a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
I have been sitting here for quite a while trying to think of the proper words to tell you about Toby. You see, she was more then just a cat. She was almost human. Let me just start from the beginning:
It was September of 2007 when we moved in. The guys that had lived there before us were friends of my husbands, and they were all going separate ways. One of them asked if we would keep his "lobster" (read craw-fish), because he simply didn't want to take it with him, we agreed. What no one mentioned was the spunky cat that they planned on abandoning. We were told that it's name was Toby, and he was a neighborhood cat. Toby clearly knew where her home was. She didn't mind if we lived in it, as long as we let her in so that she could eat on occasion. Did I mention that Toby wasn't a boy at all? She was a girl, and our family quickly fell in love with her. This might have had something to do with the fact that she stood her ground with our other cat who thinks that he is king of the world. But she was just all around fun. She's the cat the knew what she wanted. If she wanted you to pet her, she would meow at the top of her lungs and walk towards you. Stopping at your feet and rubbing against your legs until you bent down to pay her attention. She was the queen of her world. If she felt like crossing the road, she knew that the traffic would stop. Everyone in the neighborhood knew Toby. They even spoiled her with treats on occasion. They loved her for the special presents of dead mice that she would leave on their doorsteps. No one had a mice problem in our neighborhood! I always told them that they should be even more thankful that she left them on the doorstep instead of on their pillows... One time she even brought my husband a live one to teach him how to catch mice. She wasn't please that he took it across the street to the empty field and let it go... they were all dead after that. Except for the one time that she tried to bring a poor baby bunny into the house. It was very much alive. Mr. Amazing wasn't home, and I didn't know a thing about catching bunnies, so I locked it into the entry way and put Toby in the bedroom. I think that was the only time I was ever really upset with her, and even now I can't really remember being mad, just frazzled because I didn't know what to do.
Toby went on walks with us. If we went to the park, she would come to. If we walked to the library, she would try to follow, and Mr. Amazing would carry her home. Everyone loved her. Even after we moved, the new neighborhood adopted her just as the old one had. I haven't told them yet. We did tell the kids, and let them say good bye. The girls didn't understand, but the boys did. They could see it in the tears of their parents. We could have been more prepared. We knew at Christmas time that she wasn't her old self. She had stopped going outside, where she normally spent all of her time. And she had lost a lot of weight. We took her to the vet, and they told us that it was cancer and she wouldn't make it through the week. But she was getting better. She even started going outside again. We assumed that they were wrong. That she had just been allergic to the new food we had been trying.
But that wasn't the case. I suppose that I should be thankful for the extra time we had, but it hurts. I hate that she won't be there in the morning when I wake up, or watching me through the window as I wash the dishes. I miss her so much, and she's only been gone for an hour. The hurt runs deep. It's amazing how much a part of our lives our pets become. But even for a pet, Toby was special. She wasn't your ordinary cat, she was almost human. She talked to you, and walked with you. She was amazing.
I miss you Toby