I had a beautiful white kitty before we were married. His name was Romeo and the reason I had him is a long story, but he was a cranky sort and was hard to like, but I did love him and gave him the best care he could have. Some of his hard to live with traits included spraying on furniture and pooping outside his box. (Even if his box were cleaned every day, which I did.)
When I got married, Romeo went to live with my parents. Miles didn't want a cat living in the house. He had grown up with barn kitties that lived outside and didn't come in the house. After awhile Romeo got to be too much for my parents because my mom since had gotten 2 cats of her own. The unfortunate thing about the timing was that mom decided that she couldn't have him when I was 6 months pregnant with the twins. Giving him to a shelter was out of the question since he was an older cat with some health problems. They would not have kept him and he would have felt horribly abandoned. I just could not do that to him. I owed him the kindness and dignity and responsibility for him. He was a living being that couldn't just be discarded. So, we dealt with it and Miles actually cleaned the box every day while I was pregnant.
Romeo lived pretty well. He had his own room, our guest room, and spent most of the time in there. Eventually he would come down in the evenings sometimes to get pet, but most of the time he slept in the sun in that room. At night he would yowl his displeasure about many things, I'm sure. He may have been a little lonely, but I gave him what I could, especially after the twins were born. At this point, Romeo was 13 years old.
I'm giving you this background because the boys never really knew the kitty. They knew he was there and would sometimes go into the room to see if the kitty was there, but they never really paid too much attention.
About six months ago, we finally made the decision to put Romeo down. It was a long, hard decision and one I still question, but at least he left this world well loved and with a lot of dignity.
Tonight while I was laying with Cory at bedtime, Cory started talking about the kitty. He asked me where he went. Since we don't believe in a god, this is a hard story to tell to a 2 year old. I told him that the kitty went to the vet. I'm not so sure that was a good response, because then he said that Grammie has 2 kitties and they don't go to the vet. Well, yes, kitties also go to the vet for their checkups like we go to the Dr. for our checkups.
Then Cory talked about Angie's kitty and that her name is Miss Kitty and that she lives in the garage. He talked about Romeo living in our house and kept asking me where the kitty went.
This is really hard for several reasons. First, I don't want to make things up and not give Cory the chance to know what really happened. Second, he makes me think about Romeo when I'm still missing him and sad that he's gone.
I guess it's also good in a way, since Romeo is loved and asked about even by ones that he didn't even know that well. And I'm amazed at the things that the kids keep inside their heads even when they don't have much speech yet and then bring up months later when you least expect it.
Bye bye Romeo, we love you!