn’t have cared. But I did care, more than I ever expected to. That night I felt like the world had ended.
It’s been two weeks and I’ve come to terms with her passing. But this has brought to light the cons of blogging in the most uncomfortable way possible.
I’ve never felt so helpless before. Here I’ve been snacking on peanut butter crackers, taking so much enjoyment from every death and trial that the Game of Thrones characters are dealt, and suddenly I feel like I’m not in control of my own life’s narrative, and people are actually reading along as if I’m just another character.
What if I were suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer and my blog turned into a breast cancer survivor’s story? What if North Korea really bombed South Korea and my blog turned into a war survivor’s story? Knock on wood, knock on wood, but this week has made me face those possibilities.
I am so sorry to the people that read my newsletter 2 weeks ago that I mislead. Your support means everything to me, and I hope you can stick with me through the bad, to enjoy the good.
Next week I promise I’ll have a super fun, super lighthearted post for you.
I loved you Orange. You were a good cat. I hope you’re in a happier, peaceful place, now. Rest in peace.