Kitty lived in the center of my grandson’s heart. A little scruffy around the edges, perhaps, but that’s to be expected when you’re so fiercely loved. She was his protector, his loyal friend, and his alter ego. She had super powers and was strong and noble. Kitty reigned over a vast, intricate universe that had a special language, and she could interpret the complexities of this world to my grandson and help him make sense of it and then offer perfect solutions of remediation. Kitty even stars in a comic book my grandson made which is available on Amazon: Kitty – “Indoor Boredom.” He loved her with all his heart. And now she has gone missing. . .
It was on a train trip returning from the mid-west. They pulled into the station in Seattle the morning of November 29, and when they got home they discovered Kitty was not with them. Frantic calls ensued. Sherwin at the station put out an APB – HELP! KITTY IS MISSING! Trains were searched. Could she have been left in the sheets? Laundry was torn apart. We put the word out on Facebook, and people shared the post. Who can’t relate to losing one’s “special friend.” No stones were left unturned. We were all devastated. We loved Kitty.
Stricken with grief, my grandson was inconsolable. It was like a sudden death. He was wracked with gut-wrenching sobs. He tried hard to be brave as he checked out the remaining stuffed animals in his fleet. Who could step up in Kitty’s place? There was Meeki, of course. And Brownie. But . . . they would never be the equal of his most cherished ally. His sadness broke our hearts. We felt helpless; what to do? My daughter googled “white and grey stuffed kitty” and found the exact mate. Could Kitty be replaced? Was this a bad idea?
And then my grandson began his spin. . . His best friend since kindergarten had his back. They figured it out. Turns out that “Kitty was off to destroy anti-cat bots. She was on a dangerous mission. She was, after all, a rambler. We should have seen this coming. . .” They would look for clues. “Maybe it will go viral on Facebook. Someone will see that rascal and send her home!” My daughter showed him the catalogue photo and his eyes lit up. Could this new kitty work her way into his heart, weave its way into his imagination? How will this new story unfold?
Many people were touched by this loss. They, too, remembered being young and losing their “cuddle blanket,” their “stuffy,” their “special friend.” Some told me they still haven’t gotten over it. However (such a sad moment), one person wrote: “Your grandson clearly has a problem. Help him see this is just an inanimate object. He has to get over it. Let’s face it; the world sucks. How could it be like a death? Your grandson is still alive. I sympathize, but . . .”
I rose up like a mother bear and deleted the post. “WTF were you thinking! Have you never experienced grief as a child? Why would you say such horrible things?” She wrote back. Turns out her “special friend” was taken away by her parents when she was six years old because they moved overseas. As if you shouldn’t rely on “special friends” by the time you are six. . . I should have known. No doubt her strong reaction was informed by the lingering trauma from that loss, and the pain is clearly still accessible.
We have not given up hope. I had a dream that I was in a restaurant and the waitress clapped her hands and said, “Oh, there you are. Kitty is back in the kitchen. I’ll just go get her.” And then I woke up. My grandson also had a dream on the very same night. “I saw her in my bed with me, Gaga, and I woke up and tore my sheets apart looking for her, but then realized I was dreaming. I cried.”
So. . .She’s out there somewhere. Marauding. Getting into mischief. Helping people in sticky predicaments. Keep your eyes open. If you see her, give us a shout. She is sorely missed.