Dear Desmond and Molly | A letter to my cats
Last week we lost our 16-year old cat Molly. She died during the night in front of our living room fireplace - her favorite spot to rest in recent months. My husband had been sleeping not too far from her on the couch, when she passed. He found her when we woke. We knew her days were numbered. We had hoped for more time. We were dumbstruck when we realized.
Molly and her brother Desmond were our first children. I adopted them as kittens during grad school while living in Oklahoma. I had wanted a dog. I had even checked out dogs books from the library.
Because I was, and still am, all about research.
My then-boyfriend/now-husband convinced me that cats were the way to go.
As usual, he was right. Eye roll.
We named them after the characters in the song "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" because The Beatles was one of the few bands we could agree on. We became "Mommy" and "Daddy" to our cats. Don't judge. They were our babies. Before we had human babies. You pet people know what I'm talking about, right?
And if you don't, you're missing out on one of life's extraordinary adventures.
Dear Desmond and Molly,
I remember the day we first met at the Cats Only Clinic. I fell in love with you instantly, Molly, your ears WAY too big for your tiny head. Desmond, you did your best song and dance to get our attention. And I'm GRATEFUL you chose us.
I can't describe the sheer comfort you brought me when I was half-way across the country from my family. You were my safety net, my soft spot, my living and breathing lovies while I was in a strange land with TORNADOES and BROWN RECLUSE SPIDERS (come to find out we have those in Jersey too),
I called your names each evening before bed and you both came running like puppies and leaped onto the covers. We slept cuddled together most every night. Eventually, Molly, you hung out more with Daddy. And when the girls were born, Desmond, you pledged allegiance to the only other male in the house. It's OK. I get it. He needed you.
I held you both and cried into your fur the day the twin towers fell. Together we watched endless replays on the screen in disbelief. It was terrifying being so far away from everyone. I thank the Universe, I had YOU that day.
Navigating new mom life was OVERWHELMING. Times when it felt like too much, Daddy reminded me to "take some Molly's belly." Because burying my face in your belly fur was PURE HEAVEN. The softest material ever. Your dad and I brainstormed ways we could market it should we ever find an unlimited supply.
Everyone who visited us regularly was aware of the "Rule of Molly." Your father instituted this early on.
Molly is not to be moved or caused to move unless it is for the greater good of Molly.
You were much more fickle than your brother in your adult years and for you to sit on our laps was a gift. Perhaps this was Daddy's excuse to not answer the phone, answer the door, make dinner, tend to a human child, etc. But since he practically peed his pants on more than once because he didn't want to disturb you, I'm fairly certain the Rule of Molly stemmed from pure adoration.
We instituted the "Rule of Molly as applied to Desmond" when you both became seniors. It's not that we loved you any less, Desmond. It was that you was so stinkin' LOVABLE. Thank you for letting us pick you up, hold you upside down, and squish you any which way. Thank you for sitting on Daddy's shoulder like a parrot and for not leaving my side for over 12 hours after I had sinus surgery. Thank you for making biscuits on my belly when I had cramps.
You two gave us so much more than we could ever give you in return. We were so DAMN LUCKY to have you in our lives and you will be remembered always.