Sometimes, when Galactus is sitting on the table or other high place, and I bend over with my head towards her, she she rubs her little soft head into mine and purrs. Life with these two cats is so sweet. They follow me from room to room, setting themselves up to sleep, play, or just lie in sun patches wherever I am cooking/drawing/writing/cleaning. We all three just do our things. Podcasts they enjoy are: Dear Sugar, The Mystery Show, Call Your Girlfriend, and of course Gilmore Guys.
New t-shirts for sale! I am now taking pre-orders for this design of a cat in glasses drinking coffee and reading a book. American Apparel Jersey T-shirt in white. Sizes S, M, L, XL (mens sizes). Price: $20.
When I’m working at home, the kittens’ favorite spot is on my desk, basking in the light from the window. Today, Ingrid has been right there, sleeping on and off, only getting up to follow me to the kitchen or the bathroom. Galactus is on top of the climbing tower, occasionally jumping down and trotting over to check on me.
As I write this, Ingrid has jumped down, and Galactus waited only a moment to take her place in the exact same sunny spot.
I haven’t been posting as often this fall, as I’ve been so dang busy. Busy with good things– weddings, trips, work, projects. But I cherish the times sitting at my desk, looking out at the gorgeous glowing fall trees. Seriously, this year is the most beautiful autumn I have ever seen. Every day I am knocked out by tree after tree.
And we got kittens. Two deliciously adorable sisters, about 8 weeks old. Ever since Henry died, the idea of getting a new cat has been on my mind. Not because I want to replace him, he will never be replaced. When he died my heart broke, my heart that was already broken after losing my mom. Any tiny bit of it that felt slightly, delicately healed was ripped open again. The idea of a cat planted itself in my brain. I thought this cat would help me– through taking care of it I could heal my heart.
And it ended up being two tiny kittens who, in only three days, have already started healing my heart. I watch them interact with each other and this new world that is our apartment. Watch them play until they fall asleep, then wake up and play again. Hear them purr as I stroke their backs and tiny heads. I watch their distinct personalities bloom in front of my eyes, as Ingrid learns quickly to climb and jump gracefully, and Galactus cocks her head to the side and looks at me with her sweet concerned expression.
Somehow I am moving forward. I live in the same place I lived when my mom died, do many of the things we used to do together, go to many of the same places. I don’t want to move forward because that means getting further away from the time when my mom was alive. I’m pulled in both directions: forward and back. I don’t know how to keep living, how to get older and grow up and move on into the future of the whole rest of my life without my mom. But I know I have to. I found my wedding dress. My hair is growing out. I breathe, once in a while I manage to cry in front of other people. I take one small step at a time. And these kittens are little new lives, growing and learning every minute, and I’m helping them do that.
I’ve been working on this big cancer comic book, the first part of which is my mom’s cancer comic book she made seven years ago. On the second to last page she has written this quote from Paulo Coelho’s By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept:
“The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And to save us.”
On the bottom of the next page, the last page, she has written a note in her quick cursive (handwriting that feels like home):
Ate: Nachos + Beer (I was very careful w/ the cheese) – chocolate – few nuts
Drank also champagne + pom juice
My cat, Henry, died yesterday. He was six years old, and seemed totally fine, happy, nothing out of the ordinary until he was found dead in the backyard by my dad. I don’t know how he died, and it’s a shock to my system that he’s so completely gone.
Henry was there for me during the most difficult times in my life so far: the death of one of my best friends, a depression, confusion about my life, leaving my long-term live-in boyfriend in Brooklyn and moving back to Vermont to live with my parents, my mom getting sick again and then dying, living for the last fifteen months without my mom. When I didn’t know how to explain myself, my feelings, Henry was there and I didn’t have to say anything. He’d look at me and blink his big golden eyes. I’d blink back. He’d blink again. He’d lie on my stomach, his considerable weight a comfort, his gentle little head rubbing my chin.
I cried all morning, his death washing over me again and again. Then I went to work. After work, all I wanted to do was decorate this pair of white Keds I’d bought. So that’s what I did while eating half a bag of chili lime chips:
Today I’m going to wear these sneakers. And I’m going to work on a comic about Henry and later I’m going to see a play with my sister Phoebe and my friend Janet.
Thanks for choosing me, Henry. I’m so glad I got to share your life and be your person.
Henry the cat, 2008~2014
Hey all you locals– some of my stuff is now available at the School for Style in their new location at 20 Spring Street! Cat Cards, and several of my comics: Shelf Life (#1-3), Fish Dreams, and some mini cancer comics.
Anne Kennedy has done a lovely job with the store’s new location, and just as before, she breathes life and color into the community. Check out her awesome selection of vintage and handmade clothes, accessories, locally made jewelry, all kinds of great stuff. And while you’re there, take a look at my comics and cards!
There’s a new item in my etsy shop: Cat Greeting Cards. Order now for holiday gifts! Or just as a treat for yourself.
Cat models are: Henry (on toilet), Dulcinea (drinking coffee), Meow Meow (on suitcase), and Cinder (on laptop).