I stand by the main door and wait. Roseee has this habit of hiding behind flowers pots and sneaking inside whenever someone opens the door. I open the door, wait in the foyer, look around. Of course, Roseee cannot come inside, she is no more.
Roseee died a few days ago, and I am still waiting for something to tell me there is no need to look behind the flowerpots.
“What if she hasn’t died, but only fainted and will come back someday!” Omar is wishful.
“I can’t even believe she is dead. She was nicer than most human beings, so gentle and loving,” Zainab is wistful.
“We once gave her a bath, remember?” Saif says.
It seems yesterday, but it also seems long ago when we befriended Roseee. A stray cat that walked into her home and stole our heart away. She was so unlike a stray cat and behaved as if she had always known us. She was so trusting, and loved being touched and held.
Zainab is right. Roseee was kinder than most humans. We remember how she would sit back and look at the hens when they would greedily devour her favorite bread and butter. She liked omelets, Nusrat Fateh Ali, and long walks at night.
“Do you remember we once gave her a bath?” Omar chuckles.
Yes, I do. I lathered her with my favorite shampoo. A bewildered Roseee looked at me, a wet, dripping Roseee ran away and hid on the rooftop. It was a new experience for her, she didn’t like it. But shortly afterwards a cleaner, prettier Roseee sat in my room and listened to Nusrat Fateh Ali.
“And that trip to the doctor!” Saif laughs.
Yes. Roseee kept giving me hurtful, accusing looks throughout the trip to the doctor and back. Perhaps she didn’t think too well of me when the doctor gave her two injections. But later, a healthy, active Roseee walked with me on the rooftop and snuggled against my legs.
“We built her a house. She liked it, didn’t she?” Omar asks.
I am glad we did. It kept her cozy on winter nights; yes, she liked it.
“Her kittens were pretty like her,” says Zainab.
Roseee had two litters of kittens in a year. There were three kittens in the first litter and we gave them up for adoption. Hopefully, they are now health young cats. She had her second litter of kittens on March 31, 2014. There were five kittens in the litter. Two of them died and two we gave up for adoption, and one still lives here.
It was soon after her second litter of kittens that Roseee was probably hit by a car. -she was a stray cat and needed to go out from time to time. She developed some complications which the doctor couldn’t figure out. It was a painful and slow death. She lost weight, she stopped eating, she couldn’t poop.
She kept wandering during her last days. But she came back here to die.
A sense of loss there is. Our senses feel deprived…she seems to be around but we can’t see her, hear her or touch her.
She is no more. No more forever.