Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cleo's Departure

Prior to Kevin taking Cleo to meet her foster family, I knew there was one person who would appreciate saying goodbye to her ... our neighbor.

She is a bit over the edge (in my opinion) when it comes to pet care. She has 7 cats (she's recently adopted a cat that belonged to a family down the street, because she didn't feel they were taking sufficient care of it). She pretty much hijacked it, but the family didn't really care because it was basically just a stray that liked their yard. But they fed it. She takes two of her cats for acupuncture. Her dog is on more medication that most humans and is taken in at least every month for a check up. For what, I don't know. She ripped up her carpeting and purchased wood floors last year. The flooring was dropped off and then she found out her cat needed surgery, so she had the flooring taken back so she could afford the surgery. She lived with subfloors the rest of the winter. She's threatened to call the cops (but I really think she means Animal Control) on us when our dog is out in inclement weather. To her, this means anything lower than 60, higher than 80, any humidity in the air, winds over 10 mph, and more than 2 hours (as I have gone out to run errands and came home to find her inside ... for unknown reasons ... I really should ask for my key back!). I know some people out there are cheering her for all she does in the animal community, but ... I just can't go that far.

Anyway, Neighbor Lady came over and said her goodbyes and then in a not so subtle way showed her disapproval by saying to Cleo "you've done everything right" and telling me "I hope this does help you because it would be sad to have her suffer so much for you." Sigh. I shouldn't have said anything to her to begin with.

But, now that I got that part out of the way ... Kevin came home and I helped him gather up Cleo's things. I asked him if he wanted a picture and he didn't say anything. He told Cleo that she had been a good dog for him and that this was the right thing to do. He said that he knew she'd be happier. He was crying so much. I had a lump in my throat trying to keep down the words "oh, Kevin ... I'm sorry. Let's keep her here." But, I just knew what that meant. They left.

He called about 45 minutes later, but I couldn't get to the phone. When I called him, he said he was talking to his dad and he'd be home soon. When he got home, I gave him a beer and asked what the lady was like. He said she was nice. She has two other bassets and they play together during the day and all sleep in the same room. I think hearing how that seemed like a more pleasant life than her present situation may have helped him. I didn't ask anything else. I let him finish his beer.

A little later, I told him I hadn't made dinner because I didn't know what he'd be up for. He suggested a gyro place that I despise (due to it's proportion of dead bugs to people inside the restaurant). I agreed. When he got home, we ate in mostly silence. He then said ... "Now that Cleo's not here ... can we get a rug for the living room?"

I think he's over it already. Guys are weird like that. I know he misses her. I hear phantom noises still. Her scratching at the door or her nails clinking on the floor. I'm sure in time, those will go away.

I do feel better today. And I really love Kevin for doing this. I know Cleo is in a better place for her and I feel that Lubbock is safer, too.

I still feel like crying for the whole situation, though.


Jen said...

I feel your pain and I wish I could give you a hug right now. Your post made me tear up a bit!
It will get better and you always assure Kevin that when everyone is ready, you can adopt a more kid-friendly, smaller dog from a shelter. Or maybe a goldfish...just a thought.

Melisa said...

Okay, your neighbor is WAY over the top. Good for her, but sooo not my style.

I'm sorry it was so tough, but it sounds like healing has already started...