In the fall of 1995 my ex and I bought a new manufactured home and moved it to the farm where he grew up. This was the first place we'd lived that actually belonged to us and where we could have pets if we wanted, so as soon as litters of kittens for giveaway started appearing in our newspaper we set out to adopt some furkids. We chose two six-week-old brothers named Smokey (by me) and Storm (by my daughter who was temporarily staying with us after graduating from college).
Smokey quickly became my cat, and Stormy adopted my ex, following him everywhere - even sitting at his feet in the bathroom. Whenever my ex was away for the evening, Stormy would mope and soon come dragging out a sock or t-shirt from his laundry basket while meowing pitifully. While Smokey was chubby and not the least bit interested in grooming, Stormy was lean and kept his long silky fur immaculately clean. Smokey was an alpha male who did all the talking and ran the house. Stormy was shy and quiet, hiding from visitors.
When I left my ex in December of 2006, I had to leave my cats behind. There were no apartments available in town that would permit pets. It broke my heart. I missed them far more than I missed my ex. Smokey went to live with my daughter and her husband enjoyed a good life there. Stormy also went to them (since my ex refuses to scoop litter boxes), but he didn't like being around so many other animals and missed his "Daddy" greatly. His Daddy missed him too. So I returned Stormy home to the farm where he also became very attached to my ex's girlfriend. I was worried that he would be very lonely without his brother... boy was I wrong! He became Mr. Sociable - taking over laps, talking non-stop, and welcoming visitors.
But now my ex is in the process of foreclosure on the home we purchased. He will be going to live with his parents down the road at least for the time being, and his girlfriend will stay with her mother. There is no place for Stormy. With John in agreement, I offered to take him in, knowing that he will be fine here with Emily and Sophie for company, and the guest room to call his own if he wants privacy.
So today I met up with my ex and his girlfriend at a town half-way between us, to facilitate Stormy's transfer. We ate lunch and visited a little, and then we loaded up my car with his dishes, litter box, etc. When the time came for them to tell him goodbye my ex's girlfriend began to cry, and my ex fought hard to hold back tears. Cats are so very telepathic and Stormy curled into a ball with his nose in the back corner of the pet carrier, meowing pitifully. They loved Stormy deeply and they will miss him. Right now their entire lives and relationship are in a state of upheaval and uncertainty, just as mine was when I left him over two years ago. I remember well how much it hurts to walk away from pets who have been like children to you. It was very hard, and I felt sad for them.
Stormy obviously remembers me, and quieted down quickly as I talked to him and petted him while driving down the road. We are home now, and he is settled into the guest room, resting quietly under the bed and probably trying to comprehend what is happening in his world. Emily and Sophie are very curious about this new visitor and they met briefly thru the carrier door before I took him to his room. I'll give him a chance to settle in before I bring him out for a more proper introduction but I'm sure they'll get along fine. I am so glad to have him here where I know there is adequate money to keep him well fed and cared for, where he can live safely and comfortably in his senior years. He will celebrate his 13th birthday this month!
It is strange how life comes full circle... a relationship once full of love and promise began with a pair of kittens and ends sadly and so symbolically with Stormy's return to me.