West Meets East

A Western man travels East in search of love, opportunity and happiness.

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Name:Michael Strickland

This blog chronicles my adventures as I leave my native California and travel east to northern Virginia to start a new life. I can only imagine the funny stories I'll recount here as I experience a wildly different climate, culture and way of life.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Goodbye, Europa

Last night, I had to do the most difficult thing I've done in recent memory: give up my cat Europa. As many of you know, I've been looking for a new home for her since deciding to move a couple of months ago. CJ is highly allergic to cats, and would never be able to come to my new place after I move (she's had a major reaction on even the short visits she's made to my apartment in California). I also didn't want to put the cat through the trauma of a cross-country road trip, though I know the adjustment to a new home won't be without stress. My longtime friend Cindy (who I've known since we were toddlers) graciously agreed to add Europa to her family, which already consists of two adults, two children and two cats.

So after work last night, I bundled up all of the cat's things, put her into her carrier, and took her to Cindy's house. I had no sooner got out of the door when the cat started wailing. I fully expected it, as she does the same thing whenever I take her out of her safe home environment, such as for visits to the veterinarian. But this time, every low-pitched meow cut me to the core. I felt so heartbroken... it was as if I were taking her to be put down. Memories of raising her as an orphaned kitten flooded my mind... feeding her with a bottle before her eyes even opened... carrying her in a backpack on a weekend trip because she was too young to be left alone... feeling her purr as she fell asleep on my chest.... For awhile, it was hard to watch the road as my eyes teared up.

At Cindy's, we put her in a small room, separated from the other cats, to give her a chance to acclimate. It's too soon to tell how much time it will take her to adjust, but toward the end of my visit, she was already exploring the room, rubbing against our legs, much more comfortable than when we first arrived. I think she'll do just fine. And I am grateful to Cindy from the bottom of my broken heart. She was my "emergency backup," in case no one else volunteered, and in the end, no one else did. So thank you, thank you, thank you, Cindy. It made a very difficult thing less difficult to know she ended up in such a warm home.

Goodbye, Europa. Daddy loves you, and will miss you terribly.


John Melson said...

I am sure that Europa will do just fine. She will always remember you and the kindness and love you gave her. Make sure you visit her when you visit her again...

3:25 PM  
Cindy said...

One week and a few days later and Europa is doing great. She has gotten use to the people in the house and has been antsy to explore the rest of the house. As I type she is exploring downstairs. I think she might end up liking it here. :)

1:47 PM  

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